Stephen M. Fernelius

Stephen M. Fernelius: Attorney with Fernelius Simon PLLC
  • Member at Fernelius Simon PLLC (4 Attorneys)
  • LyondellBassell Tower, 1221 McKinney Street, Suite 3200, Houston, TX 77010-2033
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  • Peer Reviews
    4.9/5.0 (16)
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In January 2010, Steve Fernelius founded Fernelius Alvarez PLLC. Steve is a managing member of the firm which is now named Fernelius Simon PLLC. Previously, Steve was a partner in the Houston office of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP—from January 2001 to 2010 and an associate from 1991 to 2001.

Steve Fernelius has extensive experience in the development and trial of mass tort litigation and other high-profile cases. Given the size and complexity of the matters in which Steve has been involved, he has developed considerable skill in managing large teams of legal professionals, often including multiple law firms, in delivering successful results to clients. Steve has trial-tested experience in all phases of the defense of catastrophic industrial accidents, including evidence gathering and preservation, corporate investigations, electronic and other discovery issues, case evaluation and settlement strategies, trial theme development and case presentations before judges and juries. Few attorneys have defended as many or such significant, refinery and chemical plant explosion cases.

In addition to the development, preparation, and trial of several process plant disaster matters, Steve also participated in a trial involving a terrorist attack on U.S. oil workers stationed abroad, defending against claims of inadequate company security. This trial, which resulted in a complete defense victory, was closely followed by the international insurance industry. He also defended at trial a U.S. auto manufacturer against the claim that the deployment of an air bag caused the death of a driver. This case ended in a successful jury verdict and was followed closely by the automotive industry, as it was the first case of its kind.

Steve has also served as national discovery counsel for a U.S. tire manufacturer. In addition to developing a new organization and processes to coordinate discovery on a national basis, he participated in the management of large-scale document production and document repositories. He also has substantial experience in preparing clients, including senior and chief executive officers of major corporations to give testimony.

Listed: Best Lawyers in America, Mass Torts, 2008 - 2011; Texas Super Lawyer, 2011. Martindale-Hubbell: AV Peer Review Rated.

Areas of Practice (12)

  • Products Liability
  • Insurance Defense
  • Personal Injury
  • Premises Liability
  • Torts
  • Toxic Torts
  • Mass Torts
  • Catastrophic Litigation
  • Corporate Crisis Management
  • Product Liability
  • Environmental Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
877-361-8464  Phone
713.654.4039  Fax
University Attended:
Georgetown University, B.S., Foreign Service, cum laude, 1988
Law School Attended:
University of Texas School of Law, J.D., with honors, 1991
Year of First admission:
1991, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas; 1991, Texas
State Bar of Texas; Houston and American Bar Associations; International Association of Defense Counsel; Defense Research Institute; Texas Association of Defense Counsel Fellow: Texas Bar Foundation; American Board of Trial Advocates (Associate Member).
Represented a multi-national chemical, pharmaceutical, and crop science company in US regulatory matters arising out of a process plant explosion; Represented an international oil and gas company in three separate trials in connection with a catastrophic explosion and fire at its Texas City, Texas refinery, resulting in favorable settlements of several hundred personal injury claims (2005 - 2009); Represented two other international oil and gas companies in connection with three catastrophic process plant explosions (1989, 1997, and 2000) involving numerous fatalities and multi-million dollar property damage; Represented a major oil and gas company in connection with two fatalities from a flash fire at a chemical unit (1999); trial verdict led to an advantageous settlement for the client; Steve's other mass tort and high profile litigation experience includes the following: Served as national discovery counsel for a U.S. tire manufacturer in its products liability litigation and successfully transformed the way in which the client handles pre-trial discovery matters; Obtained a jury verdict in favor of a domestic oil company sued for failing to provide adequate security to four of its employees who were attacked and killed while on assignment for the company in south Asia; Obtained a jury verdict in favor of a major automobile manufacturer in a wrongful death lawsuit in which claimant alleged that the deployment of an air bag caused his wife's death; Successfully represented a major international oil and gas company in environmental litigation concerning oil fields in the state of Louisiana; Successfully represented a national amusement park chain obtaining several defense jury verdicts in cases where plaintiffs alleged ride-related personal injuries.
Hobbies & interests:
Steve's interests include spending time with his wife and four children and following his favorite college and professional sports teams. He avidly coaches youth sports and is proud to serve as an alumni admissions interviewer for his alma mater, Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.Civic InvolvementSteve has served for many years as corporate counsel for the Fort Bend Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the educational experience of students in the Fort Bend Independent School District.

Peer Reviews

  • 4.9/5.0 (16 reviews)
  • A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.
  • Legal Knowledge

  • Analytical Capability

  • Judgment

  • Communication

  • Legal Experience


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Houston, Texas

  • Houston, TX
    LyondellBassell Tower , 1221 McKinney Street, Suite 3200
    Houston, TX 77010-2033

    877-361-8464 Phone

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