Steven C. Levatino
Steven Levatino has practiced law since 1991 and has a wide breadth of experience in business law, litigation, and church law. Steven practiced as a partner in one of the largest firms in Texas for 13 years. In early 2008, Steven and Joel Pace started the law firm of Levatino|Pace, LLP. Law Partner Andrew MacRae joined Steven and Joel in 2010.
Steven specializes in general civil litigation, including business and commercial disputes, as well as personal injury, business law, insurance, religious, and construction law. Steven is also a certified mediator. For more information on mediation, go to www.atxmediation.com.
Steven serves as outside counsel to various businesses in the Central Texas area. The businesses range from small to large corporations. He assists them with issues including corporate formation, contracts, shareholder/partnership agreements, buy-in and buy out agreements, business sales, corporate governance, employment issues, contracts, commercial transactions, collections, commercial litigation, and the numerous other issues affecting business on a day to day basis. Steven also has experience with issues involving receivership, bankruptcy, grand juries, and securities violations.
Steven has tried hundreds of jury and non-jury case and 1st chaired more than 40 jury trials in state and federal courts. He has also tried appellate cases before the third court of appellate courts and the Fifth Circuit.
Steven is familiar with the sensitive issues of church interaction with the secular culture. He has represented churches and clergy (including bishops and an archbishop) in their official and individual capacity in litigation. He has also tried church litigation cases before state and federal courts and successfully defended the Church on the seminal 1st Amendment ministerial exception case in the United States Federal Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit (Cannata v. St. John Neumann Catholic Church, et al., 5th Circuit). In his church litigation practice he has dealt with issues involving the first amendment, tax compliance, nuisance, breach of contract, employment, personal injury, and sex abuse claims. He has also advised numerous religious organizations on 1st amendment objections to the Affordable Care Act also commonly known as Obamacare. He was the primary architect for one of the largest corporate restructurings of the Catholic Church in the United States.
In assisting businesses, individuals, churches, non-profits, and their affiliated entities he has been involved in litigation, incorporation, foundations, contract negotiation, corporate governance issues, implementation of safety policies, investigations, background checks, construction, employment matters, first amendment issues, tax-exempt bonds, audits, financial malfeasance investigations, and numerous other issues affecting these organizations on a daily basis.
Steven is rated as an AV Preeminent® attorney. AV Preeminent® is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a Steven’s peers rank him at the highest level of professional ability and ethical standards. Steven and also been elected as a Fellow to the Texas Bar Foundation. Membership in the foundation is reserved for the top 1/3 of 1% of Texas attorneys. Election to the Fellows is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a member of the State Bar of Texas.
Steven studied law at both South Texas College of Law and the University Of Texas School Of Law. He received his J.D. in December 1990 from South Texas College of Law. In Steven’s final year of law school he was privileged to serve as a law clerk for Justice Oscar Mauzy of the Texas Supreme Court.
Steven received his B.B.A. in finance from the University of Texas at Austin in 1988. While at the University of Texas he was active in several organizations including Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and the University of Texas Cowboys. He is a UT fan and as a student designed and raised the money for the cannon (Old Smokey) still used by the Cowboys at the University of Texas football games and other campus related events.
Steven currently serves on the National Advisory Committee for the Conference for Major Superiors of Men and chairs the response subcommittee. He also currently sits on the San Juan Diego capital campaign committee raising funds for underprivileged children to have a new private high school. Steven is also a third degree Knight of Columbus. He also has served for years on the University of Texas Cowboy Alumni Association Scholarship Committee. Finally, Steven currently acts as outside counsel for Mobile Loaves and Fishes as a pro-bono legal volunteer.
Steven is a former board member and officer of Mobile Loaves and Fishes. This organization provides food and housing to the homeless in various communities around the United States. Steven is also a former board member and officer of Media for the Holy Family which brought Catholic radio (970 AM) to Austin, Texas. He is also a former board member and officer of the University of Texas Cowboys Association. He is also a former board member and officer of the Travis Country Community Service Association. He is also a former advisory board member and officer for the Academy for Global studies at Austin High School. He served as the vice president for the Austin High baseball booster club. Finally, Steven has coached his children’s sports teams and taught religious education for youth and adults at his church.
Legal Professional Affiliations
Steven is licensed to practice law in Texas and California. He is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Eastern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas, the bankruptcy courts for the Western and Southern Districts of Texas and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Steven is a member of the National Diocesan Attorneys Association, Texas Diocesan Attorneys Association, Austin Bar Association, and the Construction Law and the Civil Litigation Sections. He is a former member of the Texas Association of Defense Counsel, Bankruptcy Section and DRI.
Steven has lectured at several state and national legal conferences including the National Diocesan Attorneys Association, Texas Diocesan Attorneys Association, Air Force Western District Judiciary and the Texas State Bar.
Steven and his wife Robin are raising their three children in Austin, Texas. He and his family are active members of St. John Neumann Catholic Church. He is an avid skier, golfer, road cyclist, and follower of English Premiere League soccer. He has also participated in several triathlons.
Steven attended Stratford High School in Houston, Texas. He lettered in football and soccer.
Steven’s past legal experience includes serving as an officer and judge advocate general in the United States Air Force as a trial attorney, environmental attorney, and area defense counsel. While a trial and defense attorney Steven acted as lead prosecutor or defense counsel on many felony criminal trials including trials involving allegations of murder, theft, drug distribution, fraud, sexual assault and rape. He was awarded, amongst other distinctions, the Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster. He was also recognized as the Company Grade Officer of the Quarter for McClellan Air Force Base. He was honorably discharged from the United States Air Force in 1995. He served in the inactive reserve until 2001.
In 1995, Steven joined the law firm of Davis & Wilkerson, P.C. (D&W), located in Austin, Texas. During Steven’s time at D&W, it was one of the 100 largest law firms in the State of Texas. Steven was involved in all aspects of D&W’s diverse client representation. While his practice focused initially on litigation, over time he developed a transactional legal practice as well. He became a shareholder of D&W in 2001. At D&W, Steven built a diverse practice including acting as outside general counsel to numerous clients. His practice focused on business law, church law, construction law, commercial litigation, insurance defense, general litigation and creditor bankruptcy law.