Robert M. Bramson

bramsonBramson, Plutzik, Mahler & Birkhaeuser
2125 Oak Grove Rd.
Suite 125
Walnut Creek, CA 94598
Tel (925) 945-0200
Fax (925) 945-8792

Robert M. Bramson has been a partner in the firm since 1988. He received his undergraduate degree in economics magna cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley in 1977, and his law degree from Berkeley Law School’s Boalt Hall in 1981. He has been designated as a “Northern California Super Lawyer” for many years running.

Mr. Bramson specializes in consumer class action cases as well as in antitrust, business torts and communications litigation. He has been a contributing author to the Third, Fourth, Fifth Sixth, Seventh and Eighth editions of the National Consumer Law Center’s publication Consumer Class Actions. He was a principal drafter of the National Association of Consumer Advocates’ Standards and Guidelines For Litigating and Settling Consumer Class Actions, 176 F.R.D. 375 (1997). He also helped draft the revised versions of the Guidelines in 2006 (255 F.R.D. 215) and 2014 (299 F.R.D. 160).

Mr. Bramson was a Founding Member of the National Association Of Consumer Advocates (NACA), an organization of consumer lawyers and advocates dedicated to the ethical and professional representation of consumers in litigation. From 1997 – 2003, he served on the Board Of Directors of NACA. Mr. Bramson has filed numerous amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs on NACA’s behalf before the United States Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court and several California Courts of Appeal.

Mr. Bramson presently serves on the Board of Directors of Contra Costa Senior Legal Services, a non-profit organization providing legal assistance to seniors.

Significant Trials:

  • Henry v. Structured Investments Co., LLC (Orange County Superior Court) Honorable David C. Velasquez, presiding. Lead counsel in a 17 day trial on behalf of a class of 61 disabled and retired military veterans challenging contracts which denied the veterans the use of their military pensions. Judgment was entered in favor of the class, awarding $3 million for past payments and declaring the contracts unenforceable in the future.
  • Pacific West Cable Company v. City of Sacramento, et al. (U.S. District Court, E.D. Cal.) Honorable Milton L. Schwarz, presiding. Co-lead counsel, with partner Barry Baskin, in antitrust jury trial on behalf of plaintiff. Case settled for $12 million after month long presentation of plaintiff’s case in chief.
  • Coleman v. Sacramento Cable Television (Sacramento Superior Court) Honorable Roger K. Warren, presiding. Judgment of $2.4 million obtained for clients in Bus. & Prof. Code §17200 “quasi-class” case, following 26 day trial. (Lead counsel.)
  • Campisi v. Chavez, et al. (Arbitration) Charles E. Farnsworth, Esq., Referee, presiding. Defended clients against claims of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty. Three week arbitration proceeding resulting in ruling limiting plaintiff to amount stipulated as due. (Lead Counsel.)
  • Pacific West Cable Company v. City of Sacramento, et al. (U.S. District Court, E.D. Cal.) Honorable Milton L. Schwarz, presiding. Twenty-nine day jury trial challenging municipal cable franchising activities. Favorable jury verdicts (see 672 F. Supp. 1322) led to $6 million settlement for client as well as injunction permitting access to the market.
  • Nor-West Cable v. City of St. Paul (U.S. District Court, D. Minn.) Honorable Joseph Alsop, presiding. Three month jury trial challenging municipal policy fostering monopolization of local cable television market.
  • Furniture Creations, Inc. v. Universal Furniture (Los Angeles Superior Court) Honorable Robert Einstein, presiding. Three week jury trial in breach of contract case resulting in $1 million verdict for clients.

Other Significant Cases:

  • Klussman v. Cross Country Bank (Alameda County Superior Court) Honorable Lawrence Appel, presiding. Settlement for $21 million obtained on the eve of trial on behalf of a class of California credit card holders.
  • Seaman v. Wells Fargo Bank (San Francisco Superior Court) Honorable Alex Saldamando, presiding. Class action challenging defendant’s trustee fees. Settlement for $42 million.
  • Acree v. General Motors Acceptance Corp. (Sacramento Superior Court; Third District Court of Appeal) Honorable James Long, presiding. Class action challenging insurance charges imposed upon borrowers by defendant. Following extended trial and multiple appeals, judgment for class and award of fees totaling approximately $7 million upheld on appeal.
  • In re Unocal Refinery Litigation (Contra Costa Superior Court) Honorable Ignacio Ruvulo, presiding. Acted as one of two co-lead counsel for a class of victims exposed to a toxic chemical spill. Following extensive discovery, including several months of daily depositions, an $80 million settlement was negotiated.

Published Decisions:

  • In re Cellphone Termination Fee Cases, 180 Cal.App.4th 1110 (2009).
  • Klussman v. Cross Country Bank, 134 Cal.App.4th 1283 (2005).
  • Acree v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., 92 Cal.App.4th 385 (2001).
  • Heartland Communications, Inc. v. Sprint Corp., 161 F.R.D. 111 (D. Kan. 1995).
  • Preferred Communications, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles, 13 F.3d 1327 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 512 U.S. 1235 (1994).
  • Gordon v. Ford Motor Credit Corp., 868 F. Supp. 1191 (N.D. Cal. 1992).
  • Century Federal, Inc. v. City of Palo Alto, 710 F.Supp. 1559 (N.D. Cal. 1988).
  • Pacific West Cable Company v. City of Sacramento, 672 F. Supp. 1322 (E.D. Cal. 1987) and 693 F. Supp. 865 (E.D. Cal. 1988).
  • Colorado Springs Cablevision, Inc. v. Lively, 579 F. Supp. 252 (D. Colo. 1984).