Stephen D. Pahl

STEPHEN D. PAHL Senior Partner (408) 286-5100

Senior Partner
P: 408.286.5100

Tamara Meek


Practice Areas

Real Estate Law – Transactional and Litigation

Commercial Litigation

Labor and Employment, exclusively representing Management

Financial Institutions Law


University of California, Santa Barbara
B.A., 1977, Business Economics and Political Science, with Honors

Santa Clara University, School of Law
J.D., 1980

Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

United States Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

U.S. District Courts, Northern District of California

U.S. District Courts, Eastern District of California

U.S. District Courts, Central District of California

U.S. District Courts, Southern District of California


Multi-Family Housing
Financial Institutions
Real Estate Development and Property Management
Shopping Centers




Stephen D. Pahl is Senior Partner and Chairman of the firm. His practice concentrates in the areas of real property transactions and litigation, employment matters representing exclusively management, commercial litigation and financial institutions law. He is a 1977 graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara and received his J.D. from the University of Santa Clara, where he was a published editor of the Law Review. He has successfully prosecuted scores of jury trials, in both state and federal courts, involving all aspects of real estate, brokerage, landlord-tenant, employment law, banking and commercial matters.

Mr. Pahl has extensive involvement with the bar, having previously served as Chair of the Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representative Coordinating Committee and the Ninth Circuit Conference Executive Committee relating to the administration of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is active in business and local government and currently serves on several Boards of Directors, including public companies.

Since 2001, Mr. Pahl has served as General Counsel to the California Apartment Association, the largest statewide organization of rental property owners and managers in the nation, and participates as general counsel for several clients in the banking and real estate industry. Involvement in real property development led to his selection to serve for a term on a local Planning Commission, providing better insight into local planning and zoning issues.

Mr. Pahl has been a member of the Federal Courts and the Administration of Justice committees of the State Bar of California, and previously served several terms as Vice President of the Federal Bar Association (Northern District of California). He has also been selected by the Northern District of California to serve as one of its Special Masters and Early Neutral Evaluators. An avid instrument-rated private pilot, he is also a member of the Lawyer-Pilot Bar Association.

Honors and Recognition


Professional Associations and Activities

  • Chair, Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representative Coordinating Committee
  • Chair, Ninth Circuit Conference Executive Committee
  • Commission on Federal Courts and the Administration of Justice, California State Bar Member, State Bar of California Committees and Commissions:
    • Federal Courts
    • Administration of Justice
  • Vice President, Federal Bar Association (N. CA)
  • Member, Lawyer-Pilot Bar Association

Pro Bono and Community Involvement

  • General Counsel, California Apartment Association
  • President, Palo Alto Hills Golf and Country Club
  • Member, Planning Commission, Town of Los Altos Hills

Published Works

“A Court Divided; An Analysis of Polarization on the United States Supreme Court,” 19 Santa Clara L. Rev. 985 (1979)