Stephen is a Founding Partner of Altshuler Berzon LLP and currently serves as Special Counsel to the firm. His practice has consisted primarily of major litigation in the areas of labor and employment, environment and public health, campaign and election, and constitutional law. He has practiced both at the trial and appellate levels and has argued groundbreaking cases benefiting workers, their unions, and the environment before the United States Supreme Court, the California and Hawaii Supreme Courts, and federal circuit and district courts throughout the country. He has testified before U.S. Senate and House Committees and California Senate and Assembly Committees, and has helped develop key legislation involving civil rights, education, unemployment insurance, environmental protection, food safety, at-risk children, union organizing, and injunctions in labor disputes.
Stephen has been a member of the Ninth Circuit’s Advisory Committee on Rules and Internal Operating Procedures, the national Board of Directors of the American Constitutional Society, and the Board of Directors of the national AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee. He is currently on the Executive Committee of the Northern District of California Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He is a member of the Advisory Group of the Clean Slate Project of the Harvard Law School Labor and Worklife Program.
Before starting Altshuler Berzon, Stephen was a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow at the Contra Costa Legal Services Foundation in Richmond, CA and at the National Housing and Economic Development Law Project of the University of California, Berkeley Law School. He then practiced with the Legal Aid Society of Alameda County in Oakland and he served as the Legal Director of the Children’s Defense Fund, a public interest organization in Washington, D.C. before returning to California in 1977. He was also Chair of the City of Berkeley Police Review Commission and a member of the Board of Directors of the Urban Strategies Council.
Stephen received the Voting Rights Award from the ACLU of Southern California in 2002 for his work on voting rights litigation. In 2009, he was named a California Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer Magazine in the area of Civil Rights, and in 2012, he received the Social Justice Service Award from Santa Clara Law School. He also received a Peggy Browning Award in 2020. He is currently listed in The Best Lawyers in America for labor and employment law, and in San Francisco Magazine’s Northern California Super Lawyers in the appellate practice area.
Stephen delivered the 2014-2015 Preiskel-Silverman Lecture at Yale Law School, entitled “Fixing Wealth Inequality: How Lawyers Can Be Part of the Solution.”
B.A., Cornell University
J.D., Harvard Law School