Stephen Friedman

"Few life experiences are more stressful or destabilizing than a divorce. The rewarding part of my job is taking care of my clients, making a difference in their lives and helping them find a way through this stressful time. My goal in every case is to leave my client better off than when they first came to see me."

Stephen Friedman


Stephen Friedman is a senior principal in Joseph, Greenwald & Laake’s Family Law Group. He has more than 40 years of experience in representing clients in complex and contested divorce and custody cases. Stephen is an eminent courtroom advocate who has successfully tried hundreds of family law matters. His years of experience have given him an unmatched perspective for helping his clients formulate reasonable expectations while never losing focus on his basic function—to solve a problem through creative settlements that protect his clients’ interests without the expense and unpredictability of protracted courtroom battles. Ultimately, Stephen’s focus is always on helping his clients restore stability to their lives.

Stephen also has a substantial appellate practice. He has briefed and argued more than 30 appeals in state and federal courts in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. His appellate successes include opinions establishing the right to reservation of alimony; overturning the ban on abortions imposed by the local county executive; establishing the right of adult dependent children to the application of the Maryland Child Support Guidelines; custody and counsel fee decisions; monetary awards and pension distributions; upholding a $3.4-million monetary award where the Virginia Court of Appeals approved his tactic of piercing the corporate veil to reach the assets hidden by a spouse; and upholding the civil rights of Maryland citizens on behalf of the ACLU.

In addition to his family law and appellate practices, Stephen has extensive experience with professional licensure proceedings, representing mental health professionals, lawyers, doctors, accountants and real estate professionals facing disciplinary issues before professional boards. He served as general counsel to the Mental Health Association of Montgomery County for over a decade and provides timely consultations to mental health professionals who face a multitude of legal and ethical issues on a daily basis.

Stephen has served as the legal director of the Prince George’s County ACLU and successfully defeated the county’s attempt to ban abortions in county hospitals. He represented members of local unions in successfully blocking the county’s attempt to impose a DNA dragnet on union employees at a local hospital during a hunt for a criminal perpetrator. Stephen also trains young lawyers in the firm; provides pro bono services to a variety of clients and causes; and runs a private mentoring program for local lawyers.

Outside of work, Stephen takes pleasure in close relationships with his wife of 45 years and adult children, as well as kayaking and sailing. During basketball season, he can be found most weekends at the Verizon Center, where he continues to be a long-suffering Wizards fan.

Direct Dial: 240-553-1194

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  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1973
  • University of Maryland, B.S., 1968
Bar Admissions
  • Maryland, 1973
  • District of Columbia, 1973
Court Admissions
  • Circuit Courts for Maryland and the Superior Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals and Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
  • U.S. Federal District Courts for Maryland and the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Awards & Honors
  • Named by Washingtonian Magazine as one of Washington’s top lawyers
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2011-Present

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