Mathew D. Staver
Vice President, Liberty University
After completing his studies in religion and becoming a pastor, Mathew D. Staver entered law school and the legal profession. Following law school, he worked in private practice with the law firm of Zimmerman, Shuffield, Kiser and Sutcliffe in Orlando, Florida. In 1989, Staver became the Founder and President of Staver & Associates, a statewide law firm with offices in Orlando and Tallahassee, Florida. He also was the Founder and President of The Staver Group, a statewide governmental consulting organization. A few of his many clients included the Orlando Magic NBA basketball team, the University of Florida, Marriott Corporation, Hilton Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, Taco Bell, Denny’s Restaurants, AIG Insurance, The Florida Medical Association, The Florida Nursing Association, and Florida Hospital.
In 1989, Staver became the Founder, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel and currently serves as Chairman of the Board. Liberty Counsel is a litigation, education and policy organization with offices in Orlando, Florida, Lynchburg, Virginia, and hundreds of affiliate attorneys in all 50 states. Liberty Counsel was one of the first religious liberty litigation organizations in the country. In the early 1990s, Staver was one of the first to pioneer a new legal strategy and theory in litigating religious liberty cases, using the First Amendment Free Speech Clause.
As the Founder of Liberty Counsel, Staver has been extensively involved in media. On average he conducted over 1,300 media interviews each year, resulting in several thousand print articles, radio broadcasts and TV programs. He has appeared on every TV and cable news network, on almost every network news program, and has conducted media interviews for many international media outlets. Staver has produced and hosted hundreds of media programs for Liberty Counsel’s daily radio program Freedom’s Call, daily radio program Faith and Freedom, and weekly TV program Law & Justice.
Staver serves as Director of the Liberty Center for Law and Policy (LCLP), a partnership between Liberty Counsel and Liberty University School of Law. He also was involved in the founding and development of Liberty University School of Law long before its physical inception. After School of Law founding Dean Bruce Green resigned in 2006, Staver assumed responsibilities as the interim dean. Staver served as law school dean through October 2014.
A few of Staver’s academic memberships and honors include Alpha Mu Gamma language honors; Moot Court Board, 1985-87; Captain, National Moot Court Team, 1986-87; Region IV National Moot Court Competition Championship Team, 1987; and The Order of Barristers. He was a recipient of Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, 1980 (selected by classmates and faculty).
Staver has authored over ten books, including Eternal Vigilance: Knowing and Protecting Your Religious Freedom; Same-Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk; Faith and Freedom: A Complete Handbook for Defending Your Religious Rights; Take Back America; Religion and the Future of America; Religious Expression in Public Schools; Judicial Tyranny; Political Activity of Nonprofit Organizations; and Union Membership and its Constitutional Implications. Dean Staver has over 210 published legal opinions, has written several hundred articles on religious freedom and constitutional law, and has published ten law review and journal articles.
Staver is an AV-rated attorney and is Board Certified in Appellate Practice. At one time, he was one of only two attorneys double Board Certified in Workers’ Compensation and Appellate Practice in the state of Florida. In addition to writing numerous briefs before the United States Supreme Court, he has argued twice before the High Court. As one of the leading constitutional litigators in the country, he is admitted to every federal court of appeals in the country and has personally argued before most of them. He has conducted many CLE and CEU courses certified by state bar associations or government agencies.
Over the years, Staver has served on numerous boards, including, but not limited to, the Liberty University Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Law School Steering Committee, Campus Right to Life, Central Florida Right to Life, and Florida Right to Life where he served as General Counsel. He currently serves on the boards of The Timothy Plan, a New York Stock Exchange traded family of mutual funds; National Houses of Hope; Liberty Counsel; Liberty Counsel Action; the Freedom Federation; the Virginia State Bar Section of Education of Lawyers and Admissions to the Bar; the Supreme Court Historical Society; and The Board of Reference of The Christian Film and Television Commission. He is the first Anglo-Saxon to serve on the board of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), the largest Latino Christian organization in America. He also serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for the NHCLC and was honored by the NHCLC with a Champions of Justice award. Dean Staver has testified before Congress in the U.S. House and Senate and serves on the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organization.
Staver reads Classical Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac and Koine Greek, and is the author of Quest for the Historical Jesus: An Inquiry Into the Historicity of the Passion Predictions. He is married to Anita L. Staver, who is also an attorney and serves as President of Liberty Counsel.