711 Grand Avenue, Suite 130, San Rafael, CA 94901
Phone: (415) 459-9565
Fax: (415) 459-9566
Toll Free: (866) 877-7013


Representing injured workers nationwide under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), Defense Base Act (DBA), and Non-Appropriated Fund (NAF) employees since 1982.



Mr. Birnbaum is a specialist certified by the California State Bar in Workers’ Compensation as well as Admiralty and Maritime Law. The Law Office of Steven M. Birnbaum has attained the highest AV rating by national lawyer’s rating organization Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. Birnbaum is a board member and the past president of the Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy Group (WILG).

Mr. Birnbaum is the co-editor of the 7th Edition of the Longshore Textbook published by the Lawyers and Judges Publishing Company.

​ Practice Areas

​ Longshore and Harbor Workers Act

Workers injured while working in longshore, ship repair and ship building have federal workers’ compensation claims under the Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).

​ Defense Base Act

Independent contractors injured while working on overseas government contracts have federal workers’ compensation claims under the Defense Base Act (DBA) and the War Hazards Act.

​ Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act

Non-government employees injured while working on military bases may be entitled to workers’ compensation claims under the Non-Appropriated Funds Instrumentalities Act (NAFI).

Frequently Asked Questions

What benefits can an injured worker be entitled to?

  • Medical treatment
  • Temporary disability payments
  • Permanent disability payments
  • Mileage reimbursement
  • Job retraining / rehabilitation services
  • Death benefits

What kinds of legal problems can the Law Office of Steven M. Birnbaum help with?

Because we work with experienced trial lawyers in a vast array of legal specialties, we can help you with:

  • 3rd party, personal injury
  • Employment
  • American Disability Act
  • Family Medical Leave Act
  • Peculiar risk
  • Social Security cases
  • Veteran administration
  • Long-term, short-term disability
  • Discrimination under the Labor Code 132a
  • Violation of safety and health conditions in the work place
  • Medical malpractice
  • Legal malpractice

What is a cumulative trauma claim?

  • The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act covers you for pain and other sympoms you feel as a result of gradual wearing out of joints and orther organs. If you are experiencing pain, that pain may need treatment and may even entitle you to payments under workers compensation.
  • If you have numbness in your hands, tingling and feelings of cold, CALL US, we may be able to help. It might be a sore knee that never goes away or the sore shoulder, neck or back that is stiff every morning when you get up or before you start work, or when a specific body part begins to hurt after a long, hard day of work. It also could be exposure to toxic substances or breathing bad air or dust in the workplace.
  • If you have any questions as to whether you might have a cumulative trauma claim, please contact the Law Office of Steven M. Birnbaum and ASK.

Hearing loss alert

  • You may be missing out on benefits and permanent disability payments if you do not make a claim for hearing loss. Exposure to loud noise in the workplace through time may actually have damaged your hearing.
  • If you have suffered such a loss you are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. Contact the Law Office of Steven M. Birnbaum NOW for information on how to protect your rights.

Steven M. Birnbaum, Esq. -- Curriculum Vitae


Attended New York University, New York, NY.

Graduated New College of California School of Law, San Francisco, 1978

CLE Seminars, National College of Advocacy


Government Service:  

Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), 1969-1970 (Carrollton, Ga.)


License to Practice:  

State of California, 1978; U.S. District Court, No. California;

U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, U.S. Supreme Court



Certified Workers Compensation Specialists, State Bar of California

Certified Specialist Maritime and Admiralty, State Bar of California


Professional Experience:

Clinical Extern, San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Assistance –1978-80–

Legal Assistance to the Elderly, San Francisco, CA –1978-1982 — Staff Attorney

Clinical Advisor, New College School of Law (San Francisco, CA)

Law Offices of Steven M. Birnbaum, A Professional Corporation, –1983-present–

Specializing in Workers’ Com­pensa­tion under the Longsh­ore ­and Harbor Wor­kers’ Act and under the California Labor Code


Professional Associations: 

Member, Califor­nia State Bar, AAJ, Califor­nia Applicants’ Attorneys Assn.;

Board Member, Workpl­ace Injury Law and Advocacy Group Treasurer (Vice Chairman), –1995-1997– Treasurer Elect –2008– Treasurer –2008-2009– President –2009-2010– Past President, Winner President’s award twice

Chair, S.F. Bay Maritime Claimant’s Bar; Past Chair, ATLA Workers’ Compen­sa­tion Section; Lecturer, National College of Advo­cacy


Advisor, Benefits Review Board Report Lexis Nexis pub.

Advisor, Annual Longshore Conference, Loyola University School of Law, New Orleans, Louisiana

Founder and Director of WILG’s Annual Longshore Claimant’s Bar Seminar since 2006

Fellow, College of Workers Compensation Lawyers 2013-14 Treasurer

Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell

Designated “Workers Compensation Notable Person 2009” Lexis Nexis

Interfaith Workers for Justice, National Board member


Chief Editor the Longshore Textbook, 6th ed. Lawyer and Judges Publishing


Civic Activities:

Marin Peace and Justice Coalition

Pt Richmond Neighborhood Council

Past member of the Mill Valley Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission

Board of Directors, (past president) Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Law Library, Berkeley, CA (1998-2008)


Lecturing Experience:

Lecturer, Industrial Claims Assn.

Lecturer, Loyola University, New Orleans

Lecturer, Longshore Claims Association

Lecturer, ATLA National College of Advocacy

Lecturer, Northwest Longshore Administrators Association

Lecturer, California Applicants Attorneys Association,

Lecturer National Council of State Legislators

Past Corporate Sponsor:  King Biscuit Blues Festival, Helena, AR


Andrew Birnbaum, Esq.

Injured Workers Attorney

Andy, Steve’s son has worked in the office on and off since 2003, most recently re-joining the firm in February of 2014 after spending four years as a legal assistant and office manager with Bracamontes & Vlasak, PC assisting with plaintiff’s side civil litigation throughout the SF Bay Area.

Andy was admitted to practice law by the State Bar of California as well as the Northern District of California in February of 2019.


• College of Marin – 2003 to 2006
• University of California, Berkeley – 2006 to 2008 – [B.A. in Political Science]
• San Francisco Law School – 2014 to 2018 – [Juris Doctorate]

    Julie Ann Richter

    Senior Hawaii Paralegal

    Ms. Richter joined the Law Offices of Steven M. Birnbaum in 2007 after responding to a job offer posted by Steven M. Birnbaum, Esq. looking for legal assistants that simply wanted to “Help Injured Workers and make a difference in the world.”

    Ms. Richter’s passion for helping injured workers began after she was severely injured in an automobile accident in 1981.


    • Suffolk Community College: Associates of Arts 1978 - 3.0 GPA
    • Dowling College: Bachelors of Arts 1982- 3.5 GPA
    • Dowling College: Free-Lance Writing Certification 1982 - 4.0 GPA
    • University of La Verne College of Law: Paralegal Studies Degree 1995 – 3.95 GPA
    • Santa Rosa Junior College: Alcohol and Drug Treatment Certification 2007 -4.0 GPA

      Samuel Briggs

      Legal Assistant

      Mr. Briggs joined the Law Office of Steven M. Birnbaum in early 2017.

      Mr. Briggs has been working as a legal assistant for two years, previously working at Charles Aaron Silverman P.C. in Chicago, IL, and is currently in the process of getting his paralegal certificate.

      • Tamalpais School District GED – 2012
      • California State University, Bakersfield Paralegal Program
      • California State University, Bakersfield Advanced Paralegal Program – set to graduate 2019

        Mary Mateo

        Office Assistant

        Ms. Mateo joined the Law Office of Steven M. Birnbaum in March 2018.

        Ms. Mateo obtained her B.A. in Criminal Justice in 2017, and is currently attending Merrit College to obtain her paralegal certificate and an AA in Paralegal Studies.

        Ms. Mateo gained experience as an intern at Wiley W. Manuel Court House and as ac volunteer as a native Mayan translator for East Bay Sanctuary

        • California State University, Sonoma – B.A. Criminal Justice: 2017


          (415) 459-9565

          711 Grand Avenue, Suite 130, San Rafael, CA 94901

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