Smith, Sovik, Kendrick & Sugnet, P.C.
Upon graduating from law school, where he received the Most Outstanding Advocate Award, Steve became a member of the U.S. Navy's Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG Corps). He served as a prosecutor and later became the lead prosecutor at Mayport Naval Station in Mayport, Florida, which involved his supervising other attorneys and their support staff in addition to trying cases. As a prosecutor, he handled some of the Navy's most high profile cases and tried over seventy cases to verdict. He subsequently served as an attorney for Rear Admiral F. M. Dirren, Jr., where he advised the Admiral and his staff on a wide range of issues, including but not limited to employment matters, incident investigations, criminal investigations, civil claims and environmental issues. He subsequently served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, where he defended lawsuits filed against the federal government by civilians claiming to have been injured on Navy property or due to the Navy's alleged negligence. Steve ultimately reached the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Steve served on active duty from 1990 to 1995.After completing his active duty service, Steve joined Smith, Sovik, Kendrick & Sugnet, P.C., in Syracuse, N.Y., as a litigation associate. He quickly proved his worth as an experienced and talented litigator. He was made partner in 1997. Over his years at Smith, Sovik, Steve has handled a wide range of legal claims, including but not limited to products liability, employment law, commercial litigation, personal injury, defamation, professional malpractice, contracts, automobile accidents and construction cases. He has been repeatedly recognized for his excellent handling of product liability, employment and general liability matters. In 2008, Steve represented a foreign business man who was defamed in the U.S. Steve tried the case in federal district court in New York City and earned the largest defamation jury verdict in our nation's history ($188 million). Steve has been a guest on the O'Reilly Factor and has appeared on local television programs, such as Hour CNY, regarding legal issues of the day. In addition to being a litigation attorney, Steve handles other legal matters, such as contract negotiations (for individuals and companies) and appeals. He regularly appears before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the various NYS appellate courts. The NY Law Journal described one of Steve's successful appeals before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals as having made new law (Alfaro v. Wal Mart). In addition to appearing in courts throughout NYS and elsewhere, Steve regularly appears before various fair employment agencies such as the EEOC and the NYS Division of Human Rights. He has vast experience in both defending and prosecuting claims brought under various federal employment statutes, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the ADEA, ADA and the FMLA, and the NYS Human Rights Law. Steve has been consistently named as one of the Best Lawyers in America, and has received various other awards and recognitions. Further, he has achieved Martindale-Hubble's highest attorney rating for ability and ethics (AV).