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About me

I love classical music and play the piano and recorder.  I used to play timpani in the orchestra, so I go to quite a few concerts.  I also love to go out into the forest and hunt for mushrooms (assuming it has rained enough!).  I am married to Irene who is begining her real estate career, which requires a lot of work on her part.  She is a natuaral born saleswoman.


Languages spoken: French

Photos and videos

304111 1288778960

Practice areas


  1. Debt Collection: 50%
    29 years, 800 cases
  2. Litigation: 30%
    29 years, 200 cases
  3. Tax: 10%
    29 years, 200 cases
  4. Bankruptcy: 10%
    29 years, 180 cases



Hourly ($120-300/hour), contingent (25-45%), Fixed (sometimes), Retainer (sometimes), Free consultation (10 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

2 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Marcin Jacek Zurada

    I worked alongside Stephen in a very difficult fraudulent transfer case involving a debtor who concealed significant assets. We sued the debtor in state court to reverse the fraudulent transfers and we ended up fighting both the state court case and a bankruptcy. Stephen was very knowledgeable about debt collection and bankruptcy, great to work with, and very tough on the other side. We ended up prevailing after an epic litigation in which the other side used every trick in the book. Stephen is now my go to guy for bankruptcy and debt collection.


    Marcin Zurada Employment and labor Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • Vi Katerina Tran

    I endorse this lawyer's work.


    Vi Tran Debt collection Attorney
    Relationship: Worked for lawyer

Contact info

750 Menlo Ave #350
Menlo Park, CA, 94025-4759


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Silicon Valley Top LawyersSan Jose Magazine2007
Silicon Valley Top LawyersN/A2006
Silicon Valley Top LawyersN/A2005
Silicon Valley Top LawyersN/A2004
Peer Review - AV ratedN/A2003
Silicon Valley Top LawyersN/A2003
Silicon Valley Top LawyersN/A2002
AV RatedMartindale-Hubbell2002
Silicon Valley Top LawyersN/A2001
Silicon Valley Top LawyersSan Jose Magazine2000
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
OwnerLaw Offices of Stephen Benda1987 - Present
PresidentVenture Growth, Inc.1982 - 1986
PresidentStanford Wine Co., Inc.1975 - 1980
Association namePosition nameDuration
California State Bar - Litigation SectionMember2006 - Present
Santa Clara County Superior CourtArbitrator/Mediator2000 - Present
Los Angeles County Bar AssociationMember1997 - Present
Santa Clara County Superior CourtJudge Pro Tem1996 - Present
San Mateo County Bar AssociationMember1989 - Present
Palo Alto Area Bar AssociationMember1987 - Present
Santa Clara County Bar AssociationMember1987 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember1987 - 1997
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Reswick v ReswickBAP 9th Cir. upheld our position
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
9th Cir.BAP (Cal.): WL 612728, Bankr. L. Rep. P 81,942, 11 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 3464, 2011 Daily Journal D.A.R. 4117In re Reswick2011
United States Tax CourtCorson v Commissioner of the Internal Revenue2000
United States Tax CourtSzabo v CIR1992
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Golden Gate University School of LawTaxationLL.M - Master of Laws (Tax)1989
Peninsula University Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor (Valedictorian)1986
Stanford UniversityBusiness AdministrationMBA (Arjay Miller Scholar)1982
Stanford UniversityStatisticsMS - Master of Science1975
Stanford UniversityMathematicsMS - Master of Science1974
University of SussexMathematical PhysicsB.Sc. (1st Class Honors)1970
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
KCSM TV Channel 60 - Legal CurrentsEnforcing Judgments1994