Max D. Stern


Max D. Stern joined Todd & Weld LLP as a partner in 2015.  Mr. Stern has more than 40 years of experience litigating both groundbreaking criminal matters and complex civil cases.

Mr. Stern is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Criminal Lawyers.  He has received numerous awards for his legal work, including the American College "Award for Courageous Advocacy" and the Joseph Balliro Award of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers "in recognition of a lifelong commitment and dedication to the zealous defense of the accused."  He was named by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as one of the "25 Most Influential Massachusetts Lawyers" of the preceding quarter century in 1995.


Mr. Stern has appeared and argued at every trial and appellate level, including the United States Supreme Court.  He has taught courses in Advanced Criminal Law and the Legal Profession, among others, at Harvard and Northeastern Law Schools.  He is the author of articles in both scholarly journals and the popular press.  He regularly lectures on various aspects of trial practice.

Mr. Stern is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he served as an editor of the law review.  He is a graduate of Dartmouth College.  After law school, Mr. Stern served as a clerk to United States Circuit Judge Simon Sobeloff of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Stern is active in community affairs.  He is an accomplished photographer.  He maintains a photographic website at

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  • Background
    • Partner, Todd & Weld LLP, 2015-Present
    • Partner, Stern Shapiro Weissberg & Garin, LLP, 1973-2014
    • Staff Attorney, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute/NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., 1970-1973
    • Law Clerk, Circuit Judge Simon E. Sobeloff, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 1969-1970
  • Professional Activities
    • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers, Member, State Committee, 1994-1998
    • Fellow, American Board of Criminal Lawyers
    • Member, Boston Bar Association; Member, Executive Committee, Criminal Section, 1985-1988
    • Member, Massachusetts Bar Association; Vice Chairperson, Section on Criminal Justice, 1977-1978
    • Member, Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Member, Board of Directors, 2007-Present; President, 2011-2013
    • Member, Boston Bar Council, 1983-1986
  • Publications / Lectures
    • "The Right of the Accused to a Public Defense," 18 Harvard Civil Rights -Civil Liberties Law Review 53 1983
    • Co-Author with D. Hoffman: "Privileged Informers: The Attorney Subpoena Problem and a Proposal for Reform," 136 U.Pa.L.Rev. 1783 June 1988
    • Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School: Courses in Federal Criminal Litigation, The Legal Profession, Advanced Criminal Law 1983-1990
    • Fellow, Harvard Center for Criminal Justice, Harvard Law School 1981
    • Instructor, Northeastern University Law School: Courses in Prisoners' Rights, Equitable Remedies 1977-1979
  • Awards / Achievements
    • Named to 2018 Best Lawyers in America in Bet-the-Company Litigation; Civil Rights Law; Criminal Defense: General Practice; and Criminal Defense: White Collar, August 2017
    • Named to "2017 Best Lawyers in America" in Bet-The-Company-Litigation; Civil Rights Law; Criminal Defense: General Practice; and Criminal Defense: White-Collar, August 2016
    • Named one of "2016 Best Lawyers in America" in Civil Rights Law; Criminal Defense: Non-White Collar; Criminal Defense: White Collar, August 2015
    • Named by Super Lawyers in 2015 to Top 100 Lawyers in Massachusetts, Criminal Defense: White Collar
    • Named to 2015 Massachusetts Super Lawyers
    • Named a "2015 New England Best Lawyer" for Civil Rights and Criminal Defense (Non-White-Collar and White-Collar), as published in The Boston Globe and Wall Street Journal, May 2015
    • Named a "Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyer" 2005-2014
    • Named a "Top 100 New England Super Lawyer" 2007-2010, 2012-2014
    • Named a "Top 10 Massachusetts Super Lawyer" , 2007-2008, and 2010
    • Accredited with AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, to Present
    • Named "Lawyer of the Year" by the Frank G. Murray Inn of Court, 2010
    • Received "Joseph Balliro Award" by the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers "in recognition of a lifelong commitment and dedication to the zealous defense of the accused" 2000
    • Named one of the "25 Most Influential Massachusetts Lawyers of the Preceding Quarter Century" by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, 1995
    • Received American College of Trial Lawyers "Award for Courageous Advocacy": "In recognition of his unswerving and courageous efforts as a trial lawyer to restore integrity to the local criminal justice system" 1992
    • Accorded "special recognition for his commitment to the highest standards of the criminal defense lawyer and to protecting the rights of the accused" by the Massachusetts Bar Association, 1991
    • Recognized for "tireless moral courage in advancing human and civil rights" by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of the Boston Bar Association, 1990
    • Accorded recognition for a "lifetime commitment to fighting for justice and racial equality" by the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, 1990
    • Received the "Edward J. Duggan Private Counsel Award" by the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services for "zealous advocacy and outstanding legal services to the poor" 1989
    • Received the "Abraham T. Alper Memorial Award," the annual award of the Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts in recognition of notable service in the preservation of civil liberties, 1987
  • Civic & Charitable Involvement
    • Member, Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts; Member, Advisory Board, 1979-1983, 1986-1987; General Counsel, 1983-1985
    • Chairperson, Massachusetts Campaign Against Restoration of the Death Penalty, 1981-1982
    • Chairperson, Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty, 1983-1992
    • Deputy Legal Counsel, Democratic State Committee of Massachusetts, 1994-Present
    • Member, Advisory Committee, MJT Dance Co., Boston, 1995-2000
    • Member, Advisory Committee, Featherstone Center for the Arts, Martha's Vineyard, 1999-Present
    • Artist Member, Copley Society of Art
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