Member Directory
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Member Directory

Stephen Bates

Southern Atlantic Law Group
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Stephen Bates
Southern Atlantic Law Group
Winter Haven,
 FL

Stephen H. Bates is a proud Winter Haven, Florida native, shaped by a childhood filled with diverse activities and community engagement. From little league sports, including baseball, soccer, basketball, and swimming, to water sports like water skiing, wakeboarding, and surfing, Stephen’s early years reflected a passion for outdoor adventures. Music played a significant role in Stephen’s life, with a talent for the piano and trumpet. Stephen’s athletic and musical journey continued through his high school years at Lake Region High School, where he was Captain of the Lake Region High School Band and member of the varsity soccer and swim teams. 

Stephen’s academic pursuits led him to Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business from the Wayne Calloway School of Business. Actively involved in campus life, he served as the Chaplain for Theta Chi Fraternity, organizing volunteer events, and participated in intramural sports while also playing trumpet with student bands and orchestras. Following graduation Stephen attended law school at Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida, where he excelled as a Florida Coastal Ambassador and gained practical experience as a Law Clerk and Certified Legal Intern. 

Stephen is a Shareholder at Southern Atlantic Law Group, with over 15 years of diverse legal experience. Stephen is a seasoned litigator, trying over 40 cases in his first few years of practice, which he spent as a prosecutor for the State Attorney’s Office in the Tenth Judicial Circuit (which covers Polk, Highlands and Hardee Counties). Prior to joining Southern Atlantic Law Group, Stephen spent over 10 years in private practice with an established and respected firm in Lakeland. During that time Stephen handled a variety of complex civil litigation matters, along with serving countless clients in the areas of estate planning, probate, guardianship, and business formation. 

Stephen is also dedicated to his family and community. He lives in his hometown of Winter Haven, along with his wife and two children. Despite his busy professional and personal life, Stephen has always found time to give back to his community. He contributes to a variety of civic organizations, presently serving on the Board of Directors for Hollingsworth Winds, Inc., and the Lakeland Symphony Orchestra. He is an active member of Beymer Memorial United Methodist Church, a trumpet player for the Hollingsworth Winds, and a volunteer with Polk County Schools. 

Stephen’s diverse professional and personal background equips him to provide the clients at Southern Atlantic Law Group with knowledgeable, efficient, clearly-communicated, and client-focused service. Stephen is proud to lead and manage the firm’s Estate Planning, Probate, Guardianship, and Business Formation practice areas, while also continuing to serve clients in civil litigation matters.  


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