Stephen is a partner at Starnes Davis Florie. He currently serves as the firm's General Counsel and has previously served as Chairman of the firm's recruiting committee.
The majority of Stephen’s practice is devoted to defending nursing home malpractice claims and direct claims against insurance companies for breach of contract, bad faith, fraud, and the tort of outrage, although he practices extensively in a variety of other areas, including commercial litigation, representing both plaintiffs and defendants, and in the area of manufactured housing litigation.
Stephen also devotes a significant portion of his practice to representing healthcare providers in regulatory matters. Stephen has represented various national and regional companies, including Pro Assurance, Farmers Insurance, Harbert International, Robinson Adams, Western Heritage Insurance Company, Xerox, Scottsdale Insurance, and Sedgwick Claims Management Services.
Since 2012, Stephen has had the privilege to represent several attorneys and law firms in legal malpractice lawsuits and investigations before the Alabama State Bar Association.
Stephen has recently defended a number of employers, insurers, and their third party administrators in tort of outrage claims.
* Obtained final summary judgment on behalf of a defendant employer dismissing tort of outrage and fraudulent misrepresentation claims.
* Removal and dismissal of legal malpractice claim against out of state attorney and law firm.
* Obtained dismissal of a third party suit for contribution and indemnification asserted by a New Jersey law firm against and Alabama law firm in a legal malpractice case pending in the U.S. District Court for District of New Jersey.
* Secured an Order granting Final Summary Judgment in favor of defendant attorney and law firm in legal malpractice lawsuit.
* Secured a defense verdict in a two-week wrongful death case involving the application of the South Carolina Wrongful Death Act, arising from a fatal trucking accident in South Carolina.
* Secured final summary judgment for pediatric orthopedic surgeon in medical malpractice lawsuit.
* Secured reversal by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals of a United States District Court Order dismissing a 9 U.S.C. 4 Complaint to Compel Arbitration for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
* Successfully compelled malpractice claims against nursing home in Arkansas into arbitration.
* Obtained complete dismissal and attorney fee award on behalf of local real estate company in action stemming from property dispute.
* Currently defending numerous healthcare providers and nursing homes in variety of medical malpractice and wrongful death actions, as well as regulatory matters.
Honors And Awards
Stephen has been named a Rising Star for the state of Alabama by the 2011 - 2016 editions of Mid-South Super Lawyers® magazine and is an AV Preeminent rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings
Stephen was appointed as Vice Chair of the ABA TIPS Medicine and Law General Committee and Newsletter Editor for the Committee. He also served on the faculty at the 2013, 2015, and 2016 Alabama Defense Lawyers Association Deposition Boot Camp.
Stephen also serves as a member of the United States Supreme Court Historical Society and is a member of the Alabama State Bar Association, where he serves as Secretary of the Health Law Section. He is also a member of the American Bar Association and serves on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Defense Lawyers' Association.
Speeches And Publications
* Faculty Member, Alabama Defense Lawyers Association Deposition Boot Camp, Jones School of Law at Faulkner University, Montgomery, AL (March 2017).
* Responding to a Bad Survey, Alabama Assisted Living Association CE, Birmingham, AL (March 30, 2016).
* Video Depositions, CLE program for the ADLA Deposition Boot Camp, Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, Montgomery, AL (March 24, 2016).
* Alabama State Bar's Mandatory Professionalism CLE for New Admittees, University of Alabama School of Law, Tuscaloosa, AL, (January 22, 2016).
* What Do Young Lawyers Or Law Clerks Need To Know, American Bar Association TIPs Section, Birmingham, AL, (August 6, 2015).
* Ethics: Avoiding a Suit for Legal Malpractice, Marshall County Bar Association, Guntersville, AL, (April 25, 2014).
* Trends in Nursing Home Litigation - Avoiding the Multi-Million Dollar Mistake, Senior Care Pharmacy Conference, Birmingham, AL, (April 10, 2014).
* How to Prepare for and Take a Deposition, Cumberland School of Law, (February 27, 2014 and April 2, 2015).
* "Are You As Guilty As The Criminal? Liability For Criminal Acts Of Third Parties And Employees," Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel Quarterly Publication, FDCC Quarterly (Fall 2013).
* Negotiating Settlements in Alabama: Rules of Professional Conduct You Cannot Overlook, Webinar, (September 25, 2013).
* Videotaped Depositions, 2013 Alabama Defense Lawyers Association Deposition Boot Camp , (March 19, 2013 and March 27, 2015).
* Strategies for Winning Summary Judgment, American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Spring Conference (May 2012).
* Moderator, Voir Dire and Jury Selection, American Bar Association Symposium Teleconference (Fall 2010).
* "Are Marketing Tactics of Pharmaceutical/ Device Manufacturers Helping to Erode the Learned Intermediary Doctrine?", Defense Research Institute's The Voice (July 2010).
* A Review of Bad Faith Law, CLE presentation through Lorman Education Services (June 2010).
* "How to Remove a Case," American Bar Association, 101 Practice Series (Fall 2009).
* Reed R. Bates and Stephen W. Still, Jr., "Arbitration in Nursing Home Cases: Trends, Issues and a Glance into the Future", IADC Defense Counsel Journal, Vol. 76, No. 3, Pages 282-299 (July 2009). * Please Note: this article was reprinted with the permission of the IADC Defense Counsel Journal.
Northport Health Services of Arkansas, LLC, et al. v. Wayne Rutherford, - - F.3d - -, 2010 WL 1929777 (8th Cir. May 14, 2010).
Northport Health Services of Arkansas, LLC, et al. v. Wayne Rutherford, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Isaac Mitchell Rutherford (W.D. Ark. Mar. 17, 2009). (United States District Court for Western District of Arkansas, in issue of first impression, compelled arbitration of plaintiff’s malpractice claims against defendant nursing home and related entities brought on behalf of former resident).
Northport Health Services of Arkansas, LLC d/b/a Springdale Health and Rehab. Center, et al. v. Tresa Robinson, as Special Administratrix of the Estate of Donna Faye Snow, deceased, et al., 2009 WL 140983 (W.D. Ark. Jan. 12, 2009). (United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, in issue of first impression, entered Order compelling arbitration of wrongful death claims filed against nursing home).
Vulcan Materials Company v. Alabama Insurance Guaranty Association, et al., Slip Opinion, 2007 WL 2216896 (Ala. Aug. 3, 2007) (No. 1060506).