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.

Education

  • 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

Professional and Community Involvement

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

Publications

  • 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), https://aublr.org/2016/10/telenovela-actors-fight-sag-aftra-protection/

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

  • Terron Belle, et al., v. City of New York, et al., 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.
  • Tyreik Williams v. City of New York, et al., 18-CV-5174 (VSB) (KHP) (SDNY) – Served as lead counsel 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.
  • Joel Porter v. City of New York, et al., 18-CV-10056 (LTS) (DCF) (SDNY) – Served as lead counsel in federal action wherein plaintiff – an inmate in New York City Department of Correction custody undergoing dialysis treatment – alleged that being placed in handcuffs impaired a surgically created arteriovenous fistula on his wrist and prevented him from undergoing treatment.
  • Jay Bradshaw v. City of New York, et al., 18-CV-8215 (ER) – Successfully moved for revocation of plaintiff’s in forma pauperis status and dismissal of plaintiff’s complaint pursuant to the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”).  Stephanie cited non-binding authority to persuade the court to recognize a prior judgment on the pleadings against plaintiff as a “strike” for purposes of the PLRA.
  • Keith Drew v. City of New York, et al., 18-CV-10714 (ER) – Successfully moved for dismissal of the case as matter of law, arguing that the unambiguous and all-inclusive language within a general release plaintiff had signed in a prior settlement agreement against the City of New York barred plaintiff’s claims in the instant case.