Steven M. Berne


* Steven M. Berne has accepted a volunteer position with The Office of General Counsel for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve as Assistant Area Legal Counsel to the Europe East Area for the Church for 18 months residing in Moscow, Russia. In addition to Russia, this area includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Steve will assist in overseeing the work of local attorneys in these 17 Eastern European countries. Steve will begin this volunteer legal service remotely full time on August 31, 2020. Steve’s current plan is to return to practicing law in Oregon around March 2022. Shawn M. Lindsay (503.596.2928) will take over assisting any of Steve’s business clients who need help with business transactions. Craig R. Berne (503.596.2916) will continue to handle litigation and employment matters. Jeffrey S. Davis (503.502.0062) will assist with real estate matters. You are welcome to contact any of them directly if you need assistance. Alternatively, if any prior clients of Steve want to request that any of their old files (all of which are now maintained electronically) be transferred to them or to another law firm, please contact Susan Smith at 503.596.2924.

Over the last 35 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 collections and bankruptcies, having represented insurance and surety companies, lenders, landlords, bankruptcy committees, and general creditors. 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 40 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


  • 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


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


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