& GARDNER
                           Attorneys at Law

About Our Firm                                                                                                                                          Español

Hours:                                                                   Inclement Weather Policy:

Monday, Tuesday & Thursday       9 AM - 7 PMWe will be closed if the Fairfax County General District Court
Wednesday & Friday    9 AM - 4 PM       is closed due to inclement weather. We honor your business
                                    and will be glad to reschedule your appointment.

The law firm of Bernhard & Gardner was established for the purpose of and has been continually committed to providing the highest quality legal services at an affordable price. Founded in 1991 when Cheryl Gardner joined with the pre-existing law firm of David Bernhard, Attorney at Law, in  partnership, Bernhard & Gardner has provided Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. residents consistent, conscientious, competent legal representation in a variety of areas.

David Bernhard started his law practice  in Northern Virginia in 1989, after first practicing in Washington, D.C. Having passed three rigorous state bar exams when many lawyers rarely take more than one in their professional career, David is licensed in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Missouri. David speaks fluent Spanish and German. Through years of vigilant representation of our clientele, he has attained the esteem and respect of many judges as exemplified in this statement in a published opinion: "Bernhard's commendable candor with the Court, especially when coupled with the respect he enjoys from the Court, was instrumental in addressing the fundamental issue presented." Bustillo v. Johnson, 19 Cir. L201879, 65 Va. Cir. 69 (2004). David is also respected by many of his colleagues and is considered by his peers as one of a short list of attorneys capable of successfully handling the most difficult, vexing and seemingly impossible cases.

While results obtained by Bernhard & Gardner depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case and do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case, the firm's willingness to not shy away from such challenges is apparent from its past work. Examples of some of the most difficult cases handled by David include clients who faced the death penalty,  have falsely confessed to crimes, have been falsely accused of attacking the police, are absent from the trial, have been accused of causing "Shaken Baby Syndrome" or have been injured or killed by defective products. David has represented clients in criminal and civil litigation, including capital murder, homicide, maiming, personal injury, products liability, workers' compensation, wrongful death and appellate cases. David has appeared in television and in print media explaining intricate principles of criminal law, and promoting greater understanding of problems with the legal process. David is often in the forefront of developing and successfully presenting cutting edge new defenses in court such as for example being the first attorney to successfully advance the "residence" defense in regards to "Civil Remedial Fee" statute, or to exclude use of DUI certificates of analysis under new Supreme Court precedent, or to provide a comprehensive defense to Hot Lane vilations, all of which occurred in Fairfax County. David and/or some of his cases have been featured in respected publications like The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The New York Times, The Virginia Lawyer's Weekly, and The Fairfax Times. David has personally handled thousands of cases and tried hundreds of jury trials, and is often consulted by colleagues for his legal expertise in difficult litigation matters. David is committed to the advancement of professionalism, diversity, continuing education for lawyers (examples: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), sometimes collaborates with some of the best lawyers in Virginia and gives selflessly of himself in assisting other lawyers much as he has been assisted himself over the years by other respected lawyers in the Metro Washington D.C. community. David founded and co-moderates VADefenses Listserv, a forum for the ethical advancement of the administration of justice through the exchange of knowledge among practitioners in the field of criminal and traffic law. David served as the former Co-chair of the Fairfax Bar Criminal Law Practice Section.  David is active in performing pro bono work, such as for example serving on the Supreme Court of Virginia list of attorneys handling civil appeals for free upon request by the Court. David completed his Juris Doctor from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri in 1985. In 2011, David was awarded a President's award from the Fairfax County Bar Association for his efforts on behalf of the bar including helping revitalize the Criminal Law Section, and in 2012, he has been named one of the "Leaders in the Law" by Virginia Lawyer's Weekly. Mr. Bernhard can be found daily in the courts in Northern Virginia, and conducts an extensive litigation practice.

Cheryl E. Gardner graduated from the University of Denver School of Law in 1984 and like David, early in her career she also accepted the challenge and passed three demanding state bar exams, and is licensed to practice law in Virginia, Maryland, D.C. and Colorado. Cheryl joined David Bernhard in partnership in 1991, bringing with her years of litigation experience in such diverse fields as family law, civil, criminal and traffic matters. In addition to her litigation practice, Cheryl is managing partner ofBernhard & Gardner. Cheryl oversees the firm's divorce practice, civil and appellate litigation, and frequently handles criminal and traffic matters in the courts in Northern Virginia and Maryland. Cheryl has developed the Firm's innovative divorce practice which is designed to provide high quality professional service at low cost without the necessity of the parties to appear in Court while encouraging a cooperative spirit among spouses who face the difficulty of an end to their marital relationship.  Cheryl's pro bono work has in the past included participation in the George Mason Law School clinical program providing free divorce services to qualified clients while training interns placed with firm. A skilled writer, Cheryl is often responsible for the luster and the qualitative edge of the Firm's pleadings, including trial memoranda and appellate briefs. Throughout her years of practice, Cheryl has served as an accessible mentor to new attorneys, is consulted by her peers in a wide variety of areas for her versatile expertise,and has attained a high level of respect from many judges and colleagues.

Bernhard & Gardner prides itself in being able to handle your case both at trial and on appeal. The firm has an active appellate practice (DISCLAIMER: CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. CASE RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE UNDERTAKEN BY A LAWYER).  Representative cases include: Kim v. Commonwealth, Va. Record No. 160665 (pending decision - 2016); Espejo v. Commonwealth, Va. Record 160375 (pending decision - 2016; Contreras v. Commonwealth, Va. Record No. 160380 (pending decision - 2016); Espejo v. Commonwealth, Va. App. Record No. 0456-15-4 (2016); Contreras v. Commonwealth, Va. App. Record No. 0011-15-4 (2016); Garcia v. Commonwealth, Va. Record No. 141800 (2016); Vasquez v. Commonwealth, Va. Record No. 141028 (2015); Garcia v. Commonwealth, Va. App. Record No. 2390-13-4 (2014); Vasquez v. Commonwealth, Va. App. Record No. 1559-13-4 (2014); Reynoso v. Commonwealth, Va. Record No. 130260 (2013) Enriquez v. Commonwealth, U. S. Supreme Court (No. 12-109, 2012); Sarwar v. Commonwealth, Va. App. Record. Nos. 0360-12-4 and 0468-12-4 (2012); Rueda v. Commonwealth, Va. Record No. 110521 (2011); Kozmina v. Commonwealth, 281 Va. 347 (2011); Rueda v. Commonwealth, Va. App. Record No. 0795-10-4 (2010); Commonwealth v. Centeno-Trejo, Va. App. Record No. 1529-10-4 (2010); Mitchell v. O'Brien, 09 Va. S. Ct. UNP 072633 (2009); Parada v. Commonwealth, 08 Vap UNP 0572074 (2008); Ayala v. Aggressive Towing and Transport, 276 Va. 169 (2008); Lopez v. Commonwealth, Va. Record No. 072296 (2008); Ford Motor Company v. Benitez, 273 Va. 242 (2007); Perez v. Commonwealth, 274 Va. 724 (2007); Lopez v. Commonwealth, Va. App. Record No. 3000-06-4 (2007); Perez v. Commonwealth, 06 Vap UNP 1431054 (2006); Estate of Garcia v. Electrifiers, Inc., 06 WC UNP 2137580 (2006); Gill v. Commonwealth, Va. Record No. 012617 (2001); Gill v. Commonwealth, Va. App. Record No. 2770-00-4 (2001); Flores v. Commonwealth, Va. Record No. 001237 (2000); Commonwealth v. Martinez, 99 Vap UNP 0467994 (1999); Flores v. Commonwealth, Va. App. Record No. 1537-99-4 (1999); Commonwealth v. Salazar, Va. App. Record No. 0141-99-4 (1999); Rodriguez v. Lawler, Va. Record No. 971928 (1997); Matute v. Commonwealth, Va. Record No. 970468 (1997); Matute v. Commonwealth, Va. App. Record No. 1896-96-4 (1997); Mejia v. Commonwealth, Va. Record No. 962054 (1996); Mejia v. Commonwealth, 23 Va. App. 173 (1996); Garcia v. Commonwealth, 21 Va. App. 445 (1995); Garcia v. Commonwealth, 19 Va. App. 574 (1995); Vasquez v. Commonwealth, Va. Record No. 950530 (1995); Vasquez v. Commonwealth, 94 Vap UNP 2205924 (1994); Alvarenga v. Commonwealth,Va. Record No. 930928 (1993); Alvarenga v. Commonwealth, 93 Vap UNP 1667914 (1993).

In celebrating more than 24 years in partnership, Bernhard & Gardner seeks to be your law firm of choice.

* Disclaimer: You should consult one of our attorneys to determine your particular legal situation before relying on any information in this web site as a basis for  any decision, action or inaction on your part. Information provided on this page is a courtesy to our guests only. Bernhard & Gardner neither vouches for the accuracy of the information contained in the links nor has any financial interest in the dissemination thereof. Posting of a link herein, including but not limited to an advertisement, does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of the related site. The content of any website links posted on this page is the sole responsibility of the respective site's owner. Use of the herein links is at your risk and is conditioned upon waiver of any legal claim against this site or its owners.This web site may be considered ADVERTISEMENT MATERIAL under the Rules of Professional Conduct governing lawyers in Virginia.This site is designed to provide general information only. Bernhard & Gardner provides services in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. only. The information displayed at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor constitute the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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6105-D Arlington Blvd.
Falls Church, VA
(703) 538-4710