Steve Zipperstein has practiced law for nearly 40 years in California, Washington D.C., New York, and New Jersey. During his career, Steve has worked as a corporate Chief Legal Officer, a federal prosecutor, and a law firm litigator. Steve is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Steve represents corporations and corporate officers in federal investigations, internal investigations, compliance, and a broad range of other high-stakes matters.
Steve most recently served as the Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel of BlackBerry Ltd., the Canadian smartphone and software company, where he was responsible for worldwide legal, government relations, public policy, compliance, regulatory, corporate security, and corporate real estate for BlackBerry. He also served as the company’s Chief Risk Officer and oversaw the internal audit function.
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, he served as a Deputy General Counsel for GTE Corporation.
Prior to joining GTE and Verizon, Steve served as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s office in Los Angeles for more than nine years. He 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 argued 23 cases before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Between 1992 and 1993, 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 to serve as her counsel during the 1995 congressional hearings regarding the 1993 events at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.
Steve graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with highest honors, and received his law degree in 1983 from UC Davis, where he graduated Order of the Coif and served as a Law Review Editor and member of the Moot Court Board. He is also a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and serves as an Honorary Trustee of the Mexican-American Bar Foundation. He 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.
Steve teaches in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, and in the Global Studies program at UCLA. He also teaches in the Department of History at UC Santa Barbara and is a Visiting Professor of Law at Tel Aviv University. He is also a Senior Fellow at the UCLA Center for Middle East Development.
Steve is the author of Zionism, Palestinian Nationalism, and the Law (Routledge, 2021) and Law and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Trials of Palestine (Routledge, 2020). He has also written several law review articles.