Steve represents insurance and corporate clients in class actions, coverage actions, extra-contractual matters, and complex commercial litigation. He has extensive trial and appellate experience in a wide variety of matters in state and federal courts across the country. Steve has, for example, defended major insurance companies in coverage and bad faith disputes, as well as in class actions alleging market conduct and sales practices claims. He has represented clients in privacy and data protection matters, including insurance coverage issues related to privacy and data breach claims. Steve has also represented broadcasters in the defense of media claims, insurers and contractors in the defense of construction defect claims, manufacturers of automotive, industrial and consumer products in the defense of product liability claims, and accountants, attorneys and engineers in the defense of professional liability claims.
Steve's knowledge in cutting edge issues concerning privacy and data protection, electronic discovery and information technology is useful to clients in coverage, bad faith, and complex litigation. He has frequently lectured and written on insurance coverage issues, bad faith liability, class action litigation, privacy and data protection, electronic discovery, and document retention best practices. Steve is listed in the Commercial Litigation section of The Best Lawyers in America and has been named a New England Super Lawyer and a Rhode Island Super Lawyer by Law & Politics magazine since 2007.
In addition to his commercial litigation experience, Steve is an accomplished matrimonial lawyer with over 25 years experience in the Rhode Island Family Courts. He regularly represents clients in contested divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and other matrimonial matters. Steve is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
•In Re Mortgage Foreclosure Cases (Rhode Island). Successfully represented major financial institution in defeating class-wide injunctive relief in consolidated mortgage foreclosure cases.
•Santilli v. AllianceOne Receivables Management (Rhode Island). Successfully resolved on behalf of defendant a putative class action alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
•Collective Brands v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, P.A. (Kansas). Obtained summary judgment dismissing insured's complaint seeking coverage for privacy violations allegedly asserted in two class actions brought against an insured under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act in the sending of unsolicited text messages to residents of California and Washington.
•Alfano v. National Geographic Channel (New York). Obtained summary judgment dismissing claims alleging violations of privacy rights under New York Civil Rights Law Section 51 in connection with the use of plaintiff's photograph to advertise a television documentary.
•Starr-Gordon v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (California). Obtained summary judgment dismissing bad faith claims brought on behalf of a putative class of California policyholders with respect to the administration of disability income policies.
•Crooker v. WGGB-TV40 (Massachusetts). Obtained dismissal of multiple defamation claims brought against a television station arising from broadcast news reports.
•ConAgra v. Lexington Ins. Co. (Delaware). Defended coverage action under excess liability policy involving product contamination claims and nationwide recall of contaminated food products.
•Rabinowitz v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (Mississippi). Assisted in the defense of mass action involving 17 plaintiffs asserting vanishing premium, performance and modal premium claims.
•Bryan McCaa v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (Nevada). Assisted in the defense of bad faith claims based on allegations of breach of a disability insurance contract.
•David Elias, et al. v. Ernest R. Petty, et al. (New Jersey). Represented C.M. Life Insurance Company in the defense of bad faith claims alleging improper sales, servicing and administration of life insurance policies and annuity contracts.
•Varacallo v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (New Jersey). Assisted as National Litigation Counsel and Settlement Counsel responsible for resolving insurance sales practices class action.
•Marshall W. Weir, et al. v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (Oklahoma). Defended various sales practice claims, including vanishing premium claims, as well as claims relating to the application of premium payments.
•Candleberry Realty, Inc., et al. v. Zurich American Insurance Company (Rhode Island). Defended breach of contract, bad faith and insurance coverage claims arising from contamination caused by underground storage tank.
•Parker v. MetLife Bank (Rhode Island). Defense of putative class action alleging violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.
•Moore v. MetLife Ins. Co. (Rhode Island). Defense of extra-contractual and breach of contract claims in putative class action involving automobile policies.
•Shipp v. Acadia Mutual Life Insurance Company (Rhode Island). Represented insurer in indemnification claim against former agent.
•Rosciti v. Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania (Rhode Island). Defended excess casualty claims brought against insurer under State's direct action statute.
•Fraioli v. MassMutual Investor Services (Rhode Island). Defended financial services company against breach of contract claims.
•Morris v. High Mark Life Insurance Company (Rhode Island). Defended insurer against claims brought under ERISA.
•Coach House Condominium Assn. v. Yankee Development Corp. (Rhode Island). Successful litigation of construction defect claims through to the conclusion of a bench trial.
•Castle Village v. Langan Engineering, et al. (New York). Assisted in the defense of coverage action involving claims of negligent construction.
•Bowen v. Mercedes-Benz of North America (Rhode Island). Successful defense of product defect claims alleging failure of airbag to deploy upon impact.
•Royal Diversified Inc. v. R.F. Geisser and Associates, Inc. (Rhode Island). Represented professional engineering firm in defense of construction defect claims.
Before Edwards Wildman
Before joining the firm, Steve clerked for the Honorable Thomas J. Meskill for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. While attending law school, Steve was the Editor-in-Chief of the University of Bridgeport Law Review.
Besides Edwards Wildman
The Rhode Island Bar Association has recognized Steve's efforts in providing pro bono legal services. In 1994 the Association awarded him the Pro Bono Continuing Service Award and in 1992 he was awarded the Pro Bono Public Award. Steve has also earned an award of merit from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for his pro bono work.