Steven Bauer retired from the partnership in December 2023 and is currently of counsel. Mr. Bauer has earned a reputation for winning our clients’ most challenging and notable battles. He has tried 44 cases, covering the full range of civil and criminal issues confronting corporations and executives.

Mr. Bauer is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. The legal press recognizes him as “a go-to litigator in the San Francisco area and a smart, savvy and creative attorney who is fearless in the courtroom.” Chambers USA reports that “clients appreciate him as a 'fiercely loyal advocate' whose tenacity wins results.” His peers describe him as “very tough, extremely effective, and an incredibly good team player,” “an esteemed gentleman,” a “phenomenal lawyer,” and “strong-willed” with "great judgment.” The Daily Journal calls him a “renowned trial attorney,” quoting another lawyer: “Steve Bauer is one of the best lawyers there is.”

Mr. Bauer‘s awards include:

  • The American College of Trial Lawyers 
  • Litigation Star (Benchmark Litigation)
  • Attorney of the Year (The Recorder)
  • Defense Verdict of the Year (Daily Journal)
  • Top-Ranked by Chambers USA
  • Top 100 Lawyers in California (Daily Journal)
  • Top 75 Intellectual Property Lawyers in California (Daily Journal)
  • 500 Leading Lawyers in America (Lawdragon)
  • Litigator of the Week (AmLaw Litigation Daily)
  • Litigators in the Spotlight (The American Lawyer)
  • Leading White Collar Defense Attorneys (International Who’s Who of Business Crime Lawyers)
  • Best Lawyers in Criminal Defense: White-Collar (Best Lawyers in America)

Mr. Bauer served for 10 years as the Global Co-Chair of Latham’s White Collar Defense and Government Investigations Practice Group.

Mr. Bauer’s more noteworthy public cases include:

  • PG&E San Bruno Explosion Cases: Defended grand jury investigation, with no individuals indicted; Trial counsel in a two-month criminal trial where the proposed fine was reduced from US$1.14 billion to just US$3 million; Civil counsel in hundreds of personal injury lawsuits
  • Silicon Valley Voicemail Case: Won a complete defense verdict in the Jasmine v. Marvell trade secrets case following a two-month jury trial
  • Texas Winter Storm Litigation: Representing Symmetry Energy in cases and investigations throughout the Midwest and Texas
  • Norwegian Money Laundering Trial: Won an acquittal as co-counsel defending an international businessman in Oslo criminal court
  • SandRidge Energy Investigations: Obtained full US$93 million severance payment for CEO in board investigation and successfully defended antitrust and securities cases
  • KPMG Tax Shelter Cases: Defended the Presidio investment advisory firm in the IRS, DOJ, and Senate tax shelter investigations, including 35 civil and regulatory actions and a New York federal criminal trial and appeal
  • Hedge Fund Insider Trading Cases: Defended an individual accused of insider trading in New York federal court
  • US v. Tenet Health System Hospitals: Trial counsel in a four-month criminal kickback trial, resulting in a hung jury
  • SEC Stock Options Backdating Trial: Trial counsel for technology company CFO in a securities fraud jury trial
  • Financial Crisis Cases: Represented major banking institutions in grand jury investigations in the 2008 financial crisis, as well as the CEO of California’s largest failed bank
  • In re San Francisco Refinery Litigation: Lead counsel in 23,000-plaintiff tort cases against a major oil refinery
  • Internet Routing IP Cases: Plaintiff’s counsel for Akamai Technologies in trade secrets and patent cases
  • Hardware Emulation Patent Litigation: Trial counsel in several patent and trade secrets cases
  • Oil Refinery Insurance Litigation: Plaintiff’s counsel in nine-figure insurance recoveries in environmental clean-up litigation
  • Industrial Accidents and Other Fatalities: Defense counsel in investigations and litigation following several tragic accidents
  • Hospital Hostile Takeover Case: Defeated a public entity’s attempt to seize a hospital chain
  • California State Antitrust Cases: Won summary judgments in antitrust cases in the health care and recycling industries

His clients have included corporations and executives from companies such as: Akamai Technologies, Alaska Airlines, Alcatel, AOL, Benchmark Capital, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Blue Cross Blue Shield, BNSF, Brobeck Phleger & Harrison, Dignity Health, ConocoPhillips, DaVita, Dow Chemical, Emirates NBD, FedEx, GE Capital, George Washington University, HCA, Kleiner Perkins, Maxim Integrated, Samsung, Marvell Technology Group, Medtronic, Mentor Graphics, New Enterprise Associates, Owens-Illinois, PG&E, Phillips 66, Richemont, Safeway, San Francisco Chronicle, SBCL, Symmetry Energy, Tenet Healthcare, Tosco, Valero, URS, Western Digital, Teledyne, and Uber.

In addition, Mr. Bauer’s meticulous, trial-ready approach has helped clients avoid charges in dozens of criminal grand jury investigations, many of which remain confidential.

Pro Bono Efforts

Mr. Bauer maintains a significant pro bono practice, most recently representing a coalition of civil rights and voting groups enforcing U.S. Census standards. He has also challenged the bail industry’s use of cash bail, defended the National Associate of Immigration Judges in anti-union litigation, and represented dozens of individuals lacking access to the legal system. In 2003, he accepted the ABA’s Annual Pro Bono Publico Award on behalf of the firm. 

Professional Background

Mr. Bauer began his career as law clerk to Judge Pamela Ann Rymer of the US District Court for the Central District of California. Next, he served as an assistant United States attorney in Los Angeles, where he led “Operation Big Spender,” still the largest police corruption investigation in West Coast history. As a federal prosecutor, he tried corruption and financial crimes cases of all types, and was a leading perjury and obstruction of justice prosecutor. He joined Latham’s San Francisco office in 1993. In 1996, he was appointed special prosecutor by the Office of Independent Counsel in a corruption investigation of the US Secretary of Agriculture.

Speaking and Teaching Engagements

Mr. Bauer has appeared on ABC’s Nightline, National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, and CBS News, and has provided comments to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, L.A. Times, Washington Post, and Time Magazine. He has spoken at various national legal conferences, including the ABA White Collar Defense Conference, the Association of General Counsel, the Chief Litigation Counsel Association, and the Stanford Directors’ College. He has also taught trial advocacy at Hastings College of Law and at the Stanford Law School Advocacy Workshop.

Bar Qualification

  • California
  • District of Columbia


  • JD, Stanford Law School, 1986
    Associate Editor, Stanford Law Review, Hurlbut Trial Advocacy Award
  • BA, Duke University, 1983
    summa cum laude

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • French
General Recognition Thumbnail
January 10, 2023 Recognition

Litigator of the Week Runners-Up and Shout Outs

Latham recognized for representing a defendant in an alleged Medicare-related kickback scheme involving a clinical research program testing for opioid addiction risk which concluded with prosecution dropping all charges.