Stephen J. Chonoles

Stephen ChonolesStephen J. Chonoles is one of the two founding partners of Rudolph & Chonoles, LLP. He has been practicing law since 1992. He is licensed in California, and has appeared by permission of court in Nevada. He handles business entity formation, the purchase and sale of businesses and business assets, business transactions, asset protection, contract negotiation and drafting, employment matters, trademark applications and disputes, business disputes, litigation, trials, and appeals.

Prior to law school, Mr. Chonoles taught English in Japan, worked on a fishing trawler off the Oregon coast, studied and worked on a kibbutz in Israel, worked as an intern in the U.S. House of Representatives, and worked as a story analyst in Los Angeles.

During law school, Mr. Chonoles worked as a certified law clerk in the Central Trials Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. In that capacity, he represented the State of California in felony preliminary hearings.

Mr. Chonoles graduated from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles in 1991, and was admitted to the California Bar in 1992. Mr. Chonoles has counseled and represented business clients ranging from sole proprietors to some of the largest corporations in the U.S. Among the clients that Mr. Chonoles has counseled and represented are:

  • KONE Inc., one of the largest elevator/escalator companies in the U.S.
  • J.C Penney Corporation, Inc., one of the largest department stores companies in the U.S.
  • Simon Property Group, Inc., one of the largest public real estate companies in the U.S.
  • Westfield Corporation, one of the largest shopping center development and management companies in the U.S.
  • Shelby Williams Industries, Inc., one of the largest furniture manufacturers in the U.S.
  • Outboard Marine Corporation, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of outboard motors and powerboats.
  • SCCA, LLC, a subsidiary of Saks Inc., one of the pre-eminent specialty retailers in the U.S.
  • Waltco Truck Equipment Co., one of the largest manufacturers of hydraulic lift gates in the U.S.
  • The Heil Company, one of the largest manufacturers of transportation trailers in the U.S.
  • Sizzler USA Restaurants, Inc., one of the largest restaurant chains in the U.S.
  • Merit Property Management, one of the largest property management companies in California.
  • Recovery Homes of America, Inc., operator of one of the largest drug and alcohol rehab programs in California.
  • Los Alamitos Race Course, one of California’s prominent horse racing venues.
  • Retail Merchandising Signs, LLC, one of the largest suppliers of signs and banners in the U.S.
  • UrbanX Renewables Group, one of California’s largest bio fuel producers.
  • Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland, a prominent national surety bond company.
  • JAD Chemical Company, Inc., a prominent California chemical manufacturer.

Practice Areas

  • Business Entity Formation
  • Purchase and Sale of Businesses and Business Assets
  • Business Transactions
  • Asset Protection
  • Contract Negotiation and Drafting
  • Employment Matters
  • Business Disputes and Litigation
  • Trademark Applications and Disputes
  • Trials
  • Appeals


  • Southwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1991
  • University of Michigan
    • M.A., 1983 – Telecommunication Arts
    • M.A., 1983 – Asian Studies, Japan Specialization
  • Antioch College, B.A., 1978 – Literature


  • Hopwood Writing Award
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship

Bar And Court Admissions

  • California, 1992
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1992
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1997
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, 2002

Profressional And Civic Involvement

  • State Bar of California, Member
    • Business Law Section, Member
  • Orange County Bar Association, Member
    • Business and Corporate Law Section, Member
    • Business Litigation Section, Member
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Member
  • American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, Member