Attorneys

Richard C Berra - Partner

Richard C. Berra

Partner

Click Here
Ellen Winick Stross - Partner

Ellen Winick Stross

Partner

Click Here
Gretchen M. Wallacker - Partner

Gretchen M. Wallacker

Partner

Click Here
Nancy Encarnacion Mass - Partner

Nancy Encarnacion Mass

Partner

Click Here
Joshua M. Cutcher - Associate

Joshua M. Cutcher

Associate

Click Here
Rebecca C. Levin - Associate

Rebecca C. Levin

Associate

Click Here
Michael J. Wess - Associate

Michael J. Wess

Associate

Click Here
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 80%) 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 lawyers 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, 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 2019, one of the top fifty women lawyers in Northern California from 2007-2008 and 2010-2019, and one of the top one hundred lawyers in Northern California from 2005-2019. 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 2010-2020.

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 President 2017-2018, Board of Managers, 2010-2018, 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
  • Co-chair, NARAL Peninsula Power of Choice Luncheon, 2019-2020

Speaking Credits

  • Moderator, Judge’s Panel: “What Judges Want and Don’t Want From Forensic CPAs,” American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Northern California Symposium, 2018
  • Presenter, “The Entrepreneur’s Dilemma: The Characterization and Allocation of Challenging Compensation Structures,” American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Northern California Symposium, 2017
  • 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, 2018
  • 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 and a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

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 also handles premarital and postnuptial agreements and devotes an increasing portion of her practice to Collaborative Practice and Mediation.

In 2018, Ms. Wallacker was AAML NorCal Chapter Fellow of the Year. She is a current AAML NorCal Chapter Board Member (Secretary) and has served as Legal Counsel to the Board. Ms. Wallacker has been named a Northern California Super Lawyer from 2005-2019 and one of the top fifty women lawyers in Northern California from 2009-2019 and has received an AV Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell from 2009-2019. She has also been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in 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. 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 presented a child custody evaluation legal update at the Santa Clara Psychological Association’s 2019 Custody Evaluator and Domestic Violence Training, moderated a Mediation Panel at the 2018 AAML NorCal Symposium, and co-presented on spousal support at the 11th Annual Statewide Conference of Collaborative Professionals in 2016. She has also presented a Webinar on Effective Case Management Tips, Tricks, and Techniques for Family Lawyers, led a discussion at a Loco Parentis Luncheon on Work/Life Balance in the Legal Profession, and presented on Disclosure Duties at the State Bar Spring 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 is a partner at Berra Stross Wallacker & Mass, having joined the firm in October 2007. She is a Certified Specialist in Family Law and a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Ms. Mass has substantial experience handling 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 civil litigation, which included defending businesses in tort and employment litigation actions.

Ms. Mass graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 2002. Ms. Mass graduated cum laude from University of California at Los Angeles, having attained a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in English and French.

Ms. Mass is fluent in Spanish and French.

Honors

  • Selected as a Northern California Super Lawyer for 2017 through 2019 by Super Lawyers Magazine.
  • Selected as a 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.
  • Member of the Diversity Committee of the San Mateo County Bar Association (2017-2019).
  • 2012 Chair of the Family Law Section of the San Mateo County Bar Association.
  • 2011 Co-Chair of the Family Law Section of the San Mateo County Bar Association.

Memberships

  • Association of Certified Family Law Specialists
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Northern California Chapter
  • 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 also prepares pre-marital and post-marital agreements.

Mr. Cutcher joined Berra Stross Wallacker & Mass as an Associate in October 2013.

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.

Mr. Cutcher graduated with high honors from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Anthropology.

Mr. Cutcher is the current Chair of the Family Law Section of the San Mateo County Bar Association. He is also a member of 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 & Mass 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).

Michael J. Wess

Michael J. Wess

Associate

Education

  • J.D. 2012 – Fordham University School of Law
  • B.A. 2008 – Union College

Mr. Wess joined Berra Stross Wallacker & Mass as an Associate in February, 2018.

Mr. Wess was previously associated with a boutique civil defense litigation law firm in Alameda County, with a practice including general insurance defense, products liability, and property disputes. Mr. Wess also worked as an Assistant District Attorney for the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office, located in New York City.

Mr. Wess graduated from Fordham University School of Law. While at Fordham, Mr. Wess wrote for the Intellectual Property Law Journal and interned for the Honorable Robert K. Holdman, at the Westchester and Bronx County Supreme Courts. Mr. Wess graduated magna cum laude from Union College with a B.A. in Political Science.

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

Staff

Kimberly Ferer

Kimberly Ferer

Paralegal / Legal Assistant

Click Here
Jeffrey Ward, II

Jeffrey Ward, II

Paralegal / Legal Assistant

Click Here
Jennifer Garcia

Jennifer Garcia

Receptionist

Click Here
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 & Mass. 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.

Jeffrey Ward, II

Jeffrey Ward, II

Paralegal / Legal Assistant

Education

  • B.S. Cum Laude 2017 – San Francisco State University

Jeffrey joined Berra Stross Wallacker & Mass as a Paralegal in November 2017.

Having previously worked for a family law firm in San Francisco, California, Jeffrey brings years of experience managing complex child custody and asset division matters to the team. He possesses excellent analytical skills and is well versed in a variety of family law practices, including litigation, mediation, and appellate work.

In May 2017, Jeffrey received his Bachelor of Science, with Honors, in Business Administration from San Francisco State University.

Jennifer Garcia

Jennifer Garcia

Receptionist

Jennifer joined Berra Stross Wallacker & Mass as the Receptionist in 2019. She believes providing great hospitality is vitally important as Jennifer is the first person to welcome clients and visitors to the firm. She also assists with daily office and administrative needs to ensure the office runs efficiently.

In 2014, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from San Francisco State University.

Jennifer is also a Notary Public and a member of the National Notary Association.