Areas of Practice include:
Public Law &
Stephen T. Helmer, Chair of the Firm's Executive Committee and Chair of
the Litigation Department, joined Mackenzie Hughes in 1982 and has been
a partner since 1989. He has extensive trial experience in State and Federal
Courts. Stephen has litigated and argued appeals at every level, including
in New York's highest court, the Court of Appeals. He also counsels various
clients on education, general business, commercial and management issues.
His practice concentrates in civil litigation including commercial disputes,
personal injury defense, product liability, medical malpractice, and insurance
coverage. In more than one hundred instances, Stephen has been employed
by members of the Bar as an arbitrator or as a mediator to resolve complex
and difficult matters.
Stephen graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Le Moyne
College in 1979 and he received his Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School
of Union University in 1982. While a student, Stephen was a member of
Alpha Sigma Nu (Jesuit College Honor Society) and Pi Gamma Mu (Social
Sciences Honor Society.) He was admitted to the New York State Courts
and U.S. District Court, Northern and Western Districts of New York in
1983. In 1996, Stephen was admitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals, and
in 2003 he was admitted to the United States Supreme Court.
Stephen is a member of the Onondaga County, New York State, and American
Bar Associations. He is a member of the prestigious International Association
of Defense Counsel and the Defense Research Institute. Stephen has been
listed in "Best Lawyers in America" for Commercial Litigation,
Personal Injury, Insurance Law and Product Liability Litigation for the
past 13 years. Stephen was named Best Lawyers 2016 Product Liability Litigation
- Defendants "Lawyer of the Year" for Syracuse. Since 2007 Stephen
has been listed as one of the 94 Best Lawyers in Central New York and
one of the New York Area's Best Lawyers. Stephen has also been listed
as one of New York's "Super Lawyers" for many years, and has
been named one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Upstate New York.
In 2010, Stephen was appointed by New York State Bar Association President
Stephen Younger to his Task Force on the Future of the Legal Profession.
Stephen is a Trustee of the Le Moyne College Board of Trustees and the
Immaculate Conception Church. His past and present board memberships include
the Le Moyne College Board of Trustees, the Le Moyne College Board of
Regents, the Le Moyne College Board of Governors, the Town of Manlius
Republican Party Committee, the YMCA of Greater Syracuse, Eastern Branch,
the Salvation Army Advisory Board, Center State CEO, the Rosewood Nursing
Home, the Fayetteville-Manlius Little League, the Fayetteville-Manlius
School District Facilities Committee, the Fayetteville-Manlius Community
Sports Facility Association, and the Immaculate Conception Facilities
Expansion Committee and Parish Council. Stephen is counsel for the Immaculate
Conception Church and School in Fayetteville, New York.
Stephen is a member of the Le Moyne College Athletic Hall of Fame for
his achievements in NCAA Division II baseball. During his four years on
the varsity team, he was named to several state and regional all-star
teams and twice played in the College World Series.
Stephen is often called on by the New York State Bar Association and
professional groups to lecture on such topics as "Cross-Examination
of Expert Witnesses in Medical Malpractice Cases", "Expert Witnesses",
"Direct and Cross Examination", "Municipal Liability",
"Trial Practice", "Update on the Law", and "Summations."
He authored the "New York Supplement" to Basic Civil Litigation
by Herbert Feuerhake and served on the Editorial Advisory Board of New
York Motor Vehicle Accidents by Gary B. Pillersdorf, John F. Scarzafave
and J. Michael Hayes.
During six of Stephen's years with Mackenzie Hughes, he was an instructor
at University College of Syracuse University, where he taught Civil Practice
to paralegal students.
Stephen surgically donated bone marrow through The American Red Cross
to a family member with Leukemia. In 2005, Stephen and his wife Susan
received Catholic Charities President's Medallion for charitable work
in the Central New York community. Stephen and his family participated
in the annual Fresh Air Fund program by providing in-home summer vacations
for inner-city youths. He also enjoys coaching and supporting various
youth sports programs such as baseball, basketball, soccer, women's lacrosse
and Pop Warner football. Stephen is also an avid reader of political biographies
and historical works, as well as a sports and movie trivia fan.
Click on this link to view a video:
Helmer provided the keynote address to the Le Moyne College Student-Athletes
honored for academic achievement.