Stephen L. Miles
Stephen L. Miles represents clients in high-stakes insurance coverage and bad faith litigation as well as in complex commercial and securities litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels across the Gulf South and Southwest. He has handled a wide range of insurance coverage and bad faith lawsuits, as well as environmental and toxic tort cases. Described in Benchmark Litigation as a “lawyer’s lawyer,” his commercial and securities litigation experience includes representing law firms, investment management companies, accountants, businesses, and other professionals in significant disputes, including cases alleging securities fraud, accounting malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, trade secrets violations, and breach of contract. Stephen graduated first in his class from Tulane Law School, where he was the recipient of the prestigious Faculty Medal and a member of the Tulane Law Review.
Stephen served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Edith Brown Clement, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He also has been recognized as a leading lawyer in the state for insurance coverage by Louisiana Super Lawyers and previously has been recognized by Benchmark Litigation’s 40 & Under Hot List and as a Future Litigation Star.
Notable Recent Representations
Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Litigation
Stephen advises underwriters on a variety of coverage issues and in suits with allegations of extra-contractual liability. Stephen handles these cases from before the suit is filed through trial and appeal.
In 2017, Stephen prevailed on behalf of an insurer in a declaratory judgment action that sought a ruling of no coverage for a 2012 accident. Stephen was the lead trial lawyer during the federal court bench trial, which resulted in a complete victory. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed. See Bridgefield Casualty Insurance Co. v. River Oaks Mgmt., Inc., 680 Fed. App’x 348 (5th Cir. 2017)
Stephen successfully represented a national insurer in a class action in Arkansas involving allegations of improper calculation of depreciation in the adjustment of homeowner’ claims.
Stephen quickly and successfully prosecuted on behalf of an insurer a multi-million dollar contractual indemnification claim against a claims processor arising out of alleged errors in claims adjusting.
Stephen represented an excess insurer in a first-party coverage action brought by a volunteer organization for coverage on sexual abuse claims. Stephen, along with Minor Pipes, successfully brought the case to resolution at mediation before trial.
Stephen obtained complete dismissal of all claims asserted against a regional law firm in a negligent misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty suit in federal court arising out of a failed real estate investment.
During his years of practice, Stephen has led successful pre-litigation negotiation on behalf of multiple Louisiana professionals with their former employers or partners, obtaining releases or reductions of the professionals’ obligations under their non-compete or non-solicitation agreements.
Stephen represented a staffing company in a lawsuit filed by a competitor alleging misappropriation of trade secrets and violations of the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act. The matter was resolved on confidential terms prior to trial.
Stephen represented a banking regulator in an investigation into potential wrongdoing and fraud by officers at an insolvent financial institution.
Stephen successfully represented shareholders in a multi-million dollar shareholder dispute before the American Arbitration Association. The matter settled on confidential terms.
Securities Litigation and Regulation
Stephen successfully prosecuted a multi-million dollar claim for indemnification in Louisiana state court on behalf of an investment management company against an investment consultant. After a lower court had dismissed the claim, Stephen convinced the Louisiana Supreme Court to reverse in a unanimous decision, which paved the way to trial. The parties thereafter resolved their differences in a confidential settlement.
Stephen obtained a complete dismissal of all claims in a suit by bond purchasers seeking to recoup more than $10 million in lost investments. After obtaining dismissal of the bond purchasers’ federal securities law claims on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, Stephen moved for, and obtained dismissal on summary judgment on the remainder of the purchasers’ claims. Stephen handled all aspects of the motion for summary judgment.
Stephen represented shareholders in litigation alleging misrepresentation and fraud arising from alleged nondisclosure of material facts in a stock-for-stock merger transaction. This suit was resolved before trial on confidential terms.
Products Liability & Toxic Tort / Environmental
Stephen recently obtained a complete dismissal of all claims asserted against a contractor that was alleged to have allowed a worker to be exposed to cancer-causing chemicals.
In 2017, Stephen obtained a favorable, nuisance-value settlement in a products liability claim alleging injury due to a defective airbag.
Stephen defended an international manufacturer of deep water polyester mooring line in federal court in a case in which an oil and gas exploration company alleges that defective mooring line caused extensive downtime of its drilling operations on a rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The case resolved successfully by settlement.