Stephen Stafford, J.D., LL.M.
Partner
Stephen.Stafford@brownandstreza.com
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Paralegal: Jessica Santoro (Jessica.Santoro@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 listed as a “Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star” 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 worked as a litigation attorney in the San Francisco and Orange County offices of a large litigation law firm. Steve is a member of the State Bar of California and the Orange County Bar Association. He 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, his Juris Doctor from the University of San Francisco School of Law, and his Master of Law in Taxation (LL.M.) 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 and his wife, Kirsten, have four children and have been involved in a number of youth sports and community activities. One of their favorite community service activities was Co-Chairing 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
  • California Lawyers Association (CLA) Webinar, January 24, 2019
    • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act - What Every Attorney Should Know
  • Financial Planning Association of Orange County (FPA) Quarterly Education Meeting, Irvine, California, August 15, 2018
    • Tax Treatment of Business Entities under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
  • CalCPA Forensic Services, Irvine, California, February 8, 2017
    • Tax Advantages of Business Entities
  • Harvard Business School and USC Marshall School of Business: Business Growth Conference 2011, Anaheim, California, May 9, 2011
    • Buy-Sell Agreements and Business Entity Structures: Get it Right or Pay the Price
  • 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)