Recent Appellate Representations by State

Alabama

Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. v. Ala. Gas Corp., 117 So.3d 695 (Ala. 2012) Represented insurance company in a case alleging bad faith.  Steptoe argued before the Alabama Supreme Court the issue of whether a “Potentially Responsible Party” letter from the Environmental Protection Agency satisfied the “suit” requirement of a liability insurance policy.

Alaska

Amerada Hess Pipeline Corp. v. Regulatory Com’n of Alaska, 176 P.3d 667 (Alaska 2008) (per curiam) Challenge by pipeline owners to decision finding that the shipping rates charged by owners were unjust and unreasonable.

Arizona

Fields v. The Elected Officials’ Ret. Plan, 2014 Ariz. LEXIS 51 (Ariz. 2014) Defended a state retirement plan in a constitutional challenge to newly-enacted state legislation that limited pension benefits.  The issue was whether the legislation reduced and impaired retirement benefits contrary to the Pension Clause of the Arizona Constitution.

Cable One, Inc. v. Ariz. Dep’t of Revenue, 232 Ariz. 275 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2013) Represented a cable system operator in a case raising the question whether it qualified as a “telecommunications company” and was thus subject to tax assessment by the State of Arizona.

First Data Corp. v. Ariz. Dep’t of Revenue, 233 Ariz. 405 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2013) Represented a corporate taxpayer in challenging a determination that the gain from the sale of a wholly-owned subsidiary constituted business income for purposes of state income tax return.

Harris Corp. v. Ariz. Dep’t of Revenue, 233 Ariz. 377 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2013) Represented a corporate taxpayer in challenging a proposed assessment of business income.

Tipsword v. Tipsword, 2013 WL 1320444 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2013) Represented a father in a custody dispute and obtained reconsideration of the parenting-time order.

Nardelli v. Metro. Group Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., 277 P.3d 789 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2012) Represented insurance company in a case brought by vehicle owners alleging bad faith.  The trial resulted in a punitive damages verdict of $55 million.  Steptoe obtained a reduction of the verdict to $620,000, and represented the insurance company on appeal.  On appeal, the Arizona Court of Appeals refused to reinstate the higher punitive damages award and further reduced the award by 75%.

Sourcecorp, Inc. v. Norcutt, 274 P.3d 1204 (Ariz. 2012) In a case presenting “an issue of first impression and statewide importance” regarding mortgage law and the legal doctrine of equitable subrogation, Steptoe represented a judgment creditor before the Arizona Supreme Court.

Bennett v. Ins. Co. of the State of Pa., 2012 WL 424913 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2012) Represented insurance company in a case alleging bad faith.

Home Depot USA, Inc. v. Arizona Dep’t of Revenue, 287 P.3d 97 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2012)Represented a store in an appeal challenging the denial of the store’s request for a refund of transaction privilege taxes paid to the State of Arizona on “bad debt” credit card transactions where the consumer ultimately defaulted.

Renegade Tech. Group, Inc. v. Pali Capital, Inc., 2011 WL 6885992 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2011) Represented brokerage firm in litigation arising from promissory notes issued by plaintiff.  The Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the brokerage firm on all claims.

City of Peoria v. Brink’s Home Sec., Inc., 247 P.3d 1002 (Ariz. 2011) (en banc) (amicus) Submitted amicus curiae brief in case involving whether telecommunications services provided by taxpayer were “interstate” or “intrastate.”

Kirsten v. Smith, No. 10-0397, 2011 WL 5066581 (Ariz. Ct. App. Oct. 25, 2011) (unpublished) Represented an insurance agency and obtained a decision that vacated a trial court order requiring the insurance agency to pay expert witness fees to treating physicians designated as expert witnesses in personal injury actions.  The Court also vacated a finding that the insurance agency had acted in bad faith.

Sourcecorp, Inc. v. Norcutt, 258 P.3d 281 (Ariz. Ct. App. Aug. 2, 2011) Represented client on appeal in a case involving the doctrine of equitable subrogation.

Carioca Co. v. Sult, No. 09-0659, 2010 WL 2606623 ( Ariz. Ct. App. June 29, 2010) (unpublished) Represented the sole proprietor of a business that specializes in hauling building and landscape material in a breach of contract and negligence case.  Obtained affirmance of superior court’s grant of summary judgment for our client.

Arizona v. Western Union Fin. Services, 208 P.3d 218 (Ariz. 2009) Steptoe represented the plaintiff money transfer firm in a high profile constitutional case against the Arizona Attorney General.  Plaintiff challenged a state warrant authorizing the seizure of all wire transfers greater than $500 originating in 28 states outside Arizona and sent to Sonora, Mexico.  The Attorney General claimed that the sweeping warrant was needed to prevent financial support for illegal immigration and drug smuggling and argued that the State had the right to seize the “obligations” owed by the firm because it did business in the State.  Applying classic due process principles to law enforcement in a modern technological world, the Arizona Supreme Court reversed the intermediate state court and quashed the warrant.  It held that Arizona could not invoke a “fiction” about the location of intangible assets to exercise jurisdiction over money transfers that originated in other states and ended in Mexico.

Arizona v. Western Union Financial Services, Inc., 208 P.3d 218 (Ariz. 2009) Represented financial services company in appeal raising issues of first impression under the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment regarding a state’s personal jurisdiction over a corporation’s wire transfers from other states to Mexico.  Obtained holding that the State of Arizona lacked personal jurisdiction to issue a warrant to seize out-of-state wire transfers. 

Chasan v. Farmers Group, Inc., No. 1 CA-CV 07-0323, 2009 WL 3335341 (Ariz. App. Div. 2009) (unpublished) Steptoe represented an insurance company in a bad faith denial claim. 

Lake v. City of Phoenix, 218 P.3d 1004 (Ariz. 2009) (amicus) In this case, the issue was whether metadata embedded in electronic records constituted a “public record” available for inspection under Arizona law. Steptoe filed an amicus brief on behalf of a number of news organizations, including The Associated Press, Gannett Co., Inc., The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and The E.W. Scripps Company, who sought access to the metadata.  Reversing the intermediate court in part, the Arizona Supreme Court held that metadata was a public record.  “It would be illogical, and contrary to the policy of openness underlying the public records laws, to conclude that public entities can withhold information embedded in an electronic document, such as the date of creation, while they would be required to produce the same information if it were written manually on a paper public record.” 

M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. v. State ex rel. Ariz. Dep’t of Revenue, 222 Ariz. 462 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2009) Steptoe represented the taxpayer seeking a corporate tax refund on the basis that the state of Arizona improperly calculated the sales factor fraction of its corporate income tax apportionment formula.  Partially reversing the trial court, the Arizona Court of Appeals held that the state should have considered only the net gains from the sales of mortgages and mortgage servicing rights.  The Court held that since the majority of the taxpayer's costs of generating the income from the sales of servicing rights were incurred in Colorado, the income from those sales should have been attributed to Colorado.  

Stevenson v. Tweedy, No. 1 CA-CV 07-0653, 2009 WL 388030 (Ariz. Ct. App. Feb. 17, 2009) (unpublished) Represented investors in appealing a jury verdict in a dispute with a commercial real estate broker to develop and lease commercial property.   

Arpaio v. Citizen Publ’g. Co., 211 P.3d 8 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2008) Represented publishing company in a dispute arising from the Sheriff’s refusal to release records after a valid public records request.  After obtaining the documents, the company recovered attorneys’ fees in this action.  The appellate court affirmed the award of attorneys’ fees.

Enterprise Leasing Co. v. Arizona Dep’t. of Rev., 211 P.3d 1 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2008) Represented taxpayer company in a challenge to a retroactive change to the Arizona tax code.  The case concerned the application of an income tax credit for pollution control devices that were installed on the company’s vehicles.

Flores v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., 178 P.3d 1176 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2008) Represented news broadcasting company in an appeal finding that the company did not waive the reporter’s privilege by seeking a judicial declaration to protect its right to disseminate an award-winning news story.

Peabody v. Allstate Ins. Co., 2008 WL 2231474 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2008) (unpublished) Represented insurance company and obtained dismissal of insured’s interlocutory appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

Redhair v. Kinerk, Beal, Schmidt, Dyer & Sethi, PC, 183 P.3d 544 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2008) Represented law firm in breach of contract suit. 

State v. Western Union Financial Services, Inc., 199 P.3d 592 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2008), vacated 208 P.3d 567 (Ariz. 2009) (en banc) Represented financial services company in suit opposing Attorney General’s request for information regarding wire transfers between Sonora, Mexico and 28 states not including Arizona.

Arizona Dept. of Revenue v. Ormond Builders, Inc., 166 P.3d 934 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2007) Represented construction company in appeal of Arizona Department of Revenue’s tax assessment.  Obtained judgment reversing and remanding to the tax court.

Griffis v. Pinal County, 141 P.3d 780 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2006), rev’d, 156 P.3d 418 (Ariz. 2007) Represented newspaper as intervenor in public records request of former county manager from county.

Griffis v. Pinal County, 156 P.3d 418 (Ariz. 2007) Represented newspaper in public records request for access to the email records of a government official under investigation for public corruption.  Obtained decision granting in camera inspection of the records and finding that the official had the burden of showing that the documents fell outside the scope of the public records law.

Osuna v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 151 P.3d 1267 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2007) Obtained decision affirming dismissal of employee’s suit for unjust enrichment.   

Phoenix Newspapers, Inc. v. Ellis, 159 P.3d 578 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2007) Represented newspaper in appeal challenging order that a student’s notice of claim filed with a school district was not a public record subject to disclosure.  Obtained decision concluding that the notice is a public record.

State ex rel. Goddard v. Western Union Financial Services, Inc., 166 P.3d 916 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2007) Represent financial services company in suit opposing Attorney General’s request for information regarding wire transfers between Sonora, Mexico and any location worldwide.  Obtained decision vacating the superior court’s enforcement order as being overbroad and remanding it to the superior court.

Arizona Department of Revenue v. Arizona Public Service Co., 126 P.3d 1063 (Ariz. App. 2006) Represented Arizona’s largest utility in establishing that utility customers’ contributions in aid of construction (CIAC) are not included in the utility’s original plant in service cost for purposes of property tax valuation.

Tritschler v. Allstate Ins. Co., 144 P.3d 519 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2006) Represent insurance company in suit for breach of contract and bad faith. 

California

Macasa v. Dole Food Co., Inc., 2014 WL 1254688 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014) Represented a pesticide manufacturer that was used on banana farms in the Philippines before 1980.  The plaintiffs alleged that exposure to the pesticide caused infertility.  The California Court of Appeal agreed that the lawsuit was time-barred and affirmed dismissal of the lawsuit.

Franchise Tax Bd. v. Superior Court of San Francisco County, 221 Cal. App. 4th 647 (Cal. Ct. App. 2013) Represented a financial services company in a case raising the question whether a statute imposing penalties for the promotion of tax shelters could be applied retroactively.  The panel unanimously upheld the lower court’s finding that the statute could not be applied retroactively, and reduced the penalties from $27 million to $2,000. 

Lamar Central Outdoor, LLC v. Cal. Dep’t of Transp., 221 Cal. App. 4th 810 (Cal. Ct. App. 2013) Represented a company regarding the placement of an electronic billboard near a public highway.

Moon v. 752 South Main Street, 2013 WL 1411834 (Cal. Ct. App. 2013) Represented a tenant in an action against landlord for unlawful eviction.  The appellate court affirmed the tenant’s preliminary injunction that reinstated her tenancy and awarded costs.

Petrosyan v. Prince Corp., 223 Cal. App. 4th 587 (Cal. Dist. Ct. App. 2013) In this dispute involving unpaid wages from a former employer, the employee represented himself pro se through an interpreter in the lower court.  The trial court twice declared a mistrial on the basis that the employee violated an in limine order.  Steptoe represented the employee on appeal, and the Court of Appeals found that the employee did not violate an in limine order and that, even if he had violated it, a jury instruction was the appropriate remedy and not dismissal with prejudice.

Yost v. Cal. Pub. Employees’ Ret. Sys., 2012 WL 5266462 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012) Defended the California Public Employees’ Retirement System against a putative class action lawsuit challenging the System’s calculation of certain retirement benefits.  The California Court of Appeal affirmed the Superior Court’s dismissal of the plaintiffs’ complaint.

Hollander v. XL Ins. (Bermuda) Ltd., 2012 WL 4748956 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012) Obtained a win for the defendant in a case alleging bad faith.  The California Court of Appeal affirmed the Superior Court’s dismissal of the case due to lack of personal jurisdiction.

Aguilar v. Goldstein, 207 Cal. App. 4th 1152 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012) Represented officers and board member of medical practice group named as defendants in a class action lawsuit.  Argued before the California Court of Appeal that the claims against Steptoe’s clients violated California’s strategic lawsuit against public participation (anti-SLAPP) statute.

Sourcecorp, Inc. v. Shill, 206 Cal. App. 4th 1054 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012) Represented a business consulting company in litigation to enforce a previously obtained judgment against the former owner of an acquired firm.  The California Court of Appeal affirmed the district court’s holding that, under California law, earnings of the former owner that had remained in his possession for more than 30 days lost their exempt status and subject to levy by the business consulting company.

Klein v. Chevron USA, Inc., 202 Cal. App. 4th 1342 (2012) (amicus) Filed amicus brief on behalf of the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America in a class action lawsuit regarding storage of motor fuel. 

Taheri v. Khadavi, 2012 WL 119976 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012) Defended doctors and surgery center against claims brought by former partner alleging intentional misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty.

Sweeney v. Barker, 2011 WL 6157479 (Cal. Ct. App. 2011) Obtained decision reversing a civil harassment protective order entered against client.

Hypertouch, Inc. v. Valueclick, Inc., 123 Cal. Rptr. 3d 8 (Cal. Ct. App. 2011) Steptoe represented an Internet service provider seeking to enforce California’s anti-spam law against an on-line marketing and advertising company.  Steptoe obtained a decision reversing grant of summary judgment.  The Court held that federal law did not preempt the California statute and that the California legislature intended to impose strict liability on advertisers like the defendant. 

Krikorian Premier Theaters, LLC v. Westminster Central, LLC, 193 Cal. App. 4th 1075 (2011) Steptoe represented a real estate developer and obtained a decision affirming an award of attorney’s fees and holding that its client was entitled to all of the costs it claimed.

Molina v. Board of Admin., California Public Employees’ Retirement Sys., 200 Cal. App. 4th 53 (Cal. Ct. App. 2011) Steptoe represented the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) in a case challenging CalPERS’s decision not to consider an employee’s wrongful termination settlement proceeds in his retirement pension calculation.  The California Court of Appeals agreed that settlement proceeds were not “compensation earnable” under statutory and case law.

Scott v. Graphic Center, No. B219783, 2011 WL 2279522 (Cal. Ct. App. June 10, 2011) (unpublished) Steptoe represented a company facing a proposed class of 391,000 retirees whose Social Security numbers were disclosed.  Steptoe argued that the representatives were not typical of the class they sought to represent, and the California Court of Appeals agreed.

Antounian v. Louis Vuitton Malletier, 189 Cal. App. 4th 438 (Cal. Ct. App. 2010) Represented luxury goods manufacturers in obtaining ruling that their cause of action against a retailer for trademark infringement and counterfeiting did not amount to malicious prosecution.

Concerned Residents of Hancock Park v. City of Los Angeles, No. B208439, 2010 WL 3672543 (Cal. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2010) Represented Hancock Park residents in their challenge to the City of Los Angeles’ decision to allow a school with a conditional use permit to increase its hours of operation and list of people allowed to participate in their programs. 

County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court, 235 P.3d 21 (Cal. 2010) (amicus) Co-counsel representing amici curiae on behalf of respondents in an appeal concerning whether public entities could be barred from compensating private counsel under a contingency fee arrangement in a public nuisance action against lead paint manufacturers. 

In re Electric Refund Cases, 110 Cal. Rptr. 3d 117 (Cal. Ct. App. 2010) Represented electric utility company in a contract dispute against energy cooperative alleging that the energy cooperative charged more than the lawful rates for wholesale electric power during the California energy crisis.  The Superior Court ruled that the electric utility companies had failed to exhaust all administrative remedies before filing suit.  On appeal, obtained a reversal of the lower court’s ruling.

Molina v. Shell Oil Co., No. B213451, 2010 WL 3862090 (Cal. Ct. App. Oct. 5, 2010) (unpublished) Represented oil companies and obtained decision affirming the trial court’s instructions on causation in a product liability case.  This decision upheld the jury’s verdict in favor of defendants.

Moore v. Pro Value Props., Inc., 2010 WL 2654641 (Cal. Ct. App. July 6, 2010) (unpublished) Obtained affirmance of lower court decision awarding attorney fees to real estate developer.  The court found the attorney fees awarded to be well within the bounds of reason.

Dowell v. Biosense Webster, Inc., 179 Cal. App. 4th 564 (Cal. Ct. App. 2009) Steptoe represented an employer defending the enforceability of particular noncompete and nonsolicitation clauses in certain employment agreements used in California.

Matus v. Board of Admin. of California Public Employees’ Retirement System, 177 Cal. App. 4th 597 (Cal. Ct. App. 2009) Steptoe represented the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) in a suit challenging CalPERS’s compliance with the state Administrative Procedures Act.

Rudnick v. Rudnick, 179 Cal. App. 4th 1328 (Cal. Ct. App. 2009) Steptoe successfully defended a probate court’s order that a trustee’s objection to a proposed sale was not brought in good faith.  The California Court of Appeals agreed.  It also held that that under its general equitable power, the probate court had had the authority to award the fees and costs when a trust beneficiary instigated an unfounded proceeding against the trust in bad faith. 

Strauss v. Horton, 207 P.3d 48 (Cal. 2009) (amicus) Steptoe filed an amicus brief in the California Supreme Court case challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, which banned same sex marriage in the state. 

Strauss v. Horton, 46 Cal. 4th 364 (Cal. 2009) (amicus)Steptoe filed a brief in the California Supreme Court on behalf of amici curiae California National Organization for Women, National Organization for Women, and the Feminist Majority Foundation.  Amici challenged Proposition 8 as unconstitutional under the California Constitution.  Proposition 8 was an initiative approved by voters that added a section to the state constitution providing: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” 

Chicago Title Co. v. Alpine-Riviera, LLC, 2008 WL 2569439 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008) Represented real estate seller in dispute concerning failed sale of four recreational vehicle parks.

County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court, 74 Cal. Rptr. 3d 842 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008) (amicus) Represented amicus curiae in appeal by public entities in a public nuisance action regarding manufacturing of lead paint.

Hills v. Pro Value Properties, Inc., 2008 WL 3198739 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008) Represented property owner who acquired property at a trustee’s sale in suit by the former owners seeking to enforce a claimed contract to re-sell them the property.  Obtained decision affirming trial court’s finding that no contract was ever formed and substantial attorney’s fees award.

Minkoff v. Koppelman, 2008 WL 217565 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008) (unpublished) Represented plaintiff-respondent in appeal of probate court’s declaration that plaintiff’s petition alleging that trustee breached her fiduciary duty would not violate the no-contest clause of the trust.  Obtained decision affirming the probate court’s determination and recovering costs on appeal. 

Reyes v. Chevron USA, Inc., 2008 WL 2690048 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008) Represented defendant in appeal of trial court’s post-judgment order denying costs.

Reyes v. Chevron USA, Inc., 2008 WL 435521 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008) Obtained affirmance of defense jury verdict of suit regarding predecessor company’s release of substances. 

Badalian v. California Institute of Technology, 2007 WL 404138 (Cal. Ct. App. 2007) On behalf of private university and its supervisors, obtained decision affirming grant of summary judgment of employee’s wrongful termination claim.

Hollander v. Superior Court, 2007 WL 2326820 (Cal. Ct. App. 2007) Represented insurance carrier in appeal concerning whether a superior court must consider a motion to quash a subpoena on the merits.

Hollander v. XL Capital Ltd., 2007 WL 4564987 (Cal. Ct. App. 2007) Represented insurance carrier in appeal of dismissal of insured’s complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction.

Mitsubishi Power Systems, Inc. v. Texas Wind Power Co., 2007 WL 1429586 (Cal. Ct. App. 2007) (unpublished) Obtained reversal of trial court’s dismissal of two defendants for lack of personal jurisdiction.

Turner v. Chevron, No. B173622, 2006 WL 1314013 (Cal. Ct. App. 2006) (unpublished) On behalf of manufacturer, obtained affirmance of trial court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s claim for compensation for a medical condition alleged to have been caused by client’s herbicide.

Andrade v. Texaco, 2005 WL 237211 (Cal. App. 2005) Represented oil company in ongoing toxic tort litigation related to explosion at refinery. Appellate court vacated dismissal of plaintiffs' claims, under mandatory procedural provisions of California Civil Code.

In re Lockheed Litig. Cases, 23 Cal. Rptr. 3d 762 (Cal. App.), review granted, 110 P.3d 289 (Cal. 2005) Defended major oil company, at trial and on appeal, against multiple toxic tort suits. Appellate court affirmed the trial court's exclusion of expert report as inadequate to show causation, and affirmed consequent grants of dismissal or summary judgment.

Laico v. Chevron USA, 20 Cal. Rptr. 3d 307 (Cal. App. 2004) Successfully overturned toxic tort verdict that was based solely on premises liability. Appellate court held that as a mere property owner, company did not owe duty of safe premises to employees of independent contractor.

District of Columbia

Phillip Lewis v. Intersolutions Inc., 985 A.2d 462 (DC 2009) Steptoe represented a homeless man in arguing that he did not receive proper notice of denial of his claim for unemployment compensation. A Steptoe associate briefed and argued the appeal. The Court of Appeals reversed the ALJ’s decision and remanded for an evidentiary hearing, finding that the record did not establish that the local agency satisfied the constitutional due process requirements in providing the client with notice of his appeal rights.

Florida

Koulianos v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 962 So.2d 357 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2007) (per curiam) Represented insurance company as appellee and obtained judgment affirming district court. 

Kish v. A.W. Chesterton Co., 930 So.2d 704 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2006) On behalf of national insurance company, obtained affirmance of trial court’s dismissal of plaintiffs’ asbestos-related fraud claims on grounds of that claims were barred under Florida’s statute of repose.

Georgia

Advance PCS v. Bauer, 632 S.E.2d 95 (Ga. 2006), cert. denied, 549 U.S. 1053 (2006) On behalf of a pharmaceutical benefits manager, obtained decision holding that federal law preempted plaintiffs’ claims because their claims were dependent on the terms of their respective ERISA plans.  Also obtained a denial of the petition for certiorari.

Hawaii

Young v. Allstate Insurance Co., 198 P.3d 666 (Haw. 2008) Represented an insurer in a case that decided issues of first impression under Hawaii law.  In an action by a third party claimant, the Hawaii Supreme Court held that Hawaii would not recognize a cause of action for malicious defense and upheld the dismissal of claims for abuse of process and breach of an assumed duty of good faith and fair dealing.

Indiana

CSX Transp., Inc. v. Gardner, 874 N.E.2d 357 (Ind. Ct. App. 2007), transfer denied, 891 N.E.2d 40 (Ind. 2008) Represented railroad in appeal arguing that employee’s FELA award should be setoff by amount attributable to the railroad’s prior contributions to employees’ disability fund.

Iowa

Giza v. BNSF Ry. Co., 843 N.W.2d 713 (Iowa 2014) Represented a railroad with appeal of jury verdict.  On appeal, the Supreme Court of Iowa reversed the jury verdict and remanded the case for a new trial, holding that federal law does not preclude the railroad from introducing statistical and other relevant evidence to establish an employee’s anticipated retirement date.

Kansas

Davila v. BNSF Ry. Co., 299 P.3d 798 (Kan. App. 2013) Represented a railroad in challenging an award of damages to an employee alleging injury.

Vallejo v. BNSF Railway Co., 263 P.3d 208 (Kan. Ct. App. 2011) Represented a railroad and obtained decision overturning jury verdict. Although the trial court granted partial summary judgment that precluded a defense of contributory negligence, Steptoe argued on appeal that the plaintiff’s own trial testimony had re-injected the issue of contributory negligence into the case and required an appropriate jury instruction.  The Kansas Court of Appeals agreed and ordered a new trial.

Kentucky

Directv, Inc. v. Treesh, 290 S.W.3d 638 (2009) Represented direct broadcast satellite television providers in challenge to a Kentucky statute that authorized the imposition of a gross receipts tax on direct satellite programming.  The Kentucky Supreme Court held that the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 preempted Kentucky’s gross receipts tax.   

Directv, Inc. v. Treesh, 290 S.W.3d 638 (Ky. 2009) Steptoe represented a satellite television provider in a Commerce Clause challenge to the constitutionality of the state’s taxation scheme.

Hager v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 2007-CA-002599-MR, 2009 WL 3320938 (Ky. Ct. App. Oct. 16, 2009) (unpublished), review denied, No. 09-0741 (Ky. Mar. 16, 2011) Steptoe represented the defendant insurance company before the Kentucky Court of Appeals.  The plaintiff, who was involved in a 1997 car accident, not only challenged the handling of her insurance claim, but also brought a comprehensive challenge to the insurance company’s process, resulting in national publicity.  At trial, she sought $1.425 billion in damages.  In front of a jury, Steptoe’s trial team won a defense verdict.  On appeal, its appellate team obtained a 71-page opinion affirming the judgment.  In rejecting each of the plaintiff's 19 separate issues on appeal, the Court remarked on “the size of the record, which contains over 9,300 pages, countless exhibits, numerous depositions, a multitude of hearings, seemingly limitless sidebar hearings, two weeks of trial testimony, and a history spanning nearly ten years.”

Aetna Casualty & Surety Co. v. Commonwealth, 179 S.W.3d 830 (Ky. 2006) Represented insurance company in coverage litigation over responsibility for CERCLA-related costs of cleaning up nuclear waste disposal site.

Louisiana

Ricks v. Kentwood Oil Co., 38 So. 3d 363 (La. Ct. App.), cert. denied, 45 So.3d 1112 (La. 2010) Steptoe represented an insurance company in the Louisiana appellate courts.  The Louisiana Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s damages award and held that the insurance policies did not cover damages awarded for fear of developing cancer.  The Louisiana Supreme Court denied appellants’ application for a writ of certiorari.

LHO New Orleans LM L.P.  v. MHI Leasco New Orleans Inc., 983 So.2d 217 (La. Ct. App. 2008), (rehearsing denied June 12, 2008) Represented hotel owner in appeal of decision awarding fair market value and attorney’s fees to tenant.

Maryland

State Center v. Lexington Charles Ltd. P’ship, 2014 WL 1245085 (Md. 2014) Represented a private developer seeking to redevelop an area of Baltimore in a case alleging that the State of Maryland had violated state procurement laws.  The trial court ruled in favor of the objectors.  On appeal, Steptoe obtained reversal of the trial court’s decision.  Among other holdings, the Court of Appeals concluded that the procurement process was open and transparent.  The ruling dismissed the case with prejudice and allowed the developer’s project to proceed.

Weaver v. ZeniMax Media, Inc., 923 A.2d 1032 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2007) Represented employer in former chief technology officer’s suit for breach of contract and breach of duty of loyalty.

Michigan

City of Detroit v. Ambassador Bridge Co a/k/a Detroit Int’l Bridge Co., 748 N.W.2d 221 (Mich. 2008), rehearing denied, 750 N.W.2d 165 (Mich. 2008) Represented bridge owner in action brought by city.  Obtained decision from the Michigan Supreme Court holding that, because the bridge owner was a federal instrumentality for purposes of federal preemption, the bridge owner was immune from the city’s zoning regulations.

Missouri

Early v. BNSF, 168 S.W.3d 684 (Mo. Ct. App. 2005), transfer denied (2005) Challenged trial court's ruling to exclude defense evidence on spoliation grounds without any finding of bad faith.

Montana

Sunburst School Dist. No. 2 v. Texaco, Inc., 165 P.3d 1079 (Mont. 2007) Represent oil company in defense of action for damages caused by migration of benzene onto properties from neighboring refinery.  Obtained decision reversing award of $25 million in punitive damages and remanding for a new trial.

Nebraska

Kuhnel v. BNSF Ry. Co., 20 Neb. App. 884 (Neb. Ct. App. 2014) Represented a railroad in appealing a jury verdict for an employee alleging personal injury.  Prior to Steptoe’s involvement, the Court of Appeals of Nebraska granted a new trial for the plaintiff.  After Steptoe’s assistance, the Supreme Court of Nebraska held that jury was adequately informed and reinstated a defense verdict for the railroad.

Dutton-Lainson Co. v. Continental Ins. Co., 716 N.W.2d 87 (Neb. 2006) On behalf of insurance company, obtained decision affirming grant of summary judgment in suit by insured for indemnification of costs and expenses relating to the cleanup of environmental damage.

New Jersey

Hebern v. American Cyanamid Co., No. A-3063-09T1, 2011 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 94 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Jan. 13, 2011) (per curiam) (unpublished) Steptoe represented pharmaceutical companies in a suit alleging injury from a polio vaccine and loss of services and comfort.  The Appellate Division agreed with Steptoe’s arguments that plaintiffs’ claims were barred by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act and state law.

Estate of Mancini v. American Intern. Group, Inc., 2010 WL 1189637 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2010) (per curiam) (unpublished) Steptoe represented a third party tenant in connection with a dispute regarding responsibility for remediation of an environmental problem.

Gannon v. American Home Prods., Inc., No. A-3936-07T2, 999 A.2d 522 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2010) Represented pharmaceutical companies in appeal that raised issues of product identification and collateral estoppel. 

Moreno v. American Home Products, Inc., No. A-3935-07T2, NJ Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1537 (N.J. App. Div. 2010) (per curiam) (unpublished) Obtained decision affirming the grant of summary judgment for three pharmaceutical companies.  Appellants argued that some form of collective liability should be imposed because they could not prove which of three polio vaccine producers supplied the particular product at issue.  We argued that collective liability would be unfair and bad policy in the context of childhood vaccines.  The Court agreed and affirmed the judgment. 

PPG Industries, Inc. v. American Home Assur. Co., 2007 WL 2350646 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2007) (per curiam) On behalf of insurance companies, obtained decision affirming dismissal, on statute of limitations grounds, of corporate insured’s action to compel insurance coverage.

Richardson v. Standard Guaranty Ins. Co., 853 A.2d 955 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2004) Represented national credit card issuer seeking to uphold dismissal of putative class action asserting claims under state consumer protection statute.

New Mexico

Quynh Truong v. Allstate Ins. Co., 227 P.3d 73 (N.M. 2010) Steptoe represented an insurer in a class action alleging that the insurer’s use of certain claim processing software violated the Unfair Practices Act.

Martinez v. Cornejo, 208 P.3d 443 (N.M. Ct. App. 2008) Represented insurer in a class action concerning the New Mexico Trade Practices and Fraud Act.  The court affirmed the application of the four-year general statute of limitation to the case.

Pincheira v. Allstate Ins. Co., 190 P.3d 322 (N.M. 2008) On matter of first impression, represented insurance company in bad faith action brought by insured. 

Truong v. Allstate Ins. Co., 182 P.3d 814 (N.M. Ct. App. 2008), cert. granted, 183 P.3d 934 (N.M. 2008) Represented insurance company in class action suit alleging violation of the New Mexico Unfair Practices Act. 

King v. Allstate Ins. Co., 159 P.3d 261 (N.M. Ct. App. 2007) On behalf of insurance carrier, obtained decision that insured’s claim was precluded and determining that the district court erred in denying insurance carrier’s motions to dismiss.

Pincheira v. Allstate Insurance Co., 164 P.3d 982 (N.M. Ct. App. 2007) Represented insurance company in bad faith action brought by insured.  On appeal, obtained decision ruling on legal issue of first impression that insurer could resist discovery based on the trade secret privilege.

New York

Fiserv Solutions, Inc. v. XL Specialty Ins. Co., 943 N.Y.S.2d 1 (N.Y. App. Div. 2012)Represented insurance company in a lawsuit brought by financial services company seeking declaration of coverage under a property valuation insurance policy.  On appeal, Steptoe obtained a favorable interpretation of a key provision of the policy, and the appellate court reversed in part the lower court’s decision.

Fiserv Solutions, Inc. v. XL Specialty Ins. Co., 84 A.D.3d 480 (N.Y. App. Div. 2011) Obtained unanimous reversal of trial court order denying client’s motion to compel discovery in insurance dispute.

New York v. Wells Fargo Ins. Servs., Inc., 944 N.E.2d 1120 (N.Y. 2011) (amicus) Representing national trade association of insurance agents and brokers, Steptoe filed an amicus curiae brief challenging the New York Attorney General’s claim that insurance brokers have a common law fiduciary duty to disclose “contingency” compensation arrangements to their customers.  The Court affirmed dismissal of the complaint.

Serbin v. Rodman Principal Investments, LLC, 87 A.D.3d 870 (N.Y. App. Div. 2011) Steptoe represented an employee alleging fraud in a suit against his former employer.

Townsend v. Spitzer, 69 A.D.3d 1026 (N.Y. App. Div. 2010) Steptoe represented petitioners seeking application of New York tax laws on sales of cigarettes and fuel to establishments operated by Indian tribes.

Travelers Indem. Co. v. Orange & Rockland Utils., Inc., 73 A.D.3d 576 (N.Y. App. Div. 2010) Represented insurance company in case regarding coverage under a pollution policy.  On appeal, obtained reversal of lower court’s summary judgment motion in favor of the insured party.  The court found that the insured had not given timely notice under their policy and that the insurer did not waive the right to disclaim coverage.   

Capricorn Invs. III, L.P. v CoolBrands Intl., Inc., 66 A.D.3d 409 (N.Y. App. Div. 2009) The Appellate Division unanimously affirmed the trial court’s decision in favor of Steptoe’s client in a breach of contract case, holding that the claims were untenable as a matter of New York.

Union Carbide Corp. v Affiliated FM Ins. Co., 68 A.D.3d 534 (N.Y. App. Div. 2009) Steptoe represented one of the insurers in complex multi-party litigation.  Partially reversing the trial court, the Appellate Division found that the insured’s position was untenable in that it sought to alter the plain terms of the parties’ contract by adding qualifiers that did not exist.

Levin v. Kozlowski, 45 A.D.3d 387 (N.Y. App. Div. 2007) Obtained decision affirming dismissal of shareholder derivative suit. 

Walton v. New York State Dept. of Correctional Services, 863 N.E.2d 1001 (N.Y. 2007) Represented communications company in suit by recipients of collect calls to enjoin New York Department of Correctional Services.

Gaslow v. QA Investments LLC, 36 A.D.3d 286 (N.Y. App. Div. 2006) Represented financial advisor, obtained court ruling that investor’s breach of contract claim was barred by statute of limitations.

LaSalle Hotel Lessee, Inc. v. Marriott Hotel Services, Inc., 29 A.D.3d 464 (N.Y. App. Div. 2006) Represent hotel owner in suit against tenant in suit claiming breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.

Walton v. New York State Dept of Correctional Svcs., 25 A.D.3d 999 (N.Y. App. Div. 2006) Successfully represented national telecommunications provider in challenge to rates charged on collect calls emanating from correctional facilities.

North Carolina

Braswell v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co., 672 S.E.2d 103 (N.C. Ct. App. 2009) On behalf of an insurance company, Steptoe obtained affirmance of summary judgment.  The Court agreed that the insurer had no duty to defend insured under the policy because insured was not acting in his official capacity when he sexually assaulted the female prisoners.

DIRECTV, Inc. v. State, 632 S.E.2d 543 (N.C. Ct. App. 2006) Represent satellite company in challenging North Carolina tax under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.

State ex rel. Utilities Comm'n v. Carolina Power & Light Co., 614 S.E.2d 281 (N.C. 2005) (amicus) Filed amicus brief on behalf of national electric power association concerning effect of the Commerce Clause on state utility regulation.

Ohio

Directv, Inc. v. Levin, 907 N.E.2d 1242 (Ohio Ct. App. 2009), disc. appeal accepted, 908 N.E.2d 945 (Ohio 2009) Represented satellite television provider in case challenging constitutionality of Ohio sales tax provisions under the dormant Commerce Clause.

Berry v. Lupica, No. 90657, 2008 WL 4438444 (Ohio Ct. App. Oct. 2, 2008) (unpublished) Represented a securities firm in appealing the denial of the motion to compel arbitration.

Kish v. A-Best Products Co., 827 N.E.2d 327 (Ohio 2005) Preserved intermediate court's decision to dismiss 60 plus asbestos appeals as untimely filed.

Oklahoma

Milroy v. Allstate Ins. Co., 151 P.3d 922 (Okla. Civ. App. 2006) On behalf of insurance company, obtained decision affirming grant of summary judgment of insured’s suit for breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith.

South Carolina

Jamison v. Morris, 684 S.E.2d 168 (S.C. 2009) (amicus) After the plaintiff had illegally purchased alcohol from a convenience store, he ended up in a one-vehicle automobile accident.  He obtained a jury verdict finding the convenience store, and various corporate entities, vicariously liable for catastrophic injuries.  Steptoe filed an amicus brief on behalf of the National Association of Convenience Stores.  In a remarkable turn-around, the South Carolina Supreme Court reversed in part, and vacated in part, setting aside the award in favor of the plaintiff.  This was a key win for convenience stores in ensuring that motor fuels distributors were not subject to liability for events outside their control.

Texas

Union Pacific R.R. Co. v. Cezar, 293 S.W.3d 800 (Tex. App. 2009) Represented railroad on appeal of $7 million jury verdict in Beaumont, Texas in personal injury suit arising from a grade crossing accident in Louisiana.  On appeal, Steptoe raised a host of evidentiary errors, including lack of venue.  In a published opinion, the Court of Appeals granted a new trial with instructions to transfer to a different venue – Harris County, Texas. 

First American Title Ins. v. Combs, 258 S.W.3d 627 (Tex. 2008) Represented title insurance companies in challenge to Texas Comptroller’s interpretation of a tax statute that increased tax liability on non-Texas title insurers.  Raised Equal Protection challenge under United States and Texas Constitutions.

Meridien Hotels, Inc. et al. v. LHO Financing Partnership I, L.P., 255 S.W.3d 807 (Tex. App. 2008)  Represented hotel owner in action brought by hotel lessee and hotel manager.  Obtained affirmance of decision in lessor’s favor awarding holdover rent and awarding prejudgment interest on the unpaid portion of holdover rent.

Virginia

Lewis v. Warden of Fluvanna Correctional Center, 645 S.E.2d 492 (Va. 2007) Represented petitioner in post-conviction appeal of death sentence.

West Virginia 

Stern v. Chemtall Inc., 617 S.E.2d 876 (W. Va. 2005) Represented chemical manufacturer in defense of lower court's denial of motion to intervene in a class action for medical monitoring.