Attorney Douglas E. Berger
A commitment to public service and to helping those injured
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 the 28,000 attorneys licensed in North Carolina, Doug is one of only 148 NC Board Certified Specialists in workers’ compensation law1.
He is also a shareholder of our firm.
University of North Carolina School of Law
Chapel Hill, N.C.
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, N.C.
1985 Teaching Certificate in Social Studies
1982 B.A. in Political Science and Speech Communications
Specialization: Workers' Compensation
Board of Legal Specialization, North Carolina State Bar
- Certified Workers' Compensation Specialist, Board of Legal Specialization of the North Carolina State Bar
- North Carolina Advocates for Justice
- North Carolina Bar Association
- North Carolina State Bar
Community & Civic Involvement:
- Franklin County Senior Democrats, current president
- Member, Board of Directors, Franklin County Social Services Board, 1999-2002*
- Baseball card collector and member of one of the nation's oldest fantasy baseball leagues
* Denotes inactive
1 Figures provided by the N.C. State Bar as of December 2017.