Steven A. Goldfarb, co-chair of Hahn Loeser's Litigation Area and a member of the firm's board of directors, has a long and proven track record of success in defending large companies in class actions around the country. He maintains a national commercial litigation practice which, in recent years, has focused on the representation of major public companies in high-stakes controversies, with emphasis in the title insurance industry. Major representative clients include Fidelity National Financial, Inc. - the largest title insurance company in the U.S. - and its family of companies (e.g., Chicago Title, Fidelity National Title, and Ticor Title). Steve oversees Hahn Loeser's service for the Fidelity family of companies in a wide range of major title and escrow claims, employment/wrongful recruiting matters, defense of class actions, insurance recovery, and general commercial and regulatory matters.
At Hahn Loeser
In the last two years alone, Steve and his team of class action litigators have tried three certified class actions and obtained favorable outcomes for their clients. One of those cases— Krause v. Chicago Title Ins. Co. No. 0516-CV30246 (Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri)—was a Kansas City, Missouri jury trial in which the plaintiffs sought over $211 million in punitive damages. Steve led his litigation team with an aggressive approach - admitting limited liability, but vehemently opposing plaintiffs’ damages analysis and punitive damages request. After making its case during plaintiffs’ two-week case-in-chief, defendant rested and was rewarded with a jury verdict that included zero punitive damages.
Steve and his team also gained significant victories in two other class actions tried as bench trials. In Chultem v. Ticor Title Insurance Company No. 1-09-1619 (Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois) and Colella v. Chicago Title Insurance Company No. 1-09-1622 (Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois), which were tried together, they led the defense effort to secure a judgment in favor of defendants defeating two certified class actions that sought in excess of $250 million in compensatory damages, plus trebling. In Villanueva v. Fidelity National Title Company No. 1-10-CV-173356 (Superior Court of the State of California, County of Santa Clara), after successfully eliminating numerous claims via motion practice, they completed a four-week trial that resulted in a defeat of plaintiffs’ claims seeking over $35 million.
The class action cases for Fidelity have been located across the country, including courts located in: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Washington. In addition to the results described above, other successes include important victories on dispositive motions and in denying class certification. See e.g., Bushbeck v. Chicago Title Ins. Co., No. 08-755, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53794 (W.D. Wash. June 1, 2010); In re Title Ins. Antitrust Cases, No. 08-677, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30913 (N.D. Ohio Mar. 31, 2010); Hancock v. Chicago Title Ins. Co., 263 F.R.D. 383 (N.D. Tex. 2009). One notable victory is Jordan Katz et. al. v. Fidelity National Title Insurance Company, et. al. No. 10-3545 (6th Cir. July 17, 2012), in which eight consolidated class actions challenged the title insurance rates charged in Ohio as the product of conspiracies in violation of federal and state antitrust laws, and sought damages and injunctive relief. The defendants included our clients (Fidelity National Financial and eight of its subsidiaries), other title insurers, and the Ohio Title Insurance Rating Bureau. As coordinating counsel, Steve and his team led the effort that resulted in dismissal of all claims with prejudice by the district court. This dismissal was affirmed by the Court of Appeals, relying on the McCarran Ferguson Act and a first impression analysis of Ohio law that Steve’s team originated.
Steve's work on non-competition cases for Fidelity includes two major jury trial victories against its biggest competitor in corporate raiding cases, both of which were named Top 100 Verdicts by The National Law Journal in 2005 & 2006, respectively. See Chicago Title Insurance Corp. v. James A. Magnuson [and First American Title Ins. Co.], 487 F.3d 985 (6th Cir. 2007); Security Title Agency, Inc. v. Linda Lorene Pope [and First American Title Ins. Co.], 2008 Ariz. App. LEXIS 118 (Court of Appeals, Div. One July 29, 2008).
Steve has been recognized for his professional achievements by several national and international legal publications. He is listed in the 2008-15 editions of Chambers USA: Leading Lawyers for Business in the category of Commercial Litigation; the 2007-16 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.
Indiana University B.A. 1982
The Ohio State University College of Law J.D. 1985
American Bar Association, Litigation Section and Franchise Forum
Ohio State Bar Association, Member
Shaker Schools Foundation, Board of Trustees, 2010 to present
Vice President, 2012-13
Montefiore, Board of Directors, 2015 to present
State of Ohio
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan