Steven A. Goldfarb, co-chair of Hahn Loeser’s national Litigation Area, is a skilled and highly acclaimed trial lawyer practicing in California and Ohio with nationwide experience representing companies and individuals in diverse business litigation matters. In addition to leading the firm’s well-recognized Class Action and Title Insurance Industry Teams, Steve has significant experience in unfair competition/trade secrets, insurance coverage/bad faith, securities fraud and other contract/tort cases.
Under Steve’s leadership, Hahn Loeser’s Class Action and Title Insurance Industry Team has successfully defeated nearly 100 consumer class actions over the last 10 years not only in California and Ohio, but also in Connecticut, Kentucky, Texas, Illinois, Washington, Missouri and Colorado—mostly via dispositive and certification motion practice—but also by trials.
Steve’s past trial victories include two record jury verdicts (Top 100 Verdicts by The National law Journal), both exceeding $40 million, in 2006 (Maricopa County, AZ) and in 2005 (Southern District of Ohio) on behalf of companies suing their competitors and former employees in wrongful recruiting cases involving tortious interference, non-competition covenants and breaches of fiduciary duty. Steve has successfully tried numerous other cases to verdict or judgment, including jury trials involving business fraud, trade secrets, age discrimination, wrongful death, medical malpractice and other personal injury cases.
Recent Litigation Successes
- Obtained substantial defense arbitration award against individual class representatives who were compelled to arbitrate Unfair Competition Law (UCL) claims alleging certain settlement service fees were “kickbacks” and seeking restitution of significant real estate commissions the plaintiffs characterized as “secret profits.” The defense judgment included an award of attorney fees in excess of $1.2 million against the individual class representatives, and the award was recently confirmed by the Superior Court in San Diego County.
- Successful settlement of non-competition/ trade secret case brought in San Diego County,on behalf of Lawyers Title Company against a competitor and former officer seeking significant compensation for lost profits. As part of settlement, sexual harassment counterclaims against the company and its executives were dismissed.
- Successfully defended a federal non-competition lawsuit filed in the Northern District of Ohio that was designed to prevent our client – a nationally recognized dental/Botox instructor - from competing against the industry leader. Steve defeated the plaintiff’s motion for temporary restraining order and obtained an excellent settlement for our client prior to trial, permitting unrestricted competition.
- Achieved a successful settlement of a fidelity bond (FIB) insurance coverage/bad faith federal lawsuit filed in 2008 in the Southern District of California on behalf of plaintiff Fidelity National Financial against defendant National Union Fire Insurance Company. The case settled just prior to trial following a groundbreaking summary judgment ruling in favor our plaintiff client on the coverage and bad faith claims.
The result in this case was similar to the related insurance coverage and bad faith case filed by Chicago Title in 2008 in Los Angeles County on an E&O Policy against ACE/Illinois Union. In 2010, Steve obtained a successful settlement of the E&O litigation after also obtaining a plaintiff’s summary judgment ruling on the coverage and bad faith claims.
- Obtained a successful judgment in class action bench trial in Santa Clara County, CA (appeal pending) involving claims under California’s UCL. Notwithstanding a finding that the client’s conduct technically violated the California insurance rate filing law, Steve successfully argued that plaintiffs had not established any injury or harm necessary to an award of restitution, resulting in no damage award and no attorney fee award to plaintiff’s counsel.
- Successfully defended a class action jury trial to verdict in Jackson County, MO in a case in which the plaintiffs were seeking over $211 million in punitive damages. Steve led our litigation strategy with an aggressive approach - admitting to a limited overcharge liability, but vigorously opposing plaintiffs’ damages analysis and punitive damages request. After making our defendant client’s case during the plaintiffs’ two-week case-in-chief, our client rested and was rewarded with a jury verdict limited to a low compensatory damage number that was always acknowledged as owed by our client, and a defense verdict of zero punitive damages.
Professional Recognition and Community Involvement
Steve has been recognized for his professional achievements by several national and international legal publications. He is listed in the 2008-17 editions of Chambers USA: Leading Lawyers for Business in the category of Commercial Litigation (Ohio); the 2007-17 editions of The Best Lawyers in America® in the categories of Commercial Litigation and Litigation Banking & Finance; and the 2004-17 editions of Ohio Super Lawyers®. He is also AV® Preeminent™ Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, its highest available rating for legal ability and professional ethics.
In addition, Steve is a leader at Hahn Loeser, having served as a Member of the firm’s Board of Directors since 1999 and as Co-Chair of the Litigation Area since 2003. Steve is also active in the Northeast Ohio community, as a Trustee of the Shaker Schools Foundation since 2009 (President in 2013-14), and a Member, since 2014, of the Board of Directors of Montefiore, a major non-profit nursing and senior care organization.
The Ohio State University College of Law, J.D. 1985
Indiana University, B.A. 1982
Shaker Schools Foundation: Board of Trustees, 2010 to present; President, 2014-15; Vice President, 2012-13; Secretary, 2011-12
Montefiore: Board of Directors, 2015 to present
President's Club of The Ohio State University: Member
The Ohio State University Alumni Association: Member
Chambers USA: Leading Lawyers for Business, Commercial Litigation (Ohio), 2008-17
The Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation, Banking & Finance Litigation, 2007-17
Ohio Super Lawyers, 2004-17
AV® Preeminent Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
Admitted to practice in California and Ohio.
Admitted to practice in the Southern District of California(pending), Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio; Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan; and the Fifth, Sixth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal.
American Bar Association: Member
State Bar of California: Member
Ohio State Bar Association: Member
Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association: Member