News & Updates

Goldberg Segalla Goes West, Opens L.A. Office with New and Returning Partners January 2, 2018

Goldberg Segalla, a law firm known for its game-changing service model and unmatched record of dynamic, natural growth, kicked off 2018 with the opening of an office in Los Angeles, its 20th location.

The expansion extends the firm’s office footprint — which already covers the entire eastern seaboard and stretches deep into the Midwest — to the Golden State, offering its national client base an on-the-ground presence in jurisdictions coast to coast. The L.A. office opens with strong capabilities in areas including cyber risk, sports and entertainment, and complex product liability litigation, and will expand to cover the firm’s full set of capabilities spanning all areas of civil litigation, corporate transactions, regulatory compliance, and risk-avoidance counsel.

Leading the firm’s Los Angeles office and west coast operations is partner John F. Stephens, one of the foremost attorneys in fields including data privacy, digital marketing, new media, and entertainment law, and a prominent member of the broader California legal community. Along with John, the firm welcomes the return of partner Steven S. Vahidi, a trial attorney who spent six years in Goldberg Segalla’s Princeton, New Jersey office before heading back to his native Southern California in 2012.

Goldberg Segalla is one of the largest and fastest-growing law firms headquartered in the United States. With nearly 350 attorneys in 20 offices strategically located across 10 U.S. states, the firm advises and defends regional, national, and international clients from a wide range of industries in matters across the country and around the globe. The firm earned national recognition in the 2017 Law360 400 ranking of the largest U.S. law firms, which showed Goldberg Segalla to be the firm growing the fastest without taking part in a merger. Goldberg Segalla has added another 80 lawyers since Law360’s results came out — largely one lawyer at a time.

“We’re proud of our growth, but headcounts and lists of offices aren’t the metrics that matter to us — or our clients,” says Managing Partner Richard J. Cohen, one of Goldberg Segalla’s founding partners and the leader responsible for the firm’s strategic direction, expansion and hiring, and overall operations. “Maintaining a consistent culture of collaboration and a shared commitment to superior service across our entire footprint — this is what makes us different, and what our clients continue to value.”

“John Stephens is a perfect fit for the firm: ‘an excellent lawyer, an even better human being,’” Cohen adds, citing the central tenet of the firm’s hiring policy. “We’re also thrilled for Steve Vahidi to return to the team, which has always been our hope and intention. Steve left because Southern California was his home — and he’s returning because Goldberg Segalla is his home, too, a testament that after six years of dynamic expansion, our culture and our core philosophy haven’t changed.”

About John Stephens

John Stephens will chair the firm’s Cyber Risk Practice Group and serve as vice chair of the Sports and Entertainment Practice Group.

With a dynamic practice at the intersection of cyber risk, data privacy, insurance, intellectual property, and media law, John offers clients a comprehensive suite of legal services geared toward tomorrow’s developments in technology and usage patterns, privacy rights, and other laws and regulations. He has deep experience training executives and professionals in data breach preparedness and in counseling them through breaches and cyber attacks; litigating intellectual property disputes and advising on portfolio management, protection, and monetization; and handling matters involving rights of publicity, privacy, and defamation. His clients include major film and television studios, national and global entertainment and sports companies, production and post-production companies, television and radio stations, magazines and other publications, computer technology companies, online content and software providers, and talent, as well as insurers and manufacturers.

John also counsels clients, including the world’s largest entertainment company, on the myriad legal issues surrounding live entertainment performances. With the rare experience of helping entertainment companies plan and orchestrate concerts and festivals across the U.S. and around the globe, John built the model for a practice group that caters to live music festivals and similar events, with a “soup to nuts” suite of legal services spanning complicated personal injury litigation, construction, bid protests, breach of contract, Dram Shop laws, employment, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and more.

John’s combination of experience in cyber risks, intellectual property, and media law, along with his profile among industry giants, makes him ideal to introduce the firm’s Sports and Entertainment team to the west, says practice group Chair Joseph M. Hanna. “We are prominent in one of the sports and entertainment meccas of the world, New York City, and now we’re opening up in the nation’s other major market — L.A.,” he says. “We’re lucky to have somebody as talented as John, nationally recognized for both his command of the media and entertainment market and for his skill and experience in cyber risks and information management, leading the charge to the west coast.”

A prominent leader in the Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley region as well as in the larger legal community, John has served in governance roles in numerous legal, business, and civic organizations, including the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section Intellectual Property Committee Chair, Law and Public Service Committee Chair, and Diversity Committee Chair, and as a member of the prestigious TIPS Leadership Academy. He has also served in numerous roles with the San Fernando Valley Bar Association Board, as a board member and co-chair of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and as a board member of the National LGBT Bar Association. In addition, he has been a visiting professor at the University of Southern California (USC), teaching classes in Media, First Amendment Issues, and Privacy at the Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism.

“I have the opportunity to build something, and that really excites me,” John says. “And I believe that GS is unique. I know a lot of firms try to sell that line — but in conversations with Rick, Joe, and others here, I could immediately sense there’s something behind the words, a level of enthusiasm and support. It’s a culture thing. It makes all the difference to me.”

About Steven Vahidi

Steven Vahidi will join the firm’s Product Liability, Class Action Litigation, and Transportation Practice Groups. With deep experience in product liability matters and class action litigation, including catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases, as well as consumer fraud, he represents national and international companies, including manufacturers of motor vehicles, power tools, pharmaceuticals, clothing, glass products, outdoor power equipment, and industrial machinery.

He has also defended clients in complex civil litigation involving premises liability, employment disputes, habitability, and intellectual property claims.

In addition, Steven has extensive experience in the transportation realm, including matters involving the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). Among other notable courtroom victories, he tried the first successful defense of an employer under a “whistleblower” section of the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA). Along with the Federal Bar Association and the Riverside County Bar Association, Steven is also an active member of the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel.

“I’m thrilled to rejoin Goldberg Segalla. We share the same vision for dedicated client service, quality advice and counsel, and adherence to the highest standards of professionalism,” Steven says. “Goldberg Segalla’s expansion into the California market and the firm’s existing relationships with leading product manufacturers provide tremendous growth opportunities for my practice. The firm has a long history of exceptional legal service and a clear vision for building on that history in the years to come. I look forward to being a part of that future.”