Stephen G. Larson

Attorney Stephen G. Larson at his home office in Upland last month. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 03/02/16 – 2:00 PM PST |

Upland-based defense attorney Stephen G. Larson has been tied to some of the highest profile cases at both the local and national levels.

A former federal prosecutor and judge, Larson, 51, has been the lead defense attorney in a public corruption case in San Bernardino County since 2011, in which he is defending a Rancho Cucamonga developer accused of bribing public officials.

But that is one of many cases linked to Larson, who has garnered a reputation in the legal arena as an even-tempered litigator with a keen mind — a quick study with an unyielding work ethic who can persuasively argue a case, and oftentimes prevail.

“He’s an exceptionally hard worker. He gets involved in cases and will handle them on a personal level, from the beginning to the end,” said Robert Prata, Larson’s best friend and a litigation attorney in Los Angeles. “He’s the type of lawyer who wants to know all aspects of the matter in which he is handling. In the days of big law firms handling cases, it’s hard to find people who give such personal attention to all aspects of their case.”

Larson attributes his work habits to his parents.

“One of the things my father taught me when growing up, he instilled in me a very strong work ethic,” Larson said during a recent interview at his home office in Upland. “Both my parents were from the Midwest and weren’t afraid of hard work.”

Like the Army commercial that boasts, ‘We do more before 9 a.m. than most people do all day,’ Larson said he gets most of his work done before most people wake up. Even though he usually goes to bed between 10 and 11 p.m., he’s always up at 4 a.m., spending the first three hours of his day pouring over his cases, making preparations, and checking and responding to e-mails.

“I always find that to be the most productive part of my day,” Larson said. “As a lawyer, uninterrupted time is the most valuable resource you have.”

On Dec. 8, Larson argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Arizona voters challenging the constitutionality of unequally populated voting districts created by a state commission.

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