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Stephen T. Helmer

Partner

Stephen T. Helmer joined Mackenzie Hughes in 1982 and has been a partner since 1989. He was the former Chair of the Firm’s Executive Committee for twelve years and was the Chair of the Litigation Department for twenty-five years. He has extensive trial experience in State and Federal Courts. Stephen has litigated and argued appeals at every level, including in New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals. He also counsels various clients on education, general business, commercial and management issues. His practice concentrates in civil litigation including commercial disputes, personal injury defense, product liability, medical malpractice, and insurance coverage.

In more than one hundred instances, Stephen has been employed by members of the Bar as an arbitrator or as a mediator to resolve complex and difficult matters through alternative dispute resolution.  Widely regarded as one of the most respected and versatile arbitrators and mediators in New York State, Stephen’s ADR matters have included commercial disputes, Civil Rights violations, personal injury, wrongful death, shareholder disputes, estate and trust litigation, medical malpractice, insurance coverage, products liability, property damage, sexual harassment, employment discrimination, and boundary and real estate disputes.

Stephen graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Le Moyne College in 1979 and he received his Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School of Union University in 1982. While a student, Stephen was a member of Alpha Sigma Nu (Jesuit College Honor Society) and Pi Gamma Mu (Social Sciences Honor Society.) He was admitted to the New York State Courts and U.S. District Court, Northern and Western Districts of New York in 1983. In 1996, Stephen was admitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals, and in 2003 he was admitted to the United States Supreme Court.

Stephen is a member of the Onondaga County, New York State, and American Bar Associations. He is a member of the prestigious International Association of Defense Counsel and the Defense Research Institute. Stephen has been listed in “Best Lawyers in America” for Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury, Insurance Law and Product Liability Litigation for the past 15 years. Stephen was named Best Lawyers 2016 Product Liability Litigation – Defendants “Lawyer of the Year” for Syracuse. Since 2007 Stephen has been listed as one of the 94 Best Lawyers in Central New York and one of the New York Area’s Best Lawyers. Stephen has also been listed as one of New York’s “Super Lawyers” for many years, and has been named one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Upstate New York.

In 2010, Stephen was appointed by New York State Bar Association President Stephen Younger to his Task Force on the Future of the Legal Profession.

Stephen is a Trustee of the Immaculate Conception Church. His past and present board memberships include the Le Moyne College Board of Trustees, the Le Moyne College Board of Regents, the Le Moyne College Board of Governors, the Town of Manlius Republican Party Committee, the YMCA of Greater Syracuse, Eastern Branch, the Salvation Army Advisory Board, Center State CEO, the Rosewood Nursing Home, the Fayetteville-Manlius Little League, the Fayetteville-Manlius School District Facilities Committee, the Fayetteville-Manlius Community Sports Facility Association, and the Immaculate Conception Facilities Expansion Committee and Parish Council. Stephen is counsel for the Immaculate Conception Church and School in Fayetteville, New York.

Stephen is a member of the Le Moyne College Athletic Hall of Fame for his achievements in NCAA Division II baseball. During his four years on the varsity team, he was named to several state and regional all-star teams and twice played in the College World Series.

Stephen is often called on by the New York State Bar Association and professional groups to lecture on such topics as “Cross-Examination of Expert Witnesses in Medical Malpractice Cases”, “Expert Witnesses”, “Direct and Cross Examination”, “Municipal Liability”, “Trial Practice”, “Update on the Law”, and “Summations.” He authored the “New York Supplement” to Basic Civil Litigation by Herbert Feuerhake and served on the Editorial Advisory Board of New York Motor Vehicle Accidents by Gary B. Pillersdorf, John F. Scarzafave and J. Michael Hayes.

During six of Stephen’s years with Mackenzie Hughes, he was an instructor at University College of Syracuse University, where he taught Civil Practice to paralegal students.

Stephen surgically donated bone marrow through The American Red Cross to a family member with Leukemia. In 2005, Stephen and his wife Susan received Catholic Charities President’s Medallion for charitable work in the Central New York community. Stephen and his family participated in the annual Fresh Air Fund program by providing in-home summer vacations for inner-city youths. He also enjoys coaching and supporting various youth sports programs such as baseball, basketball, soccer, women’s lacrosse and Pop Warner football. Stephen is also an avid reader of political biographies and historical works, as well as a sports and movie trivia fan.

  • Practice concentrates in civil litigation including commercial disputes, personal injury defense, product liability, medical malpractice, and insurance coverage.
  • Extensive trial experience in State and Federal Courts.
  • Litigated and argued appeals at every level, including in New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals.
  • Counsels various clients on education, general business, commercial and management issues.
  • Arbitrator or Mediator frequently employed by members of the Bar to resolve complex and difficult matters.
  • Lectured on such topics as “Cross-Examination of Expert Witnesses in Medical Malpractice Cases”, “Expert Witnesses”, “Direct and Cross Examination”, “Municipal Liability”, “Trial Practice”, “Update on the Law”, and “Summations” through the New York State Bar Association and professional groups.

Current:

  • New York Bar Association
  • Onondaga County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Trustee of Immaculate Conception Church
  • Center State CEO Board
  • Immaculate Conception Facilities Expansion Committee and Parish Counsel
  • Member of International Association of Defense Counsel and the Defense Research Institute
  • Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame

 

Prior:

  • Le Moyne College Board of Trustees
  • Le Moyne College Board of Regents
  • Le Moyne College Board of Governors
  • Board of Manlius Republican Party Committee
  • YMCA of Greater Syracuse, Eastern Branch
  • Salvation Army Advisory Board
  • Rosewood Nursing Home
  • Fayetteville-Manlius Little League
  • Fayetteville-Manlius School District Facilities Committee
  • Fayetteville-Manlius Community Sports Facility Association
  • Appointed to Task Force on the Future of the Legal Profession by New York State Bar, 2010
  • Instructor at University College at Syracuse University, Civil Practice to Paralegal Students
  • “Best Lawyers in America” for Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury, Insurance Law and Product Liability for the past 15 years
  • Best Lawyers 2016 Product Liability Litigation – Defendants “Lawyer of the Year”
  • 94 Best Lawyers in Central New York and New York Area’s Best Lawyers
  • New York’s “Super Lawyers”
  • Top 50 Lawyers in Upstate New York
  • Authored the “New York Supplement” to Basic Civil Litigation by Herbert Feuerhake
  • Served on the Editorial Advisory Board of New York Motor Vehicle Accidents by Gary B. Pillersdorf, John F. Scarzafave and J. Michael Hayes
  • Catholic Charities President’s Medallion, 2005
  • Le Moyne College Athletic Hall of Fame, NCAA Division II Baseball
  • Member of Alpha Sigma Nu (Jesuit College Honor Society)
  • Pi Gamma Mu (Social Sciences Honor Society)
  • Recognized by the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York for Pro Bono Service in 2015 and 2016
  • Morrisville-Eaton Central School Hall of Fame, 2017
  • Le Moyne College, BA 1979, Cum Laude
  • Albany Law School of Union University, JD 1982
  • New York State Courts
  • United States District Court, Northern District of New York
  • United States District Court, Western District of New York
  • United States Court of Appeals
  • United States Supreme Court

News

Mackenzie Hughes LLP Attorneys Recognized by Super Lawyers

SYRACUSE, NY – Mackenzie Hughes LLP is pleased that eight of its lawyers have been named as Super Lawyers in the 2018 edition of New York Super Lawyers Upstate magazine. The list includes: Stephen T. Helmer, Business & Civil Litigation; Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice; Ami S. Longstreet, Estate Planning & Probate; Elder Law; James…

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Seven Mackenzie Hughes Attorneys Recognized as “Best Lawyers in America”

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Mackenzie Hughes LLP is proud to announce that seven of its attorneys have been named to the 2018 edition of Best Lawyers in America, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. Recognized for their work: Clayton H. Hale, Jr., tax; Stephen T. Helmer, commercial litigation, insurance law, personal…

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Mackenzie Hughes LLP Attorneys Recognized by Super Lawyers

Mackenzie Hughes LLP is pleased to announce Stephen T. Helmer, has been named as one of the Top 50 attorneys in Upstate New York for 2015 in the Super of New York Super Lawyers Upstate magazine. Also included in the 2015 are Elizabeth A. Hartnett, Estate and Probate; ; Ami S. Longstreet, Elder Law; James…

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Blog

What is Mediation, and Why Does it Work?

In recent years, I have developed a busy practice as a mediator, while also continuing to pursue my very active litigation practice.  What is mediation?  It is a voluntary settlement conference, in which the parties to a dispute try to negotiate an agreement resolving their differences, with the assistance of a neutral third-party facilitator, called…

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