John B. Stephens

Attorney / Shareholder

A business trial lawyer in Orange County for over 34 years, John Stephen’s practice includes cases involving trade secrets, trademark, real estate, fraud, breach of contract, shareholder and partnership disputes, business dissolution and a wide variety of complex business issues. He has represented Fortune 500 companies and small businesses and individuals in a wide variety of commercial matters, as well as tried many cases to judgment, including jury trials, bench trials and arbitration hearings. A creative negotiator and mediation advocate, John is often able to cut to the chase and achieve a successful early outcome, saving his clients substantial legal fees.

John has been recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer and in Best Lawyers in America, and is an influential “connector” in the Orange County business community. Since 2006, he has been a Group Leader in the national professional organization, ProVisors.

He is also a dedicated public servant, serving as the Mayor of Costa Mesa, California since March 2021, and was a Costa Mesa City Councilmember from 2016 to 2020. In November 2023, John was elected by his fellow mayors to be a director of the Orange County Transit Authority. He has also served as a Costa Mesa Planning Commissioner, and a director of Travel Costa Mesa and the Transportation Corridor Agency (Toll Roads).

John received his law degree from UC Davis Law School and earned a B.S in Business Administration from Cal Poly Pomona. Before starting his own firm in 1998, he practiced for nine years in the Orange County office of the international firm, Paul Hastings.

Practice Areas

Commercial Litigation

Admitted to Practice

State Bar of California
United States District Courts:
Central District of California
Southern District of California
United States Courts of Appeals:
Ninth Circuit


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

Professional Associations & 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