STEPHEN J. POLAHA
Steve began practicing law in 1973 in Chester, Pennsylvania as an associate in the law firm of Levy and Levy. Steve’s practice for many years was a general practice touching many areas of the law such as civil litigation, domestic relations, real estate, wills and estates, municipal and school district law, and appellate practice.
Steve joined Eckell Sparks in 1984. Thereafter, he concentrated in the areas of real estate, zoning, subdivision and land development, commercial banking, municipal and school district law.
Having started as a general practitioner, Steve developed a broad background in the law which enables him to analyze and solve legal matters in a more skillful and proficient manner. Steve received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Villanova University in 1969. He graduated from Villanova University School of Law where he served as an associate editor of the Villanova Law Review for two years and president of Cardozo-Ives Law Club for two years. Steve published two articles in the Villanova Law Review. The first article involved the issue of a criminal’s right to counsel during a photographic identification, and the second article involved an analysis of administrative and enforcement problems and proposals pertaining to housing codes and prevention of urban blight.
After graduating law school, Steve was privileged to serve as law clerk to the late Honorable Thomas J. Clary in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and later for the Honorable Melvin G. Levy in the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County. As a member of the Villanova Law Review and as a clerk in the federal and state court systems, Steve was able to develop a writing style and a penchant for exactness which are valuable assets to him in his practice of law.
As part of Steve’s municipal/school district practice, he represents Chichester School District, the Delaware County Housing Authority and is the alternate solicitor for Edgmont Township Zoning Hearing Board. He has previously served as the solicitor for the Township of Chester and the Upper Providence Township Zoning Hearing Board.
Steve and his wife, Val, reside in Upper Providence, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Val presently teaches mathematics at Benchmark School in Upper Providence, Pennsylvania.
- Casenote – United States v. Zeiler, Villanova Law Review, Vol. 16
- Comment – Housing Codes and the Prevention of Urban Blight, Villanova Law Review, Vol. 17
During a very stressful three years, my lawyer, Steve Polaha, earned my total trust and admiration. His communication skills are outstanding – he listens and he cares.
My real estate case put everything I had invested in my family home in jeopardy as I faced a condemnation issue. Steve’s knowledge and ability to stay on top of the situation, which changed day by day, was quite impressive. He did the research needed and found an expert for us to better understand the corporate valuation side of the situation.
Throughout the process, I felt I was respected; he was never arrogant or impatient. We were a team and we won big!
Steve thought “outside of the box” and presented a bold solution which was discounted at first. However, the other side became convinced that both parties would benefit if they accepted Steve’s proposal.
His quiet confidence and dogged determination turned my impending doom into a successful journey that has benefited me greatly.
Areas of Practice
- Commercial Banking
- Real Estate
- School District
- Subdivision and Land Development
- Tax Assessment Appeals
Admitted to Practice
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- Third Circuit Court of Appeals
- Supreme Court of the United States of America
- Villanova University School of Law, Juris Doctor, 1972
- Villanova University, Bachelor of Arts – History, 1969
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Delaware County Bar Association
- Pennsylvania School Boards Association
- Pennsylvania State Association of Township Solicitors