Steve Zipperstein has practiced law for more than 35 years in California, Washington D.C. and New York/New Jersey. He is licensed in both California and Washington, D.C. During his career Steve has worked as a law firm litigator, a federal prosecutor and Justice Department official, and as a corporate General Counsel for two large companies. Steve has been elected to the American Law Institute and named a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Steve most recently served for more than 6 years as the Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel of BlackBerry Ltd., the Canadian smartphone and software company. Steve was responsible for worldwide legal, government relations, public policy, compliance, regulatory, corporate security and corporate real estate for BlackBerry. Steve also served as the company’s Chief Risk Officer and oversaw the internal audit function.
Steve retired from BlackBerry in the summer of 2018, and since then has pursued an academic career, teaching in the Global Studies program and the School of Public Affairs at UCLA, and at Tel Aviv University Law School. Steve is also a Senior Fellow at the UCLA Center for Middle East Development, and is the author of the book Law and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Trials of Palestine (Routledge, forthcoming early 2020).
Steve previously served as the General Counsel of Verizon Wireless from 2003 through 2011, and as a Deputy General Counsel of Verizon Communications Inc. from 2000 through 2003. Prior to the formation of Verizon Communications, Steve served as a Deputy General Counsel for GTE Corporation.
Before joining GTE/Verizon, Steve served for more than 9 years as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s office in Los Angeles. Steve tried more than a dozen federal felony jury trials (including the first-ever prosecution against the owners of a failed savings and loan during the late 1980s) and he argued 23 cases before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
During 1992-93 Steve served on detail at the Justice Department as Special Counsel to former Criminal Division Chief Robert S. Mueller III. Steve continued serving in the front office of the Criminal Division at Main Justice following President Clinton’s election, returning to the U.S. Attorney’s office in late 1993 as the Chief Assistant United States Attorney.
Attorney General Janet Reno appointed Steve as her Counselor during the 1995 congressional hearings regarding the 1993 events at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.
Steve graduated from UCLA in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with highest honors, and received his law degree in 1983 from U.C. Davis, where he graduated Order of the Coif and served as a Law Review Editor and member of the Moot Court Board. Steve has taught at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and published several law review articles. He has testified before Congress on telecommunications policy issues numerous times.
Steve is also a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy. He serves as an Honorary Trustee of the Mexican-American Bar Foundation. Steve previously served on the Board of Trustees of the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, New Jersey and the Executive Committee of the Friends of the Institute for Advanced Study, also in Princeton, NJ.