Steve is a shareholder and member of the Complex Litigation Practice Group.
Steve partners with businesses, primarily insurance companies and broker-dealers, to solve litigation problems. Every dispute is an opportunity to improve the way the client conducts business.
- Defense victory for Broker-Dealer in dispute arising out of termination.
- Defense victory for Broker-Dealer in suitability case.
- Defense victory for Broker-Dealer in “selling away” case.
- Currently representing insurance company defendants in cases in multiple jurisdictions involving life insurance products used to fund tax-advantaged or “tax shelter” plans, such as 412 plans, 419 plans or pension rescue plans.
- Currently representing broker dealer in FIRNA arbitrations.
- Represented the insurance company defendant in a purported nationwide class action in Texas relating to 412(i) plans. Motion to dismiss granted. Berry, et al. v. American General Life Inc. Co., et al. 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89414 (N.D. Tex. Aug. 11, 2011).
- Lead defense lawyer in nationwide class action settlement involving a credit repair company.
- Summary judgment in a purported nationwide class action alleging the defendant insurance company charged smoker rates to juveniles. Thompson v. American General Life and Accident Ins. Co., 448 F.Supp.2d 885 (M.D. Tenn. 2006).
- Served as one of the lead attorneys for the defendant in a multi- district litigation (MDL) in federal court in Columbia, South Carolina
- Successfully defended a case alleging misappropriation of trade secrets.
Significant appellate decisions:
- Louise Hunter, et al. v. American General Life and Accident InsuranceCo., et al.,2006 WL 3267346 (4th Cir. Nov. 13, 2006)(affirming denial of class certification for proposed nationwide class alleging racial discrimination in the pricing of insurance policies)
- Morgan Stanley v. Ventura, 907 So. 2d 1035 (Ala. 2005) (holding that beneficiary was bound by arbitration provisions contained in investment agreements even though the beneficiary did not sign the agreements)
- American General Life and Accident Insurance Company v. Underwood, 886 So. 2d 807 (Ala. 2004) (reversing the trial court’s order denying American General’s summary judgment motion)
- Anderson, et al. v. H&R Block, Inc., et al., 132 F. Supp. 2d 948 (M.D. Ala. 2000) (denying motion to remand based on National Bank Act preemption); reversed 287 F.3d 1038 (11th Cir. 2002); cert. granted 539 U.S. 913 (2003) and remanded based on decision of United States Supreme Court in a companion case, Beneficial National Bank v. Anderson, 539 U.S. 1 (2003) (reversing the Eleventh Circuit and affirming the denial of the motion to remand based on National Bank Act preemption)
- Household Bank, H&R Block, Inc., et al. v. The JFS Group, et al., 320 F.3d 1249 (Eleventh Cir. 2003) (reversing the district court and holding that federal-question jurisdiction exists in a declaratory judgment action if the plaintiff has alleged facts in a well-pleaded complaint which demonstrate that the defendant could file a coercive action arising under federal law)
- Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society v. Harris, 740 So. 2d 362 (Ala. 1999) (reversing the trial court’s order denying Woodmen’s motion to compel arbitration)
- Ex parte Exxon Corporation, 725 So. 2d 930 (Ala. 1998) (ordering decertification of nationwide class)
- The Best Lawyers in America© for Commercial Litigation and Insurance Law (2008 – present)
- Mid-South Super Lawyers for Civil Litigation: Defense (2016-present)
- Alabama Super Lawyers for Civil Litigation Defense (2011-2015)
- Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent Rating
Steve's Affiliations and Civic Involvement
- American Bar Association
- Alabama State Bar Association
- Mississippi State Bar Association
- Birmingham Bar Association
Vanderbilt University Law School (1989, J.D.)
Birmingham-Southern College (1986, B.A., with honors)