Stephen J. Padula is a partner and co-founder of Padula Bennardo Levine, LLP. Mr. Padula is double Board Certified by the Florida Bar in the areas of Business Litigation as well as Civil Trial, which is the highest level of evaluation by The Florida Bar of competency and experience of attorneys. The Florida Bar grants board certification only to lawyers who have been evaluated for experience and expertise in a particular area of law. Out of approximately 88,000 eligible attorneys licensed to practice law in the State of Florida, only 1,003 attorneys are Board Certified in Civil Trial and only 237 attorneys are Board Certified in Business Litigation. There are only 82 eligible Florida attorneys who are double Board Certified like Mr. Padula. Certified attorneys like Mr. Padula are the only lawyers allowed to identify themselves as “specialists” and “experts” in their area of distinction.
Mr. Padula has litigated and tried numerous jury and non-jury cases spanning the areas of business, real estate, construction, and employment law throughout Florida. Mr. Padula earned his B.S.B.A. degree, graduating magna cum laude from Lynn University, and earned his Juris Doctor degree with honors from the University of Miami School of Law. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1999 and is a member of the South Palm Beach County Bar Association. Mr. Padula is also admitted to practice before the Sixth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, as well as the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida, and Colorado.
Mr. Padula has represented a wide variety of clients, including prominent business entities, real estate developers, contractors, and distinguished individuals. He also has been involved in many arbitrations, mediations, and appeals throughout the country. His experience and hard work has resulted in numerous favorable judgments. In early 2009, Mr. Padula received a final judgment in favor of his client for over $16.5 million related to violations of Florida’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act. In late 2009, Mr. Padula recovered $8.1 Million for an international client who was defrauded by an enterprise located in South Florida. Such funds represented 100% of the client’s loss. In 2010, Mr. Padula successfully dismissed numerous RICO charges against a firm’s client that were pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. In 2012, Mr. Padula successfully negotiated a settlement with an institutional lender whereby a potential $2.4 Million deficiency judgment was reduced to a $100,000.00 cash payment without a foreclosure. In 2013, Mr. Padula successfully defeated in arbitration claims by a nationwide franchisor against a franchisee related to restrictive covenants not to compete. In 2014, Mr. Padula secured the release of over $1 Million and two luxury automobiles for the firm’s client in a federal forfeiture action in Ohio Federal Court.
Mr. Padula has been selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers, South Florida Legal Guide, and Florida Elite Magazines, and is peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He is rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale Hubbell, that organization’s highest rating.
From 2015-2018, Mr. Padula was appointed by The Florida Supreme Court and served as a member of its Jury Instructions Committee for Contract and Business cases.
Mr. Padula was born in Chicago, Illinois, and has been residing in Boca Raton since 1986.