Stephen Pollak’s is a retired partner practice consisted of representing clients in trial and appellate litigation of complex civil cases at all levels of the federal courts and before federal departments and agencies. His fields of concentration include antitrust, constitutional, and labor law, civil rights, ERISA and legal ethics. He also represented individuals under investigation for possible violation of federal criminal laws, as well as lawyers and law firms against whom complaints had been lodged with Bar Counsel. Mr. Pollak served as Special Master for the Vitamins Antitrust Litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Areas of Practice
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Current Professional Activities

Mr. Pollak serves as a mediator and arbitrator. Since 1989, he has been a member of the Panel of Mediators appointed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Commencing in February 2016, Mr. Pollak has been serving as Chair of the Panel of Mediators on appointment by the two courts.

Mr. Pollak is Chair of the Board of the Historical Society of the District of Columbia Circuit, a tax-exempt corporation with a mission to record, preserve, and publicize the life and history of the courts of the District of Columbia Circuit. He served as President (September 2003-April 2019) and serves as a member of its Board of Directors (October 1993-present).

Mr. Pollak is a founding member of the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission with service commencing in 2007.

Mr. Pollak served as President of the District of Columbia Bar (1980-81) and was a member of the Board of Governors of the Bar for four years. He served as Chair of the Bar’s Public Service Activities Committee (1989-95) and was the leader in reorganization of the Bar’s pro bono activities. Mr. Pollak served as President of the District of Columbia Bar Foundation (2008-09) and as a member of its Board of Directors (2003-09).

Mr. Pollak served as a member and Chair of the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission (1984-90, 1994-96), responsible for selection of the Chief Judges of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia as well as presentation to the President of candidates for nomination as judges of those courts.

Mr. Pollak has been a member of the Board of Directors of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law since 1969 and serves on its Amicus Committee. He served as a Co-Chair from 1975-1977.

Professional Experience

Mr. Pollak was a partner at Shea & Gardner prior to its combination with Goodwin in 2004, and served as chair of its Executive Committee from 1993-1996. Prior to joining Shea & Gardner, Mr. Pollak served in the U.S. Department of Justice and the White House from 1961 through 1969. Among his governmental positions were Advisor to the President for National Capital Affairs (1967) and First Assistant and Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Rights Division (1965-67, 1967-69) and Assistant to the Solicitor General (1961-64).


Mr. Pollak is the recipient of the following awards: the Justice Potter Stewart Award from the Council for Court Excellence of Washington, D.C. (2006); the Daniel Webster Distinguished Service Award from the Dartmouth Club of Washington, D.C. (2005); the Thurgood Marshall Award for Service in the Public Interest from the District of Columbia Bar (2001); and the Servant of Justice Award from the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia (1994). He has been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers.

While attending law school, Mr. Pollak was Managing Editor of the Yale Law Journal and received the Jewell Prize for highest second-year grades, and Second Prize for Best Student Contribution to Yale Law Journal (1955-56), titled the “Expatriation Act of 1954.”

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LL.B., 1956
Yale Law School

(cum laude; Order of the Coif)

B.A., 1950
Dartmouth College

(Phi Beta Kappa)



District of Columbia
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Our clients rely on us for world-class advisory services, counsel on complex transactional work and high-stakes litigation. Specializing in matters involving the financial, life sciences, private equity, real estate, and technology industries, we use a collaborative, cross-disciplinary approach to resolve our clients’ most challenging issues. To find out more, please contact us.


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