David F. Stern, Esquire is the President and Partner at the Law Firm, Stern & Cohen, PC.  Dave was born and raised in Northern Virginia just off the Beltway outside Washington D.C.  Dave’s father was a Federal Judge.  His understanding of how to be an advocate began at an early age as he had the opportunity to travel with his father on occasions and observe Federal trials.  Many disputes were resolved at the kitchen table with a good, courtroom-like debate.

Academic and Athletic Achievements

The Baseball Field

Dave excelled early on in academics and also on the baseball field.  Dave played in the athletic conference with the largest high schools in the state of Virginia.  This area is a hotbed for baseball talent.  His senior season, Dave’s high school team lost in the state championship, but local papers wrote articles about how this would likely be the best team in program history. 

Life as an Undergraduate

Dave then took his academic and athletic prowess to the University of Delaware.  Dave earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, a concentration that he knew would serve him well in business after he went to Law School. 

He was also a four-year letterman for the University of Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens Division One baseball program.  College baseball is not heralded like football and basketball, so it was a well-kept secret that Delaware’s baseball program was one of the best in the country.  From 1994-1997, Delaware won over 40 games every season while Dave was there.  He ended his career with double-digit wins, including a sparkling senior season when he went 8-3 on the mound.  The team was nationally-ranked many weeks in the Top 25. 

Perhaps Dave’s finest achievements during these seasons was his consistent placement on the Academic Dean’s List.  Dave was able to maintain exemplary grades while playing a vigorous schedule with 6-7 games per week.  While his classmates had plenty of time to study, play video games, and socialize, Dave went from classroom to weight room to practice to library with no time to ever spare. 

It was these experiences that Dave credits as the foundation for the lawyer and business-owner that he has become today.  Intangibles of hard work, dedication, time management, being a team player, and managing pressure scenarios were developed through these valuable life experiences.

Off to Law School

Following college, Dave reluctantly hung up his spikes and attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.  While in law school, Dave took a course in Workers’ Compensation Law and earned an “A” in the class.  This was his first exposure to this line of law and it instantly intrigued him. Dave graduated from Pitt in 2000 and immediately passed the Pennsylvania Bar Examination. 

Early Career

Following his success of the Pennsylvania Bar Examination, he was hired that fall by a large, reputable insurance defense firm and was conveniently placed in their workers’ compensation defense department.  He defended workers’ compensation cases on behalf of local employers and insurance carriers.  Dave cut his teeth in this area of law and began to learn the nuances of the laws.  Dave still credits this four-year experience at a defense firm as giving him the unique ability to “understand how the other side thinks.” 

Dave’s talents were recognized quickly and law firms that represented injured workers began to approach him about changing sides.  In 2004, Dave joined a large firm that represented injured workers.  Dave had already developed the perfect skill set to represent injured Pennsylvanians.  He had a meteoric rise at this Firm and became one of the youngest (if not the youngest) partners in the Firm’s history. 

However, he ultimately decided the best path forward would be to start his own Firm, where his visions and strategies for representing injured workers could be best put on display.  The Firm, Stern & Cohen, got its start in late December 2019 with an official launch date of January 1, 2020.

Stern & Cohen

Under Dave’s management, Stern & Cohen has grown at a rapid rate.  The Firm moved into new office space in the summer of 2023.  Dave has personally hired every lawyer and staff member and is exceptionally proud of the Team that has been built.  Dave has mentored dozens of workers’ compensation lawyers over the years.  Without hesitation, however, he has the utmost confidence that the Stern & Cohen legal team is the best he has ever built and mentored. 

Dave’s excellence in the legal industry has been recognized time and time again.  Dave frequently gets calls from clients directed to him by defense attorneys, claims representatives and former judges.  The fact that these individuals want their family member or friend to be represented by Dave speaks to his reputation in the field.

Awards and Recognitions

All the various publications have showered Dave with awards over the years.  Dave has been selected a Super Lawyer® nearly every year for two decades, including most recently in 2024. On multiple occasions, based on the results of voting of his peers, that publication listed him amongst the Top 100 Lawyers in both Pennsylvania and Philadelphia – a rare recognition for a claimants’ workers’ compensation lawyer. Dave has been chosen to the Best Lawyers® list every year for almost a decade. In 2019, he was awarded The Philadelphia Business Journal ‘Best of the Bar’® distinction – the only workers’ compensation attorney rewarded this prestigious recognition. He was also identified as one of the Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers in Pennsylvania by The National Trial Lawyers Top 100®.

Dave has authored numerous published articles in the area of workers’ compensation law and has been a frequent lecturer in the field. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Dave is on the Board of Governers for the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers’ Association and has previously served leadership roles for the Pennsylvania Association For Justice.  Dave is also part of the Workers Injury Law Advocacy Group (WILG).  For years, Dave has taken on pro bono cases for the Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program (Philly VIP) and was enrolled numerous years in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania Pro Bono Roll of Honor and was previously recognized as Philly VIP’s Volunteer of the Month.