Attorneys

Richard C Berra - Partner

Richard C. Berra

Partner

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Ellen Winick Stross - Partner

Ellen Winick Stross

Partner

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Gretchen M. Wallacker - Partner

Gretchen M. Wallacker

Partner

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Nancy Encarnacion Mass - Partner

Nancy Encarnacion Mass

Partner

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Joshua M. Cutcher - Associate

Joshua M. Cutcher

Associate

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Rebecca C. Levin - Partner

Rebecca C. Levin

Associate

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Richard Berra

Richard C. Berra

Partner

Education

  • J.D. - University of California, Hastings College of the Law
  • M.A. - San Francisco State University
  • B.A. - Stanford University

Mr. Berra has concentrated his practice during the last 40+ years on the resolution of the complex business, property and support issues involved in marital dissolution cases. For the last 20 years, Mr. Berra has been emphasizing the use of mediation as a means of settling marital disputes which often result in less cost to his clients, reduce friction and less acrimony. A substantial portion (approximately 70%) of Mr. Berra's practice now is concentrated in private judging of family law matters, the remainder is mediation.

Mr. Berra has lectured on the subject of complex marital settlements to lawyer and other professional groups, Mr. Berra has been certified as a specialist in family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California since 1981. He is a member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists, the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association, State Bar of California and the San Mateo County Bar Association. He is also the Past President of the San Mateo County Bar Association (1986) and is the Past President of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers of Northern California for 1997 and 1998.

Ellen Stross

Ellen Winick Stross

Partner

Education

  • J.D. 1992 - Northwestern University School of Law
  • B.A. High Distinction, 1988 - University of California at Berkeley, Phi Beta Kappa

Ms. Stross is a Certified Specialist in Family Law and a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Ms. Stross's practice encompasses all aspects of family law, including complex issues of property, support, and custody. She has successfully represented corporate executives, venture capitalists, business professionals, and other high-net-worth individuals throughout the litigation process and in trial.

Northern California Super Lawyers named Ms. Stross a Super Lawyer from 2005 to 2016, one of the top fifty women lawyers in Northern California from 2007-2008 and 2010-2016, and one of the top one hundred lawyers in Northern California from 2005-2016. Ms. Stross received an AV Peer Review Rating by Lexis Nexis Martindale-Hubbell. She was selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America from 2010-2016.

Honors

The Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County awarded Ms. Stross The Dorothy M. Wolfe Award for outstanding service in 2006.

Leadership Positions

  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Northern California Chapter Board of Managers, 2010-2016, President-Elect 2016; Treasurer 2015; Chairman, Charitable Donations Committee, 2010-2011; Annual Symposium Co-Chair 2013; Mentor, San Mateo County, 2011 to 2014
  • Co-chair, Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, Justice for All Luncheon, 2007-2012
  • Co-chair, Kids' Turn Fundraiser, 2009-2012
  • Board of Directors, Kids' Turn, San Francisco, 2009 – 2012

Speaking Credits

  • Presenter, "A-Cross the Great Divide: Journeying Beyond 'Isn't It True?'" New perspectives on the age-old art of cross examination, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Northern California Symposium, 2014
  • Presenter, "Direct Examination," American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Northern California Trial Practicum, 2012, 2014, 2016
  • Presenter, "Calculating Child Support in High-Earner Cases," American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Northern California Symposium, 2010
  • Presenter, "Psychiatric Evaluations in Family Law and Juvenile Courts: Problems and Possibilities," Stanford University Medical School, Center for Psychiatry and the Law, 2003

Author

"Murphy Brown v. Mike Brady, Mary Poppins, and Known Donor, Advice for Women Who Want to Become Single Autonomous Birth Mothers," ACFLS Newsletter, Spring 2008

Participation

  • Edward J. McFetridge American Inn of Court, Associate, 1994-1996
  • Coro Foundation Fellowship in Public Affairs, 1998-1989, St. Louis, MO
  • Member of the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists and the Bar Associations of San Francisco and San Mateo Counties
  • Ms. Stross was previously associated with the law firms of McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen, LLP (now Bingham McCutchen) and Friedman, Ross & Hersh.
Gretchen Wallacker

Gretchen M. Wallacker

Partner

Education

  • J.D. - University of Michigan
  • B.A. Cum Laude - University of California at Davis

Ms. Wallacker is a Certified Specialist in Family Law. She is also a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and in 2016 she has served as Chapter Counsel for the Northern California Chapter.

Ms. Wallacker has practiced all aspects of family law since 1993. She has substantial experience litigating and settling complex family law cases that involve custody, support and property. She devotes an increasing portion of her practice to Collaborative Practice and Mediation.

Ms. Wallacker was named a Northern California Super Lawyer in years 2005-2016 and was also named one of the top fifty women lawyers in Northern California in 2009-2010 and 2014-2016. Ms. Wallacker received an AV Peer Review Rating by Lexis Nexis Martindale-Hubbell. She has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers of America since 2011.

Ms. Wallacker is a current member of the San Francisco and San Mateo County Bar Associations, the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists, Collaborative Practice San Mateo County, and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. She also serves on the San Mateo County Family Law ADR Mediation Referral Panel. Ms. Wallacker has chaired the Family Law Section of the San Mateo County Bar Association and Collaborative Practice San Mateo County. She is a volunteer mediator in Department 19 at the San Mateo County Superior Court. In addition, Ms. Wallacker was a member of Custody and Property North, sub-committees of the Family Law Section of the California State Bar.

Ms. Wallacker most recently co-presented on spousal support at the 11th Annual Statewide Conference of Collaborative Professionals. She has also presented a Webinar on Effective Case Management Tips, Tricks, and Techniques for Family Lawyers in October 2010. And Ms. Wallacker spoke at a 2008 Loco Parentis Luncheon on Work/Life Balance in the Legal Profession, and Disclosure Duties at the State Bar Spring 1998 Section Education Institute.

Ms. Wallacker received her law degree from the University of Michigan in 1992, after graduating cum laude from the University of California at Davis with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 1988.

Nancy Mass

Nancy Encarnacion Mass

Partner

Education

  • J.D. 2002 - University of California, Hastings College of the Law
  • B.A. Cum Laude 1998 - University of California at Los Angeles

Ms. Mass joined Berra Stross & Wallacker in October 2007. She is a Certified Specialist in Family Law. Ms. Mass handles all aspects of family law cases, including those involving custody, support, paternity, property characterization, business valuation and complex financial issues, from the inception of a case through settlement or trial. Ms. Mass also prepares prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and works with clients as a consulting attorney, as needed. She handles Domestic Violence actions, as well.

Ms. Mass was previously associated with Hammer & Jacobs in San Jose, where she also practiced family law exclusively. Prior to that, Ms. Mass' practice focused on family law and civil litigation, which included defending businesses in tort and employment litigation actions.

Ms. Mass graduated cum laude from University of California at Los Angeles, having attained a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in English and French. She graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 2002. While in law school, she served as extern for the Honorable Edward A. Infante, Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court, Northern District, and was also a member of the Hastings Law Journal from 2000-2002. She served as a managing editor in 2001-2002.

Ms. Mass is fluent in Spanish and French.

Honors

  • Northern California Rising Star for 2011 through 2016 by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Leadership/Volunteer Positions

  • Volunteer for Department 15 of the San Mateo Superior Court, Family Law Status Conference Calendar.
  • Pro bono attorney handling cases for the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, Domestic Violence Collaborative.
  • 2012 Chair of the Family Law Section of the San Mateo County Bar Association and Co-Chair in 2011.

Memberships

  • Association of Certified Family Law Specialists
  • San Mateo County Bar Association
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
Joshua Cutcher

Joshua M. Cutcher

Associate

Education

  • J.D. cum laude 2012 - University of California, Hastings College of the Law
  • B.A. high honors 2009 - University of California, Berkeley

Mr. Cutcher is an associate, handling all aspects of high-asset dissolutions including property characterization and division, child support, spousal support, child custody, and visitation. Mr. Cutcher is also available to draft pre-marital and post-marital agreements.

Mr. Cutcher joined Berra Stross & Wallacker as an Associate in October 2013. Mr. Cutcher was previously associated with a boutique corporate law firm, where he assisted in the representation of large public utilities companies before the California Public Utilities Commission and in private civil litigation.

Mr. Cutcher graduated cum laude from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. While at Hastings, Mr. Cutcher was Senior Supervising Editor of the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly. During law school, Mr. Cutcher was an extern for the Honorable Elliot L. Daum at the Sonoma County Superior Court. He also worked for the Child Dependency Unit of the Santa Clara County, Office of the County Counsel. Mr. Cutcher graduated with high honors from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Anthropology.

Mr. Cutcher is a member of the San Mateo County Bar Association and the Bar Association of San Francisco.

Rebecca Levin

Rebecca C. Levin

Associate

Education

  • J.D. 2006 - University of Michigan, cum laude
  • B.A. 2001 - University of Virginia, with distinction

Ms. Levin joined Berra Stross & Wallacker as an Associate in March, 2016.

Ms. Levin previously worked at Crivello Carlson, S.C. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, practicing civil defense litigation, including general insurance defense, medical malpractice defense, products liability defense and civil rights litigation.

Ms. Levin graduated with distinction and phi beta kappa from the University of Virginia in 2001. She graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 2006. While in law school, Ms. Levin interned for the Honorable Bernard A. Friedman of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and for the University of Michigan Health Systems Legal Office.

Ms. Levin is a member of the San Mateo County Bar Association, the Santa Clara Bar Association, the Bar Association of San Francisco and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).

Staff

Kimberly Ferer

Kimberly Ferer

Paralegal / Legal Assistant

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Gwen Olsen

Gwen Olsen

Receptionist

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Kimberly Ferer

Kimberly Ferer

Paralegal / Legal Assistant

Education

  • Paralegal Certificate 2007 - University of California, Berkeley
  • B.A. with Honors 2004 - University of Nottingham, England, UK

Kimberly is a Paralegal/Legal Assistant at Berra Stross & Wallacker. She joined the firm in January 2011. She previously worked as a Paralegal/Legal Assistant at Stimmel, Stimmel & Smith PC in San Francisco where she specialized in Civil Litigation and Arbitration, Business and Corporate Law, including related areas which affect corporate clients such as Intellectual Property and Estate Planning. In 2004, Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts, with Honors, in English Studies from the University of Nottingham in England. She received her Paralegal Certificate from UC Berkeley in 2007. Kimberly has been working in the legal field ever since graduating and returning from her studies overseas, and has been dedicated to Family Law since 2011.

Kimberly is also a Notary Public and a member of the National Notary Association, as well as a member of the San Mateo County Legal Professionals Association.

Gwen has served as a Receptionist at Berra Stross & Wallacker since March 2012. She previously worked as the Office Coordinator at the Stanford University Humanities Center for 11 years.