Attorney Berchem was born in Milford in 1941. The great grandson of Milford’s first Chief of Police, James M. Maher, Bob attended Central Grammar School before going to high school at Fairfield Prep. At Prep, Bob excelled scholastically and graduated in three years. He was then awarded a full academic scholarship to Fairfield University from which he graduated with honors in 1962. During Bob’s years on the Fairfield campus, he was mentored by his family’s neighbor and prominent local lawyer, William P. (“Pete”) Gitlitz. With Pete’s encouragement and direction, Bob applied to law school and attended Villanova Law School, where he graduated first in his class, order of the Coif, and served as editor of the Villanova Law Review.
Following Bob’s law school graduation in 1965, and his admission to the Connecticut Bar, the Honorable William, H. Timbers, the Chief Judge of the United States District Court, hired him as his Law Clerk. After working for Judge Timbers in both the District Court and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, Bob was awarded a William Cook Fellowship by the University of Michigan’s Law School, from which received his Masters of Law in 1967.
Despite receiving offers from New York and Philadelphia law firms, as well as several law school teaching opportunities, Bob chose to return to his home town in 1967 and join the Gitlitz firm. During the next 41 years, he has brought the then two-person small town firm to statewide prominence. Known today as Berchem Moses PC it has over forty lawyers and, while still in Milford, has added an additional office in Westport. Still fully active, he serves as president of Berchem Moses PC and Chair of its Business Services Department.
Bob has given his time to many local organizations, including the Milford Historic District Commission, which he has chaired, the Milford Jaycees, the Milford Orange YMCA, the Bridgeport Hospital and the Cardinal Shehan Center. He has also served as a Trustee of Fairfield University and currently a trustee and a member of the Executive Committee of the University of Bridgeport. Bob is a current member of the Board of Directors of Boys and Girls Village and the former President of the Race Brook Country Club. Professionally he has been actively involved in the attraction, development and construction of many of the retail, commercial and industrial projects which, over the last four decades, have enabled Milford to maintain a strong tax base and enhance its economic stability. In addition, he has maintained his law firm’s primary offices in Milford. Consistent with his willingness to give back to his community, Bob’s firm has also been a leading contributor to all of the major charitable organizations in Milford, as well as to the community activities they provide.
Bob has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Lawyers in America® since 2018 for Real Estate Law.
- Commercial Law
- Real Estate
- Land Use Planning
- The University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan
- LL.M. – 1967
- Major: Labor Relations
- Villanova University School of Law, Villanova, Pennsylvania
- J.D. – 1965
- Honors: Order of the Coif
- Honors: Alpha Sigma Nu
- Fairfield University
- A.B. – 1962
- Honors: cum laude
- Hon. William H. Timbers, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut, Law Clerk, 1965 to 1966
- Fifth Circuit Court, Assistant Prosecutor, 1967 to 1974
- “Recent Development”, 9 Villanova Law Review 155, 1963
- “Comment”, 9 Villanova Law Review 306, 1964
- “Labor Democracy in America”, 13 Villanova Law Review 1, 1967
- American Arbitration Association, Commercial Arbitrator
- New Haven County Bar Association, Member
- Connecticut Bar Association, Commercial Law Section, Member
- Connecticut Bar Association, Section on Bankruptcy, Member
- American Bar Association, Member
- Connecticut, 1965
- U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, 1966
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1969
- U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1977
- Cook Fellow, University of Michigan Law School
- Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for work in Real Estate Law