STEPHEN JOSEPH, ESQ.
Tiburon lawyer turned activist
Born and raised in England, Steve came to Marin County after spending his early years in the United States on the East Coast. Upon completing law school, he worked as a lawyer and a lobbyist in Washington, DC for almost twenty years before moving to the Bay Area in 1997. He continued to work here as a civil litigator representing business clients.
A few years later, Steve's stepfather died of a heart attack. What he learned about trans fat subsequent to his stepfather's death changed his life. Motivated by his belief that people should be made aware of the dangers of trans fat, he launched his ban trans fat campaign. He filed a lawsuit against Kraft regarding Oreo cookies, and later against McDonald’s. Within months of the Oreo lawsuit, the FDA issued its trans fat labeling regulations. The fact that trans fat labeling is on virtually every product packaged today is in large part the result of Steve's Oreo lawsuit.
With the success of Steve's ban trans fat campaign, Tiburon became America's first trans fat-free city. Thinking that Sausalito would be next, Steve was amazed that New York City became the second city to ban trans fat. Next was Philadelphia and now it is spreading across the country, including California.
Stephen Joseph took a public health issue and turned it into a crusade. He approached the ban trans fat campaign with a commitment and determination that Francine would have been proud of.