Howard L. Berman   DEMOCRAT

Member of Congress, United States House of Representatives
 Howard L. Berman biography:
Born: Los Angeles, California

Education: B.A. 1962, UCLA LL.B. 1965, UCLA

Occupation: Lawyer

Family: Congressman Berman and his wife, Janis Gail Berman, have two daughters, Brinley and Lindsey.

Biography: Upon his graduation from law school, Howard Berman began his career in public service with a year's work as a VISTA volunteer. From 1967 until 1973, he practiced law in Los Angeles, specializing in labor relations. In 1973, he was elected to the California State Assembly, where he served until 1982, when he was elected to Congress.

In his first term in the state legislature, then-Assemblyman Berman was named Assembly Majority leader, the youngest person ever to serve in that leadership capacity. He also served as Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus and the Policy Research Management Committee of the Assembly.

"There are few House members who have made such an imprint on legislation in so many areas as Howard Berman," says The Almanac of American Politics. Berman is particularly well-known for his ability to form bipartisan coalitions. Together with Republican Henry Hyde, Berman wrote a law authorizing embargoes on nations that condone terrorism. With Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, he wrote amendments to the False Claims Act.

The Almanac goes on to call Berman "one of the most aggressive and creative members of the House and one of the most clear-sighted operators in American politics."

Berman is a senior member of the International Relations Committee and the Judiciary Committee. He has gained increasing influence on such issues as foreign aid, arms control, antiterrorism, human rights, technology policy, trade legislation, copyright legislation, and immigration reform.

As Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, Berman plays a key role in shaping the copyright, trademark, and patent laws that are of vital importance to the entertainment, biotechnology, broadcasting, pharmaceutical, telecommunication, consumer electronics, and information technology industries.

During the 108th Congress, he will be involved in a variety of issues, including the patenting of business methods, digital music piracy, broadband deployment, protection of databases, development of distance education, expansion of Internet domain names, Patent and Trademark Office funding, gene patents, and the interplay between intellectual property and antitrust laws. Also within the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee are matters relating to the federal courts, such as the creation of new judgeships and privacy concerns raised by Internet access to court documents.

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