Jeffrey S. Kaufman


Business Litigation; Arbitration/Mediation; Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights; Construction; Real Estate Litigation; Eminent Domain

Mr. Kaufman represents a wide variety of businesses and individuals, including many agri-businesses, including growers, packers, processors, and dairymen. Mr. Kaufman also handles real estate and construction disputes for contractors, sub-contractors, individual parties, realtors and public entities. He has tried over 100 cases to their conclusion with excellent results. Mr. Kaufman has a substantial range of experience including public and private construction disputes, mechanics’ lien issues, collections, contract disputes, condemnation, real property sales, real estate use issues and creditor-bankruptcy work.

Mr. Kaufman joined Berliner Cohen in 2002 after several years as a partner, including over five years as managing partner, at a Merced area law firm.

Representative Cases

  • Real estate litigation/eminent domain case
    In 2005, obtained several million dollars for his clients in two lawsuits; one matter was an eminent domain matter relating to the construction of a highway interchange by the Transportation Department for the State of California (CALTRANS); second matter involved a dispute between partners regarding a real estate development project in the Merced area
  • Johnson v. Galloway
    Merced County Superior Court. Counsel for the defendant (Galloway), who purchased land from a neighboring property owner and was sued for rescission of the sale, based on the alleged fraud of the buyers and the incompetence of the seller; after two days of trial, plaintiff - seller dismissed the case and agreed to adjust the existing boundary line for the benefit of the defendant
  • Basra v. Tam
    Merced County Superior Court. Trial attorney for plaintiffs (Basra) who were purchasers of a grocery store, and were seeking rescission for the sale and/or damages from the sellers for misrepresentations and failures to disclose material information about the store; after a multi-day jury trial, plaintiffs received a jury verdict in their favor on all claims, effectively giving them a choice between rescission or the full amount of damages asked for; jury verdict also included an award of punitive damages against the sellers

Professional Admissions

  • State Bar of California


  • Merced County Bar Association, Past President (member since 1989)
  • Stanislaus County Bar Association
  • Merced County Economic Development Corporation, General Counsel, Board of Directors and Executive Committee, 1998 - present
  • North Merced Rotary Club, Member and Past President
  • McSwain Municipal Advisory Council, Secretary
  • Merced Golf & Country Club, Member


  • Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 1985
  • University of California, Berkeley, Dual B.A. Economics and Political Science, with Academic Honors, 1982


  • Born in Savannah, Georgia
  • Married, two children
  • Interests include golf, softball, computers, and reading