Steve is originally from the Buffalo area, but ultimately graduated from Saratoga Springs High School. He earned his B.A. from Cortland College and then worked in the New York State Legislature as a writer. He attended law school at California Western School of Law in San Diego, California. There he was named Best Advocate of his graduating class. He was also the 1990 recipient of the Richard D. Westbrook award for scholarship and advocacy. Steve was admitted to the California Bar in 1990 and the New York Bar in 1994.
After law school Steve served as an officer in the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps. There he gained valuable trial experience. He was promoted to the position of Senior Trial Counsel (i.e., senior prosecutor), where he supervised a staff of prosecutors. He specialized in handling some of the Navy’s most complex and high profile cases. In 1994, Steve was assigned as counsel to Rear Admiral F. M. Dirren, Jr. Steve advised the Admiral on a wide range of issues, including, but not limited to, labor and employment, tort law and criminal law. Steve was twice awarded the Navy Commendation Medal.
Steve joined Smith Sovik in 1995 and was made a partner in 1997. Since joining the firm, Steve has earned a reputation as an excellent trial lawyer. He has tried cases throughout New York State, as well as in New Jersey and Texas. He represented a foreign businessman in a defamation claim that was tried in the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn. The jury awarded Steve’s client the largest defamation verdict in our nation’s history. More recently, Steve completed a three week trial in Houston, Texas where he represented a Bahamanian corporation in a breach of contract claim. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the Bahamian corporation, and in so doing, awarded Steve’s client a judgment in excess of one billion dollars.
Steve handles a wide range of litigation matters, including construction accidents, automobile accidents, labor and employment law, products liability, contracts, professional malpractice and general liability. He has represented high profile clients such as the National Basketball Players’ Association (NBPA) and has appeared as a legal analyst on television programs such as The O’Reilly Factor and Hour CNY. Steve has been recognized as a top attorney by: New York Magazine’s Best Lawyers in NY: Best Lawyers in America; Spree Magazine’s Top Lawyers in Western NY; LawDragon.com; SuperLawyers of Upstate New York; and has achieved an AV (very high to preeminent) peer-rating through Martindale-Hubbell.
Steve is an active member of the Knights of Columbus and he’s on the board of Mainstream Green.
Steve recently gave an interview explaining his decades-long tenure at Smith Sovik and how the firm differentiates itself among other civil litigation firms with its winning attitude: