Stephen is from Savannah and has called Georgia home all his life. He graduated in 1980 from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia with a degree in Risk Management and Insurance. He obtained his law degree from Emory University School of Law and began his legal career in 1983. Stephen has been a Trial Lawyer for his entire career.
He fights hard to protect the rights of his clients and to obtain the best possible outcome in every case he handles. Stephen started out as an associate for several large Insurance Defense law firms representing both individuals and businesses in litigated matters. Stephen then became the Managing Attorney for a major national insurance company. In his role there, he handled both insurance coverage issues and the direct representation of policy holders. After working for the insurance company, Stephen returned to the private practice of law as a named law firm partner. At Dermer Appel Ruder, LLC Stephen continues his now more than 30-year career as a Trial Lawyer. Stephen fights hard every day for the rights of his clients who entrust their legal matters to him.
Stephen handles car and truck wrecks, premises liability, product defect, negligent security, wrongful death, construction defect and other matter types that either involve personal injury or property damage claims. With his undergraduate degree in insurance and having worked directly in the insurance industry, Stephen is uniquely qualified to know how insurance companies work and how they think. Working either for or against an insurance company to achieve the best result possible is what Stephen and his partners do every day.
Stephen has tried many cases to verdict and has participated in countless mediations throughout the State. Stephen practices in all State and Federal Courts throughout Georgia. He is AV Preeminent rated by his peers through the nationally recognized Martindale-Hubbell rating organization.
All attorneys and staff at Dermer Appel Ruder take great pride in making certain that every client is fully informed of everything that is going on with their case. Our responsibility to you is not something that we will ever take lightly.
Stephen is married to Rhonda, his college sweetheart. They live in Peachtree Corners. Together they raised two wonderful children who, along with their families, live in the Atlanta area. Rhonda is retired from the Gwinnett County school system where she worked first in special education and then as an assistant principal.
- J.D., Emory Law School, 1983
- B.B.A., Risk Management and Insurance, University of Georgia, 1980
- American Bar Association
- State Bar of Georgia
- Atlanta Bar Association (Litigation Section)
- Lawyers Club of Atlanta
- State Bar of Georgia
- Supreme Court of Georgia
- Georgia Court of Appeals
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Georgia
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Georgia
- United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
- United States Supreme Court