Bezalel Stern provides innovative, cost-effective, efficient solutions to meet his clients' needs. His litigation practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, class action defense, and advertising litigation in state and federal courts, and arbitration before the American Arbitration Association, the National Advertising Division, and the National Advertising Review Board. He is adept at turning complex legal arguments into compelling written and oral narratives for courts, juries, and arbitrators.
In addition to his work related to advertising and class action defense, Bez has extensive experience representing and advising clients in environmental and CERCLA matters, matters related to complex business affairs (including business divorce), litigation and arbitration related to alleged employer or employee misconduct, defamation actions, disputes related to literary rights, litigation and enforcement proceedings in the communications industry, and internal investigations. Bez is consistently able to analyze, identify and empathize with each client’s position. He is dedicated to balancing costs versus results when it comes to dispute resolution, and has a keen understanding of the business implications of the legal process.
Bez is also a zealous advocate of pro bono work, and has successfully represented several young immigrants who came to the United States without their parents, assisting them in obtaining Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.
Bez remains ever-mindful of maximizing his client’s legal expenses, always thinking about each client’s position and the impact a given approach will have on their bottom line. An outstanding written and oral advocate who is valued for clear and concise arguments, Bez is most appreciated by clients and colleagues alike for his resolute work ethic and unwavering optimism.
Prior to joining Kelley Drye, Bez served as a law clerk in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Before his clerkship, Bez was an associate in the New York office of a major global law firm.
Successfully represented the Territory of Guam before the United States Supreme Court in a precedent-setting CERCLA dispute against the United States. Territory of Guam v. United States, 141 S. Ct. 1608 (2021).
Defended a major telecommunications company at the NAD in what was, to date, the only successful defense of a SWIFT challenge, at which NAD found the challenged express claim the client was making was completely substantiated.
Successfully challenged a major telecommunications company’s national advertising on behalf of a competitor, causing the company to virtually discontinue its once ubiquitous “Best Network” claim.
Successfully obtained a preliminary injunction against the State of California on behalf of a consortium of distributors and manufacturers, preventing enforcement of a law that would have banned the manufacture or sale of alligator and crocodile products in the State. Apr. in Paris v. Becerra
, No. 219CV02471KJMCKD, 2020 WL 6043948 (E.D. Cal. Oct. 13, 2020).
Drafted and filed two Amicus Briefs on behalf of an unprecedented coalition of groups in support of Petition for Certiorari in Case No. 18-481, Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media
, arguing that the D.C. Circuit’s longstanding (mis)interpretation of the Freedom of Information Act’s Exemption 4 has allowed the improper public dissemination of “confidential” information submitted by persons to the government. 2019 WL 951418 and 2018 WL 6040480. This was the first time the Supreme Court heard arguments directly related to Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act. On June 24, 2019, the Supreme Court reversed the Eighth Circuit, largely adopting the new Exemption 4 test recommended by our coalition. https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf/18-481_5426.pdf
Core member of litigation team that had filed a successful class action Complaint against the Social Security Administration. After defeating the Social Security Administration’s 12(b)(1) Motion to Dismiss, Steigerwald v. Commissioner of Social Security
, 2018 WL 454400 (N.D. Ohio Jan. 17, 2018), the Court certified a class covering an approximate 15-year period, and including over 100,000 individuals. Steigerwald v. Commissioner of Social Security
, 2018 WL 3524610 (N.D. Ohio July 12, 2018). On January 25, 2019, the Court granted our Motion for Summary Judgment, awarding summary judgment to the certified class. Steigerwald v. Commissioner of Social Security
, 2019 WL 329897 (N.D. Ohio Jan. 25, 2019). To date, the class has received over $70,000,000 that was wrongly withheld from it.
Successfully represented Fannie Mae in defending against purported whistleblower claims on the district and appellate court levels. Herron v. Fannie Mae
, 861 F.3d 160 (D.C. Cir. 2017); 2016 WL 1177918 (D.D.C. 2016). Following these consecutive wins, District Court awarded our client $43,000 in costs for having to defend against the purported whistleblower's claims. 2018 WL 1036358 (D.D.C. 2018).
Represented global company in internal investigation regarding potential multi-million dollar defect in commercial property, drafting comprehensive report on the matter, and concluding the matter to the client’s satisfaction.
Doe v. Alternative Medicine Maryland, LLC
, 455 Md. 377 (Md. 2017)
Lead associate on successful appeal before Maryland Court of Appeals, reversing the trial court and granting client the right to intervene in case.
Levin Family Limited Partnership v. Greenberg Family Limited Partnership
, 2016 WL 7491511 (Md. Cir. Ct. 2016)
Lead associate and second chair in trial team representing limited partnership with a fifty percent ownership in a limited liability company owning substantial real property in suburban Maryland. After a bench trial in Montgomery County, Maryland, Business and Technology Court, successfully prevented the LLC from being judicially dissolved.
Lead attorney representing internet start-up who was allegedly hacked by a competitor. Obtained favorable settlement shortly following filing of Complaint in federal court.
Lead Kelley Drye associate representing telecommunications provider in litigation with ILEC regarding payment of fees. After prevailing on crucial claims before trial, case reached favorable settlement.
Named to 2018 and 2019 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll.
Recognized by Super Lawyers as a Washington D.C. "Rising Star," 2017-2020.