John B.  Stephens | Partner

ph 949-468.3200
fax 949.468.3201

Mr. Stephens has practiced in Orange County, California since 1989. His practice emphasizes complex business litigation matters in a wide variety of areas. In the Orange County office of Paul, Hastings, Janofksy & Walker from 1989 to 1998, he worked on cases in the areas of trademark infringement, antitrust, fraud, breach of contract, accountant liability, lender liability and administrative law. In 1998 he started his own practice, and in 2006 he formed Stephens Friedland LLP. Mr. Stephens recently and successfully handled cases involving false advertising, California's False Claims Act, trade secrets, trademark, fraud, breach of contract, the alter ego doctrine, shareholder and partnership disputes, business dissolution, trust administration, real estate (e.g. lease disputes), securities fraud, ERISA, insurance brokerage, lending and banking, and California's Unfair Competition Law. Mr. Stephens has represented Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes cases and is also experienced at representing small businesses and individuals in commercial matters. Mr. Stephens has tried dozens of cases to judgment, including jury trials, bench trials and arbitrations. He is also a skilled negotiator and mediation advocate who can resolve cases early for reasonable terms when it is in the client's best interest.

Mr. Stephens was elected to the Costa Mesa City Council in 2016 and his term runs through 2020. One emphasis of his work on City Council is working with the City Attorney on litigation and regulatory matters over a variety of subjects including Sober Living Homes, affordable housing, homelessness and cannabis. Mr. Stephens is the Chairman of the Association of California Cities - Orange County Homeless Task Force.


  • J.D., University of California, Davis
    King Hall School of Law, 1989
    Order of the Coif, UC Davis Law Review Member
    Trial Practice Honors Board
  • B.S., Business Administration
    California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, 1986
    Magna cum Laude


Admitted to practice: State of California, United States District Court, Central and Southern Districts of California; Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Committees and Memberships

  • OCBA Business Litigation Section Member
  • American Business Trial Lawyers Association
Orange County Chapter Member
  • Orange County Trial Lawyers Association Member
  • Orange County ProVisors Group Leader

On a Personal Note

Mr. Stephens grew up in San Gabriel, California and has lived in Costa Mesa since 1989 with his charming and patient wife of 32 years, Amy, and their four above-average children (Tommy, Nate, Carolyn and Olivia). He coached youth sports (baseball, softball and basketball) for 18 years in Costa Mesa and Fountain Valley. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Costa Mesa American Little League and Fountain Valley Girls Fastpitch Softball, and as a member of the Finance Council and Pastoral Council of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. Mr. Stephens was also on the St. John the Baptist Festival Committee and served as the event emcee for many years. Mr. Stephens has acted as emcee and auctioneer for many non-profit groups.