David J. Berardinelli

From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves is the premier book most people recognize and associate with David Berardinelli. I was working on my own book with Forbes Books and in my research learned that David had passed.

Whitney Buchanan is a Las Cruces, New Mexico, attorney whom I have had the pleasure to be co-counsel with, and a friend of David. Whitney is the textbook picture of a gentleman consumer lawyer who is tough as nails when it comes to litigation. I needed a local counsel for a Taos, New Mexico, claim referred to me involving an avalanche and Whitey was my choice. Whitney asked why I agreed to personally fly more than half way around the country to do this particular lawsuit and I said, “how many Florida attorneys ever get to say they worked on a multi-million dollar avalanche case? We do not get to many of those in the Sunshine State.”

Whitney and David Berardinelli were once co-counsel at a trial in Santa Fe. Whitney was practicing out of Albuquerque and when it came time for jury selection and opening statements, David objected to Whitney saying anything to the jury. David was convinced that a Santa Fe jury would be upset if an attorney from Albuquerque said anything to them.

David Berardinelli loved the law and especially loved everything about Santa Fe. He took great pleasure driving me all around and describing its history and culture. He loved the home he built with his wife. On my trips to Santa Fe, they shared wine and then David entered into deep tactical and strategic discussions about how to beat the insurance company attorneys, expose the corruption of their insurance company clients and what we could do to make America better for policyholders. David hated any insurance company that failed to timely and fully pay claims. He was a lawyer with a good cause, passion, and a good heart. While he could be a little quirky with strong opinions as demonstrated by the trial story with Whitney, God knows we need more attorneys with the best of David’s characteristics.

When I was trying to describe David Berardinelli to younger Merlin Law Group attorneys, I said that David was a true insurance policyholder advocate. At his best, he was a great pleasure and an inspiration to people and business owners suffering terrible treatment from their own insurance companies. He creatively looked for ways to win despite high obstacles and was a champion for those that were fortunate enough to retain David.

I am sorry that I belatedly learned of his passing. I strongly suggest that you purchase his book and read it from beginning to end. You will learn a lot about Allstate Insurance Company, McKinsey & Company, and how insurance claims cultures can go in the wrong direction.

Thought For The Day

Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.
—Ella Fitzgerald