Stephen's Background & Practice
Originally from Crosby, Texas (A small suburb of Houston), Stephen graduated from Crosby High School in 2005, with honors. During high school he competed at the highest levels of cross-examination debate in the state of Texas, reaching the quarterfinals of the UIL State Tournament. After High School, he attended the University of Texas at Dallas completing his degree in 2009 with a B.A. in Political Science, with a minor in criminology and a teacher's certification, with honors. While attending UT Dallas, Stephen was an active member of the UTD Debate Team. After undergraduate school, Stephen attended law school at the University of Houston Law Center, graduating in 2014. While attending law school, Stephen was a high school history teacher and debate coach at Crosby High School. During his teaching tenure Stephen was named the team lead of multiple academic subjects and taught students in 7th-12th grade. Also during his tenure at Crosby, Stephen was part of the coaching team responsible for 2 UIL State Championships in Cross-Examination Debate as well as qualifications to the prestigious Tournament of Champions. Stephen has brought his long history of leadership and advocacy skills to the legal field.
In 2015, Stephen joined the firm of Hornblower, Manning, Ward, Harrison and Rodriguez, which later merged into the firm with which he is currently affiliated, Cotten Schmidt, LLP (www.cottenschmidt.com). Since joining the legal profession, he has represented clients in a wide array of legal matters. Stephen has been responsible for handling the following types of cases: trucking accident claims where the claim was for greater than $10,000,000.00, multiple claims against clients for industrial accidents in which he has successfully defeated the claim on summary judgment, construction defect claims on both small (residential) and large (business/government) projects, and in as both Plaintiff and Defendant for employment law matters including Title VII discrimination suits, worker's compensation retaliation suits, and in both defending and seeking to enforce covenants not to compete. Stephen is admitted to practice in all state courts in the State of Texas and in Federal Court in the Southern District of Texas. Stephen is a member of the Texas Bar, with memberships in the Employment Law section and Civil Litigation sections. He is also a member of the Corpus Christi Bar Association. Stephen has handled cases at all phases of the litigation process, initial intake and evaluation, written discovery & depositions, mediation, and trial.
Stephen is married to his wife, Ana, they have 3 children together. Stephen and Ana were married shortly after high school and completed college together. They had all three of their children while Stephen was in law school at night and teaching/coaching during the day. Stephen is an active member of First Baptist Church Corpus Christi acting as head usher for the 2nd service and has assisted as the asst. director for the Operation Christmas Child Ministry (The Shoebox Ministry). Stephen is an active member of the Portland Chamber of Commerce. Stephen also serves on the San Patricio Girls Softball Association executive board and is a coach for his daughters' softball teams.