Clients look to Steve for creative, yet practical, solutions to a broad range of complex legal problems. More than one client has told Steve “we don’t send you the easy ones.” A founding member of LCBF, Steve works with insurers and other major corporations, as well as smaller business, municipalities, and individual professionals. For example,
- Accountants and lawyers rely upon Steve to defend them against fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, malpractice, negligence, misrepresentation, RICO, and aiding and abetting claims.
- Steve advises and defends insurers, insurance brokers, and others with respect to issues arising from many different types of insurance policies.
Among Steve’s results are:
- The dismissal of an array of class action and derivative claims brought in the United States District Court in the Southern District of New York against an auditor of a so-called Madoff “feeder fund.”
- The dismissal, upheld by the Third Circuit, of class action Sherman Act and RICO claims against an insurer in MDL litigation pending in New Jersey, after which LCBF’s client settled other class claims for an amount substantially less than the other settling insurers;
- The dismissal, affirmed by the Second Circuit, of both a $20 million subrogation claim against a contractor and the contractor’s third-party coverage claims arising from the much-publicized scaffold collapse at Four Times Square.
- A award of $5.2 million from Sears to reimburse an LCBF client for a settlement payment, in a case that went to the New Jersey Supreme Court and was apparently the first “vendors endorsement” case Sears ever lost.
For more details of these and other results, see Steve’s “Representative Cases.”
Steve is currently on the roster of New York Metro Super Lawyers and for many years, he has been rated “AV Preeminent” by the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings.™. Super Lawyers is published by Thomson Reuters. A description of their selection methodology can be found here. Best Lawyers is published by Woodward/White. A description of their selection methodology can be found here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Steve regularly presents at client and public conferences on various topics, including professional liability and insurance coverage.
Steve currently serves on the governing or advisory boards of the Nature’s Conservancy’s Mashomack (Shelter Island) Preserve, the Columbia College Alumni Association, and Music Before 1800.
DeLollis v. Friedberg Smith & Co., P.C., 600 Fed.Appx. 792 (2d Cir. 2015) (affirming dismissal of claim against auditor of auditor of so-called Madoff feeder fund on the ground that the firm’s client had no duty to perform audit procedure on Madoff registered broker-dealer and was entitled to rely on its financial statements; firm acted as co-counsel)
River View at Patchogue, LLC v. Hudson Ins. Co., 122 A.D.3d 824 (2d Dep’t 2014) (affirming dismissal of a "direct action" against Hudson on ground that plaintiff was bound by a holding, in a prior action we had brought on Hudson’s behalf, that Hudson had not received timely notice of an environmental claim or occurrence)
Kolodin v Valenti, 2017 WL 484179 (2d Dep’t 2017) (reversing trial court’s denial of summary judgment to accountant claimed to have given improper tax advice, appellate division held that the advice could not have been the proximate cause of plaintiff’s claimed loss arising from the transfer of funds she authorized from a joint brokerage account to an individual brokerage account owned by her former paramour)
DeLollis v. Friedberg, Smith & Co., P.C., 933 F.Supp.2d 354 (D. Conn. 2013) (granting the motion to dismiss filed by LCBF on behalf of the auditor of an investment fund sued for tens of millions of dollars of Madoff-related losses; court held that plaintiffs had no plausible claim that the auditor departed from the applicable auditing standards in relying on annual confirmations from Madoff’s brokerage firm)
Irvin v. Jones, Index No. 2942/12 (Sup. Ct. Suffolk Co. December 13, 2012) (dismissing breach of fiduciary, accounting, and punitive damages claims against an accountant and his firm allegedly responsible for millions of dollars plaintiff allegedly lost as a result of a 1031 exchange and other investments as time-barred because "continuous representation doctrine" did not apply, and "holder claims" were not actionable)
River View at Patchogue, LLC v. Hudson Ins. Co., Index No. 289/2011 (Sup. Ct. Suffolk Co. September 26, 2012) (dismissing a "direct action" against a firm client on ground that plaintiff was bound by a holding, in a prior action the client had brought, that the client had not received timely notice of an environmental claim or occurrence)
Dawson Foundation v. Zucker et al., Index No. 650053/2011 (Sup. Ct. New York Co. February 21, 2012) (dismissing "holder claims" against accountant client alleged to have participated in Ponzi scheme)
In re Beacon Associates Securities Litigation, 2010 WL 3895582 (S.D.N.Y. October 5, 2010) (dismissing class action and derivative claims against auditor client of Madoff feeder fund, allowing claims against other defendants to proceed)
In re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation, 618 F.3d 300 (3d Cir. 2010) (affirming dismissal of class action Sherman Act and RICO claims against client and only two of the other insurer defendants in case brought against leading insurance groups and biggest insurance brokers, arising from former NYAG Elliott Spitzer’s investigation of alleged bid-rigging and steering practices)
Hudson Insurance Company v. VTEQE, Inc., Index No. 6062102-08 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., Feb. 2, 2010) (granting insurer summary judgment that no duty to defend or indemnify with respect to underlying environmental claims due to late notice)
Duravest, Inc. v. Viscardi, A.G., 2008 WL 1742845 (S.D.N.Y. April 14, 2009) (Rakoff, J.) (dismissing RICO claim against accountant client)
Philadelphia Indemnity v. Harleysville Mutual Ins. Co., Index No. 18644/2006 (Sup. Ct. Queens Co. December 12, 2008) (dismissing claim against insurer client on ground that the policy it issued to property manager applied on an excess basis to claims against proprty owner with respect to Labor Law claims arising out of a construction accident and that Ins. Law 3420(d) did not apply)
Tully Const. Co., Inc. v. TIG Ins. Co., 43 A.D.3d 1150, 842 N.Y.S.2d 528 (2d Dep’t 2007) (affirming determination that no coverage owed by client insurer; we handled case in local court and acted as local counsel on appeal)
St. Paul Fire and Marine Ins. Co. v. Universal Builders Supply, 409 F.3d 73 (2d Cir. 2005) (affirming dismissal of our motion to dismiss both $20 million subrogation claim against contractor and third-party coverage claims arising from much publicized scaffold collapse at Four Times Square)
Continental Cas. Co. v. Auto-Owners Ins. Co., 238 F.3d 941 (8th Cir. 2000) (affirming that insurer client entitled to reimbursement of contribution it made toward settlement of catastrophic injury suit)
Red Apple Supermarkets, Inc. v. North River Ins. Co., 182 F.3d 901 (2d Cir. 1999) (affirming determination that no coverage owed by insurer client)
Sears Roebuck & Co. v. U.S. Fire Ins. Co., No. A-4081-95T3 (N.J. App. Div. April 28, 1997), motion for certification denied, 151 N.J. 74, 697 A.2d 546 (July 11, 1997) (obtained reimbursement of $5.2 million for insurer client’s contribution towards settlement from Sears in apparently the first “vendors endorsement” case Sears ever lost)
National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa. v. L.E. Myers Co. Group, 1997 WL 148231 (S.D.N.Y. March 31, 1997) (Griesa, J.) (after bench trial, client wholesale insurance broker found not responsible for failing to object to policy's prior acts exclusion, which would have barred coverage for a subsequent loss, because no mutual agreement to amend coverage provided by binder)
U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
U.S. District Court District of Connecticut
U.S. Tax Court
Associations and Professional Activities
The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
American Bar Association, Sections on Litigation and Tort and Insurance Practice
New York County Lawyers' Association, Insurance Committee
Defense Research Institute
New York University School of Law, Orison S. Marden Competition, moot court judge
Honors and Awards
“AV Preeminent” rating from the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ [see text to the left]
New York Metro Super Lawyer, 2014 - 2016 [see text to the left]
J.D., Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1978
Articles Editor, Harvard International Law Journal, 1977 - 1978
B.A., Summa Cum Laude, Columbia College, 1975
Phi Beta Kappa
Alan J. Willen Memorial Prize