Steven F. Fairlie

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in North Wales, PA

Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.
 | 1501 Lower State Road, Suite 304
North Wales, PA 19454
Phone: 215-997-1000
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2010 - 2017
Selected to Rising Stars: 2005 - 2007
Licensed Since: 1995
Practice Areas:
  • Criminal Defense (60%),
  • Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (20%),
  • Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI (20%)
Attorney Profile

As Managing Partner at the law firm of Fairlie & Lippy, P.C., Steve Fairlie represents clients in Criminal Defense, DUI and Personal Injury cases in Montgomery, Bucks and the surrounding counties of Pennsylvania. Mr. Fairlie has Chaired the Criminal Defense Committee of the Montgomery Bar Association for more than 15 years.  He has been named to the Top 100 Super Lawyers lists for both Pennsylvania and Philadelphia since 2014.

During one trial in 2007, Mr. Fairlie negotiated a settlement in a case involving more than $50 million in real estate. He has won many six figure settlements in cases involving vehicle accidents, back injury and dog bites. His criminal cases have involved nearly every crime in Pennsylvania, including homicide, drugs, driving under the influence, robbery and more. Since 2014 in Bucks County he handled a First Degree Murder case that resulted in a sentence of 2-10 years, a Felony Theft case dismissed after he proved that the police arrested an innocent woman, and a gunpoint robbery case that resulted in house arrest on the weekends.  In 2014 in Montgomery County, after  a 4 year battle, he had a Felony drug case dismissed.  Prior to opening his own practice, he served as a member of the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, and acted as lead prosecutor in a case involving $55 million in cocaine and a case that resulted in a sentence of Death.

Mr. Fairlie has been recognized as one of the Top 100 SuperLawyers in Pennsylvania, in the Top 100 by the National Trial Lawyers' Association,  and has recieved various other similar awards nationwide.  He serves as a Chairman of the Criminal Defense Committee and a member of the Judiciary and Bench/Bar committees of the Montgomery Bar Association. His peers have also honored him with the AV-Preeminent* rating from Martindale-Hubbell as a testimony to his character and professionalism in the legal field. The Legal Intelligencer named him as one of an elite group of 35 "Lawyers on the Fast Track" in Pennsylvania in 2006.  He has won many other awards and recognitions as more fully detailed at http://www.fairlielaw.net.

He values involvement in the community and volunteers his legal services in court-appointed murder cases, the Innocence Project and for a middle school in Norristown. His community has also benefited from his service for the Senior Adult Activity Center in Indian Valley and his coaching of a mock trial team for several years in Montgomery County. As an educator, he has written articles and has spoken throughout the state for a number of legal organizations.

*AV-Preeminent and BV-Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

 
Practice Areas

Criminal Defense (60%)
Personal Injury - General (20%)
Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI (20%)

Criminal Defense (60%): Arrest & Arraignment, Assault & Battery, Criminal Fraud, Criminal Law, Drug & Alcohol Violations, Expungement, Felony, Juvenile Delinquency, Misdemeanor, Motor Vehicle Offenses, Murder, Probation, Sex Offenses, Theft, Criminal Domestic Violence

Personal Injury - General (20%): Animal Bites, Assault, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Slip and Fall, Wrongful Death, Construction Accident, Brain Injury, Sexual Abuse - Plaintiff, Trucking Accidents, Premises Liability - Plaintiff

Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI (20%): DUI/DWI

Focus Areas

Criminal Defense: Arrest & Arraignment, Assault & Battery, Criminal Fraud, Criminal Law, Drug & Alcohol Violations, Expungement, Felony, Juvenile Delinquency, Misdemeanor, Motor Vehicle Offenses, Murder, Probation, Sex Offenses, Theft, Criminal Domestic Violence

Personal Injury - General: Animal Bites, Assault, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Slip and Fall, Wrongful Death, Construction Accident, Brain Injury, Sexual Abuse - Plaintiff, Trucking Accidents, Premises Liability - Plaintiff

Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI: DUI/DWI

Selections

Selected to Super Lawyers for 8 yearsmiddle-imageSelected to Rising Stars for 3 years

Super Lawyers: 2010 - 2017 Rising Stars: 2005 - 2007

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About Steven Fairlie

Admitted 1995, Pennsylvania

Professional Webpage: http://fairlielaw.net/attorney-profiles/steven/

Honors and Awards:

  • Top Ten Attorney Award, National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, 2015
  • Top 100 in Criminal Defense 2013-2015, American Society of Legal Advocates, 2013
  • Invited to participate in special feature limited to 13 firms nationwide., 2012 Nationwide Leaders in Criminal Defense, Newsweek Magazine, 2012
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • The National Advocacy for DUI Defense Top 100 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Attorneys
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV rated, 2009 - 2015
  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers for 2011 through 2015
  • The inaugural (2012) Top Rated Attorneys in Philadelphia as published in The Wall Street Journal, 2012
  • Member, Paul Harris Fellow, Hatboro Rotary, 2000 - 2004
  • Member, Delta Theta Phi
  • Member, Zeta Psi
  • Lawyer on the Fast Track by the Legal Intelligencer, 2006
  • First Attorney Ever Awarded the Montgomery County District Attorney's Medal by District
  • Rated 10.0/10.0 on AVVO.com

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • 2001-2015 Chair or Vice-Chair of the Montgomery Bar Association's Criminal Defense Committee in alternating years until 2007.  Co-Chair each year thereafter., 2015
  • Montgomery County Sexual Assault Task Force (Criminal Defense Member) 2010-2015
  • Montgomery Bar Association Judiciary Committee - responsible for evaluating judicial candidates and issuing a recommendation 2012-2015
  • Member, Bench - Bar Committee, Montgomery County Bar Association
  • Member, Trial Lawyers' Section, Montgomery County Bar Association
  • Member, Civil Litigation Section, Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Member, Montgomery American Inn of Court
  • Member, Professionalism Committee, Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Member, PA Trial Lawyers Association, 2002 - Present
  • Member, PA Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2001 - Present
  • Associate Member, Philadelphia Bar Association, 2000 - Present
  • Chairman, Montgomery County Criminal Defense Committee, 2000 - Present
  • Member, Montgomery County Bar Association, 1996 - Present
  • Member, Pennsylvania Bar Association, 1995 - Present
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2002
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 2007
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 2000
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania, 1996
  • Pennsylvania, 1995

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Court-Appointed Murder Cases
  • Coach, Mount Saint Joseph's Academy Mock Trial Team (Montgomery County Champions), 2001 – 2004
  • Senior Adult Activity Center in Indian Valley, 2000
  • Volunteer Attorney, The Innocence Project

Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

  • Should My Client Testify?, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Harrisburg
  • How to Run a Criminal Law Practice, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Harrisburg
  • Pennsylvania Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Law, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Harrisburg
  • Everything You Need to Know About the New Montgomery County Drug Court, Montgomery Bar Association
  • Recent Developments In Pennsylvania Sentencing, Montgomery Bar Association
  • Mike Marino's Killer Cross-Examination Techniques, Montgomery Bar Association
  • Everything You Need to Know About the New DUI Law, Montgomery Bar Association
  • Advanced Issues in Criminal Law, Montgomery Bar Association
  • Criminal Consequences of Protection From Abuse Litigation, Montgomery Bar Association
  • Criminal Law for the Family Lawyer, Montgomery Bar Association
  • Search and Seizure for Police Officers, Montgomery County District Attorney's Office
  • Pennsylvania Bar Institute's Annual Criminal Law Symposium, Harrisburg
  • Co-Author, Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook.  You can access the Handbook at http://www.montgomerybar.org/publications/crimLawHandbook.php
  • "The New Greenfields Legislation: A Practitioner's Guide to Recycling Old Industrial Sites", 5 Dick. J. Law Envt'l 77 Pol'y, 1996
  • Member, The Dickinson School of Law Journal of Environmental Law & Policy, 1994 - 1995

Verdicts and Settlements:

  • Negotiated numerous DUI cases involving one year mandatory minimum sentences down to sentences such as 5 days, 10 days, or 30 days in jail., 2016
  • Handled Bucks County gunpoint robbery and drug possession case, arguing defendant was essentially sleepwalking on ambien.  Client then pled guilty to reduced charges and was sentenced to probation with house arrest on weekends., 2015
  • Resolved DUI case calling for 90 day mandatory minimum incarceration for five days incarceration which was served in a rehabilitation facility rather than a prison., 2015
  • In a case where the Commonwealth alleged that a sushi chef stabbed a coworker on video at the restaurant, negotiated a misdemeanor plea to a sentence of probation., 2015
  • In a First Degree Murder stabbing case convinced the Bucks County District Attorney's Office to agree to an open plea to Third Degree Murder, and after a lengthy and heated sentencing hearing client recieved a sentence of 2-10 years.  There was no argument in this case that the client was Not Guilty - instead it was  a case about mitigation., 2014
  • After a four year battle convinced the Montgomery County District Attorney's office to withdraw all charges in a felony drug case., 2014
  • Proved that a felony theft case brought in Bucks County was actually a comedy of errors, and not a theft, resulting in all charges being dismissed and the client, a graduate student, getting her life back., 2014
  • Represented man charged in high-profile Montgomery County wiretap investigation, accused of providing the money to buy a kilo of cocaine, ultimately sentenced to a lengthy term of probation and $25,000.00 fine., 2013
  • Worked the case of a young man accused of rape and, with the help of a private investigator, was able to uncover evidence and arguments used to help convince the prosecutor not to file any charges at all., 2012
  • Represented a man accused of shooting an 11 year-old boy in the neck with a pellet gun.  Resolved the case via negotiations to probation with no jail time served., 2011
  • Negotiated sentence of six to twelve years incarceration for man identified by surviving victim as gunman in Montgomery County First Degree Murder case., 2011
  • Represented man charged with beating his wife in the head with a hammer and choking her.  Obtained a favorable opinion pertaining to insanity defense and leveraged that into a 2 1/2-5 prison sentence, substantially decreasing the time that client is likely to be institutionalized., 2011
  • Settled dog bite case for $95,000.00, 2011
  • All charges dismissed in Insurance Fraud case based on multiple arguments including corpus delicti, Rule 600 in combination with dismissal of first arrest at Magisterial District Justice, and weight of the evidence, 2010
  • Twelve year old mentally challenged boy had various types of sexual intercourse with neighborhood children between the ages of 6 to 8.  He was charged in Bucks County with felony offenses requiring the victim to be under the age of 13, and I successfully argued that since he himself was not over the age of 13 he could not be convicted of the felony crimes.   The felony charges were dropped and he admitted to Misdemeanors that did not require Megan's Law reporting., 2010
  • Represented two juveniles charged as adults with robbery with a gun.  Both faced five year mandatories.  Prior counsel decided not to pursue decertification, but I contacted juvenile probation and arranged for evaluations and had them decertified to juvenile court.  They admitted to the offenses and were placed at Glen Mills where they will likely stay for one year of schooling rather than the 8.5 years they were likely to serve if convicted as adults., 2010
  • All charges dismissed in Leaving Scene of Accident Involving Personal Injury case where client struck his father-in-law while pulling out of parking lot.  Got case remanded for new Preliminary Hearing based on "benefit of the bargain" argument and charges dismissed at the conclusion of the hearing., 2010
  • Obtained complete dismissal of all charges in client's sixth DUI through corpus delicti argument, 2010
  • Obtained $220,000.00 settlement for man who broke his leg in a one vehicle accident (client was high on PCP per hospital records), 2010
  • Tried First Degree Murder case where client shot his girlfriend's father in the head while the man was sleeping.  Argued a mixture of defenses and got a Third Degree Murder verdict - client sentenced to 15-30 years instead of Death or Life, 2009
  • As a prosecutor I obtained what was believed to be the largest cocaine conviction in the state at the time, involving 550 kilos (1260 pounds) of cocaine worth $55 million., 1999
  • Handled massive Montgomery County Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) wiretap investigation charging my client with Corrupt Organizations (known as RICO) and Possession With Intent To Deliver Cocaine.  All charges withdrawn at Preliminary Hearing.
  • In Commonwealth v. Golson I obtained a Not Guilty verdict from a jury despite eyewitness testimony and identification of my client as the perpetrator in a point-blank shooting.  My client then plead guilty to two other robberies involving guns where no shots were fired.
  • In Commonwealth v. Scott I preserved and argued a claim that the mentally ill should not suffer the Death Penalty prior to the United States Supreme Court's decision establishing that same principle (Atkins v. Virginia), and subsequently convinced District Attorney Bruce Castor to agree to vacate the Death Penalty in this case.
  • In Commonwealth v. Fisher I obtained a First Degree Murder verdict and then the Death Penalty, from a jury, as the lead prosecutor.
  • In Commonwealth v. King I obtained a Not Guilty verdict from a jury in the Burglary of a residence with an eyewitness who claimed to have seen Mr. King from several feet away and identified him shortly thereafter in police custody.  I then obtained a mistrial in another Burglary/Rape case involving the same apartment complex.  The case was then retried with a different lawyer and Mr. King was convicted and sentenced to twenty five years to life pursuant to the Three Strikes law.
  • In Commonwealth v. West I had the entire confession in a First Degree Murder case suppressed as a Miranda violation despite the Commonwealth argument that Mr. West was not in custody.
  • I have obtained numerous six-figure personal injury settlements for my clients.
  • In Commonwealth v. O'Brien I represented a man accused of a rape that the victim claimed to have repressed from her memory for many years.  He had previously been convicted of another unrelated Rape.  After a lengthy suppression hearing and an appeal to the Superior Court I was successful in having all charges dismissed.
  • I tried a Bucks County slip and fall case where my client slipped on ice while urinating in the parking lot of a local Inn and obtained and collected a verdict of $150,000.
  • I handled a complex land development litigation case that had been in existence for 7 years and I tried it within a year of taking over.  After one week of trial we settled the case for a fraction of the $52 million involved in the case.
  • In Commonwealth v. Quilban, despite a re-arrest on Attempted Murder in addition to charges of DUI, Aggravated Assault, and many others, I located a tire print while inspecting evidence and hired the forensic tire expert from the Oklahoma City bombing case who rendered an opinion that the tire prints from my client's truck did not match those on the sweater his wife was wearing when she was run over.  He plead guilty to DUI and all other charges were dismissed.

Representative Clients:

  • Harleysville Community Fire Company.  My clients are mostly individuals and small corporations, so their names have not been revealed except where cases have been reported or widely discussed in the press.

Educational Background:

  • Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania, A.B. in Government & Law, Dean's List, 1991
  • University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, International Government, With Distinction

Industry Groups

  • Car Accidents
  • Criminal Defense
  • DUI
  • Narcotics Defense
  • Personal Injury
  • Sex Crimes
  • Slip & Fall
  • Wrongful Death
  • Comments

    • “Steven Fairlie is one of my peers that I go to with tough legal problems and questions. He is well educated, he keeps himself well educated, and he contributes to the legal education of others.”
    • “Top criminal defense attorney around”
    • “Steve is an exceptionally talented and highly ethical criminal defense lawyer with extensive experience and credibility in the PA state county courts. I have had the pleasure of collaborating with Steve on many cases and also of referring numerous clients to him, all of whom have given me nothing but the highest praise in their feedback about Steve, the quality of his work, and the care and professionalism with which he has treated them. No matter what time of the day or night I call him, Steve is always extremely responsive and ready to help. He is truly a rare gem in our profession.”
    • “Unbeatable work ethic! Steve sees issues clearly and knows how to get things done, all the while being extremely responsive and attentive to clients. If I had a state criminal case, he would be my top pick!”

    These comments were made by fellow attorneys during the annual nomination process.

    Office Location for Steven F. Fairlie

    1501 Lower State Road
    Suite 304
    North Wales, PA 19454

    Phone: 215-997-1000

     

    Steven F. Fairlie:

    Last Updated: 12/21/2016

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