Robert S. Bernstein became aware of the intricacies of the legal system as a teenager, while working for his father as the firm’s liaison to the sheriff’s department. Little did the Pittsburgh native know he would carry on this family legacy.
Bob concentrates on bankruptcy and commercial law throughout Pennsylvania and the Middle Atlantic states, serving as a mediator and counsel to:
- Commercial landlords
- Equipment lessors
- Bankruptcy trustees
- Creditors’ committees
He is part of the firm’s Preference Defense Team, a specialized group within the firm dedicated to the effective and efficient representation of clients against whom preference payment claims are made.
While fulfilling his duties as partner of Bernstein-Burkley, P.C., Bernstein represents:
- Businesses of all sizes and types in many areas of their operation, including representation in reorganization proceedings.
He also has extensive experience in credit recovery matters, including collection, secured transaction and mortgage foreclosure.
His book, Get P.A.I.D.TM : A Guide to Getting Paid Faster (and What to Do if You Don’t!) lays out an innovative strategy for businesses to successfully manage their credit policy and collect for their sales.
Get P.A.I.D. is Bernstein’s comprehensive system for businesses and credit managers to:
- Increase profits
- Reduce costs and delays
- Develop better relationships with customers
In addition to the publication Get P.A.I.D., Bob writes and lectures for local and national groups on matters of collection, bankruptcy, business law, and professional ethics and, for more than 20 years, has been certified as both a creditors’ rights and business bankruptcy specialist by the American Board of Certification. Currently, few attorneys in the country hold both certifications. He has been a contributor to the 5 Minute Legal Master Series – a video series where expert attorneys help people master important legal topics.
- American College of Bankruptcy: Fellow, Class XXVII
- Commercial Law League of America: President (1995-1996, 2015-2016); Board of Governors (1991-1994); Recording Secretary (1989-1990); Treasurer (2001-2002); Chair, Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility (2002-2004); Chair, Young Members Section (1986-1987)
- American Board of Certification; Chairman (2006-2007); President (2005-2006); Treasurer (2003-2005); Chair, Standards Committee (2001-2002)
- Lease Enforcement Attorneys Network (LEAN), Founder and Chairman
- Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA); Legal Committee (2000-2003)
- Allegheny County Bar Association; Chair, Professional Ethics Committee (2003-2005); Chair, Technology Utilization Committee (1996-2001); Chair, Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section (1992)
- Allegheny County Bar Foundation; Board of Trustees (2019-2025, Treasurer 2022-2025)
- Commercial Law Foundation, Fellow
- Association for Conflict Resolution, member, trained Mediator
- Duquesne University Law Alumni Association: President (1994-1995)
- American Bankruptcy Institute: Member
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Allegheny District Chapter: Chairman, Board of Trustees (2006-2009)
- Temple Sinai, Pittsburgh, PA: President, Board of Trustees (2005-2007)
- Riverview Towers Board of Directors, Pittsburgh, PA, Member (2013-2016)
- Named a Fellow by the American College of Bankruptcy, joining the College’s Class XXVII; honor only awarded to professionals who have shown the highest standard of professionalism, ethics, character, integrity, professional experience and leadership
- Named to Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list every year since 2004 in the area of bankruptcy and workouts
- Named Best Lawyers® 2016 Litigation – Bankruptcy “Lawyer of the Year” in Pittsburgh
- Has been recognized by Best Lawyers® in the fields of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, and Litigation – Bankruptcy
- Named by his peers as one of The Best Lawyers in America in the field of Bankruptcy each year since 2009
- Pennsylvania Super Lawyers – Top 50 Pittsburgh Attorneys (2021)
- Admitted State jurisdictions: Pennsylvania; Florida; West Virginia; and New York
- Admitted Federal jurisdictions: the United States District Court for the Western, Middle and Eastern Districts of Pennsylvania; the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia and the Southern District of West Virginia; the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the United States District Court for the Southern and Middle District of Florida, and the United States Supreme Court
Education & Certification:
- University of Pittsburgh (B.A., 1976)
- Duquesne University (J.D., 1981)
- Creditors’ Rights Specialist – American Board of Certification (1993-present)
- Business Bankruptcy Specialist – American Board of Certification (1993-present)
- When A Tenant Files Bankruptcy
- How, Why, and When to Seek the Appointment of a Chapter 11 Trustee
- Bridging the Abyss: Reorganization Without Bankruptcy
- Pre-Bankruptcy Lease Termination: Overlooked Benefit?
- When a Residential Tenant Files Bankruptcy
- A Primer on Preferential Transfers in Bankruptcy
- A Short Series on Security Interests for Credit Managers
- A Short Series on Reclamation for Credit Managers
- Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases
- A Short Series on the Disappearing Debtor
- Will the Good Times Last? (From a Collection/Enforcement Perspective)
- Protecting Lease Transactions in Indian Areas
- Consignments: My, How You’ve Changed!
- Lessors and Bankruptcy: A New Look at Critical Vendor Payments in Chapter 11 Cases
- Attention: Chinese Vendors-In U.S. Chapter 11 Cases, Immediate Action Is Required
- Five Essential Contracts for Small Businesses
- BAPCPA Amendments to Bankruptcy Code Provide Extra “Teeth” for Unsecured Credit Sellers
- What Credit Grantors Should Do Just Before Sunrise
- Chapter 9: even the government is out of money
- Ethics and Professionalism: A New Look. Let’s See if we Can Avoid Boring!
- Ethics and Professionalism: But, Your Honor, I am Only Local Counsel!
- Ethics and Professionalism: Duty to Keep Clients Funds Separated Under Rule 1.15
- Ethics and Professionalism: But, She Was Only Supposed to be “Local Counsel!”
- Ethics and Professionalism: Sorry, Local Counsel You are COUNSEL!
- Ethics and Professionalism: Inadvertent Disclosure of Documents
- Ethics and Professionalism: The “Professionalism” Part
- Ethics and Professionalism: When Is a Contingent Fee Not a Contingent Fee?
- Ethics and Professionalism: Professional Courtesy v. Zealous Representation
- Ethics and Professionalism: What Would You Do?