Stephen Wagner, a founding partner of the firm, co-chairs the litigation team at CTSW. A business advisor as well as litigator, Stephen approaches each case understanding that drawn-out disputes are never in a company’s business plan. He manages each case to advance a client’s business goals, and to prevent the process from overwhelming or undermining the value a business is protecting.
This approach has anchored Stephen’s experience in every case he and the firm handles, whether contract breaches, insurance disputes, securities fraud, product liability, employment law, and complex aviation disputes. Even when retained as coordinating attorney in highly complex commercial disputes involving numerous lawyers and firms, he works with both colleagues and other firms’ litigators to prevent the process from undermining the client’s business goals. As a result, Stephen’s relationships with clients last long beyond when a particular trial ends, and many rely on his judgment for day-to-day business affairs.
Stephen leads a team of trial attorneys that have defended clients in hundreds of disputes against the country’s largest law firms. This team brings proven chemistry and well-honed skills to every stage of the litigation process, from initial strategizing on how best to defend a client’s interests to litigating jury or bench trials to verdict. Stephen also works closely with the firm’s corporate and transactional attorneys, consulting with them on issues related to the clients represented across a range of practice areas at the firm. Clients benefit from this small team dynamic in a single office, in which business goals govern everything the firm does.
Prior to joining CTSW, Stephen was a litigation partner at Anderson Kill Olick & Oshinsky, and then moved to Gratch Jacobs & Brozman to head its litigation department.
Stephen is a member of Yeshiva University’s Counsel’s Council, a committee of lawyers that provides advice and pro bono work to the General Counsel of the University.
He is also active in his community. He served on the Board of Trustees and Board of Education of the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaways, and on the Board of Trustees and Executive Board of his local synagogue, The Young Israel of Woodmere. In that capacity, Stephen has chaired the committee responsible for revamping this 1,000-family synagogue’s constitution and by-laws, and as chair of the legal committee.
Stephen has been included in the Super Lawyers publication every year since 2012.