A founding partner of Seeger Weiss, Steve has earned the admiration of his clients, peers and adversaries alike for his pragmatically creative and honest approach to litigation and conflict resolution. His practice is strikingly diverse, ranging from high-profile multidistrict litigations and arbitrations to private business disputes spanning a broad array of legal disciplines, including qui tam/whistleblower, consumer products, insurance, agricultural, environmental, securities, employment and property rights litigation.
As Chair of the firm’s qui tam/whistleblower practice, Steve has represented relators in some of the nation’s largest and most notable recoveries under the federal and state false claims acts, with particular concentration in the areas of health care and tax fraud.
In 2013, for example, Steve represented the relator in the first settlement ever reached under the 2010 tax whistleblower amendments to New York’s False Claims Act, resulting in a $5.5 million recovery by the State and a $3.2 million recovery by the IRS against celebrity tailor Mohanbhai “Mohan” Ramchandani. Steve has similarly represented relators in a myriad of whistleblower actions involving healthcare fraud, including a $125 million recovery against Warner Chilcott in 2015, a $54 million recovery against CareCore National in 2017, and a $3 billion recovery against GlaxoSmithKline in 2011, among others. Steve lectures annually on whistleblower litigation and corporate governance at his alma mater, the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
Emblematic of the diversity of his practice, Steve has for almost two decades represented family and corporate farmers throughout the United States in milestone litigation involving the improper commercialization of GMO seed. Steve is the only attorney in the country who has held court-appointed leadership positions in the nation’s three largest GMO-related recoveries: the $110 million recovery in 2003 involving the Starlink corn seed (Co-Lead Counsel); the $1 billion recovery involving the Bayer rice seed in 2011 (Plaintiff’s Executive Committee); and the $1.51 billion settlement in 2018 involving the Syngenta corn seed (Plaintiff’s Executive Committee).
Steve’s trial work on behalf of family farmers is similarly notable. In September 2006, he and his co-trial counsel won a $4.5 million jury verdict in Jackson County, Missouri following a three-week odor nuisance trial against one of the nation’s largest industrial hog producers on behalf of six neighbors of the defendants’ vast farm operations in northern Missouri. This verdict was followed by an $11 million verdict following a 5-week trial in March 2010 on behalf of fifteen individuals in related litigation against the same defendants, which at its time was the largest nuisance verdict ever obtained against a hog producer. As a result of this verdict, Steve was named by the Public Justice Foundation as a finalist for the 2010 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.
Currently, Steve is counseling multiple hospitality industry and retail clients in connection with insurance coverage claims for business losses arising out of widespread mandatory government closures following the COVID-19 pandemic and represents several hundred survivors of sexual abuse and harassment throughout the United States. Steve has written and been quoted as an authority in numerous articles addressing sex abuse issues.
Before founding Seeger Weiss, Steve spent a decade at one of the leading international corporate defense firms, where he represented dozens of Fortune 500 companies. Moved by the disproportion in power between individuals and the giant corporations that wronged them, Steve decided to become a plaintiffs’ attorney to help level the legal playing field.
Born in New York City and raised in Oyster Bay, Long Island, Steve remains active with his alma mater, Cardozo Law, serving on its school’s Board of Overseers since 2000. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and as Vice President, First Department, of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers.
Steve believes deeply in contributing to the good of the community. Since 2008, he and Seeger Weiss co-founder Chris Seeger have proudly served as national Co-General Counsel for the Badge of Honor Memorial Foundation, whose mission is to assist the families and departments of police officers killed in the line of duty. In 2002, Steve was awarded the International Humanitarian Achievement Award by the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.