Steven F. Fairlie

Top rated Criminal Defense attorney in North Wales, Pennsylvania

Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.
Steven F. Fairlie
Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.

Practice Areas: Criminal Defense, DUI-DWI, Personal Injury; view more

Licensed in Pennsylvania since: 1995

Education: Pennsylvania State University The Dickinson School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2010 - 2023 Selected to Rising Stars: 2005 - 2007
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Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.

1501 Lower State Road, Ste 304
North Wales, PA 19454 Visit website


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 the past 19 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 minimum sentence of 2 years, a Felony Theft case dismissed after he proved that the police arrested an innocent woman, a Not Guilty verdict in the Quakertown "Furry Rape Case" 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

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, Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI, Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff

Focus areas

Animal Bites, Arrest & Arraignment, Assault, Assault & Battery, Brain Injury, Construction Accident, Criminal Domestic Violence, Criminal Fraud, Criminal Law, DUI/DWI, Drug & Alcohol Violations, Expungement, Felony, Juvenile Delinquency, Misdemeanor, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Motor Vehicle Offenses, Murder, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Premises Liability - Plaintiff, Probation, Sex Offenses, Sexual Abuse - Plaintiff, Slip and Fall, Theft, Trucking Accidents, Wrongful Death

First Admitted: 1995, Pennsylvania

Professional Webpage:

Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Montgomery County Sexual Assault Task Force (Criminal Defense Member) 2010-2015
  • Member, Montgomery County Bar Association, 1996 - Present
  • Member, PA Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2001 - Present
  • Member, Montgomery American Inn of Court
  • 2001-2017 Chair or Vice-Chair of the Montgomery Bar Association's Criminal Defense Committee in alternating years until 2007.  Co-Chair each year thereafter., 2017
  • Member, Bench - Bar Committee, Montgomery County Bar Association
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 2007
  • Montgomery Bar Association Judiciary Committee - responsible for evaluating judicial candidates and issuing a recommendation 2012-2015
  • Associate Member, Philadelphia Bar Association, 2000 - Present
  • Member, Professionalism Committee, Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania, 1996
  • Member, Trial Lawyers' Section, Montgomery County Bar Association
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 2000
  • Pennsylvania, 1995
  • Chairman, Montgomery County Criminal Defense Committee, 2000 - Present
  • Member, PA Trial Lawyers Association, 2002 - Present
  • Member, Pennsylvania Bar Association, 1995 - Present
  • Member, Civil Litigation Section, Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2002
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • 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
  • Court-Appointed Murder Cases
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Pennsylvania Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Law, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Harrisburg
  • How to Run a Criminal Law Practice, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Harrisburg
  • Should My Client Testify?, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Harrisburg
  • Speaker, Cosby and Kane: Lessons and Issues, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 2017
  • Co-author, Pennsylvania DUI Law, LexisNexis, 2016
  • "The New Greenfields Legislation: A Practitioner's Guide to Recycling Old Industrial Sites", 5 Dick. J. Law Envt'l 77 Pol'y, 1996
  • Co-Author, Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook.  You can access the Handbook at
  • Pennsylvania Bar Institute's Annual Criminal Law Symposium, Harrisburg
  • Member, The Dickinson School of Law Journal of Environmental Law & Policy, 1994 - 1995
  • Search and Seizure for Police Officers, Montgomery County District Attorney's Office
  • Criminal Law for the Family Lawyer, Montgomery Bar Association
  • Criminal Consequences of Protection From Abuse Litigation, Montgomery Bar Association
  • Advanced Issues in Criminal Law, Montgomery Bar Association
  • Everything You Need to Know About the New DUI Law, Montgomery Bar Association
  • Mike Marino's Killer Cross-Examination Techniques, Montgomery Bar Association
  • Recent Developments In Pennsylvania Sentencing, Montgomery Bar Association
  • Everything You Need to Know About the New Montgomery County Drug Court, Montgomery Bar Association
Educational Background:
  • University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, International Government, With Distinction
  • Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania, A.B. in Government & Law, Dean's List, 1991
  • Rated 10.0/10.0 on
  • The inaugural (2012) Top Rated Attorneys in Philadelphia as published in The Wall Street Journal, 2012
  • Lawyer on the Fast Track by the Legal Intelligencer, 2006
  • Member, Paul Harris Fellow, Hatboro Rotary, 2000 - 2004
  • Appeared on a television episode of The American Law Journal that discussed "From OJ to Cosby" and "Making of a Murderer."  The episode won an Emmy., Emmy, 2016
  • The National Advocacy for DUI Defense Top 100 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Attorneys
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Invited to participate in special feature limited to 13 firms nationwide., 2012 Nationwide Leaders in Criminal Defense, Newsweek Magazine, 2012
  • Member, Zeta Psi
  • Top 100 in Criminal Defense 2013-2015, American Society of Legal Advocates, 2013
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV rated, 2009 - 2015
  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers for 2011 through 2015
  • First Attorney Ever Awarded the Montgomery County District Attorney's Medal by District
  • Member, Delta Theta Phi
  • Top Ten Attorney Award, National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, 2015
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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • After a four year battle convinced the Montgomery County District Attorney's office to withdraw all charges in a felony drug case., 2014
  • 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
  • Tried a First Degree Murder case to a jury and got a verdict of Third Degree Murder. 2016
  • In Commonwealth v. Fisher I obtained a First Degree Murder verdict and then the Death Penalty, from a jury, as the lead prosecutor.
  • 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
  • Person charged with stealing more than $100,000.00 from Comcast by providing codes for free service while working for the company entered in the ARD program., 2013
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Obtained complete dismissal of all charges in client's sixth DUI through corpus delicti argument, 2010
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Obtained Not Guilty verdict from jury in high profile "Bucks County Furry Rape" case.  Client consented to this release of information., 2018
  • 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.
  • Settled dog bite case for $95,000.00, 2011
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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 return of $3 million worth of allegedly stolen jewelry in "Jeweler's Row" case involving allegations that a jeweler fenced jewelry on behalf of a burglary ring., 2017
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Young woman charged with stabbing her mother with a steak knife had all charges dismissed., 2007
  • 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.
  • Negotiated sentence of six to twelve years incarceration for man identified by surviving victim as gunman in Montgomery County First Degree Murder case., 2011
  • I have obtained numerous six-figure personal injury settlements for my clients.
  • 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
Industry Groups:
  • Car Accidents
  • Criminal Defense
  • DUI
  • Narcotics Defense
  • Personal Injury
  • Sex Crimes
  • Slip & Fall
  • Wrongful Death

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

“Top of the line in every sense. Knows how to get things done, knows the law, is attentive to clients, and has tremendous integrity. He is the best of the best and a tribute to our profession.”

“Steve is truly top of the line in state criminal cases. When I am looking to refer a client who has very serious criminal problems to a heavy hitter who knows his way around a courtroom and is respected by all the players, Steve is my #1 pick!”

“Steve is a rare gem! He not only possesses an unbeatable work ethic but he also sees issues clearly and knows how to get things done. Moreover, he is extremely responsive and attentive to clients and has humility. If I were in trouble in a state criminal case, Steve would be at the top of my list!”

“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 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 extremely responsive and ready to help. Working with him is one of the pleasures of my practice.”

“Excellent attorney”

“Mr. Fairlie is a smart, tenacious criminal defense attorney. I frequently seek his advice on criminal matters, as I know his experience is second to none.”

“Steven Fairlie is an attorney of the highest order. We have worked on many cases together, and he is one of the most intelligent attorneys I know. He is an excellent communicator, and his ability to achieve good results for his clients is spectacular.”

“Steve is a great criminal-defense attorney, and he obtains excellent results for his clients. He always keeps himself updated in the law.”

“Mr. Fairlie is very knowledgeable in the law, and he knows how to "think outside the box" in order to help his client and his peers.”

“Steve is a top notch criminal attorney and is one of the main go to guys in Montgomery County”

“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.”

“Platinum all the way…as a criminal defense lawyer and as a man of integrity. Respected by judges and prosecutors and other defense colleagues, Steve is a rare gem and a tribute to our profession.”

“Top criminal defense attorney around”

“Quite simply, Steve is a criminal defense lawyer who represents the very best of our profession!”

Office location for Steven F. Fairlie

1501 Lower State Road, Ste 304
North Wales, PA 19454

Phone: 215-874-6213

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