Steven M. Berne

Profile

At the end of 2020, Steven M. Berne accepted a volunteer position with The Office of General Counsel for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve as Associate Area Legal Counsel to the Europe East Area for the Church for 18 months, eventually residing in Frankfurt, Germany. In addition to Russia, this area included Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Steve assisted in overseeing the work of local attorneys in these 17 Eastern European countries. Due to COVID, Steve began this volunteer legal service initially working from Oregon and then eventually working from Germany when circumstances in Russia made it unworkable to reside in either Russia or Ukraine. Steve helped with partnership agreements for Humanitarian Aid throughout Eastern Europe with organizations such as Mercy Corps and Red Cross, and many other Humanitarian partnerships. Steve also worked on matters involving Religious Rights, Data Privacy, Employment, and real estate transactions involving Soviet Era, EU, and Central Asia property ownership issues and legislation.

Steve has returned to practicing law in Oregon as Of Counsel to Harris Berne Christensen, effective March 1, 2022, and is also working part time as in house General Counsel for Jacobsen Real Estate Group. Because of the war in Ukraine, Steve has also agreed to continue to volunteer and provide ongoing support to the Office of General Counsel for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the Europe East Area to assist in navigating the complexities of all of the sanctions now being imposed on any organization attempting to operate in Eastern Europe.

Over the last 38 years, Steve has helped manage the legal affairs for many businesses as outside general counsel. This representation has included business formations, acquisitions, sales and mergers, as well as general corporate maintenance and business litigation. Steve has a broad spectrum of experience in real estate transactions and development, specializing in residential and senior housing projects. He also has extensive experience in commercial transactions and debtor creditor law. Steve is A/V rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Steve is an avid outdoorsman. He can be found on mountains throughout the world skiing, snow shoeing, hiking, camping, climbing and mountain biking. Steve has been married for over 42 years, has 4 children, and 10 grandchildren.

Representative Work

  • Business and Commercial Transactions and Litigation
  • Real Estate
  • Commercial Collections and Bankruptcy
  • Trust and Estate Disputes

Professional and Civic Activities

  • Oregon State Bar Association (Inactive)
  • Prior advisor to Special Olympics Oregon Board of Directors and Member of Finance Committee

Publications

  • Author, “Inadequate Notice in Tax Sales,” 12 Utah Bar Journal Nos. 1-6, P.33, 1984
  • Author, “Saybrook Manufacturing – The Eleventh Circuit’s Challenge of Texlon-Type Cross-Collateralization and the Mootness Doctrine,” Vol. XII, No.4, Oregon Debtor-Creditor Newsletter at 3 (Winter 1992-93)
  • Co-author, Cushman & Meeker “Construction Defaults: Rights, Duties, and Liabilities,” Chapter 4

Admissions

  • Oregon State Bar, 1985 (Inactive)
  • U.S. District Court, District of Oregon, 1985

Education

  • Brigham Young University, J.D., cum laude, 1984
  • Portland State University, B.A., with honors, 1982
  • Foreign Language: German