Stephen focuses on complex litigation and appeals. He has tried cases to verdict in state and federal courts and has argued over thirty appeals in state and federal appellate courts across the country. His practice spans class actions, personal injury, aviation accidents, commercial disputes, professional malpractice, and whistleblower claims.
His abilities have been recognized in numerous publications. Benchmark Appellate observed that Stephen “possesses the rare skill set allowing him to excel at both trial and appellate litigation.” Chambers U.S.A. has praised his “sharp intellect.” He holds an “AV” rating from Martindale Hubbell and is listed in Best Lawyers In America in the categories of appellate and personal injury.
Stephen is also an experienced hand at election litigation. He was appointed by President Obama’s re-election campaign to serve as State Counsel for Florida, a general counsel-like position where he developed legal strategy and led an organization of 4,500 volunteer lawyers in voter protection efforts. He played a similar role in the 2010 gubernatorial and 2008 presidential elections. He has advised numerous candidates on legal issues and strategy.
He joined the firm in 2001 and has been a partner since 2005. Prior to entering private practice, he worked at the Department of Justice in Washington, defending federal programs and agencies. He had the honor of serving as a law clerk to Judges Rosemary Barkett on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and Judge Mark Wolf of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1996) and of Harvard College (A.B., magna cum laude, 1992), and spent the year after college in England as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar. He graduated as the salutatorian of Miami-Palmetto Senior High School.
He was appointed in 2009 by the judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit as one of only six lawyers in Florida on its Lawyers Advisory Committee. Stephen is an active member of the community. He serves on the Steering Committee of the fund-raising arm of Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc., and has previously served as Chairman of the Board of the American Constitution Society, South Florida Chapter, and was on the Board of Directors of the Florida Justice Association. He is a member of the Leadership Florida Class of 2007.
He has lectured on a wide range of topics, including class action law, Florida’s Unfair and Deceptive Trial Practices Act, attorney’s fees in wrongful death cases, and the treatment of worker’s compensation liens in wrongful death cases, and has published work on the law of religious freedom under the First Amendment. He speaks Spanish and has previously worked in Spain and Central America.