Steven Plitt is one of Arizona’s premier insurance coverage lawyers. He has provided coverage advice in most states. His practice has involved the handling of complex, high exposure insurance coverage and bad faith cases. Unlike most coverage lawyers who are only litigators, Mr. Plitt has first chair jury experience having tried to jury verdict cases in both state and federal court. As a trial lawyer, Mr. Plitt has extensive litigation experience and has managed a large litigation practice throughout his professional career. He has been inducted as a Fellow into the American College of Coverage Counsel and The American Law Institute where he served as a consulting member on the ALI’s development of the Restatement of the Law of Liability Insurance Law.
Mr. Plitt is listed in the Best Lawyers in America for insurance coverage (12+ years). In 2012 and 2017, he was selected as the Insurance Lawyer of the Year – Phoenix by Best Lawyers. In 2020 he was selected as the Lawyer of the Year for Insurance Litigation by Best Lawyers. Mr. Plitt has been selected every year (12+ years) as one of the top 50 lawyers in Arizona by Southwest Super Lawyers. Only a handful of lawyers have continuously made the list for each year it has been published. AZ Business Magazine lists Mr. Plitt within the top 100 lawyers in Arizona. He is Band 1 ranked for Insurance Law by Chambers and Partners USA. Chambers and Partners wrote the following regarding Mr. Plitt: “Steven Plitt “is very well known across the country” for his expertise in insurance law, sources report, adding that he is “very knowledgeable”…. in addition to his broader practice in insurance litigation interviewees further acknowledge him as an “important lawyer in insurance practice in Arizona and nationwide.””
Mr. Plitt has a national reputation as an insurance law scholar and commentator. As an Adjunct Professor, he has taught the Insurance Law curriculum at Arizona State University College of Law and is currently teaching insurance law at the University of Arizona College of Law. He is the current successor author of the nationally recognized and authoritative insurance coverage treatise Couch on Insurance 3d. He has also authored other national treatises on insurance law. Regarding Arizona law, he is the author of the treatise Arizona Liability Insurance Law and the senior contributing editor to the Arizona Tort Law Handbook. Mr. Plitt has authored more than 370+ law reviews and other professional legal publications involving insurance law issues. His scholarly writings have been cited by the Supreme Courts in 33 states, the Intermediate Appellate Courts in 23 states, 11 of the Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals, 59 Federal District Courts, the Federal Court of Claims and 4 Federal Bankruptcy Courts. His writings have been cited in more than 91 scholarly articles on insurance law issues. These numbers are constantly out of date as more courts throughout the United States rely upon Mr. Plitt’s thought leadership on common and cutting edge insurance coverage issues. Mr. Plitt has been an expert consultant and witness for both insurance companies and insureds. He has reviewed and analyzed thousands of claim files in his practice career from more than a 100 different insurance companies. He has been an expert consultant in hundreds of matters throughout the United States. He is a nationally recognized expert in the area of insurance claim handling practices, insurance company compliance with the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, as well as industry standard, custom and practice. He has been a licensed insurance broker (Arizona) since 1974. He also consults as an expert in insurance agent E&O claims. Mr. Plitt’s practice includes the handling of professional liability, wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases.
- University of Connecticut (L.L.M., Insurance Law, With Honors, 2012)
- University of Arizona (J.D., With Distinction, 1982)
- Arizona State University (B.S., summa cum laude and ‘with honors’, 1978)
Awards & Recognition (See CV for full listing)
- AZ Business Leader 2020
- Martindale- Hubbell AV Rating
- AZ Business Magazine, Top 10 Lawyers in Arizona (Employee Benefits and Insurance)
- AZ Business Magazine, Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona (all categories)
- Listed in Arizona’s Finest Lawyers
- Southwest Super Lawyers 2007* – 2018, *inaugural year
- Southwest Super Lawyers, Top 50 Lawyers in Arizona, 2007* – 2018, *inaugural year
- Best Lawyers in America, 2012* and 2017 Phoenix Insurance Lawyer of the Year, *first year awarded
- Best Lawyers in America, 2020 Lawyer of the Year for Litigation – Insurance
- Best Lawyers in America, Insurance Law, 2007- 2018
- Phoenix Magazine, Phoenix’s Top Lawyers, November 2006
- State Bar Association, Outstanding Contribution to Continuing Legal Education Award Recipient, 1999
- “Who’s Who in American Law”, 5th Edition
- “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges”, 1978 – 1979
- Hon. Judge Robert J. Corcoran, Arizona Court of Appeals, 1982 – 1983
- Legislative intern to the Chairman of the Committee on Banking and Insurance, House of Representatives, Arizona State Legislature, 1979
- University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law, Insurance Law, 2010 – Present
- Arizona Summit Law School, Adjunct Professor, Insurance Law, 2014, 2015
- Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Adjunct Professor of Law, Insurance Law & Regulation, Liability Insurance, Advanced Coverage Research and Analysis, 2000 – 2005
Associations & Activities
- American Law Institute
- American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel
- Arizona Insurance Institute
- Insurance Litigation Reporter, Senior Contributing Editor and Editorial Board Member, 2006 – present
- Claims Journal, Editorial and Advisory Board member, 2012 – 2014
- Claims Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), Certified Litigation Management Professional (CLMP)
News & Publications
Steve Plitt has been selected as an AZ Business Leader in the field of insurance law for 2020 and is a member of Cavanagh's Tier 1 ranked insurance law practice from multiple sources. Steve is a nationally recognized authority in insurance law. According to the AZ...
The Cavanagh Law Firm is an outstanding and distinguished law firm in Arizona that covers a variety of practices. The Firm’s exceptional lawyers have an impressive history litigating complex and sophisticated cases. The firm has been recognized by U.S. News - Best...
Senior Members William M. Demlong, Timothy R. Hyland and Steven Plitt on Prestigious List The Cavanagh Law Firm is proud to announce three of our attorneys have been recognized in Arizona Business Magazine as among the Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona. Each year, Arizona...
The question of whether attorney’s fees awarded under Minnesota’s insurance unreasonable denial statute could exceed the policy limits of the policy was recently addressed by the Minnesota Supreme Court in Wilbur v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 892 NW2d...
The Wyoming Supreme Court in Century Surety Co. v. Jim Hipner, LLC, 377 P.3d 784 (Wyo. 2016) adopted the notice-prejudice rule. The court also found that any policy exclusion that attempted to displace the notice-prejudice rule was void.
When two or more uninsured motorist policies apply, a question arises as to whether those policies should pro-rate with each other, or one of the policies should be designated as primary, with the other as excess. This issue was addressed by the Kentucky Supreme...
Montana Supreme Court Determines What Standard to Utilize in Approving Consent Settlement Agreements
Recently, the Montana Supreme Court, in a split decision, found that the trial court must utilize an objective standard in considering the value of the claim and the insured’s loss of coverage when it determines the reasonableness of a stipulated settlement entered...
New York Appellate Court Determines Who Bears Responsibility for Orphan Share in Long Latency Continuous Trigger Cases
New York has adopted a pro-rata allocation methodology for continuous and progressive losses where coverage for all triggered policies is determined on a time-on-the-risk basis. Recently, the New York Court of Appeals in Keyspan Gas East Corp. v. Munich Reinsurance...
Louisiana has recognized a pro rata allocation method for determining indemnification in long latency exposures. However, the Louisiana courts have not resolved the issue of whether defense costs should also be allocated in those type of cases. The Louisiana Supreme...
In Parker v. Safeco Insurance Co. of America, 2016 WL 3911544 (Mont. July 19, 2016) the issue was whether damage to a vacation cabin from a large boulder that fell down a hillside and into the cabin structure was covered under the Safeco policy. Safeco’s policy...