Stephen H. Wagner, Partner

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Stephen H. Wagner is a senior attorney with Fuerst Ittleman David & Joseph, PL.  He practices primarily in the area of international business transactions, representing clients with trade and customs issues as well as corporate law matters. Learn More

Overview

Mr. Wagner applies his proven experience in the international arena to resolve effectively and efficiently his clients’ legal issues with respect to import and export compliance and enforcement matters.  He regularly represents clients in administrative and civil matters and proceedings before U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the U.S. Government’s export control agencies such as the Bureau of Industry and Security (Department of Commerce (BIS), the U.S. State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) and the Office of Foreign Assets Controls (OFAC).  In addition, Mr. Wagner advises clients with respect to imports and exports of merchandise regulated by other government agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Mr. Wagner is also Board Certified by the Florida Bar as an expert attorney in International Law.  Of the almost 100,000 attorneys licensed to practice law in the State of Florida, Mr. Wagner is one of fewer than 50 who has been designated by the Florida Bar as an expert in this field.  Board Certification required Mr. Wagner to pass a separate examination administered by the Florida Bar and undergo peer review for competence and professionalism in the practice of law, and international law in particular.

As part of his comprehensive customs and trade practice, Mr. Wagner assists individuals and companies with issues involving the classification of products under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS), valuation of imports (including transfer pricing), country of origin and marking matters, and qualification of merchandise under special trade programs and preferences.  Mr. Wagner has significant experience in helping importers and exporters respond to inquiries from government regulators such as CBP and the FDA, file petitions and protests, and bring litigation before the Court of International Trade.  From seizures and forfeitures to liquidated damages and fines and penalties, Mr. Wagner has successfully represented clients in seeking redress from the U.S. Government in enforcement matters.

In addition to facilitating his clients’ trade operations, Mr. Wagner also services his clients’ corporate and contractual needs in international business transactions.  Mr. Wagner has experience in mergers and acquisitions involving both domestic and foreign companies.  In these transactions, Mr. Wagner has drafted and executed asset purchase agreements, stock sale agreements, joint venture agreements and ancillary contracts such as employment agreements, non-competition agreements, licensing agreements, shareholder agreements, and financing agreements in support of the transaction.  From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, Mr. Wagner provides a full range of corporate legal support from organizing new ventures to providing documentation and advice on corporate governance matters and the commercialization of intellectual property.  Mr. Wagner has also drafted distribution agreements, supply agreements and franchise agreements for both domestic and international clients’ to ensure that their products effectively reach their markets.

Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Wagner worked for almost five years as a staff attorney with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Miami).  While at CBP, Mr. Wagner was responsible for all aspects of customs and trade law, including import and export seizure, forfeiture and penalty cases, compliance matters involving commercial shippers, customs brokers, and other trade-industry businesses, and administrative and judicial proceedings related to customs law violations.  He also has extensive experience in immigration law and enforcement actions involving cross-border criminal issues such as smuggling and money laundering.

Mr. Wagner’s first position as an attorney was with the law firm of Baker & McKenzie, where he gained significant experience in international corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions and restructurings.  He also worked on corporate governance and compliance issues, as well as advising clients on import and export matters.

Before becoming an attorney, Mr. Wagner had a distinguished career in foreign affairs working for the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Department of State.  He is originally from Chicago, Illinois.

Credentials

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center Washington, D.C. J.D.
  • University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, Indiana B.A./B.A., cum laude
  • Universität Innsbruck Innsbruck, Austria General Studies

Admitted

  • Florida
  • District of Columbia
  • United States Court of International Trade
  • United States Supreme Court

Memberships

  • Board Certified in International Law, Florida Bar (2014)
  • Export Compliance Professional (Export Administration Regulations), Export Compliance Training Institute (September 2013)

Certifications

  • Board Certified in International Law, Florida Bar (2014)
  • Export Compliance Professional (Export Administration Regulations), Export Compliance Training Institute (September 2013)

Faculty

  • Export Compliance Training Institute, Harrisonburg, VA
    Teaches classes up to six times per year on Export Administration Regulations (EAR), the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), and Advanced Issues in Export Controls.

Publications

Speaking Engagements
  • Presenter, “Personal Liability & Penalties for Export Violations,” Export Compliance Training Institute, Webinar, March 5, 2015
  • Speaker, “Best Practices for Importing and Exporting: In-Bond Documents,” Florida Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association (May 15, 2013)
  • Speaker, “FDA 2011 Regulatory Update,” Port of Tampa, Tampa, Florida (May 31, 2011).
  • Featured Speaker, “Trade with Middle East: Balancing Opportunities with Risks,” Florida Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association (March 23, 2011).
  • Speaker, “FDA 2011 Update,” Florida Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association (February 2, 2011).
  • Featured Speaker, “Trade with the Andean Region (Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador): Successfully Using APTA/APTDEA Trade Preferences in Imports and Ensuring Regulatory Compliance in Exports,” Florida Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association (January 12, 2011).
  • Featured Speaker, “Doing Business with Europe: Trade, Customs and Regulatory Issues,” Florida Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association” (November 17, 2010).
  • Guest Speaker, “Introduction to U.S. Federal Food Law and Import Regulations,” Italian-American Chamber of Commerce (February 11, 2010).
  • Speaker, “Processing Seizure Notices, Claims and Counsel Referrals in CAFRA Cases,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Fines, Penalties and Forfeitures (Miami Service Port) (June 12, 2008).
  • Trainer, “Personal Search [Laws, Regulations and Policy],” U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Miami Service Port) (2005-2008).
  • Trainer, “Title 19 [United States Code] Cross-Training for U.S. Border Patrol Officers,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection (2007-2008).
  • Speaker, “E-Discovery Rules: What They Are and What They Mean to You,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Miami) Regional Conference (July 31, 2007).
  • Speaker, “Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement – Trademarks,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Fines, Penalties and Forfeitures (Miami Service Port) (March 22, 2006).
  • Speaker, “Statutes of Limitations and Waivers In Penalty Cases,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Fines, Penalties and Forfeitures (Miami Service Port) (February 13, 2006).

Publications