Partner, Charles L. Stern, Jr., was recently recognized as an honoree for the New Orleans CityBusiness 2020 Leadership in Law class at a virtual awards ceremony on October 5. This marks the second time that Chuck has received this honor.
As noted in a special “Leadership in Law” 2020 insert in New Orleans CityBusiness, “The 16th edition of “Leadership in Law” stands as a record of local professionals who have distinguished themselves within the legal industry as well as the larger community. Their work encompasses a variety of commercial and public interests, and their expertise reveals how the legal industry has evolved just in the short time CityBusiness has recognized the top attorneys in the region.”
“Leadership in Law” identifies individuals in four categories: court-associated professionals, including judges, magistrates, clerks and support personnel; educators, both in the law school setting and professional realm; firm-associated, which includes attorneys, paralegals and other staff professionals; and in-house counsel, which include full-time representation of for-profit companies, nonprofits and governmental entities.
Chuck chatted with reporter Mel Page to discuss his most memorable cases and how they impacted his career. Following is his interview, which appeared in the “Leadership in Law” 2020 insert.
Charles Stern, Jr., Steeg Law Partner, Firm Associated
Charles L. Stern, Jr. is head of the litigation section at Steeg Law and has more than 30 years of experience handling commercial and business litigation for clients in a variety of industries, including title insurance, commercial real estate and banking.
Stern has tried numerous cases to conclusion successfully during his career in federal, state and bankruptcy court. As appellate counsel, he has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and several Louisiana state appellate courts. His appearance before the Supreme Court was part of the successful defense of a large mixed-use development in New Orleans against a $5 million mortgage claim.
“Being challenged in those ways as I was trying to take charge of my career was probably when I learned how to do it,” he said.
One of the biggest challenges came near the beginning of his career, when Stern took on a case for a client facing death row.
“I agreed to take that on pro bono,” Stern said, “I don’t think I fully grasped just how much was at stake until I sat in the courtroom when a formal execution date was set for this guy and listened to the language in court that the judge was required to use.”