Tom Berg is a “naturalized Texan” descended from five generations of Texans but born in Washington, DC and raised in Mexico while his father worked in the Foreign Service. After completing high school at the American School in Mexico City, Tom returned to Houston to attend Rice University where he graduated with a BA in History and Political Science. His law degree comes from the University of Houston and he also completed a Masters in Strategic Studies at the United States Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Tom is admitted to practice in Texas as well as federal courts for the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of Texas, the Fifth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, various military courts of appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. Following the family impulse toward public service, Tom spent twenty-seven years at the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Houston including nineteen years as First Assistant. He recently took leave from Mallet | Saper | Berg from 2017 to 2019 to serve as the First Assistant District Attorney for Harris County.
Tom is active in the State Bar of Texas, Houston Bar Association, the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association. Tom retired in 2012 from the United States Army Reserve with the rank of Colonel and served as a military judge in the United States Army Trial Judiciary. He is a combat veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns as well as the peacekeeping operation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Colonel Berg received the Legion of Merit and was twice decorated with the Bronze Star Medal among his other military awards. His commitment to due process and fair play and his willingness to stand up to arrogant power were profiled by the PBS program Frontline during its investigation into torture issues at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Tom was an embattled Army lawyer in early 2002. See http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/torture/interviews/berg.html.
Tom is board certified in both criminal law and criminal appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is an active member of the Criminal Justice Act panels of the Southern and Eastern Districts of Texas, defending indigents charged with serious federal crimes. Many of the court appointments take advantage of Tom’s life-long fluency in Spanish.
In addition to his legal duties, Tom is a long-time member of the League of Women Voters of Houston and has served in various capacities on its board and in the voter registration of new citizens at naturalization ceremonies. An avid, if occasional hiker, Tom twice completed the fabled Camino de Santiago de Compostela, starting once from France and once from Portugal.