With over a dozen first chair trials since 2010, Steve Geise is a trial lawyer who focuses on defending companies in product liability lawsuits in state and federal courts throughout the United States. He has represented manufacturers of airplanes, cigarettes, medical devices, off-road vehicles, pharmaceuticals, and other consumer goods in individual and class action litigation.
Steve's litigation experience covers issues including false advertising, unfair competition, duty to warn, preemption, and privacy. He represents clients in coordinated complex litigation including multidistrict litigation (MDL) nationally and JCCP actions in California. He has worked with experts in numerous medical, industrial, and scientific fields.
In 2016, Steve was a member of the trial team that achieved the largest patent infringement verdict in U.S. history. After a two-week trial, the jury ordered Gilead Sciences to pay $2.54 billion in damages to Idenix Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Merck & Co.) for sales of sofosbuvir-based medicines, including Sovaldi and Harvoni, for its infringement of an Idenix patent related to the treatment of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
Since 1996, Steve has been part of the national coordinating counsel team defending R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in complex personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in multiple states. He was active in the Firm's representation of Yamaha Motor Co. in litigation involving the Rhino side-by-side vehicle. Recently, he defended medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers in product liability lawsuits and defended other clients in two purported class actions alleging privacy violations for monitoring calls to customer service centers.
Steve also serves as the head of litigation and as the Administrative Partner in the San Diego Office.
Toxic Trespass: Lead Us Not Into Litigation, Practice Perspectives: Product Liability & Tort Litigation
- December 2016Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Court, Chapter 14, Multidistrict Litigation (4th Ed.) 2016
- 1995A Whole New Ballgame: The Application of Trademark Law to Sports Mark Litigation, 5 Seton Hall J. Sport L. 553
- 1994Casenote: Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals: The Admissibility of Expert Scientific Testimony Under the Federal Rules of Evidence Does Not Require 'Frye-ing', 20 Ohio N.U.L. , Rev. 1061
- June 2011Class Action Litigation Strategy 2011 -- Current Trends and Hot Topics, Association of Corporate Counsel, San Diego Chapter
- January 2010Ethical Considerations for In-House Counsel
- January 2010Handling a Mistake with Benefit of Hindsight
- August 12, 2009Ethical Considerations for In-House Counsel, Celgene CLE Summit
- August 2009Ethical Considerations for In-House Counsel
- January 2006Winning Legal Strategies for Product Liability 2006
- February 2004Personal Injury Discovery in a Private World
- San Antonio, TexasEmerging Issues and Strategies in Tobacco Litigation
- Ohio Northern University (J.D. with high distinction 1995; Editor-in-Chief, Law Review); University of Dayton (B.A. in History magna cum laude 1992)
- California; U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Central, and Southern Districts of California, District of South Carolina, Northern District of Ohio, and Central District of Illinois; and U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuits
Daily Journal "Top Defense Verdict Award" (2017)
Legal 500 — recommended in litigation for product liability and mass tort defense: consumer products (including tobacco) (2014)
Best Lawyers in America — product liability litigation: defendants (2015-2017)
Member: State Bar of California, Federal Bar Association, San Diego County Bar Association, DRI, and local ABTL chapter
Board of Directors: University of Dayton National Alumni Association
Master: Welsh Chapter, American Inns of Court
Lawyer representative, Southern District of California
- Law Clerk to the Honorable G. Ross Anderson Jr., U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina (1995-1996)