Stephen provides strategic counsel to Strategies and leads Troutman Pepper's Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group. Stephen focuses his practice on enforcement actions, investigations, and litigation. He primarily represents clients engaging with or being investigated by state attorneys general and other state or local governmental enforcement bodies, including the CFPB and FTC, as well as clients involved with litigation, with a particular focus on heavily regulated industries.
Stephen also handles appellate cases and has appeared on brief in appeals to the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Third and Fourth Circuits, the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and amicus briefs to the United State Supreme Court, as well as various courts reviewing administrative decisions.
As a thought leader, Stephen provides ongoing analysis and commentary on regulatory developments and is a contributor to the firm's regulatory blog, Regulatory Oversight.
To read Stephen's full law firm biography, please click here.
State Attorneys General
• Representing a data and information services company in interactions with state attorneys general and other regulators.
• Representing a loan servicer in interactions with state attorneys general and other state governmental bodies.
• Representing an international home service contract provider in interactions with state attorneys general and other state governmental and quasi-governmental bodies.
• Represented an international pharmaceutical company with respect to issues related to knock-off products before state attorneys general.
• Interacted on behalf of client with national attorneys general associations, including the National Association of Attorneys General, the Republican Attorneys General Association, the Democratic Attorneys General Association, and the Conference of Western Attorneys General.
• Represented a group of alumnae who sued to prevent the closure of their college. Reached a successful mediated resolution resulting in an agreement to keep the college open under new leadership.
Local Government Law
• Serving as counsel to local government bodies on a wide range of issues, including government structure, boundary adjustments and disputes, annexations, consolidations, and disputes over utility service both inside and outside local boundaries.
• Advising clients dealing with zoning and land use issues.
• Representing local, state, and national campaigns, candidates, and government bodies dealing with election law issues, recounts, challenges to qualifications, and Voting Rights Act challenges.
• Defending local government bodies and individuals charged with civil and criminal malfeasance in office.
• Negotiated with local governments to preserve protections for companies engaged in public-private partnerships and development projects.
• Advised local government bodies on compliance with Freedom of Information Act and public meeting requirements.
• Represented a data company in dispute over use of public records in investigation and litigation by multistate group of state attorneys general and local governments.
• Represented a technology and data company in obtaining attorney general opinion on protections available under public records act for confidential information associated with data center development.
• Represented a biotechnology company working with locality in litigation over protection of trade secrets and public record laws.
• Represented a nonpartisan civic group in obtaining an injunction requiring Virginia election officials to make voter history lists available under Freedom of Information Act and the First Amendment for the purpose of encouraging voter participation.
• Advised a background screening company on use of public records in reports made available to customers.
Professional and Community Involvement
• Member, Section of State and Local Government Law and State Attorneys General and Department of Justice Issues Committee, American Bar Association
• President (2014-2017), Board of Directors, Disability Law Center of Virginia Foundation
• Local Government Attorneys of Virginia
• Elder, Third Presbyterian Church, 2015-2018
Rankings and Recognitions
• Best Lawyers in America®: Administrative / Regulatory Law (2024)
• Recognized in The Legal 500 United States for Government: State Attorneys General (2023)
• Rising Star, Virginia Super Lawyers (2010, 2013-2017)
• Summer Law Clerk, Hon. James H. Michael, Jr., U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, 2003
• Communications Director, U.S. Representative Mike Pence (IN-02), Washington, D.C., 2001-2002
• Deputy Press Secretary, U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (KS), Washington, D.C., 2000-2001
• Legislative Correspondent, U.S. Representative Joseph R. Pitts (PA-16), Washington, D.C., 1999-2000
• U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania
• U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
• U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia
• U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
• U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
• Supreme Court of the United States
• University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 2005, editor-in-chief, Virginia Journal of International Law
• Duke University, A.B., cum laude, 1999