Stephanie Vilella

Stephanie is a Litigation Associate at Estrella, LLC. She received her undergraduate education from The George Washington University, and she completed her Juris Doctor from American University Washington College of Law.  Stephanie was admitted to practice in New York in 2019.

While at American, Stephanie served as Associate Managing Editor of the American University Business Law Review.  She also served as Research Assistant to Professor Jeremi Duru, one of the foremost sports law authorities in the United States.  Additionally, Stephanie complemented her studies with substantive public service experience.  Stephanie completed a judicial internship with the Honorable Laura A. Cordero of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, and later worked with underprivileged, migrant communities with the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (“CAIR”) Coalition and American’s Immigrant Justice Clinic.

Prior to joining Estrella, LLC, Stephanie served as Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Special Federal Litigation Division at the Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York.  In that capacity, she litigated numerous federal civil rights lawsuits on behalf of the City of New York, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, and employees of the City of New York, including a purported class action seeking compensatory damages and injunctive relief.


  • The George Washington University, 2015, Bachelor of Arts in Political Communication
  • American University Washington College of Law, 2018, Juris Doctor, Cum Laude
    • Associate Managing Editor, American University Business Law Review

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • New York City Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Council
  • Federal Bas Association, Hon. Raymond L. Acosta Puerto Rico Chapter
    • Director, Board of Directors (2022-23)

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Saint John’s School Alumni Association – Class of 2011 Ambassador


  • ADEA Disparate-Impact Claims: How the Third Circuit Age-Proofed Comparators, 7 Am. U. Bus. L. Rev. 179 (2018)
  • Telenovela Actors Fight for SAG-AFTRA Protection, The BLR Buzz Blog (2016),

Honors & Awards

  • Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York
    • Special Federal Litigation Division Chief Award (2020)
  • American University Washington College of Law
    • Exceptional Pro Bono Service Honors Recipient (Spring 2018)
    • Highest Grade Certification in Pre-Trial Litigation (Spring 2018)
    • Highest Grade Certification in Family Law (Fall 2017)

Representative Experience

  • Puma Energy Caribe, LLC v. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, et al., 20-CV-1592 (ADC) (DPR) – Representing Puma Energy Caribe, LLC in lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Law 60 of June 27, 2020 (“Law 60”), which expands the scope of the divorcement provision barring wholesalers from directly operating gasoline service stations.  Specifically, Puma Energy Caribe, LLC claims that Law 60 violates the Takings and Commerce Clauses of the United States Constitution, and that Law 60 is preempted by the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act.
  • Kress Stores of Puerto Rico, Inc. v. Wal-Mart Puerto Rico, Inc. 20-CV-1464 (WGY) (DPR)– Secured summary judgment dismissing a negligence and unfair competition lawsuit filed by local merchants against Wal-Mart Puerto Rio, Inc. and other Megastores in connection with the Megastores’ alleged sale of nonessential items during the COVID-19 shutdown.
  • Morales v. Hospital Menonita Caguas, et al., 20-CV-1358 (CVR) (DPR) – Successfully prevented dismissal of survivorship claim in medical malpractice and negligence action.  The Court found that “justice cannot be served when the estate as a whole is deprived of the opportunity to bring a survivorship action in the forum chosen by the acting heirs in a proceeding where they have an interest, simply because not all the heirs are able or willing to participate.
  • Belle v. City of New York, 19-CV-2673 (VEC) (SDNY) – Served as lead counsel in a purported federal class action against the City of New York and members of the New York City Police Department.  Plaintiffs alleged an unconstitutional policy and practice of detaining individuals for the purpose of conducting electronic warrant checks.  Plaintiffs sought compensatory damages and injunctive relief.
  • Williams v. City of New York, 18-CV-5175 (VSB) (KHP) (SDNY) – Secured settlement in complex federal action wherein plaintiff alleged that he was placed in punitive segregation in violation of a New York City Department of Correction policy which outlawed punitive segregation for adolescents under 21 years old.