Stephanie Niehaus has advised and defended clients across multiple industries, including chemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, manufacturing, insurance and financial services and has gained a particularly deep understanding of complex multi-plaintiff matters. She has considerable trial and other in-court experience, and also routinely provides strategic advice to clients seeking to avoid or minimize the risk of litigation.

    Stephanie’s representative experience includes her key participation on the core defense team for a Fortune 500 global science company in federal multidistrict litigation involving novel claims of personal injury and wrongful death arising from alleged toxic exposures to perfluorinated compounds through drinking water. Her work in that case culminated with serving as trial counsel as part of a four-partner team in two bellwether trials, and acting in a key trial support capacity for two additional bellwether trials. Stephanie’s multidistrict litigation experience also includes her participation in the defense of a large pharmaceutical company against serious personal injury claims allegedly resulting from exposures to contrast agents, in which she had significant responsibility for various aspects of fact and expert discovery, strategic development and trial preparation in several bellwether plaintiff cases.

    Stephanie also had a lead role on the team defending a Fortune 500 global science company in a breach of contract dispute involving disruptive technology, managing extensive electronic discovery, developing and implementing pre-trial and trial strategies, and developing and arguing a post-trial appeal to the Second Circuit. She acted as lead counsel in a protracted contract dispute between a global plastics supplier and its software vendor, involving consideration of litigation options and strategies, ultimately supporting the client in renegotiating its licensing agreements. More recently, she successfully defended a Fortune 500 health insurance company in injunctive proceedings, first in New York state court and then in arbitration.

    Stephanie has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2013. She was named to Benchmark Litigation’s inaugural 40 and Under Hot List in 2017 and again in 2018. She has been recognized in Ohio Super Lawyers, a distinction honoring the top lawyers in the state. She also was recognized by the firm in 2010 as a Woman of Professional Excellence, an honor given in conjunction with the YWCA of Greater Cleveland that recognizes high professional standards and demonstrated career and personal growth, significant contributions to the effective, efficient operation of the firm, and a willingness to support and mentor others in the firm, especially women.

    Stephanie leads the New York office’s litigation practice, and is a member of the firm’s Ethics Committee.

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    • Serving as national coordinating counsel on behalf of a manufacturing client, overseeing the defense of product liability claims and providing strategic advice with respect to risk management.
    • Successfully defending two separate wrongful death mesothelioma cases on behalf of a wire and cable manufacturer, both resulting in unanimous defense verdicts.
    • Acting as the lead partner in a bench trial regarding the enforceability of a personal guaranty.
    • Resolving a hard metals lung disease lawsuit against a specialty chemicals supplier in Pennsylvania state court through an independent mediation.
    • Successfully developing and arguing a motion for summary judgment on an intentional tort claim against a Fortune 500 global science company under Ohio’s then-new intentional tort statute, avoiding trial.
    • Obtaining the voluntary dismissal of a putative class action involving property damage and medical monitoring claims against an international oil and gas company in Illinois state court following class representative and expert discovery.
    • Successfully developing and arguing a motion to dismiss and subsequent appeal of environmental and property damage claims against an international oil and gas company in Michigan state court.
    • Representing a global client in New York state court against claims for non-payment of a success fee, including coordination of indemnification claims and resolution efforts.
    • Working closely with a joint defense team representing former officers and directors of a bankrupt steel manufacturer in litigation initiated by a committee of administrative claimants.
    • Representing a brokerage firm before the National Association of Securities Dealers (now Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) in multiple cases brought by former customers in connection with one of the largest fraud cases in US history involving an individual broker.
    • Pro bono representation of an unaccompanied minor immigrant seeking SIJS relief in New York state court.
    • Pro bono completion of a private adoption.
    • Pro bono representation of the petitioner for a civil protective order.

    Education

    • University of Notre Dame, J.D., summa cum laude, article editor, Notre Dame Law Review, 2002
    • Georgetown University, B.A., magna cum laude, 1999

    Admissions

    • New York
    • Ohio

    Courts

    • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. of Ohio
    • U.S. Dist. Ct., S. Dist. of Ohio
    • U.S. Dist. Ct., E. Dist. of Michigan
    • U.S. Dist. Ct., W. Dist. of Michigan
    • U.S. Dist. Ct., S. Dist. of New York
    • U.S. Dist. Ct., E. Dist. of New York
    • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. of New York
    • U.S. Ct. of App., Second Circuit
    • U.S. Ct. of App., Sixth Circuit

    Memberships and Affiliations

    • Member, New York City Bar Association
    • Served for a number of years as a board member of the LexisNexis National Accounts Advisory Board
    • Served on the Board of Directors for Adoption Network Cleveland, a local nonprofit focused on providing support and resources to all parties touched by adoption
    • Recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a Future Star (2018) and to its 40 & Under List (2018, 2017)
    • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2013, an honor based on an exhaustive peer-review process
    • Listed in Ohio Super Lawyers, a distinction honoring the top lawyers in the state
    • Recognized in Ohio Super Lawyers - Rising Stars, a distinction that recognizes lawyers under the age of 40 or those in practice for 10 years or less
    • Recognized by the firm in 2010 as a Woman of Professional Excellence, an honor given in conjunction with the YWCA of Greater Cleveland

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    • Co-author, “Nano-Torts on the Horizon: A Jack and Jill Story,” Nanotechnology Law & Business Journal, Fall 2012.
    • Author, “Bridging the (Significant) Gap: To What Extent Does The Telecommunications Act of 1996 Contemplate Seamless Service?,” Notre Dame Law Review, February 2002.
    • Faculty Presenter, “Artificial Intelligence – The Practical and Legal Impact on Businesses,” PLI Think Like a Lawyer, Talk Like a Geek 2018: Get Fluent in Technology (Live and Webcast), 2018.
    • Co-presenter, “Artificial Intelligence Law – Judicial and Regulatory Trends,” PLI One-Hour Briefing, 2018.
    • Co-presenter, “Artificial Intelligence: Addressing the Legal Risks and Avoiding the Tort, Commercial, and IP Pitfalls in Usage and Agreements,” PLI One-Hour Briefing, 2017.
    • Co-presenter, ARIAS Webinar: “Asbestos – What is happening now? What are the predictions for the future? A perspective from the defense side,” April 2015.
    • Co-presenter, Ohio Asbestos Litigation, HarrisMartin’s Midwest Asbestos Litigation Conference, August 2013.
    • Co-presenter, “Practical and Ethical Tools for Successful Mass Tort Litigation,” American Conference Institute’s Drug and Medical Device Litigation Conference, 2011.
    • Co-presenter, “Nanotechnology Litigation to Come: A Case Study,” PLI One-Hour Briefing, 2011.
    • Co-moderator, panel discussion on business development, ABA’s Women in Law Leadership Academy in Chicago, 2007.
    • Co-presenter, NITA/LexisNexis Litigation Leadership Summit on Training and Mentoring Best Practices, 2006.

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