Bobbie Sternheim, the plain-talking, seasoned New York lawyer is not a lawyer to mince words or lose cases. As one of the few female criminal defense lawyers, she has become something of a legend, her reputation extended through her representation of high profile cases like the Ghislaine Maxwell case.
Regarded by some as a leading feminist lawyer, her repertoire of cases has run the gamut from criminal cases like the Ghislaine Maxwell headline-maker to . . well, a number of other headline-making civil and criminal cases too.
She began the Maxwell case with her typical strategic style of not holding back and attacking the weak links in the prosecution, in Maxwell’s case by saying the personal injury lawyers who represented the Epstein victims and who operated the Epstein Victims Compensation Fund paid the accusers more money if they cooperate with the government’s investigation of Maxwell, with the lure of multimillion dollar settlements on the table.
She said the lawyers representing the victims and the victims themselves were looking for a payday.
Sternheim, invoked the Bible at the start of her opening statement as the trial of Maxwell began, stating that women have been condemned for crimes committed by men since the beginning of time.
“Ever since Eve was accused of tempting Adam with the apple,” said Ms Sternheim, “women have been blamed for the bad behaviour of men.”
“Ghislaine is on trial here and you heard about the conduct of Jeffrey Epstein. She is filling that hole. And filling an empty chair,” her client was a “convenient stand-in” for the dead sex offender.
, a litigation boutique law firm in New York City, she
|Born – 1953, New York.|
|Education – Stetson University College of Law; Master of Arts, Forensic Psychology John Jay College; Doctor of Law, Cardozo Law School.|
|Law Firm – A partner at Fasulo Braverman & Di Maggio|
|Memberships – The Criminal Justice Act Panel Attorney Representative for the Southern District of New York; a member of the Defender Services Advisory Group to the U.S. Courts’ Committee on Defender Services; the SDNY’s CJA Peer Review Committee and Mentoring Programs. She serves on the Board of Directors of Federal Defenders of New York and is a past President of the New York Women’s Bar Association and has chaired the Criminal Courts Committee for the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She has served on the Joint Committee for Local Rules for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the New York State’s Task Force on Professionalism – Ethics Subcommittee, and as a member of the First Department’s Indigent Defense Organization Oversight Committee.|
|Awards – She has been named a New York Super Lawyer and is “AV” peer-review rated by Martindale-Hubbell. She is a fellow of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers and the first (and only) woman recipient of the New York Criminal Bar Association’s Award for Excellence in the Profession.|
Personal Life –
Little is known about Bobbi Sternheim’s personal life other than that she lives in New York with her family and preserves her personal privacy in the face of what is often significant public opprobrium given the nature of her work.
In 2015, she defended al-Qaida member Khalid al-Fawwaz, who was charged with participating in the 1998 U.S Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people. In 2016, she represented Minh Quang Pham, a member of al-Qaida’s Yemen affiliate who was accused of plotting to bomb Heathrow airport in London. Sternheim lost both cases (al-Fawwaz received life in prison; Pham got 40 years). But Meyers Buth said that’s not a reflection of Sternheim’s skill. “We have a saying in our business. Lawyers who talk abou
In 2015 she defended Osama Bin Laden offsider Khalid al-Fawwaz of the bombing in Africa that killed 224 people. He was convicted.
“Trying a pre-9/11 terrorism case in a post-9/11 era within blocks from the World Trade Center ensured that Mr. al-Fawwaz could never receive a truly fair trial by a truly impartial jury,” Sternheim said in 2015, according to The New York Post.
A year after the al-Fawwaz trial, she represented Minh Quang Pham, who admitted to a plot to blow up London’s Heathrow Airport. Quam claimed he was on a suicide mission to escape a terrorist training camp in Yemen, but the defence failed and he was sentenced to 40 years in jail.
Apart from such high profile terror cases, she has also handled a range of other cases.
She has worked on organized crime and racketeering cases, murder and pornographic media, as well as represented those charges in the federal court with death penalty offences.
Among the major civil cases handled by Bobbi Sternheim has been a major gender discrimination cases against the Saudi Arabian Mission and an interpleader action against Imelda Marcos.
So far as pro bono work is concerned she has assisted a pro se defendant with a 9th grade education to acquittal on federal charges and a woman who served a 30 year life sentence who obtained parole following multiple Parole Board denials.