Personal Profile of Leslie G. Berkowitz
Mr. Berkowitz' practice emphasizes the areas of technology and corporate law. In his corporate practice, Les represents a wide variety of companies and individuals regarding the formation of limited liability companies, corporations and partnerships, corporate acquisitions, compensation packages, shareholder disputes, ongoing corporate governance, and capital formation.
In representing computer companies and other technology ventures, Les has negotiated numerous nondisclosure agreements, technology licenses, joint development agreements, computer hardware and software acquisition agreements and other licensing, distribution, and royalty agreements which are used to commercialize technology. He has advised clients regarding the spin off of technology and the commercialization of technology originally intended for internal use, and has been involved in the protection of technology by trade secret and copyright means.
A sizeable segment of Les' technology practice relates to Internet law. Not only does this involve issues similar to other technology ventures but also involves such things as how to negotiate for on-line services, publishing on the Internet and World Wide Web, liability issues involved in doing business on-line, and the pitfalls of Internet regulation.
Prior to establishing The Berkowitz Firm, Les was a senior member of another law firm, where he managed nine attorneys and solved problems related to insurance, law firm finance, and office automation. He has established expertise in technology and business.
Les' other business activities included work as a securities broker and a real estate broker.
Les has also been involved with a number of educational activities. He served on the adjunct faculty of the Business School of Metropolitan State College where he taught Real Estate Principles, Real Estate Law, and Business Law. Les also has taught many continuing education courses for the Bar. These include Liabilities and Risks Associated with E-Commerce, Electronic Transactions, Internet Privacy and Security, Landlord / Tenant Law, Commercial Leasing, Acquisition of Large Computer Hardware and Software Systems, Ethical Issues in Computer Law, Legal Aspects of Sales of Computers in the Mass Market, and presentations to the Computer Law Forum on Sales, Contracts, Software Escrow Agreement and Creditor Issues with regard to Software. Les presented a seminar on Commercializing Software at the 1992 InfoCom and part of the faculty for the Front Range Community College program in international marketing and management, in seminars related to international protection of technology and technology transfer. He has presented numerous seminars on liability for defective software, including a presentation at the Technology Expo on Cooperative Arrangements in Commercializing Technology. Les is currently teaching a class on Cyber-Security Law in the master's program at University College, University of Denver.
In addition to his experience as a speaker on technology issues, Les was a columnist for Institutional Management, delivered a paper to the Institute for Electronic and Electrical Engineers entitled "Potential Theories of Legal Liability for Defective Expert System Software," and delivered a paper on "Alternatives to Litigation in International Technology Disputes" to the World Congress on Expert Software Systems. Les has published numerous articles in the Colorado Lawyer, including "Am I My Brother's Keeper? Vicarious Liability for Software Piracy." and "Am I My Sister's Keeper? More Vicarious Liability - Now On-line", and "The Economic Espionage Act of 1996," as well as a case note entitled "The Search for an Internet Model". An article, " Electronic Transactions: You Can Run But You Cannot Hide," detailing legislation involving electronic transactions and digital signatures, and the legislation's broad impact on Colorado business and government. Les's most recent article is, "Computer Security and Privacy: The Third Wave to Property Law."
Early in his career, Les was involved with his Synagogue in a variety of areas including serving on the InvestmentCommittee and Budget Committee of Temple Emanuel, his favorite involvement teaching Jewish Law and other classes to the tenth grade. More recently, Les has been serving on the Board of Trustees for his Synagogue. As Chairman of the Governor's Advisory Council on the Handicapped, Les worked with a wide variety of agencies and issues related to the disabled throughout Colorado. After being in practice for a few years, Les was admitted to Leadership Denver Class of 1977. He has been involved with the Leadership Denver Association since then, serving one year as Chairman of a special task force related to establishing a program direction for the association.
Community issues have been important to Les. They range from Metropolitan Government and Transportation to accessibility issues for the disabled. Les was a member of the Citizen's Light Rail Committee and a Director of Metro Mobility 2000. Both groups involved community wide transportation and mass transportation planning. He served on the Metropolitan Government Study Panel, a group which was organized to study methods of creating metropolitan cooperation, including the possibility of metropolitan government.
Les has been a member of the Greater Denver Chamber of Commerce for many years. He is the former Chairman of the Small Business Council and a past member of the Board of Directors. He formerly served as a member of the Leadership Development Council, Public Affairs Council, Economic Development Advisory Council and chaired the Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee of the Chamber. He is also a former member of the DenverPartnership, and chaired The Denver Partnership Fiscal Policy Committee. Les has also served the small business community as a member of the National Advisory Council of the Small Business Administration and the advisory board of a Small Business Development Center specializing in international trade. Les was a former member of the Governor's Bio-Tech Advisory Board and the Mayor's Telecommunications Advisory Committee.
Les served on the Visiting Committee of the School of Nursing, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sewall Child Development Center, which is engaged in educational programs for developmentally delayed and disabled children. He was also a member of Denver Rotary, an international service organization. Previously, Les served as the Governor's appointee on the Nursing Board for the State of Colorado and served on the Mayor's Management Review Committee for Denver General Hospital. Les has recently continued his involvement with health care issues by the Governor's appointment of Les to the Medical Assistance Reform Advisory Committee. Les is currently serving on the Health Care Committee of the Denver Chamber of Commerce.
In the past, Les has served United Way as a member of its Long Range Planning Committee and on its Venture Grant Committee and served for four years on the Nightingale Nursing Award Dinner Committee to raise funds for the University of Colorado School of Nursing, having co-chaired it in 1989.
Professionally, Les is a member of the Computer Law Forum, the Technology Transfer Society, Licensing Executives Society, and a former member of the Real Estate Securities Syndication Institute in addition to being a member of the American, Colorado, and Denver Bar Associations. He is a member and former Chairman of the Committee on Technology Law and Policy of the Colorado Bar Association. Les served as chairman of the Ad Hoc committee on standardized mobile home contracts for the Colorado Bar Association.
Les has been an active member of the High Tech Council of the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, and was Chairman of the Electronic Commerce Sub-Committee. He was also appointed by Governor Bill Owens to his Office of Innovation and Technology Biotechnology Council. He concluded a term on the Board of Governors for the Colorado Bar Association. Les is former Chair of the AeA (formerly the American Electronics Association) Public Policy Council for the Rocky Mountain Region.
Les has been honored by the Leadership Denver Association with its Distinguished Member Award, and by the Denver Partnership for outstanding service. He is also listed in both Who's Who in American Law and International Who's Who.
A second generation native of Denver, Colorado, Les has been married for over 36 years and has a 23 year old son. He graduated with honors in Public Administration from the University of Missouri and was initiated into Beta Gamma Sigma which is the business school equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa. Les received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver in 1973.