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Steven Plitt

E-mail MeSteven Plitt
Location:
Phoenix, Arizona
Phone:
(602) 331-0360
Fax:
602-331-8600
Email:
E-mail Me

Mr. Plitt is the chairperson for the firm’s insurance coverage practice group.  He is a preeminent and nationally recognized insurance coverage attorney.  As the current senior author of Couch on Insurance 3d, Mr. Plitt’s commentary on existing and emerging areas of insurance law is relied upon by courts and attorneys throughout the United States.  He has also authored Arizona Liability Insurance Law and is a co-author of The Claim Adjuster’s Automobile Liability Handbook, CAT Claims: Insurance Coverage for National and Man-Made Disasters, and Practical Tools for Handling Insurance Cases.  He is a contributing editor of the Arizona Tort Law Handbook. 

Mr. Plitt has been recognized as one of the top 50 attorneys in Arizona by his peers and Southwest Super Lawyers®.  Best Lawyers® has recognized Mr. Plitt as the Insurance Lawyer of the Year in 2012, for Phoenix.  He is currently an adjunct professor of law at the University of Arizona and is a former adjunct professor law at Arizona State University.  His field of teaching is insurance law.

Unlike most coverage attorneys, Mr. Plitt has tried 26 cases to jury verdict in state and federal courts.  Most coverage attorneys are “litigators” who will have little trial experience.  Although Mr. Plitt manages a large insurance coverage litigation practice, his trial experience makes him an exceptional analyst who is called upon to monitor complex high-exposure cases and to independently advise insurance companies regarding case exposures.  He has analyzed coverage issues in 40 states and has provided expert consultation on insurance coverage and/or liability exposures in 26 states. 

Mr. Plitt is an expert insurance consultant and witness regarding insurance company claim handling practices, bad faith, insurance agent malpractice and attorney malpractice where the asserted claim of malpractice is directly or indirectly related to insurance coverage and insurance company practice and procedure. 

Mr. Plitt is an arbitrator who is available to arbitrate complex insurance cases. Mr. Plitt also mediates insurance coverage cases, bad faith cases, and agent malpractice cases. He is a Judge Pro Tempore for the Maricopa County Superior Court where he is assigned to the Civil and Civil/ADR Departments.

Areas of Practice

  • Appellate
  • Employment Law
  • Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Arizona, 1982
  • U.S. District Court District of Arizona, 1982
  • U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, 1989
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1983
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2002

Education

  • University of Connecticut School of Law, Hartford, Connecticut
    • LL.M. - 2012
    • Honors: With Honors
    • Honors: CALI Award of Excellence - Workers' Compensation
    • Honors: 2012 Insurance Law Center LL.M Prize
    • Major: Insurance Law
  • University of Arizona College of Law, Tucson, Arizona
    • J.D. - 1982
    • Honors: Recipient, Best Oral Advocate Award, Second Year Moot Court Competition
    • Honors: Member, U of A National Moot Court Team
    • Honors: Editor, Second Year Moot Court Board
    • Honors: National Order of Barristers
    • Honors: With Distinction
    • Law Review: INSURANCE LITIGATION REPORTER, EDITORIAL BOARD
  • Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
    • B.S. summa cum laude - 1978
    • Honors: With Honors
    • Major: Political Science

Published Works

  • Couch on Insurance 3d., Senior Author, (re-writing entire treatise)
  • Practical Tools for Handling Insurance Cases, 2 Volumes, Thomson Reuters 2011 (2012 Supplement - 159 pages)
  • The Claim Adjuster's Automobile Liability Handbook, West Publishing 2009 (2011 Supplement - 11 pages), Fall
  • CAT Claims: Insurance Coverage for Natural and Man-Made Disasters, Thomson West , 2008
  • Arizona Liability Insurance Law (705 pages, hardbound), State Bar of Arizona (1998); 2001 Supplement (115 pages); 2006 Supplement (426 pages, hardbound)
  • Arizona Tort Law Handbook (Senior Contributing Editor), State Bar Arizona, 2012
  • Construction Defects: Claims and Coverage: "Progressive Losses - Triggers of Coverage, Numbering of Occurrences and Allocation Among Successive Policies", DRI Defense Library Series, Ch. 3, Part II
  • Shifting Attorneys' Fees To The Losing Party: Is It Covered Under The Policy?, Ins. Lit. Rptr, forthcoming Winter 2009
  • Mortgage Demands For Homeowner Coverage: When The Insured Property Has Been Stripped During Foreclosure, In-House Defense Quarterly, forthcoming Winter 2009
  • The Coverage Gap E&O Exposure To Agents When Client Subcontractors Participate In Construction Wrap-Up Programs, Claims Journal, Essentials, forthcoming December 2009
  • Determining Permissive User Status In Automobile Liability, Claims Journal, Essentials, November 16, 2009
  • A Basic Understanding Of Lloyd's Of London Which Every Insurance Lawyer Should Have, Common Defense, Fall 2009
  • A Reminder On Managing Agency E&O Risk, Claims Journal, Essentials (November 10, 2009) and Ins. Journal, Essentials (November 11, 2009)
  • It's Time To Review Essential Procedures For Managing E&O: Systems, Checklists, Guidelines, Manuals Among Tools Useful In Reducing Agency Errors, Ins. Journal Magazine, Vol. 87, No. 21 (November 2, 2009)
  • Insuring The Emerging Markets In Bio And Nanotechnology, Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol. 31, No. 17 (October 2009)
  • Timely Claims Reporting: A Serious Obligation For Agencies, Ins. Journal Magazine, Vol. 87, No. 18 (September 21, 2009)
  • Understanding Basic Principles Of Biomechanical Engineering In Low Speed Rear-End Collision Scenarios, Claims Journal, September 10, 2009
  • Coverage Issues Associated With Federal Clean Water Act Violations For Discharging Land Fill Into Waterways, Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol.. 31, No. 13 (August 2009)
  • A Jurisprudential Survey of Bad Faith Claims In the Workers' Compensation Context and a Call for a Unified Remedy, Conn. Ins. L.J. Vol. 18.2, p. 451 (2011-2012)
  • Are State Court Garnishment Actions An Effectual Impediment to Federal Declaratory Judgment Jurisdictions: Is Timing Everything, Conn. Ins. L.J., Vol. 15.1 (2008-2009)
  • Prohibiting De Facto Insurance Redline: Will Hurricane Katrina Draw a Discriminatory Redline in the Gulf Coast Sands Prohibiting Access to Home Ownership?, 14 Wash. & Lee J. Civil Rts. & Soc. Just. 199, Spring, 2008
  • The Practical Ramifications of Dual Sovereignty In Prosecuting Declaratory Judgment Actions Against State and Federal Governments, Conn. Ins. L.J., Vol. 14.2, p. 445 (2007-2008)
  • Charting a Course for Federal Removal Through the Abstention Doctrine: A Titanic Experience In the Sargasso Sea of Jurisdictional Manipulation, 56 DePaul L. Rev. 107, Fall, 2006
  • The Punitive Damages Lottery Chase is Over: Is There a Regulatory Alternative to the Tort of Common Law Bad Faith and Does it Provide an Alternative Deterrent?, 37 Ariz. St. L.J. 1221, Winter, 2005
  • Judicial Abstinence: Ninth Circuit Jurisdictional Celibacy for Claims Brought Under the Federal Declaratory Judgment Act, 27 Seattle U.L. Rev. 751, Issue 3, Spring, 2004
  • The Evolving Boundaries of Damron/Morris Agreements: A Search for the Missing Link, A Judicial Determination of the Length of a Reasonable Person's Arm, and Other Progressive Issues , 35 Ariz. St. L.J. 1331, 2003
  • The Elastic Contours of Attorney-Client Privilege and Waiver in the Context of Insurance Company Bad Faith: There's a Chill In The Air, 34 eton Hall L. Rev. 513, 2003
  • Disability Under a Judicial Microscope: The Struggle to Define the Rights and Remedies for Claims Brought Under the Rehabilitation Act, 47 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 269, 2003
  • Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama vx. Garrett: Is Constitutional Authority for Sale and Is State Sovereign Immunity the Purchase Price?, 13 Geo. Mason U. Civ. Rts. L.J. 151, Spring, 2003
  • The Changing Face of Global Terrorism and a New Look of War: An Analysis of the War-Risk Exclusion in the Wake of the Anniversary of September 11, and Beyond, 39 Williamette L. Rev. 31, Winter, 2003
  • The Changing Landscape of the Eleventh Amendment Immunity in the Context of the Americans with Disabilities Act And the Rehabilitation Act After Garrett: Are Arizona School Districts Beyond Suite?, 34 Ariz. St. L.J. 873, Fall, 2002

Classes/Seminars

  • "Bad Faith Insurance Law" (Topic: Panel Member), State Bar of Arizona
  • "2012 Annual Convention" (Topic: Effective Strategies for Avoiding Federal Court Removal in Insurance Cases), American Association for Justice, July 28, 2012 - August 1, 2012
  • "22nd Annual CLE by the Sea" (Topic: Witness Issues Arising in Civil Cases - Experts), State Bar of Arizona
  • "Litigation Basics II CLE" (Topic: A Young Associate's Guide to Preparing for Bad Faith Litigation), Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, Young Lawyers Division
  • "Arizona Insurance Law" (Topic: Directors & Officers Coverage), State Bar of Arizona
  • Bad Faith; Claim Handling, The Medical Protective Company, National Claim Department Annual Conference, Fort Way, IN
  • "21st Annual CLE by the Sea" (Chairperson and Speaker) (Topic: Settlement Agreements) (San Diego, CA), State Bar of Arizona, July 14, 2011 - July 16, 2011
  • "Arizona Insurance Law" (Topic: Insurance Coverage - Analysis & Interpretation), State Bar of Arizona
  • "Insurance Coverage Litigation" (Topics: Intrepreting Coverage Under the Insurance Contract and Bad Faith Litigation), National Business Institute
  • "Arizona Insurance Law" (Topic: Automobile Liability Coverage, State Bar of Arizona
  • "Insurance Coverage Litigation" (Topic: Common Types of Insurance Coverage Disputes), National Business Institute
  • "American Conference Institute's 19th National Advanced Forum on Bad Faith Litigation" (Topic: Manufactured Claims: Strategically Avoiding and Properly Defending Against "Bad Faith Set Ups"), American Conference Institute, April 29, 2009 - April 30, 2009
  • "Arizona Insurance Law" (Topic: Third-Party Bad Faith in Arizona), State Bar of Arizona
  • "Litigation Basics for the Civil Defense Associate" (Topic: Fundamentals of Insurance Coverage Analysis), Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, Young Lawyers Division
  • Guest Lecturer (Topic: Discovery Issues in Bad Faith Litigation), Arizona State University College of Law (LAW 691)
  • "Arizona Insurance Coverage" (Topic: Complex Coverage Analysis), State Bar of Arizona
  • "Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute" (Topic: Expert Witnesses and Insurance Coverage Litigation) (Chicago, Illinois), DRI, April 11, 2007 - April 13, 2007
  • "Daubert and Use of Expert Witnesses in the Insurance Bad Faith Content", Arizona Association of Defense Counsel
  • "Arizona Insurance Coverage" (Topics: Complex Insurance Coverage Analysis and Directors & Officers Coverage), State Bar of Arizona
  • "Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium" (Topic: Dirty Sox and Clean Directors: the Impact of Enron n D&O Issues) (New York, NY), DRI, December 7, 2006 - December 8, 2006

Honors and Awards

  • Recipient, Outstanding Contribution to Continuing Legal Education Award, Arizona State Bar Association, 1999
  • Who's Who in American Law
  • Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, 1978 - 1979
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2007
  • One of Phoenix's Top Lawyers, Phoenix Magazine, 2006
  • One of Arizona's Top 50 Lawyers, Southwest Superlawyers

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Arizona, Licensed Insurance Broker, 1974 - Present
  • Arizona State Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, Chairman, CLE Committee, 1990 - 1992
  • Arizona State Bar Association, Member, CLE Committee, 1999 - 1993
  • Arizona State Bar Association, Member, CLE Committee, 2001 - Present
  • Arizona State Bar Association, Member, CLE Committee, 2001 - 2004
  • SOUTHWEST SUPERLAWYERS, selected as one of the top 50 lawyers in Arizona 2007, 2008 and 2009, 2007 - 2009

Past Employment Positions

  • Judge Robert J. Corcoran, Arizona Court of Appeals, Law Clerk, 1982 - 1983
  • House of Representatives, Arizona State Legislature, Chairman of the Committee, Legislative Intern, Banking and Insurance, 1979