Areas of Practice
- Class Action
- Complex Litigation
- Financial Products Coverage Litigation & Counseling
- Insurance & Reinsurance
- Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith
- University of Arizona College of Law, J.D., with distinction, 1980; Executive Editor, Arizona Law Review; Member, 1979 National Moot Court Team
- Rutgers University, B.A., with distinction, 1976
Bar & Court Admissions
Phoenix AZ 85004
TEL: +1 602 257 5210
FAX: +1 602 257 5299
Floyd Bienstock is a partner in the Phoenix office of Steptoe where he founded and now leads the Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith group. He is an experienced trial attorney with a practice focusing on litigating insurance coverage and bad faith matters, including class actions, as well as complex commercial litigation matters in state and federal courts in Arizona and throughout the United States.
Mr. Bienstock is a frequent lecturer on civil trial techniques, insurance bad faith, and defending class actions. He was chair of the State Bar of Arizona's Trial Practice Section from 1988 to 1990. He was managing partner of the Phoenix office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP from 1990 to 1995.
Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Litigation
Mr. Bienstock has an extensive insurance litigation practice. He counsels insurers on coverage issues and represents insurers in declaratory judgment actions and civil litigation involving breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, bad faith, unfair trade and claims practices, and punitive damage claims.
Class Action Litigation
Mr. Bienstock has substantial experience defending class actions in commercial and insurance litigation matters, both at the certification stage and at trial.
Complex Commercial Litigation
Mr. Bienstock litigates diverse complex commercial disputes involving contract claims and business torts, as well as real estate, environmental, and professional liability matters at both the trial and appellate levels.
- After a two-week trial, the jury rendered a unanimous verdict for Allstate in Hager v. Allstate Insurance Company (Fayette County, Kentucky 2007). Plaintiff sought $1.425 billion in damages ($475 million in compensatory damages and $950 million in punitive damages) on a third party bad-faith claim against Allstate under Kentucky's Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act. Plaintiff challenged Allstate's Claim Core Process Redesign casualty claim handling program, including the Minor Impact Soft Tissue and Colossus claim handling processes, and alleged that plaintiffs' claim against Allstate's insured was delayed for more than 2 1/2 years, before it was settled, in an effort to extort a more favorable settlement.
- A unanimous defense verdict, after a two-and-a-half-week jury trial, in a case alleging that Allstate abused legal processes through its MIST, CCPR, and CCPR Litigation Management programs. In this case, Leal v. Allstate Ins. Co. (Maricopa County, Arizona 2005), Cal Thur, one of the deans of the plaintiffs' bad-faith bar in Arizona with a reputation for achieving multi-million-dollar judgments in bad-faith cases, sought between $5-7 million in punitive damages. The jury rejected arguments that Allstate used its superior financial resources to discourage plaintiffs' attorneys from representing individuals with MIST claims against Allstate insureds, and that it sought to induce MIST claimants to accept less than they were entitled to by using "scorched earth litigation tactics."
- The successful trial defense of another abuse-of-process action brought by Cal Thur. In Crackel v. Allstate Ins. Co. (Pima County, Arizona 2001), in a five-week jury trial, the plaintiffs sought $500,000 in compensatory damages and $100 million in punitive damages, alleging that Allstate’s CCPR program induced Allstate’s claim personnel to "lowball" claim payments and forced Allstate's in-house attorneys to abuse legal process once litigation began. We argued, on the other hand, that Allstate's CCPR program is a sound business and claim-handling program that reasonably attempts to eliminate the overpayment of claims. In a divided decision (6-2), the jury awarded nominal compensatory damages ($7,500 per plaintiff); but in the second phase of the trial on punitive damages, the jury was out less than 10 minutes and unanimously rendered a defense verdict.
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers, Litigation: General Commercial (Arizona), 2009-2015
- Legal 500 US, Insurance: Advice to Insurers, 2014
- "Lawyer of the Year," Best Lawyers in America, Phoenix Insurance Law, 2014
- “Top 50 Attorneys” in Arizona, Southwest Super Lawyers, Insurance, 2009, 2011 - 2015
- Az Business Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona, 2015
- Best Lawyers in America, Insurance Law, 2007 - 2016
- Southwest Super Lawyers, Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Defense, 2007 - 2013
- Arizona's Finest Lawyers, 2011
- Lawdragon 3000 Leading Lawyers in America, 2011
- US News Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms,” National First-Tier Ranking for Insurance Law; Metropolitan (Phoenix) First-Tier Rankings for Insurance Law, 2010
- Az Business Top Lawyers, Commercial Litigation, 2008 - 2010, 2014
- Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Arizona College of Law, 2008
Select News & Events
- Steptoe Receives 75 Individual Mentions in Best Lawyers 2016
- Steptoe Receives 20 Practice, 60 Individual Mentions in Chambers USA 2015
- Southwest Super Lawyers Recognizes 17 Steptoe Attorneys
- Floyd Bienstock and Nancy White Named to ‘Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona’ List
- “The Duty to Settle: Is It Expanding, Contracting, or Just Blowing in the Wind?” DRI’s Insurance Coverage & Practice Symposium, December 5, 2014
- Steptoe Receives 77 Individual Mentions in Best Lawyers 2015
- Steptoe Receives 18 Practice, 75 Individual Mentions in Legal 500 US 2014
- Insurance Bad Faith and Extra-Contractual Liability Seminar – Practical Advice and a Mock Trial to Test It, DRI, Washington, DC, June 23, 2011
- Defending Institutional Bad Faith Cases, American Conference Institute Sixteenth National Advanced Forum on Litigating Bad Faith and Punitive Damages, Miami, Florida, November 7, 2007
- Floyd Bienstock speaks at 16th National Advanced Forum on Bad Faith Litigation, November 7, 2007
- Litigating in the Bad Faith Minefield – The Defense Perspective, American Conference Institute Fifteenth National Advanced Forum on Litigating Bad Faith and Punitive Damages, San Francisco, California, April 25, 2007
- Strategies for Defeating Class Certification, Institutional Bad Faith Claims and Claims Attacking Claim Valuation Software in Insurance Bad Faith Cases, November 9, 2006, American Conference Institute Fourteenth National Advanced Forum on Litigating Bad Faith and Punitive Damages
August 13, 2012
- Fifth Circuit Clarifies Limitation on Policyholder’s Right to Independent Counsel When Insurer Agrees to Defend Under Reservation of RightsInsurance Coverage Case Advisory, Issue 4
July 9, 2012
- The Classification of an Open-End Offender on Probation1979, 21 Ariz. L. Rev. 163
- Chair, Board of the New Way Learning Academy, 2008 - 2010
- Chair, National Board of Visitors, The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law , 2004-2008
- Chair, Trial Practice Section, State Bar of Arizona, 1988-1990