"The 'very savvy and very smart' Steven Bauer has a reputation as a versatile, creative advocate with the ability to handle complicated issues in a range of civil and criminal areas. Impressed clients laud him as "very strategic in a tough case and capable of handling super complex, multidimensional issues.'"Chambers USA 2016

Steven M. Bauer

San Francisco
  • 505 Montgomery Street
  • Suite 2000
  • San Francisco, CA 94111-6538
  • USA

Steven Bauer has earned a reputation for winning our clients’ most challenging and notable battles. He has tried 42 cases to verdict, covering the full range of civil and criminal issues confronting corporations and executives. He brings 30 years of experience to his sole focus: achieving the best possible result for his client.

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 describes him a “renowned trial attorney,” quoting another lawyer: “Steve Bauer is one of the best lawyers there is.”

Mr. Bauer ‘s awards include:

  • Top 100 Lawyers in California. (Daily Journal)
  • Attorney of the Year (The Recorder)
  • Defense Verdict of the Year (Daily Journal)
  • Top 75 Intellectual Property Lawyers in California (Daily Journal)
  • 500 Leading Lawyers in America (Lawdragon)
  • Litigator of the Week (AmLaw Litigation Daily)
  • Leading White Collar Defense Attorneys (International Who’s Who of Business Crime Lawyers). 

Mr. Bauer is the global Co-chair of Latham’s White Collar Defense and Government Investigations Practice.  

Mr. Bauer’s more noteworthy public cases include:

  • PG&E San Bruno Explosion Cases: Trial counsel in a two-month criminal trial, in which no individuals were indicted and the fine was reduced from US$1.14 billion to just US$3 million. Also counsel for hundreds of civil lawsuits
  • Silicon Valley Voicemail Case: Won a complete defense verdict in the infamous Jasmine v. Marvell trade secrets case following a two-month jury trial
  • 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 investigation
  • KPMG Tax Shelter Cases: Lead counsel for 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
  • People v. Major Railroad: Trial counsel in a state prosecution alleging Public Utilities Code violations
  • Failed Bank Cases: Represented the CEO of California’s largest bank failure in the 2008 financial crisis, as well as other major banking institutions in grand jury investigations
  • In re San Francisco Refinery Litigation: Lead counsel in 23,000-plaintiff toxic tort cases against a major oil refinery
  • Internet Routing Cases: Lead 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: Achieved recoveries of US$60 million in environmental clean-up litigation
  • 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

Mr. Bauer’s meticulous and trial-ready approach has helped clients avoid charges in grand jury investigations, such as:

  • A major law firm in the Enron investigation 
  • Several major corporations in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations
  • A senior executive in the DRAM antitrust investigation
  • The maintenance director in an airline crash investigation
  • An investment bank in the Wall Street analyst fraud investigation
  • A thoroughbred racehorse promoter in a DOJ tax shelter investigation
  • A public utility in a PUC investigation and US$200 million lawsuit
  • An investment advisor in the mutual fund late-trading investigations
  • Various hospitals in kickback and billing fraud investigations
  • A major retailer in a revenue recognition investigation
  • Various companies in environmental contamination investigations
  • Executives in several medical device investigations
  • Managers and executives in several industrial accident manslaughter investigations
Professional Background

Mr. Bauer began his career as law clerk to federal district court Judge Pamela Ann Rymer. 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. In 2003, he accepted the ABA’s Annual Pro Bono Publico Award on behalf of the firm. From 2013 through 2017, he divided his time between our San Francisco and Brussels offices as the spouse of the US Ambassador to Belgium.

Speaking and Teaching Engagements

He 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, LA Times, Washington Post, and Time Magazine. He has spoken at various national legal conferences, including the ABA White Collar Defense Conference and the Stanford Directors’ College. He has also taught trial advocacy at Hastings College of Law and at the Stanford Law School Advocacy Workshop.

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