Litigation

Working with clients to achieve their business goals, Steptoe & Johnson litigators seek a cost-effective, early resolution of every case, bearing in mind both the cost of litigation and the risk of encouraging additional lawsuits by settling cases that should be tried. By doing so, Steptoe & Johnson has gained a reputation for providing clients with common sense advice. Recognizing that cost control and time are critical factors, they also are adept at analysis, budgeting, and all types of alternative dispute resolution. Firm litigators have built a strong record in complex cases. This reputation, coupled with a willingness to take cases to trial when necessary, provides clients with exemplary service based on client-focused partnering.

Groups and teams:

Appellate

Business Litigation

Class Actions & Mass Torts

Construction Law

Employment Litigation

General Litigation

Insurance, First Party & Coverage (IFPAC)

Long Term Care

Products Liability

Professional Liability

Toxic Torts

85 Team Members

We're all in this together
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Know How

Alert: Violence Against Women Act Amendments to The Clery Act
Effective October 1, 2014, colleges and universities have new and expanded responsibilities for reporting complaints of sexual misconduct. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), reauthorized in 2013, included amendments to the Clery Act, which requires disclosure of campus crime statistics and the campus security policy. Domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, as defined by the Act, must be reported as part of campus crimes, and hate crimes were expanded to include offenses based on national origin and gender identity.
Alert: The SEC Has Discovered Its Whistleblower Program
What can your company do to minimize the risk of a run-in with the SEC?
Alert: Salvage/Recycled OEM Parts Held Not Covered Under West Virginia Crash Parts Act
A June 2014 opinion, Liberty Mut. Ins. Co. v. Morrisey, No. 13-0195 (W. Va. June 11, 2014), from the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia concluded that West Virginia’s Automotive Crash Parts Act (Crash Parts Act) W. Va. Code § 46A-6B-1, et seq., applies only to the use of aftermarket crash parts, not the use of salvage/recycled original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts.
Alert: W.Va. Supreme Court: Personal Injury Defendants Not Entitled to Benefit of Medical Bill Write-Offs
West Virginia’s highest court has just settled a long-disputed question regarding collateral source payments: whether injured plaintiffs are entitled to claim and recover for medical expenses that were never paid but written off by healthcare providers.  In an opinion issued June 4, 2014, in John N. Kenney v. Samuel C. Liston, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia resolved this lingering question in favor of the plaintiffs, finding that West Virginia’s collateral source rule operates to preclude defendants from introducing evidence that any portion of an injured party’s medical bills were written off, adjusted, or otherwise never paid pursuant to health insurance contracts or otherwise.
Alert: WV Reviews Attorney-Client Privilege in Extra-contractual Claims
On  April 10, 2014, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals held in State ex rel. Montpelier U.S. Ins. Co. and Charleston, Revich & Wollitz LLP  that the attorney-client privilege protects confidential communications between an insurer and its coverage counsel even when both are sued in a first-party bad faith claim.  The Court rejected, however, the argument that the law firm’s retention agreement and billing statements were privileged or irrelevant.
Alert: West Virginia Clarifies Standards for State Entity and Official Immunity
The West Virginia Supreme Court’s recent opinion in West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority v. A.B., --- S.E.2d ---, 2014 WL 1272850 (W. Va. 2014), sets forth an in-depth analysis of the relationship between State entity and state official immunity. The opinion also provides a specific process by which these separate yet related immunities should be analyzed. Under this analysis, the Court reiterated that both State entities and officials are absolutely immune from policy-making acts and have qualified immunity for discretionary acts that do not violate clearly established rights and laws.
Alert: WVSCA Addresses Insurers’ Duties Upon Death, Separation, or Divorce of Named Insured and Spouse
United Services Automobile Association v. Lucas, No. 12-1500, a decision from the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, reviewed W. Va. Code Section 33-6-36 [1993] and created two new syllabus points interpreting this code section and clarifying insurers’ obligations under the statute.   W. Va. Code Section 33-6-36 is a statute which, in certain circumstances, requires insurers to continue motor vehicle liability coverage for a spouse after the death of, or separation or divorce from, the named insured.  The dispute between the parties in the underlying case was whether USAA was required by this statute to notify Francis McComas, Jr.
Alert: Court Tosses Precedent in Landowner Negligence Decision
What is my duty as a landowner as to licensees or invitees on my property? The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals recently upended century old case law concerning the open and obvious doctrine.
Alert: New West Virginia AG Friend of the Court and Energy Industry in Appeal Over EPA Transport Rule
Less than one year after taking office, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is leading a bipartisan group of states participating as amici curiae, or friends of the Court, in support of the Respondents in United States Environmental Protection Agency v. EME Homer City Generation, L.P., which is pending in the United States Supreme Court. 
Alert: Split Of Authority Results In Insurance Policy Ambiguity and a Finding of a “Collapse”
In Chafin v. Farmers & Mechanics Mutual Insurance Company, the West Virginia Supreme Court  of Appeals reversed a grant of summary judgment in favor of  Farmers & Mechanics Mutual Insurance Company of West Virginia ("Farmers & Mechanics") and remanded the case for further proceedings consistent with the opinion that the policy term "collapse" was ambiguous and whether or not knowledge that "decay" was causing floor to sink, i.e., hidden decay, was a jury question.
Alert: Medical Malpractice Case Dismissed for Lack of Expert Evidence
A lack of evidence of a doctor’s alleged malpractice resulted in a court ruling in the doctor’s favor and dismissing the malpractice suit before trial.Recently, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary judgment ruling for the doctor in Dellinger v. Pediatrix Medical Group, P.C. The decision is interesting in that while the circumstances were tragic, the doctor could not be found liable because the plaintiff had no evidence that the doctor breached the standard of care.
Alert: WV Supreme Court Approves Denial of Attorneys' Fees in UTPA Suit
On October 29, 2013, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia released its per curiam opinion in Lemasters v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. (No. 12-0774), concluding that the circuit court properly denied the Petitioners an award of attorneys’ fees, expenses, and costs associated with their prosecution of an Unfair Trade Practices Act (“UTPA”) claim against their insurer, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company (“Nationwide”).Mr. Lemasters suffered personal injury in an automobile accident and settled with the at-fault driver for insurance policy liability limits.  Mr. Lemasters additionally made a claim to his carrier, Nationwide, for underinsured motorists coverage.  Nationwide disputed the UIM claim.  The Lemasters eventually filed a civil action to recover UIM benefits and the parties settled the UIM claim for full policy limits.
Alert: Carrier Loses Statutory Presumption of Effective Offer of UIM Coverage
On October 7, 2013, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia issued its opinion in Thomas v. State Farm, No. 12-0688.  In Thomas, the following question was certified to the Supreme Court: Whether an insurance company’s failure to use the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner’s prescribed forms pursuant to W. Va. Code § 33-6-31d results in underinsured motorists coverage being added to the policy as a matter of law in the amount the insurer was required to offer or merely results in the loss of the statutory presumption and a reversion to the lower standards expressed in Bias, which existed at common law prior to the enactment of W. Va. Code § 33-6-31d [2011].
Alert: DOJ Ramps Up Interest in Oil and Gas Industry
Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division reached an agreement with two natural gas producers who each paid fines of over one-half million dollars to settle claims of anticompetitive collaboration in lease purchasing.  Recently, the DOJ has continued to investigate suspected anticompetitive activity in the oil and gas industry, while European competition regulators are investigating suspected oil company collusion overseas.  
Refusal to Defend Third Party Liability Policy: Damages Limited
Robert Graham (“Graham”), an Executive Director of two non-profit corporations was joined in a suit by the State of West Virginia for misappropriation of funds and personal enrichment.  The suit was removed to Federal Court and upon a demand by Graham to National Union Insurance Co. (“National Union) for a complete defense of the claims, National Union refused to defend on the ground of lack of coverage. Upon motion for summary judgment by National Union, the District Court found in favor of National Union on the duty to defend.
Webinar: March 2013 - Webcast Presentation - MSHA Citations and Orders: Preparing for Negotiation & Litigation
Click the following link to listen to a recording of the webcast:  MSHA Citations and Orders Preparing to negotiate or litigate MSHA citations and orders is an increasingly tedious task.  Jonathan Ellis and Peter Raupp will discuss the litigation process for MSHA citations and orders, including tips on what you can do at the time of the MSHA inspection to prepare for the eventual negotiation and/or possible litigation of any citations and orders issued. Topics discussed: The litigation and negotiation process for MSHA citations and orders Tips on documenting to assist in defending against citations and orders Issues related to spoliation of evidence Recent FMSHRC decisions
Alert: Court Liberally Construes WV Consumer Credit Protection Act
In Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc. v. Cole, the original loan was in the amount of $46,670.22 at 9.25% made in 1996 for the purchase of a manufactured home. The lender, Vanderbilt, became the servicer of the loan in 2005. The borrower did not make a single payment on time after 2005 and had modifications of the loan in 2005, 2007, and 2009. The borrower defaulted in 2010. Vanderbilt foreclosed and purchased the home and real property at trustee’s sale. 
Alert: Important Changes in Medicare Lien Law
On January 10, 2013, Public Law 112-242 was approved and provides clarity to several portions of the Secondary Payer Act. Following are some of the highlights of the legislation:  DETERMINATION OF REIMBURSEMENT AMOUNT THROUGH CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES (CMS) WEBSITE
Alert: Non-Duplication Of Benefits Provision In UIM Policy Upheld For Settlements Less Than Policy Limits
The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia recently upheld a “non-duplication of benefits” provision in a UIM policy thereby permitting a UIM carrier to reduce an insured’s damages by the amount of medical payments coverage received. The Court upheld the provision irrespective of the language of W.Va. Code Section 33-6-31(b) preventing the reduction of UIM coverage by payments made under the insured’s policy or other policies. In State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Schatken, the West Virginia Court stated that the statutory language prohibits the reduction of coverage, not the reduction of damages, such that, if an insured’s damages are less than policy limits, the provision operates to permit a double recovery. 
Alert: Court Decision Approves Arbitration Provisions for Home Builders
Thanks to a recent Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia decision, residential builders received an early Christmas gift in the form of approval of arbitration provisions in their “form” contracts with residential home purchasers. The home purchasers argued that the arbitration provision was too one-sided and that no separate consideration was paid for it. This argument, used for many years by residential home purchasers suing builders to attempt to escape arbitration, has been put to rest.
Webinar: November 2012 - Webcast Slides - Dart Board Litigation in the Utica & Marcellus Shales
Development of the Utica and Marcellus Shales has created a significant change in the legal environment, types of claims, and new types of plaintiffs and plaintiffs' attorneys involved. Plaintiffs now employ so-called "dart board" litigation which makes defending claims more complex and significant. New types of claims have developed including individual claims against landmen and notaries.In this webcast, Phillip Glyptis will provide an update on the claims being brought, as well as provide recommendations on how to control and potentially avoid being involved in litigation.Discussion includes: Current litigation trends Why OH, PA, and WV are different Claims in mineral title litigation Ways to protect yourself from litigation
Webinar: August 2012 - Webcast Presentation - Trucking Companies to Independent Contractors: New Regulations in the Utica & Marcellus Shales
To watch and listen to a recording of this webcast, CLICK HERE.August 2012 - Energy Keynote Webcast Trucking Companies to Independent Contractors: New Regulations in the Utica & Marcellus ShalesOn June 5, 2012 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued updated guidance to clarify the applicability of the “Oilfield Operations” exceptions to the "Hours of Service" regulations for commercial drivers. The exception has gotten more attention recently as a result of increased Marcellus drilling activities in the Northeast; and a number of highway deaths linked to commercial drivers operating vehicles in excess of the permitted hours of service.
Webinar: July 2012 - Webcast Slides - Mineral Title Litigation & Litigation Trends in the Utica and Marcellus Shales
Mineral Title Litigation & Litigation Trends in the Utica and Marcellus ShalesThe ongoing development of the Utica and Marcellus shales has resulted in increased mineral title litigation and varying litigation trends throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  In this webcast, Kevin West and Jim Wright will discuss these issues and how they affect energy developers doing business in the region.Discussion includes:Curing title issuesHow WV, OH, and PA are differentCurrent litigation trends in the Utica and MarcellusWays to protect yourself
Alert: WV Supreme Court to Insurers: Attend Mediation or Risk Sanctions
On November 9, West Virginia's Supreme Court affirmed a circuit court's authority to sanction an insurer for its failure to attend court-ordered mediation. Although the Supreme Court reversed the lower court's award of hundreds of thousands of dollars in sanctions under the specific circumstances of the case, Casaccio v. Curtiss serves as a stark warning to insurers of the potential penalties for failure to appear.In Casaccio, an insurance carrier's representative appeared at mediation, but failed to notify the parties or the mediator in advance that another carrier had an interest in the outcome of the mediation and settlement, thus limiting the authority of the representative present to settle beyond certain amounts.
Alert: CEOs Get Some Relief
If your company does business in West Virginia, and you find yourself involved in civil litigation, you will be glad to know that our Supreme Court of Appeals just issued an opinion restricting a "straight to the top" approach to pre-trial discovery depositions.  A common tactic for lawyers suing corporations has been to schedule or ?notice? the company?s CEO for a deposition, with nothing more than the assertion that he or she SHOULD know or MUST know something or have information that falls within the broadly defined "scope of discovery."
Alert: W.Va. Supreme Court Limits DHHR Recovery from Tort Settlements for Medicaid Payments
In a decision released late last week, the West Virginia Supreme Court construed state and federal law to limit the State's Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) in its recovery for medical benefits paid to claimants who settle tort claims. The Court relied on federal case law to rule that DHHR may recover the medical expenses it paid only from the portion of the settlement (or judgment) that constitutes damages for past medical expenses. Insurers should take note that the decision's dictates could lessen the Medicaid lien which can be asserted and lengthen the time it takes to finally resolve a case, should litigation over the lien result.
Alert: New Business Court Division Aims to Better Resolve Business Disputes
West Virginia has a new circuit court division for resolving business disputes. The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia established a Business Court Division in West Virginia's circuit courts to more efficiently and effectively manage business litigation. The newly created Court will be based in Martinsburg, WV.

Representative Experience

  • Managed e-discovery phase of litigation from preservation to production for clients with high volumes of electronic data in a cost-effective and timely manner
  • Managed the preservation, collection, review, and production of electronic data and hardcopies in response to subpoenas from various state and federal regulatory agencies
  • Defended a variety of companies in asbestos exposure and benzene exposure litigation with theories ranging from products liability and negligence to premises liability
  • Defended a piping fabrication/installer/maintenance contractor in a case brought by a major steel manufacturer employee alleging a causal link between diagnosis of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and benzene exposure
  • Served as counsel for a stocking horse buyer in bankruptcy litigation involving the §363 sale of certain Marcellus shale deep oil and gas rights valued in excess of $18,000,000 and defended client regarding defective title and due diligence
  • Litigated construction disputes involving claims of defective development, negligent construction, and misleading marketing
  • National Coordinating Counsel for a Class I Railroad for the defense of occupational illness and injury claims, including development of systematic defense protocols, coordination of regional counsel, coordination of expert witnesses, counseling of learned corporate witnesses and executive management, safety and health regulatory compliance, system wide discovery management, and development of an electronic discovery management program
  • Defended national steel manufacturer against severe occupational brain injury claim at trial and defended verdict on appeal
  • National Coordinating Counsel for a Class I Railroad for the defense of work-related musculoskeletal disorder claims, including upper extremity disorders, disorders of the cervical and lumbar spine, lower extremity degenerative joint disease, and discovery quality assurance
  • Defended numerous clients in occupational exposure litigation involving occupational noise, human exposure to vibration and repeated shock, occupational physical factors, asbestos, crystalline silica, diesel exhaust, carbon monoxide, and industrial solvents and lubricants
  • Engaged in numerous preliminary hearings to determine the admissibility of novel and complex scientific evidence for clientele in the transportation and steel manufacturing industries in federal and state courts nationally
  • Tried numerous occupational and environmental injury and illness actions for clients in the transportation and manufacturing industries to verdicts
  • Authored numerous public comments on behalf of transportation industry clientele to Advance Notices of Proposed Rule Making to federal and state occupational safety and health agencies related to the causation of occupational diseases and disorders
  • Represented corporate clients in all aspects of civil litigation
  • Represented construction clients in complex state and federal court litigation and arbitrations
  • Provides litigation advice from inception through trial in both state and federal courts
  • Represents clients in alternative dispute resolution proceedings, including arbitration, mediation and mini-trials
  • Represents debt collectors and creditors in state and federal courts
  • Litigated violations of Storm Water Management Act and Pennsylvania Tort Claims Act
  • Assisted client with FDA compliance investigation
  • Argued before the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals the standard for statute of limitations which significantly limits the statute of limitations on predatory lending cases under the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act
  • Defended large lending institution in bankruptcy court where plaintiff was challenging validity of $300,000 loan
  • Defended hundreds of cases relating to allegations of predatory lending and/or violations of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Truth in Lending Act and/or Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • Tried case on behalf of telecommunications company in dispute related to the award of contract to other company
  • Defended financial institution in jury trial relating to allegations of predatory lending and state consumer law violations
  • Defended major financial institution in dispute relating to its credit card division against government entity
  • Represented county development authority in construction litigation
  • Represented financial institutions in contract disputes, equitable subordination claims and other commercial litigation
  • Involved in several complex antitrust cases
  • Participated in securities litigation trials
  • Handled injunction hearings involving employee restrictive covenants and trade secret issues
  • Assisted in drafting brief in support of First Amendment issue regarding the legal standard applied in Pennsylvania to a slander per se claim
  • Defended numerous personal injury actions in West Virginia
  • Assisted in representation of banks, corporations, and individual defendants in a variety of suits relating to commercial claims
  • Assisted national retail store in enforcing company-wide arbitration clause in employment discrimination suit
  • Argued motion seeking dismissal of corporate president
  • Drafted motion to dismiss and supporting memorandum of law in federal court for a corporate client based on a forum selection clause
  • Investigated claims of sexual harassment by CEO of major medical center
  • Negotiated settlement with physician faculty chair of major department
  • Resolved claims against university for violation of Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) when threatened with shutdown of all laboratories
  • Defended university in state jury trial and federal litigation alleging sex discrimination by former director
  • Advised clients on litigation avoidance and compliance with federal, state, and local laws governing hiring, firing, compensating, and disciplining employees
  • Experienced in complex commercial litigation with significant experience dealing with disputed terms of Joint Operating Agreements
  • Provided litigation support for multiple information technology/patent infringement litigation matters
  • Represented individuals and institutions in trust and estate litigation
  • Drafted motions for summary judgment to defend clients in disputes arising from independent contractor status, products liability, and the duty to warn
  • Subrogated claims for clients involving funds previously paid to insured parties to recover property damages and medical expenses from at fault parties
  • Defended a variety of companies and individuals in litigation, including toxic tort, products and premises liability, personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, Section 1983, and employment matters
  • Assisted client in having experts stricken from testifying and having partial summary judgment motions granted, reducing claims and potential damages against client
  • Represented homeowners association in matters involving non-payment of fees
  • Represented various banks and credit card companies in WV Consumer Credit and Protection Act litigation
  • Defended businesses in wrongful death and paraplegia lawsuits
  • Appeared as counsel of record in over 250 appellate matters, including cases in the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, the Supreme Court of Virginia, and the Supreme Court of Kentucky
  • Appeared as counsel of record in numerous state and federal appeals involving jurisdictional, procedural and statutory construction issues of first impression
  • Prepared numerous coverage opinions and represented insurers in declaratory judgment actions involving claims arising under various types of insurance policies
  • Defended death and injury litigation, including jury trial, arising out of the premature collapse of a coal tipple being dismantled by an independent contractor
  • Jury trial of professional negligence action against phlebotomist alleged to have severely and permanently injured plaintiff while performing venipuncture
  • Briefed and orally argued numerous appeals in federal and state appellate courts on behalf of public and private clients
  • Defended the world's leading vegetation maintenance company in case involving multiple defendants and personal injuries exceeding $450,000
  • Argued before the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in a matter involving express and implied pre-emption of federal laws regulating the manufactured housing industry
  • Served as an arbitrator in uninsured and underinsured arbitration proceedings
  • Opposed remand from federal to state court, arguing that federal court should adopt new rule on timing of service on multiple defendants
  • Litigation experience representing both individual and corporate interests in a wide variety of tort and breach of contract claims
  • Defended property damage claims arising from slurry disposal
  • Represented major national brokerage houses in securities litigation
  • Acted as local counsel to a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in claims of legal malpractice by mishandling of the defense of a case in state and federal antitrust claims
  • Licensing issues and compliance before the WV Contractor's Licensing Board
  • Representation of engineers and engineering firms before the West Virginia Board of Registration for Professional Engineers
  • Represented real estate developer in breach of contract over failure to properly construct and complete a roadway which also was to be used as a private airstrip
  • Counsel in numerous litigation and appellate matters, including cases in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the United States District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia, and the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
  • Defended numerous personal injury actions in West Virginia and Kentucky
  • Represented clients in various appellate matters including actions (1) challenging constitutionality of non-judicial foreclosure; (2) challenging constitutionality of statutory limits on non-economic damages; (3) seeking to establish cause of action for workplace stress; (4) seeking to establish per se violations of insurance bad faith statute; (5) seeking removal of co-trustee of testamentary trust; (6) seeking to establish police liability for naming of suspects in criminal investigation; (7) seeking tax refunds; (8) challenging bidding process for construction of office building for university board of trustees; (9) seeking access to confidential hospital peer review records; (10) challenging NCAA eligibility ruling; (11) challenging completed operations hazard exclusion in commercial general liability policy; (12) protecting CEOs and other high-ranking corporate officials from unduly burdensome depositions; (13) seeking class action relief against the State and its contractor for uncollected child support payments
  • Defended individual officers, government agencies, and municipalities in governmental liability claims, including civil rights claims
  • Drafted briefs and presented oral argument on behalf of clients in Ohio state appellate courts
  • Defended police officers, correctional officers and governmental entities accused of common law and statutory claims
  • Defended various energy clients in cases involving catastrophic accident investigation and litigation, mine safety and health matters
  • Represented baby food manufacturers in defense of federal class action lawsuit alleging 17-year price fixing conspiracy
  • Assisted clients with utilizing judicial resources of the West Virginia Business Court Division, including drafting motion to refer case to the Business Court     
  • Represented coal operators in medical monitoring claims for water well contamination
  • Defended banks, brokers and brokerages in investigations by WV Attorney General
  • Defended a limited liability company and its managing member in suit filed by business tenant claiming fire losses allegedly caused by failure to construct office/warehouse building with proper fire protection measures and failure to purchase insurance coverage on the tenant's personal property
  • Represented large multi-national pharmaceutical company to recover for faulty wastewater treatment plant installation
  • Represented defendant in a partition action contesting the property division and surveys of partitioned lands
  • Experienced in litigation involving complex document production including e-discovery implications
  • Represented a number of clients, including banks, insurance companies, and other corporate and individual defendants, in various suits resulting in dismissal, summary judgment, or defense verdicts
  • Experienced with Kentucky's unique statutory scheme governing motor vehicle insurance and subrogation claims
  • Litigated execution on judgment issues for large telecommunications client that paved the way for a $7 million financing to proceed
  • Represented clients in collection matters related to property damage and breach of contract claims
  • Defended deliberate intent claims relating to worker injuries
  • Represented energy industry defendants and witnesses in major U.S. white collar criminal prosecutions
  • Represented a surgeon in three successive trials and interim appeals of a wrongful death medical malpractice case over 8 years
  • Litigated cases involving breach of lease agreements, breach of implied covenants, right-of-way disputes, injunctions against landowners, royalty disputes, and all types of energy-related cases
  • Defended wrongful death claims against pharmacy and long term care provider
  • Represented heavy machine manufacturer in two separate claims of catastrophic injuries
  • Defended major coal company in Coal Act litigation in Kentucky federal court  
  • Represented company in wrongful death litigation involving workplace accident in coal mine
  • Sought summary judgment for a ski resort in three recent liability cases
  • Represented banks and business entities in over 20 appellate proceedings
  • Defended clients in deliberate intent and personal injury claims
  • Litigated complex commercial disputes
  • Involved in claims arising from coal dust complaints by homeowners
  • Presuit negotiation of False Claims Act violations
  • Defended numerous "deliberate intent" actions for manufacturing and energy clients
  • Defended claims of violation of First Amendment free speech rights and right to petition in federal district court
  • Audited purchasing and contracting processes to identify and manage risks
  • Defended clients in jury trials involving contract disputes and wrongful death actions
  • Tried property damage case to verdict
  • Part of trial team that defended multi-million dollar breach of contract action
  • Part of team that represented corporate client in encroachment matter
  • Reported opinion of W. Va. Supreme Court appeal defending claims for breaches of implied covenants to develop and protect from drainage by energy producer
  • Assisted on appeal of case involving allegations of gender and age discrimination on behalf of manufacturer
  • Defended against damage claims from blasting operations
  • Represented companies and other landowners in claims alleging premises liability
  • Provided pro bono representation to financially needy clients in all of the above areas
  • Defended client in bench trial involving property dispute
  • Jury trial in a personal injury case
  • Represented nursing home facilities in litigation to prevent the construction of a competing facility in violation of state competitive bidding law
  • Defended large manufacturers and nursing homes in arbitration proceedings
  • Represented physicians and hospitals in health care fraud investigations and qui tam actions
  • Litigated large-scale lawsuit involving parallel state and federal lawsuits in which an injunction and other equitable relief was requested  
  • Represented governmental entities in premises liability and wrongful death actions
  • Defended national energy company in premises liability litigation
  • Represented client in claims arising out of international purchase orders
  • Represented real estate agents and agencies against claims involving property sales
  • Defended public official in trial court and on appeal to the West Virginia Supreme Court
  • Drafted appellate briefs for filing in the United States Supreme Court and several federal courts of appeals
  • Represented mine operators on MSHA 105(c) claims
  • Defended trucking companies in claims involving personal injuries
  • Mediated numerous claims to conclusion, including personal injury and bad faith
  • Represented clients in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
  • Trial of surety bond case
  • Defended numerous contractors and builders in property damage, breach of contract, and faulty construction claims
  • Multi-million dollar sewer plant design defect litigation
  • Represented client in bench trial regarding partnership dispute
  • Resolved a whistleblower case for a public entity after the key witness and decision-maker was impeached and removed from his office by a public tribunal
  • Represented physician in dispute over control of partnership and allegations of mismanagement
  • Handled appeal to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals on a petition for writ of prohibition involving a complicated discovery issue in a multi-million dollar condemnation case
  • Defended coal miners in criminal prosecutions arising from their work activities

100

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC is a U.S. energy firm with core strengths in labor & employment, litigation and transactional law. In 2013, Steptoe & Johnson celebrated 100 years of helping clients reach their goals.

 

Did you know?

10.5 Years

equals the average tenure of our client relationship. We'd like to be in it for the long haul with you too.

One Firm

Ours is a client-of-the-firm culture, service model and compensation system that matches the best talent to the assignment and puts your economic interest ahead of ours.

Leaders in our Field

22 of us are ranked as “Leaders in their Field” by Chambers USA.

Leaders in our Field

Steptoe & Johnson was the first firm to successfully secure regulatory approval for a multi-lateral Utica shale well.

15 Offices Throughout the U.S.

15 offices throughout Colorado, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia.

Face-to-Face Client Interviews

25+ face-to-face client interviews are conducted every year by our CEO and firm management to learn how we can do better (so please give us an earful).