ADMISSIONS AND QUALIFICATIONS:
Princeton University, 1987, BA
Steven Velkei is a trial lawyer who has served as lead trial counsel on matters totaling several billion dollars in potential exposure for the clients he represents. He prides himself on taking difficult cases and succeeding where others have failed. Steven concentrates on complex litigation matters and investigations and has litigated and/or tried cases across the country.
Steven has been recognized for his excellence by a variety of legal organizations including California Super Lawyers, Benchmark Litigation and Law Dragon. He has also been quoted in a number of periodicals (including LA Business Journal, Daily Law Journal and Law360) and has lectured extensively on government investigations and enforcement actions, trial technique and diversity within the legal profession.
Diversity in the workplace is important to Steven. Steven is a frequent lecturer across the country on diversity and, for three years, Steve spearheaded US diversity efforts as the chair of the US Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the world’s largest law firm. Steven is himself from a diverse background. He is LGBTQ. His mother is Latina, his father is an immigrant from Hungary and his husband is African American.
Current Representative Engagements
- Large medical group: Represents one of the largest independent medical groups in California, as well as its affiliated management company, in pending and prospective litigation matters. Successfully untangled the group from a failed and contentious strategic partnership and paved the way for a “go-to-market” transaction, fought entrenched interests in a local healthcare district hospital that services a large portion of the group’s patient population and advises on a number of employment and healthcare matters for the group.
- Large retailer: Representing in navigating a series of disputes arising out of the retailer’s sale of 2,000,000 square feet of commercial space in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. That project is currently set to be redeveloped into one of the largest residential and commercial mixed-use projects in the city.
- International Film Distributor: Represent in disputes over rights to exploitation of feature length films in both domestic and international markets.
Recent notable victories:
- Major health insurer: Successfully defended through trial and appeals as lead trial counselone of the nation’s largest health insurers in the largest enforcement action ever tried by a state agency in the United States seeking up to US$10 billion in penalties against the insurer.In re PacifiCare Life and Health Insurance Company.
- International entertainment company: Successfully defended as lead trial counsel the leading indoor trampoline company in litigation in multiple jurisdictions brought by the company’s founder and other members challenging the strategic decisions of the company and the authority of the company’s managers to act. The successful conclusion of the litigation paved the way for the company, owned by less than twenty members, to be sold to a public company for a nine figure purchase price.Richard Platt v. Sky Zone, et al., Case No. BC 558134 (LA Sup. Ct.)
- Global Theme Park Owner/Operator: Successfully defended against challenges to the expansion of one of the most profitable theme parks in Southern California.
- International Satellite Launch Company:Represented at trial as lead trial counsel an affiliate of the Russian Space Agency in a dispute with The Boeing Company over a commercial satellite launch company based in Switzerland, involving alleged damages totaling hundreds of millions of US dollars.The Boeing Company v. RSCEnergia, et al., (2:13-cv-00730-AB-AJW)
- Large real estate owner: Successfully represented large real estate owner as lead counsel in a highly contentious and difficult redevelopment project in Los Angeles County that had been stalled for years. After successfully defending the company in multiple lawsuits pending across the city, Steven helped negotiate a resolution of the matter with participation by community interests and local, state and federal agencies that paved the way for the US$200 million redevelopment project to proceed.Sasson v. AIMCO Venezia, LLC, BC390164 (LA Sup. Ct.) City of Los Angeles v. Lincoln Place Tenants AssociationBS103560 (LA Sup. Ct.)
Additional prior achievements:
- Major real estate investment trust (REIT): Successfully defending in a number of lawsuits involving real estate investment properties across the country (including both conventional and affordable properties) and investments made in the form of real estate limited partnerships.
- REIT: Representing in a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of 200,000 limited partners challenging a US$1 billion merger.
- Achieving an eight-figure settlement against a major insurer in a product targeting low-income residents of North Carolina, Ohio and Missouri.
- Achieving an eight-figure settlement after trial against a major Silicon Valley company for theft of trade secrets/misappropriation.
- Achieving an eight-figure settlement during trial against a motion picture distributor in connection with the exploitation of the Academy Award-winning picture Monster.
- Elite cosmetic company: Achieving complete victory the day before trial in connection with claims brought by an Australian manufacturer.
Activities and Affiliations
Steven is a frequent lecturer on diversity issues. He has spoken across the country on issues involving diversity, including presentations before the Association of Corporate Counsel, the statewide conference of the California Association of Realtors, and The Good Guys (an organization where men advocate for women in the workplace) He has also consulted with private companies with regard to best practices around promoting diversity in the workplace. Steven has also lectured on regulatory issues and trial advocacy.
Steven is involved with a number of major charitable groups in the Los Angeles area and is active politically.
ADMISSIONS AND QUALIFICATIONS:
Princeton University, 1987, BA