History of the firm

Manning, Leaver, Bruder & Berberich, founded in the mid 1920′s by Archie Getz, has been in continual existence for over 90 years. With the addition of Cameron Aikens in the late 1930′s, and DeWitt Manning in the 1940′s, the firm was originally known as Getz, Aikens & Manning. Judge Thomas Murphy (deceased) and Judge Peter Smith (retired) are former partners, as well as retired partner, Walter Bruder, who now enjoys life on the Island of Maui in Hawaii. DeWitt Manning and George Leaver, both strong contributors to the firm’s development with brilliant legal minds, are deceased. From 2003 to 2013, former partner Peter K. Welch was the President of the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA), the statewide trade association of California new motor vehicle dealers. Since 1990 Mr. Welch also managed CNCDA's government affairs office, which included its legal, legislative and regulatory affairs. In January 2013 he was elected as the President of National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).

The firm today is composed of partners and associate attorneys. The partners are Joseph E. Berberich, Brent W. Smith, Timothy D. Robinett, Gary H. Prudian, and Wade R. Kackstetter. The firm has an AV (highest possible) rating in the well-known Martindale-Hubbell legal directory and legal rating system. The firm has long been recognized as a premiere boutique law firm, practices in the many areas shown on our website, and has a unique and strong expertise in the regulatory, transactional, and litigation aspects of the vehicle dealer world.