Steve has exclusively
represented employers for labor and employment law matters during his nearly
40-year career. Since 1995, he has been his own boss, one of the very few
management lawyers in California successfully maintaining a high profile solo
practice. Prior to this phase of his career, he was a partner for a number of
years in a law firm with a nationally recognized labor and employment
department. He is now winding down his career while living on the north shore
One of Steve’s career
highlights was representing the employer in Foley v. Interactive Data Corp.,
California’s landmark wrongful discharge case. In the 25 years since Foley,
he has been extremely active in writing amicus briefs, and appearing at oral
argument, in many of the most significant California employment law cases. His
participation has been on behalf of the major employer and business
associations, most often for the Employers Group. Among the cases for which he
has acted as amicus counsel or co-counsel are: Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza (2014)(limiting franchisor liability
under FEHA); Harris v. City of Santa Monica (2013)(mixed motive FEHA
cases), Amalgamated Transit Union v. Superior Court (2009)(PAGA); Arias
v. Superior Court (2009)(PAGA), Etheridge v. Reins Int. (2009)(tip-pooling);
Budrow v. Dave & Buster's (2009)(tip pooling); Jones v. The Lodge
at Torrey Pines (2008)(manager liability), Murphy v. Kenneth Cole
Productions (2007)(meal and rest breaks), Lyle v. Warner Bros. TV
Productions (2006)(sexual harassment), Sav-On Drug Stores v. Superior
Court (2004)(class actions), Guz v. Bechtel (2000)(at-will
employment), Armendariz v. Foundation Health Pscyhare Services (2000)(arbitration),
Kelly v. Methodist Hospital (2000)(religious employers), Jennings v.
Marralle (1994)(small employers), Gantt v. Sentry Insurance (1992)(wrongful
discharge), Rojo v. Kliger (1990)(wrongful discharge) and Newman v.
Emerson Radio (1989)(Foley retroactivity). Steve also represented the employer in Veronese v. Lucasfilm (2013), an
important decision for the defense of pregnancy discrimination lawsuits.
In addition, Steve has
played a significant role in securing broad immunities against retaliatory
lawsuits for ADR providers and participants, including the lead California case
protecting mediators, Howard v. Drapkin, a meritless suit that a
litigant had brought against his wife (a child custody evaluator/mediator), the
Supreme Court litigation privilege decisions in Moore v. Conliffe and Silberg
Steve is pleased to have
been honored on many of the “Best Lawyer” lists. For 2013, he was Best Lawyers'
lawyer of the year for employment litigation in Los Angeles and for 2015 has
the same honor for management labor law. He has been one of the highest ranked
California labor and employment lawyers in the Chambers USA survey (and the
only solo practitioner on the list). In past yearly reviews, Chambers has
described Steve as a “deep thinker,” a “brave and aggressive counselor,” a
lawyer who delivers “relentless” representation and “a very good general
employment lawyer with a brilliant sense for innovative solutions.”
Steve is very proud to
be a part of the Employers Group Legal Committee.
Steve graduated Order of
the Coif from UCLA in 1976 and served for six months as an extern to the Hon.
Mathew O. Tobriner of the California Supreme Court.
J.D., University of
California, Los Angeles
State Bar of California