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Cerritos
12800 Center Court Drive
Suite 300
Cerritos, CA 90703

562-653-3200
562-653-3333 fax

Education

  • University of Florida College of Law (J.D., Law School Class Representative)
  • University of Florida

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth District
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Memberships and Affiliations

Steven D. Atkinson

Partner

Practice Areas

Steve Atkinson is a founding partner with a diverse clientele in litigation, labor, and employment law matters. He focuses on representing employers in collective bargaining negotiations, union organizing campaigns, unfair labor practice complaints and other proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board. He also handles arbitrations pursuant to collective bargaining agreements.

Atkinson has long been recognized as one of the foremost employment lawyers in the country. He has defended employers for more than 40 years in all aspects of labor relations. He practices before all federal and state courts, including the United States Supreme Court, and administrative agencies such as the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Atkinson was an Army brat who was raised in the South and served a tour of duty as a first lieutenant in the Army. Out of the military, Atkinson worked as a field attorney with the National Labor Relations Board, where he was successful in all 11 of his trials. Atkinson left government service in 1976 and began representing employers with labor and employment law issues.

In 1977, just five years out of law school, Atkinson became a principal in the law firm of Merrill & Atkinson, which was at the forefront of aggressive representation of employers in labor relations matters in Southern California.

In 1979, Atkinson started his own firm, which transitioned into the extraordinarily successful AALRR that today employs over 160 lawyers.

Education
Mr. Atkinson attended the University of Florida on a track scholarship.  He received both his undergraduate degree and Juris Doctor at the University of Florida. While there, he captained the cross-country team, was an All-SEC miler, was on the Dean's list, and was selected as his law school class representative.

Memberships
Orange County and Los Angeles County Bar Associations; State Bar of Florida; State Bar of California.  Atkinson is active in numerous legal and employer associations throughout Southern California.

Awards and Recognitions
Since 2004, Los Angeles magazine has recognized  Atkinson as a “Super Lawyer,” one of the top 2.5 percent of Southern California lawyers.  

Publications and Speaking Engagements
Mr. Atkinson presents and frequently writes and speaks on employment and labor relations. Mr. Atkinson is quoted as an expert in labor relations matters in Business Week, the Los Angeles Times, Bureau of National Affairs and Cockshaw's Construction Labor News and Report. 

Career Highlights

  • Has handled hundreds of union negotiations, strikes, pickets and lock-outs
  • Represented a Fortune 500 company in a race discrimination jury trial in Oakland, California, which lasted over two months. Mock juries for the case all returned verdicts in excess of $30 million. The jury was out for eight days and returned a finding of no punitive damages.
  • Represented the largest Chinese language newspaper in the United States in a model organizing campaign which lasted over five years. Persuaded the NLRB to invalidate the first election, which was won by the union. The company won the second election.
  • Represented a major residential construction company and its owner in a lawsuit against a large insurance company. The insurance company alleged the owner was personally liable for fraud and owed $28 million in damages. Atkinson was brought into the case after the judge indicated in a preliminary ruling that it was highly likely the insurance company would prevail on its fraud claims. The jury returned a verdict of no fraud and no personal liability.
  • Represented a large industrial contractor in a major targeted organizing campaign conducted by the Los Angeles County Building Construction Trades Council. The Trades were unsuccessful in organizing the contractor.

On a personal note, Atkinson enjoys hiking trips around the world and is an avid reader and fisherman. In 2011, Atkinson caught a Coho (“Silver”) salmon weighing 26 pounds, 11 ounces. The fish is a certified Alaska record and perhaps the largest Coho ever caught in salt water.

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