619-239-7200 info@mwaxlaw.com
James “Marty” Stern

James “Marty” Stern


Practice Areas: Workers’ Compensation

Phone: 619-239-7200

Fax: 619-239-6314

Email: jstern@ssvwlaw.com


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San Diego State University (B.A., 1973);
University of San Francisco School of Law (JD 1977);
Certified Legal Specialist in Workers’ Compensation by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization.

Admitted To Bar

1977, California; U.S. District Court, Northern, Central and Southern Districts.

As a first generation American born to refugees from Europe, Marty feels fortunate to have had a blessed life both in education and opportunity. He went to college at San Diego State majoring in Political Science. There he met and married his wife Marcia, and he decided to attend law school after supporting Marcia to become a teacher.

After attending the University of San Francisco School of Law and clerking for the US Attorney’s office among other jobs before graduation, he practiced for a year in San Francisco doing insurance defense. However both Marty and Marcia missed San Diego, so they returned and he continued to practice law. Marcia began a long career teaching, and they had a son, Seth. He started with his current firm, Smith, Steiner, Vanderpool & Wax, over 17 years ago, doing worker’s compensation with what he considered the best firm in San Diego for representing injured workers.

“An injury to one is an injury to all.”

He has been recognized as a Certified Legal Specialist in the field of workers’ compensation by the State Bar of California. He has been a speaker at many seminars for workers’ compensation attorneys and professionals throughout San Diego, was President of the San Diego chapter of the California Applicant’s Attorneys Association, was co-chair of San Diego County Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Law Section, has been a AV rated lawyer for many years and has been named an Outstanding Lawyer in San Diego by San Diego Magazine many times. He has served as a judge pro tem for the Workers Compensation Appeals Board.

He was honored to be given the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 by the San Diego chapter of the California Applicant’s Attorney Association/

Marty believes in the adage, “An injury to one is an injury to all.”


  • State Bar of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • California State Bar, Workers’ Compensation Section
  • California Applicant’s Attorneys Association

Of Note

Official Arbitrator, San Diego Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board
Judge Pro Tem, Workers Compensation Appeals Board, San Diego
President, California Applicants Attorney Association, San Diego Chapter
President, San Diego Chapter of the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association (CAAA), 2001-2003
Certified Legal Specialist in Workers Compensation by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization, since 2001
Co-Chair, San Diego County Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Law Section, 1999-2001
Chairman, Tort and Insurance Law Section, San Diego County Bar, 1991