The National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys (NARCA) presented its 2013 NARCA President’s Award to Sheri Berman, who accepted on behalf of her late husband Eric M. Berman who lost his battle with cancer in November 2010. The announcement was made at the NARCA 2013 Fall Collection Conference in Washington, DC. The NARCA President’s Award recognizes outstanding leadership in NARCA which is of such magnitude that NARCA may not have achieved its current position of excellence without the recipient’s efforts.
In presenting the award, NARCA Immediate Past President Louis Freedman explained why Mr. Berman could be the “poster child” for the definition of NARCA passion. “Not only did he serve on the NARCA Board of Directors, write countless white papers and argue before appellate courts for fair debt collection rulings, he actually became a true poster child as the named plaintiff in a lawsuit he filed against the City of New York.”
The lawsuit involved a 2009 law that required attorneys to license if they practiced consumer debt collection law. Mr. Berman convinced the Federal Court in the Eastern District of New York to strike down the law as to collection attorneys. The court found that attorneys are officers of the court and their conduct is subject to supervisory and corrective powers of the state judiciary, and that the regulation of attorneys is not within the police powers of municipalities. In his conclusion, Mr. Freedman noted that “this result is part of Eric Berman’s legacy, a gift to all NARCA members.”
The National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys (“NARCA”) is comprised of over 700 skilled debt collection law firms which are required to adhere to NARCA’s Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics. Attorneys employed by NARCA member law firms are committed to the fair and ethical treatment of all participants in the debt collection process and are required to practice law in a manner consistent with their responsibilities as officers of the court. As attorneys, they must adhere to applicable state and federal laws, rules of civil procedure, state bar association licensing and certification requirements and the rules of professional conduct. www.narca.org