Stephanie Vilella

Stephanie is a Litigation Associate at Estrella, LLC where she represents a broad range of clients, including prominent gasoline wholesalers and retail corporations in civil and commercial litigation. Her experience also includes working with corporations in helping them navigate intricate banking regulations.

Stephanie regularly counsels clients and frequently assumes the role of lead project manager for a range of federal litigation matters. These matters include complex contract disputes, constitutional claims, settlement agreements, shareholder disputes, derivative actions, receiverships, and requests for injunctive relief.

Prior to joining Estrella, 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 represented the City of New York, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, and employees of the City of New York in numerous federal civil rights actions, including a purported class action.

Stephanie received her undergraduate education from The George Washington University, and she completed her Juris Doctor from American University Washington College of Law. While at American, she 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.

Stephanie is admitted to practice in New York State, as well as the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York and the District of Puerto Rico.

Outside of work, Stephanie enjoys doing volunteer work, particularly as it relates to female empowerment and social action. She is intentional and informed about the needs of the community and the resources needed to make a difference. She also enjoys sharing her passion for wine and holds a wine certification from Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), one of the largest and most respected wine education and certification organizations.


  • 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 Association, Hon. Raymond L. Acosta Puerto Rico Chapter
    • Director, Board of Directors (2022-24)

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Estrella Trial Advocacy Competition (ETAC) – Planning Committee Member


  • 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

  • Bancrédito Holding Corporation v. Driven Administrative Services, LLC, et al., 3:24-CV-1039 (CVR) – Represent Bancrédito Holding Corporation, the sole shareholder of Bancrédito International Bank &Trust Corporation (“Bank”), in a direct and derivative shareholder complaint against Driven Administrative Services LLC, the Bank’s receiver, alleging fiduciary duty breaches, conversion, and professional negligence.
  • Puerto Rico Energy, LLC v. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, et al., 20-CV-1591 (ADC) (DPR) – Representing Puerto Rico Energy, LLC (formerly 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, Puerto Rico Energy, 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.