Stephen Estey

Top 30 Matrimonial and Family Law
Estey & Bomberger, LLP
2869 India Street
San Diego, CA 92103-6011
(619) 873-4498

Stephen J. Estey, founding partner of Estey Bomberger, is known for his competitive spirit and his warm, compassionate nature. Relaxed in the office and a cool customer in the courtroom, Steve has a proven ability to synthesize large amounts of information and couch it in simple terms for the jury. Though a competent and independent trial lawyer, Steve points to his hardworking powerhouse legal team as the reason for the law firm’s notable success.  Estey Bomberger has grown from its 1994 inception (with partner and law school friend Mike Bomberger) into one of the most formidable trial firms in California.

Part of Steve’s unique legal approach is to limit himself to only a few cases per year. This allows him to personally invest himself in every case and devote himself wholly to the client’s outcome. This approach lets Steve tackle cases which other attorneys consider “unwinnable” and come away with record-breaking verdicts and settlements. In a recent case against the Los Angeles County Unified School District, which other lawyers had shied away from, an undaunted Steve went in and secured a record-setting $23 million verdict for his client.

Steve enjoys helping victims and their families when they’ve suffered childhood sexual abuse, catastrophic personal injury, automobile, bicycle, motorcycle and truck accidents and injuries, construction and slip and fall accidents, product liability and defects, brain and birth injuries, airplane crash litigation, elder law including nursing home abuse and neglect, insurance bad faith and wrongful death.  Steve’s strong sense of family (both immediate and extended) allows this successful, results-oriented attorney to place a high premium on justice for clients and their families.


  • Steve is a Board Certified Trial Attorney in San Diego.  In 2017 he was selected a Top Plaintiff Attorney by the Daily Journal.  Consumer Attorneys of San Diego named him Trial Attorney of the Year in 2011 and again in 2013 — these awards were based in no small part on his record-setting verdicts and settlements, many of which are in the 8-figures.  CASD has also presented Steve with three Outstanding Trial Lawyer Awards.
  • Steve was also lead counsel in the California Supreme Court Case of Morris v. De La Torre (2005) 36 Cal 4th 260.
  • Steve is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, ABOTA, and has an AV-Preeminent Rating with Martindale-Hubbell, their highest peer rating standard.  Not surprisingly, Steve has also been dubbed a Super Lawyer for eleven straight years, 2008-2018, and been included in the The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 list since 2010 and The Best Lawyers in America since 2011.


Steve is the expert on issues involving child sexual molestation in institutions. Some of his more notable interviews are linked below; for a full list click here.


With an eye on the future, Steve enjoys teaching trial skills to other attorneys, and does so at various seminars throughout the country including at the Utah Association for Justice, the American Association for Justice and Consumer Attorneys of San Diego.


Steve is also a popular presenter and guest speaker and has presented to the community at various conferences including the Color of Child Welfare Conference in Milwaukee, the National Center for Victims of Crime, the East Los Angeles Women’s Center, and the San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment.


B.S. Criminal Justice, San Diego State University, 1989
J.D. California Western School of Law, 1992


United States Supreme Court
9th Circuit Court of Appeals
11th Circuit Court of Appeals
State of California


Married with two children and a large extended family.


President’s Club, Consumer Attorneys of California
Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
Better Business Bureau
American Bar Association
San Diego County Bar Association
National Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America
America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators