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Stephen B. Stern

Contact Stephen B. Stern: sstern@hwlaw.com

Annapolis office:
200 Westgate Circle, Suite 500
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 260-6585

Fairfax office:
10089 Fairfax Blvd., Suite 410
Fairfax, VA 22030
(571) 206-8358

Stephen B. Stern is a partner in the Firm's employment, commercial litigation, and insurance practices. His practice also involves conducting highly sensitive and complex investigations.

Employment Law

Stephen helps employers minimize exposure to liability by developing and implementing effective employment policies, practices, and procedures. He advises employers on strategic matters, such as trade secret protection programs, non-compete, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements, wage and hour practices, privacy issues, independent contractor agreements, employee handbooks, and document retention practices. Stephen also advises employers on issues that arise on a day-to-day basis, such as leave requests, employee discipline, accommodations for individuals with disabilities, and termination decisions. When litigation has been required, Stephen has successfully represented clients in federal and state courts and before federal, state, and local administrative agencies, including the EEOC, Department of Labor, and Department of Justice. His cases have involved claims under Title VII, ADEA, ADA, FLSA, FMLA, SOX, NDAA, IRCA, and similar state statutes. Stephen also has litigated numerous cases involving trade secrets, non-compete, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreements, and related tort claims.

Commercial Litigation

In addition to employment disputes, Stephen litigates a variety of other contract, tort, and statutory claims. Stephen has litigated matters involving consumer protection claims, bank loans, real estate disputes, ownership interests in privately held companies, unfair competition, civil RICO, common law fraud, commercial contracts, fiduciary duties, unfair lending practices, defamation, privacy rights, constitutional claims, mass torts, product liability claims, professional discipline, false imprisonment, and civil rights violations. In addition, Stephen reviews and negotiates various commercial contracts for businesses and he advises companies on various risk management issues to help reduce the likelihood of litigation.

Insurance

Stephen advises insurers on coverage issues involving numerous insurance products, including commercial general liability policies, directors and officers liability policies, employment practices liability policies, errors and omissions liability policies, excess liability policies, and umbrella policies. Stephen also has represented insurers in federal and state courts in connection with breach of contract actions, allegations of bad faith, alleged violations of unfair and deceptive trade practices acts, allegations of tortious conspiracy, and denying coverage on discriminatory grounds, among other types of claims.

Investigations

Stephen has been retained as an independent investigator and to serve as a legal advisor when entities have needed to conduct highly sensitive and complex investigations into various allegations of misconduct. While many of Stephen’s investigations have involved allegations of discrimination, harassment, and various allegations of sexual misconduct, he also has been retained to investigate allegations of fraud and other alleged instances of misconduct. Stephen has conducted investigations in both the private sector (for privately held and publicly traded companies) and university settings, as well as in the prison setting. Stephen is a recognized speaker on the topic of investigations and has made numerous presentations to local business groups and national audiences.

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Stephen graduated from Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and he received his law degree from George Washington University Law School. Stephen is admitted to practice in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. In addition, he is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

For a list of Stephen's Representative Presentations and Publications, click here.

Main Title

Admissions

  • District of Columbia, 1998
  • Maryland, 1997
  • Virginia, 1996
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Education

  • J.D., George Washington University Law School, 1996
    • With Honors
  • B.S., Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, 1993

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • Central Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Board Attorney (formerly West County Chamber of Commerce)
  • National Association of Corporate Directors
  • B'nai B'rith International, Executive Board of Directors
  • myLawCLE, Advisory Board

Representative Cases

Electronic Security Servs., Inc. v. Higgs, et al., Case No. 04-C-15-304 (Calvert Cnty. Cir. Ct. Md. Sept. 2, 2015) - prevailed on motion to dismiss filed on behalf of employer and newly hired employee, resulting in dismissal of action alleging tortious interference and breaches of non-compete and confidentiality agreements

Civil RICO - defended company and multiple individuals against multi-million dollar civil RICO action that included allegations of common law fraud and involved issues of first impression under RICO; case resolved

University Investigation - retained by large, out of state, public university to conduct independent investigation into highly sensitive allegations of sexual misconduct by a well-known, influential faculty member, and provide comprehensive report of findings

Bagby, et al. v. Severn Savings Bank, FSB, Civil No. JKB-13-1719 (D. Md. Jan. 28, 2014) - prevailed on motion for judgment on the pleadings and obtained dismissal of pattern and practice discriminatory lending allegations under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act ("ECOA") and Fair Housing Act ("FHA")

MHD-Rockland, Inc. v. Aerospace Distribs., Inc., et al., Civil No. CCB-13-2442, 2014 WL 31677 (D. Md. Jan. 3, 2014) - after removing case to federal court, prevailed on motion to dismiss that dismissed all counts, except contract claim, and reduced claimed damages by nearly 90%

Ferris v. Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis, Civil No. 12-2610-JKB, 2013 WL 789205 (D. Md. March 1, 2013) - successfully obtained dismissal of Title VII hostile work environment and retaliation claims on motion to dismiss filed on behalf of the employer

Bank of America, N.A. v. Jill P. Mitchell Living Trust, et al., 822 F. Supp. 2d 505 (D. Md. 2011) - prevailed by defeating bank's motion for summary judgment with respect to trust's misrepresentation and omission claims brought under Maryland Consumer Protection Act

Sharabaika v. HCPM, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 1:09-CV-02200 (D.D.C. June 14, 2010) - obtained consent decree that protected confidential information and enforcement of a confidentiality and non-solicitation agreement

Doe v. North River Ins. Co., 719 F. Supp. 2d 1352 (M.D. Fla. 2010) - obtained summary judgment for an insurer where the plaintiff in the underlying action sought coverage for a judgment in excess of $1.1 million

Kerrigan v. landerson61@rocketmail.com, Civ. No. 314625V (Mont. County Cir. Ct. Md. Dec. 10, 2009) - obtained identity of anonymous blogger in defamation case filed by start-up company and its founders

Grissom v. Mills Corp., 549 F.3d 313 (4th Cir. 2008) - defended and resolved SOX whistleblower claim, then prevailed on appeal to vacate trial court's award of attorneys' fees and costs to the plaintiff

Snowder v. District of Columbia, 949 A.2d 590 (D.C. 2008) - prevailed on appeal defending tow truck operator in a purported class action under the Consumer Protection Act where the plaintiffs did not establish the tow operators had a duty to notify vehicle owners their cars were towed

Connolly v. Mills Corp., Case No. 1:06CV179 (E.D. Va. 2006) - obtained jury verdict defending company against allegations that senior executives terminated a former vice president due to his age

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