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Max D. Stern


Max D. Stern has more than 40 years of experience litigating groundbreaking criminal matters and complex civil cases, appearing and arguing at every trial and appellate level, including the United States Supreme Court. 

Mr. Stern, a partner at the firm, 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 fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Criminal Lawyers and was named in 1995 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as one of the 25 Most Influential Massachusetts Lawyers of the preceding quarter century.

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.  After law school, Mr. Stern served as a clerk to United States Circuit Judge Simon Sobeloff of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Stern is an accomplished photographer.  He maintains a photographic website at


  • 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



  • University of Pennsylvania Law School (L.L.B., magna cum laude) Editor, University of Pennsylvania Law Review
  • Dartmouth College (A.B.)

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court, Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court, Maryland
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

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


  • "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

Honors and Awards

  • Regularly named since 1987 to Best Lawyers in America for Bet-the-Company Litigation; Civil Rights Law; Criminal Defense: General Practice; Criminal Defense: White Collar
  • Regularly named since 2005 to Massachusetts Super Lawyers for Criminal Defense: White Collar
  • Named by Super Lawyers to Top 100 Lawyers in Massachusetts for Criminal Defense: White Collar, 2005-2015
  • Named by Super Lawyers to Top 100 Lawyers in New England for Criminal Defense: White Collar, 2007-2010 and 2012-2014
  • Named by Super Lawyers to Top 10 Lawyers in Massachusetts, 2007-2008 and 2010
  • Accredited with AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell
  • 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 by the Massachusetts Bar Association for his commitment to the highest standards of the criminal defense lawyer and to protecting the rights of the accused, 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 by the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild for a lifetime commitment to fighting for justice and racial equality, 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

In the Community

  • 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