Varela, Lee, Metz & Guarino (VLMG)

Stephen Pessagno


Stephen Pessagno is a Partner in VLMG’s San Francisco office. His practice focuses on commercial and construction litigation, representing design professionals, general contractors, and subcontractors for public and private projects. Stephen has litigated complex commercial disputes in state and federal courts throughout the country.

Before joining VLMG, Stephen worked at a national litigation law firm based in Atlanta, Georgia, and also practiced in California’s Central Coast. In law school, Stephen served as a judicial intern for the Honorable R. Marc Kantrowitz at the Massachusetts Court of Appeals, was an editor for the American Journal of Law & Medicine, and served as a research assistant for the Reporter of the Restatement (Third) of Restitution and Unjust Enrichment. He also was selected to compete in an international moot court competition at the University of Oxford, England.


  • Currently representing contractor in $15 million breach of contract action stemming from construction of PG&E substations.
  • Currently representing contractor challenging termination for default of a $35 million road construction contract in Yellowstone National Park.
  • Represented international design professional and contractor in coordinated litigation in Delaware and Georgia regarding renovation of a pulp and paper mill.
  • Represented international energy company in litigation venued in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi stemming from natural gas pipeline explosion.


  • Co-Author, In-House Counsel and the Privilege Problem, Atlanta Bar Ass’n (2012)
  • Prometheus and Bilski: Pushing the Bounds of Patentable Subject Matter in Medical Diagnostic Techniques with the Machine-or-Transformation Test, 36 J.L. & Med. 619 (2010)
  • San Francisco Health Care Ordinance Withstands ERISA Preemption Challenge—Golden Gate Rest Ass’n v. City & County of S.F., 35 J.L. & Med. 696 (2009)

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