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Exceptional Litigator and Mock Trial Coach to Join Law School’s Trial Advocacy Program

Justin Bernstein, associate director of Trial Advocacy

May 18, 2017

Attorney Justin Bernstein will join the law school faculty as associate director of the Trial Advocacy program and assistant professor in July.

An accomplished litigator and legal educator, Bernstein is past-president and board member of the American Mock Trial Association.

Bernstein has practiced with two AmLaw 100 firms, O’Melveny & Myers and Haynes & Boone, both in Orange County, California.  He has represented Fortune 500 companies, public-traded corporations, small businesses, and officers and directors in securities litigation, business disputes, employment litigation, internal investigations, and investigations by the SEC, FCC, and FINRA.  His clients spanned multiple industries, including pharmaceutical, banking, automotive, financial services, real estate, technology and insurance.  

He taught trial advocacy at the University of California, Irvine for nine years and founded the law school’s trial competition. 

Passionate about teaching and coaching trial advocacy, Bernstein became the youngest person ever inducted into the American Mock Trial Association’s Coaches Hall of Fame in 2014.  He has coached trial advocacy teams to national or world championships at the law school, collegiate and high school levels.  His law students have won and finished as runner-up at the prestigious Top Gun tournament. Undergraduate students he coached at University of California, Irvine and New York University finished their seasons as the nation’s number-one ranked team three times.

"Coming to the Kline School is a dream job," Bernstein said. "I am honored to teach trial advocacy at a school with such a renowned trial program, humbled to join a community of scholars so obviously dedicated to their students, and excited to be in one of the most vibrant cities in the world.  I can't wait to get started."

He is also the author or co-author of 10 trial case files on topics ranging from product liability, election fraud, murder, bank robbery, negligent parental supervision, defamation, witness tampering and age discrimination.  He has also co-authored publications regarding securities litigation in the Los Angeles Daily Journal and for the Securities Litigation Enforcement Institute.

Bernstein received his JD from New York University School of Law, where he won both school-wide closing argument competitions.  While pursuing his bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley, he won three All-American Attorney Awards in trial advocacy competitions.

“We are extremely excited that Justin will be joining the faculty,” said Professor Gwen Roseman Stern, who directs the Trial Advocacy program.  “His expertise, both as a litigator and a coach, will help us build on our existing strengths and take our nationally ranked Trial Advocacy program to an even higher level.”