Headshot of attorney Stephen Paffrath

Stephen Paffrath

Of Counsel

Stephen Paffrath has over 20 years of litigation experience.  He has represented a wide variety of clients including financial institutions, manufacturers, local and state government entities, charities, and individuals in a wide variety of complex litigation involving class actions, trade secrets, computer fraud, products liability, banking regulation, unfair competition, employment discrimination, financial elder abuse, and proceedings before administrative agencies.


  • Commercial Litigation
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Financial Services Litigation
  • Government Litigation
  • Products Liability
  • Trade Secrets
  • Constitutional Law


Commercial Litigation

  • Defended railroad operator in case alleging violation of nondisclosure agreement.
  • Defended real estate developer in case alleging breach of funding agreements.
  • Defended aircraft manufacturer in case alleging breach of warranty.
  • Defended insurer in alleging fraudulent sale of tax advantaged life insurance and ERISA plans.

Class Action Litigation

  • Defended national retailer in purported class action alleging misleading return refund practices.
  • Oversaw the administration of a national class action settlement involving the distribution of settlement funds to over 500,000 class members.
  • Defended retailer in purported class action alleging violations of Electronic Funds Transfer Act.
  • Defended manufacturer and retailer in purported class action alleging violation of California Business and Profession Code Section 17200 in the marketing and sale of certain portable heaters.

Financial Services Litigation

  • Represented insurance brokerage in obtaining summary judgment against insurance company liquidator seeking to collect unpaid premiums from brokerage after failed direct collection efforts. Koken v. W.C.A. Service Corp., Inc., 2006 WL 3087098 (E.D.Cal. 2006).
  • Represented national bank in defeating on demurrer class action claim that said bank had illegally paid interest belonging to escrow depositors to title company. Hirsch v. Bank of America, 107 Cal.App.4th 708 (2003).
  • Defended national bank in actions alleging failure to prevent financial elder abuse.

Government Litigation

  • Defended multiple store operators in disputes with state agency over proper implementation of the federal Supplemental Nutrition for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.
  • Represented child-care charity in dispute with state agency in dispute over entitlement to compensation under federal billing requirements for Child and Adult Care Food Program.
  • Defended City in dispute with neighboring suburbs over airport development.
  • Defended City in proceeding in bankruptcy court alleging foreclosure proceedings were in violation of court-entered bankruptcy plan.

Products Liability

  • Represented helicopter and off-road vehicle manufacturers in cases alleging defective designs resulted in fatal accidents.

Trade Secrets

  • Represented company in seeking injunctive relief against departing employees taking confidential information.

Constitutional Law

  • Participated in the drafting of an amicus brief submitted in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the American Bar Association in Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003).
  • Represented inmates alleging unconstitutional retribution for submitting grievances regarding treatment of minority religion.

Some of the above representations were handled by Mr. Paffrath prior to his joining Diesch Forrest Law


  • J.D., Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, 1993
  • M.A.T., University of Chicago, 1980
  • B.A., magna cum laude, English, Hope College, 1978
  • Phi Beta Kappa


  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California


News, Insights & Presentations


09.06.17 Four Tips for Defense Counsel Considering Removal to Federal Court, The Recorder | Published Article
06.12.17 Questions Remain 1 Year Into the DTSA, Daily Journal | Published Article
08.03.16 What Employers Should Know About the DTSA, The Legal Intelligencer & The Recorder | Published Article



09.17.17 Social Media And Website Information Governance, 2017 Information Governance Retreat