Attorney Douglas E. Berger (Partner)
“I take joy in being an equalizer. I grew up in Smithfield in a neighborhood full of bullies. No matter how big they were there was always an equalizer, even if it was just picking up a stick to defend yourself. I like being the stick for people who are getting run over by bullies. And I believe many insurance companies can be bullies.”
Those bullies stoked a fire in young Doug that sparked a lifetime of advocacy. Righting wrongs and offering hope. For the voiceless. The needy. The forgotten. He was impassioned at a young age to stand up and fight on behalf of people he saw being victimized. And fight he did. Against Big Corporate. Big Government. He took his fight across racial boundaries, blowing the whistle on a restaurant manager who wouldn’t hire African-Americans. He took the fight across county lines, protesting the dumping of toxic PCBs in a landfill in an impoverished part of North Carolina. His efforts crossed international borders as he maneuvered effective financial strategies that, along with others like it nationwide, helped lead to the unraveling of South Africa’s unjust system of apartheid.
He was even jailed twice for “civil disobedience.”
“As I was being processed through the jail, a jailer asked me what my plans for the future were going to be now that I had ruined my life by being arrested. I told him I was going to go to law school and become a lawyer in order to fight for justice. And in 1989, I earned my law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.”
Not only did Doug become a lawyer, he went on to become a Deputy Commissioner at the North Carolina Industrial Commission, where he presided over 500 hearings during a 10-year period, hearing workers’ compensation disputes from Manteo to Murphy. He also served as an advisor to the North Carolina Industrial Commission fraud unit and as Head Administrator over the Department of Claims.
Doug was at one time the Democratic nominee for Labor, losing by only 0.01% out of over 3.4 million votes. In 2005, he was elected to the North Carolina Senate and won four terms and served eight years. As a North Carolina senator, Doug helped write some of our state’s worker’s compensation laws. He also served as co-chair of the Health and Human Services subcommittee on appropriations.
Today, out of tens of thousands of attorneys licensed in North Carolina, Doug is one of fewer than 200 North Carolina State Bar Board Certified Specialists in workers’ compensation law.3
He is also a Partner at the firm.
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- James Scott Farrin Lawyers Named to 2022 “Best Lawyers,” “Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch,” List, One Named a “Lawyer of the Year”4
- News & Observer: Your work injury won’t be covered if it doesn’t meet NC’s definition of an ‘accident’
- One Key Question Can Make or Break Your Worker’s Comp Claim
- 15 Things People Want to Know When Appealing a Denied Workers’ Comp Claim
- Doug Berger's Wikipedia page
For legal reasons and client confidentiality, reviews have been slightly edited to remove identifying information and correct typos.
* Denotes inactive
3 Figures provided by the N.C. State Bar as of December 2020.
4For more information regarding the standards for inclusion for “Best Lawyers” and visit: www.bestlawyers.com.
5For more information about the standards of inclusion for “U.S. News – Best Lawyers” ‘Best Law Firms’ list, please visit https://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/.