Steve Allison is a partner in the Orange County office and is a trial lawyer in the Commercial Litigation Group. He serves as the head of the Orange County office. His practice includes complex business, class action, insurance coverage, health care, intellectual property, product liability, and real estate matters. Steve has represented clients in trials, arbitrations and appeals.
Steve has defended numerous class actions in a variety of industries. Specifically, Steve has handled the defense of significant nationwide consumer class actions for clients in the telecommunications/technology, retail, consumer products, and entertainment industries. In these class actions, Steve has successfully defended claims of unfair competition, false advertising, violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, violation of numerous state consumer protection statutes, and unjust enrichment. In connection with these cases, Steve has also handled a variety of FTC and state attorney general inquiries and subpoenas. He also has successfully defended wage and hour class actions for clients in these same industries.
Steve also has deep experience in insurance coverage matters. He has represented insurers in matters asserting coverage for mass tort, environmental, and construction defect claims seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance coverage. Steve has also brought affirmative claims on behalf of insurers to determine proper allocation and contribution for long-tail exposures.
His insurance experience also includes representation of health care insurers, plans and administrators. Steve has defended contract, bad faith and ERISA claims against those defendants, and has successfully asserted an array of preemption-based defenses to those claims. Steve’s advocacy in this area has included multiple jury trials and the handling of successful appeals.
Steve's practice also includes intellectual property and technology litigation relating to trademark, copyright, trade dress, trade secret, and right of publicity claims, as well as licensing disputes. He has handled these claims for clients in the entertainment, new media, publishing, technology, and retail/consumer products industries. Steve has also successfully defended class actions against companies in these same industries.
Finally, Steve has handled a wide variety of complex business disputes, including taking cases to trial and arbitration. In this area, he has special experience in handling claims in the grocery industry relating to real estate development and shopping center leasing.
Steve earned his bachelor of arts degree in political science, magna cum laude, from Messiah College in 1990. In 1994, he earned his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude and Order of the Coif, from Georgetown University Law Center. While there, he was a notes editor on the Georgetown Law Journal.
He was named a Southern California Super Lawyer in 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016.
Class Action Litigation
- Representing national eyewear retailers in two consumer class actions alleging violation of California consumer protection statutes based on a complex California regulatory scheme, as well as false advertising claims.
- Representing mattress manufacturer in consumer class action alleging violations of California consumer protection and warranty statutes based on alleged terms and application of express product warranties.
- Represented major hotel management company in successful defense of class action alleging violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act based on alleged marketing calls to cell phones.
- Represented several mobile phone content providers in the defense of eight consumer class actions filed throughout the country alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and various state consumer protection laws based on unauthorized charges to cell phone customers. Also represented these companies in responding to various State Attorney General inquiries.
- Represented telecommunications/technology company in the successful defense of consumer class action alleging violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The case settled favorably on an individual basis after defeat of plaintiff's motion for class certification.
- Represented telecommunications/technology company in defense of a consumer class action alleging violation of Washington consumer protection statutes based on alleged unauthorized text messages and charges to cell phone customers.
- Represented sports accessory company, and their officers and directors, in defense of twenty-two class actions filed in four separate states alleging false advertising and violation of state consumer protection statutes.
- Represented athlete endorsers of consumer product in class action alleging false advertising and violation of state consumer protection statutes based on their product endorsement.
- Obtained dismissal prior to class certification of three separate class actions alleging false advertising and unfair competition against Southern California's largest mattress retailer and a national mattress manufacturer.
- Represented national telecommunications company in wage and hour class action litigation. Case settled on favorable basis after successful motions to limit recovery period and appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Insurance/Health Care Litigation
- Represented health insurance plan in two-week jury trial relating to claim by home infusion provider seeking exorbitant charges for its provision of drugs to one of plan’s members. Jury returned unanimous defense verdict for Mr. Allison’s client on breach of contract and fraud claims, after court granted directed verdict on the punitive damages claim.
- Representing insurers in defense of numerous insurance coverage/bad faith actions seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in coverage under historic insurance policies for mass tort, asbestos, environmental, and construction defect claims.
- Representing health care plans and their administrator and/or insurer in numerous bad faith and ERISA actions relating to claims for coverage under health care insurance policies, as well as contractual and payment disputes with health care providers.
- Obtained dismissal on federal preemption grounds of tort claims against Medicare Advantage plan based on the managed care system of financial incentives. Dismissal was affirmed on appeal in Yarick v. PacifiCare of California, 179 Cal. App. 4th 1158 (2009).
- Obtained dismissal on federal preemption grounds of contract and bad faith claims against Medicare Advantage plan.
- Represented national ratings agency in its successful First Amendment-based defense of billion dollar claims arising from nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy. After successful summary judgment motion and opposition to good faith settlement motions, the case was settled for a minimal amount on very favorable terms.
- Represented major shopping center REIT in three-month jury trial related to dispute over prime site for shopping center. Jury returned a unanimous verdict on business tort and unfair competition claims, and awarded over $6 million to Mr. Allison's client, as well as finding malice necessary for punitive damages.
- Represented major bank in arbitration relating to sale of bank’s interest in commercial office building. Arbitrator found for bank on all substantive issues.
- Represented asphalt emulsions producer in fraud and intentional interference claims against largest chemical company in the world. After complete defeat of defendant's motion for summary judgment, (Western Emulsions, Inc. v. BASF Corporation, 2007 WL 1839718 (C.D. Cal.)) case was settled on a confidential basis.
- Represented several major grocery chains in litigation related to shopping center development, commercial leasing, exclusive use restrictions, and nuisance claims.
- Represented national truck rental company in defense of product liability claims throughout California and Nevada.
Intellectual Property/Technology Litigation
- Represented largest exporter of U.S. beef to Korea in 5-week jury trial on trademark, contract, and unfair competition tort claims. After partial verdict and favorable post-trial rulings, case was settled for over $13 million to Mr. Allison's clients.
- Represented rights clearance agency and national consumer products company in disputes over licensing of songs performed by the Village People.
- Represented rock band Guns N' Roses in trademark litigation related to release of Greatest Hits album.
Civic and Community Activities
- Chair/Vice-Chair, Board of Directors, Orange County United Way (2012-2016)
- Executive Committee, Orange County United Way (2012-present)
- Board of Directors, Orange County United Way (2005-present)
- Campaign Cabinet, Orange County United Way (2012-2014)
- Community Investment Cabinet, Orange County United Way, Chair (2008-2012), Vice-chair (2006-2008)
- Chair / Vice-Chair, Keeping Kids on Track Initiative, Orange County United Way (2002-2006)
- Alexis de Tocqueville Society, Orange County United Way (2006-present)
- Bench & Bar Society, Orange County United Way (2006-present)
- Public Law Center, Fund Development Committee (2010-2012), Annual Dinner Committee (2005-2009)
Admitted to practice: California, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, U.S. District Court: Central District of California, Southern District of California, Eastern District of California, Northern District of California, District of Colorado, Western District of Wisconsin
Awards and Honors
Named a "Southern California Super Lawyer" in 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016.
Highlights, News & Knowledge
Speeches & Presentations
"Helping Sales and Marketing Avoid an Anti-defamation, Infringement or Unfair Competition Claims from Competitors," ACC - In-House Counsel Conference, Anaheim, CA
(January 27, 2016).
Presenters: David Ervin, Steven D. Allison and Chahira Solh.
"Risk and Reward: What You Should Know About Regulatory and Litigation Risk Affecting Your Company’s Marketing Strategies in 2015," Association of Corporate Counsel, Southern California
(January 21, 2015).
Presenters: Steven D. Allison, David Ervin, and Van-Dzung Vu Nguyen.
"Civil Litigation Practice Year in Review," California Continuing Education of the Bar
(January 10, 2015).
Presenter: Steven D. Allison.
"Navigating the New Regulatory Landscape: Developments in Consumer Protection, Advertising and Privacy at the Agencies and in the Courts," Association of Corporate Counsel, Southern California
(June 26, 2014).
Presenters: Steven D. Allison and Cheryl A. Falvey.
"Managed Care Litigation," Crowell & Moring's Healthcare Ounce Of Prevention Seminar (HOOPS), Los Angeles, CA
(May 13, 2014).
Presenters: William A. Helvestine and Steven D. Allison.
"Recovery Theories and Opportunities: A New Way of Thinking for Your In-House Legal Department," Orange County Bar Association Corporate Counsel Section Meeting
(April 8, 2014).
Presenters: Steven D. Allison and Daniel A. Sasse.
"Turning the Corporate Legal Department into a Profit Center," Association of Corporate Counsel Southern California Chapter
(June 24, 2013).
Presenters: Daniel A. Sasse, Jennifer S. Romano, Jason C. Murray, and Steven D. Allison.
"Recovery Opportunities for Retailers: Turning a Retail Law Department into a Profit Center in Retail Leasing, Antitrust Litigation and Vendor Disputes," Retail Industry Leaders Association Retail Law Conference 2012
Presenters: Gregory D. Call, Jennifer S. Romano, and Steve D. Allison.
"Unfair Business Practices: 17200 & Beyond," California Continuing Education of the Bar
Presenter: Steven D. Allison.
"Identifying and Using Insurance Coverage in Business Litigation," California Continuing Education of the Bar
Presenter: Steven D. Allison.
"Recent Developments in California Civil Litigation," California Continuing Education of the Bar
Presenter: Steven D. Allison.
"Fundamentals of Insurance Coverage," California Continuing Education of the Bar,
Presenter: Steven D. Allison.
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