Stephen Stafford, J.D., LL.M.
Partner
Stephen.Stafford@brownandstreza.com
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Steve Stafford is a partner with the Orange County, California law firm of Brown & Streza LLP, where he is privileged to serve and provide counsel to closely held businesses, entrepreneurs, and real estate investors with respect to choice of entity, taxation, risk management, corporate compliance, contracts, mergers and acquisitions, and business succession planning.

From 2009 through 2012 Steve was named a "Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star” list by the publishers of Los Angeles magazine and Law & Politics magazine - a distinction recognizing just 2.5% of attorneys under the age of 40 and/or in their first 10 years of practice.

Before joining Brown & Streza in 2007, Steve was a litigation attorney for the law firm of Gordon & Rees LLP. Steve is a member of the State Bar of California, the Orange County Bar Association, and is also admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Central District of California and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Steve received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1993, his Juris Doctor from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 2002, and his Master of Law in Taxation (LL.M.) in 2009 from Chapman University School of Law.

Steve was a four-year letterman on the Cal Football Team during his undergraduate career, and remains involved with a variety of Cal Alumni organizations. Steve lives in Dana Point with his wife, Kirsten, and their four children. Steve and Kirsten are involved in a number of community activities, and were the Co-Chairs of Dana Hills High School Football’s 2013 Honor the Valor Benefit Game, which benefits local military veterans organizations.

Creation and representation of closely held business entities and their owners

  • Advising entrepreneurs regarding the proper type of entity for their businesses;
  • Advising real estate investors regarding liability and tax considerations related to ownership of real property;
  • Formation of corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships;
  • Performing corporate governance, business planning and tax planning for existing businesses;
  • Reviewing, preparing and negotiating contracts and;
  • Providing business succession planning to owners who are seeking to sell their business, transfer their interests to the next generation or transition their business to internal management.
  • Brown & Streza LLP, Irvine, California: Attorney, 2007 - Present
  • Master of Law (LL.M.) in Taxation, Chapman University School of Law, 2009
    • CALI Awards in Partnership Tax, S Corporations, Ethics in Tax Practice, Corporate Tax II and Real Estate Tax Planning
  • Gordon & Rees LLP, San Francisco and Newport Beach, California: Attorney, 2003 - 2007
  • Juris Doctor, University of San Francisco Law School, 2002
  • Gap Inc., San Bruno, California: Senior Retirement Benefits Analyst (1995 - 1999) and Legal Administrator (1999 - 2001)
  • Coopers & Lybrand, LLP, San Francisco, California: Associate Benefits Consultant, 1993 - 1995
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of California, Berkeley, 1993

Admissions:

  • All California State Courts
  • United State District court for the Central District of California
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

2009 - 2012 “Southern California SuperLawyers - Rising Star”

  • Published by Los Angeles magazine and The Journal for Law & Politics. Only 2.5% of lawyers under the age of 40 and/or in their first 10 years of practice in Los Angeles and Orange Counties receive this honor.
  • “Tax and Accounting Elections”
    • Author of “Tax and Accounting Elections” Chapter of California's Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) Financing and Protecting California Businesses, February 2015
    • Author of “Tax and Accounting Elections” Chapter of California's Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) Financing and Protecting California Businesses, February 2014
    • Co-author of “Tax and Accounting Elections” Chapter of California's Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) Financing and Protecting California Businesses, February 2013
  • Harvard Business School and USC Marshall School of Business: Business Growth Conference 2011, May 9, 2011, Anaheim, California
    • Buy-Sell Agreements and Business Entity Structures: Get it Right or Pay the Price
  • CalCPA Forensic Services, February 8, 2017, Irvine, California
    • Tax Advantages of Business Entities
  • Orange County Register, February 22, 2015
    • How Savvy Are You About Homeowner Tax Breaks? Take Our Quiz To Find Out
    • Source for technical information related to a home office as an itemized deduction on taxes
  • St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church: Parishioner
  • University of California, Berkeley – Orange County Cal Alumni Club: Member
  • Athletes Touch (Professional Networking Community of College and Professional Athletes): Member and Former Team Leader for Orange County 1 Chapter (2011-2015)
  • St. Thomas More Society of Orange County: Member
  • Dana Hills High School Football’s 2013 Honor the Valor Benefit Game – Co-Chair
  • Orange County Bar Association: Member of Business Law and Tax Law sections
  • Coach of youth sports teams
  • Big C Society: Member (Board of Directors, 1996 – 1998)