Steve is a third generation, native San Diegan. He graduated "With Distinction" from San Diego State University in 1976, and married his law school sweetheart, Karen, shortly after the award of his Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego in 1979.
Steve's grandfather and father were both local real estate brokers, so he was only following family tradition when he obtained his real estate salespersons license at the age of 19. These family roots served as the inspiration for his career-long devotion to the practice of real estate law, with emphasis in land use and acquisition, development, construction, and broker liability.
Steve and Karen are the proud and devoted parents of four children. Steve spent over fifteen years coaching and managing his sons in Little League and Senior League baseball, and organized and managed "16 and under" and "18 and under" travel clubs that competed in World Series and other championship tournaments throughout California, Colorado and Arizona. His two older sons played on San Diego CIF Championship baseball teams for Francis Parker prep school in 2001 and 2004.
Early in his career Steve was a prosecutor, and later progressed to the Civil Litigation Division for the City Attorney of the City of San Diego before joining the Firm in 1983. His career highlights include winning a ruling against a public utility that resulted in an award of $45 million in favor of the City fo San Diego (1984 dollars); co-chairing an eminent domain trial that resulted in a $42 million jury verdict in favor of a major developer; and obtaining more than $8 million in a construction defect case against subcontractors.
Licensed since 1979
Hourly ($300-400/hour), Contingent (25-40%), Free Consultation (30 minutes)
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|Award Name||Grantor||Date Granted|
|Top Lawyer||San Diego Magazine||2013|
|AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated||Martindale-Hubbell||2013|
|Top Lawyers in California||American Lawyer Media||2013|
|AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated||Martindale-Hubbell||2012|
|AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated||Martindale-Hubbell||2011|
|AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated||Martindale-Hubbell||2010|
|AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated||Martindale-Hubbell||2009|
|AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated||Martindale-Hubbell||2008|
|AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated||Martindale-Hubbell||2007|
|AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated||Martindale-Hubbell||2006|
|AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated||Martindale-Hubbell||2005|
|AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated||Martindale-Hubbell||2004|
|AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated||Martindale-Hubbell||2003|
|AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated||Martindale-Hubbell||2002|
|AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated||Martindale-Hubbell||2001|
|AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated||Martindale-Hubbell||2000|
|AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated||Martindale-Hubbell||1999|
|Managing Partner||Freeland, McKinley, & McKinley||2011 - Present|
|Partner||Asaro Keagy Freeland & McKinley||1988 - Present|
|Deputy City Attorney||City Attorney San Diego||1981 - 1983|
|Associate||Dorman & Dorman||1979 - 1981|
|Association Name||Position Name||Duration|
|California State Bar||N/A||1979 - Present|
|Nevada State Bar||N/A||N/A|
|San Diego County Bar Association||N/A||N/A|
|San Diego County Board of Realtors||N/A||N/A|
|Rancho Santa Fe Review, Volume 32 Number 46||(Re: Lafornara v. RDA) RSF attorney wins $1.99 million settlement from city for clients||2013|
|Criminal Justice Journal||Proving a Violation of Vehicle Code Section 23152(b): Rabbit Tracks in the Snow or Russian Roulette?||1982|
|University of San Diego School of Law||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||1979|
|San Diego State Univ||Political Science||BA - Bachelor of Arts||1976|