Steve Kirsch Named to Special Master Panel for I-35W Survivor Compensation Fund
Practicing law for 35 years, Steve Kirsch is an accomplished litigator skilled in mediation, arbitration and civil litigation. He has tried more than 50 jury and 25 court trials to verdict with 90 percent of these cases resulting in winning outcomes. As national counsel for Target, Mervyn's, Kmart, Sears and other prominent retail chains, Steve is recognized as one of the nation's most experienced lawyers in flammable fabrics litigation. He also represents manufacturers and excess carriers in these complicated cases. In addition, Steve serves as national counsel in other product liability and toxic tort matters, including asbestos and toxic tort litigation, and cases involving pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements.
In serving as national counsel on behalf of his clients, Steve remains in tune with what is required of local counsel. As a result, he is skilled at working with local lawyers, retaining and preparing expert witnesses, and trying cases around the country. And when acting as local counsel, he utilizes the firm’s strong reputation with Minnesota judges and broad knowledge base in substantive and procedural law.
Steve is licensed in Minnesota state and federal courts, and has been admitted pro hac vice in more than 35 state and federal court jurisdictions around the country. He has been active in multi-district litigation over the years. Steve’s commitment to the legal profession has earned him two gubernatorial appointments to Minnesota’s Judicial Selection Panel. Also, after the tragic 2007 I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Steve received another important appointment as one of three special masters of the I-35W Survivor Compensation Fund, where he was instrumental in evaluating victims’ claims and determining final compensation.
For the past twenty years, Steve has been extremely active with the Campaign Leadership Committee of Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services (SMRLS), raising well over $10 million on behalf of Minnesota's oldest and largest legal aid society.
A leader in the firm, Steve chaired the firm's management committee and served as its president for eight years. He was a frequent lecturer and adjunct professor at his alma mater, Hamline University School of Law. He was named a fellow by the American College of Trial Lawyers, an associate in the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), and a fellow by the International Society of Barristers. He has an AV® Peer Review Rating in the distinguished legal directory, Martindale-Hubbell®,*and has been selected for inclusion in Minnesota Super Lawyers®, 2003-2012 Editions.
A dedicated writer, Steve has been published frequently throughout his career. He was a contributing author to the Minnesota State Bar Association’s (MSBA) Bench and Bar publication. He has also written a novel entitled Oath of Office (1988) which details the story of the first Jewish president of the United States who is kidnapped on election night, beginning a true Constitutional crisis. Steve also authored Minnesota Practice, Methods of Practice, volumes 5-6A, 3rd Edition (West 1990). He is a frequent lecturer on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to lawyers, civic and law school audiences.
Steve received his J.D., summa cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law and is a member of the Silver Gavel Society. Steve also serves on the Dean's Advisory Board for Hamline University School of Law. He completed his undergraduate studies with a B.A. from the University of Missouri. Steve joined Murnane Brandt in 1976.
In his time away from the practice, Steve is an avid reader, golfer and traveler. He loves spending time with his family, especially his grandson.
*AV® is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.
KEY PRACTICE AREAS
Civil litigation with concentrations in products liability, flammable fabrics, toxic torts, asbestos, chemical, pharmaceutical and dietary supplement litigation with special emphasis on mediation and arbitration.
- Johnston v. Union Carbide, Minnesota, 2010 (living mesothelioma; obtained defense verdict).
- Shari Vail v. Kmart, New York, 2001 (flammable fabrics, product defect claim; defense verdict; settled on appeal).
- Gonnerman v. Mervyn's, California, 2000 (flammable fabrics).
- Anderson v. Combustion Engineering, Wisconsin, 2000 (asbestos, wrongful death)
REPRESENTATIVE APPELLATE DECISIONS
- Germann v. F.L. Smithe Machine Co., 395 N.W.2d 922 (Minn. 1986) (products liability).
- Abel v. J.C. Penney Co., Inc., 488 F.Supp. 891 (D.Minn. 1980) (flammable fabrics; directed verdict motion).
- Stadler v. Cross, 295 N.W.2d 552 (Minn. 1980) (zone of danger; summary judgment, affirmed on appeal).
- Nuessle v. Nuessle, 295 N.W.2d 505 (Minn. 1980) (parental immunity; summary judgment, affirmed on appeal).
- Top 100 Minnesota Super Lawyers
- Minnesota Super Lawyers Top 40 Mediators
- Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2003-2012
- American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) (2011)
- Minnesota Judicial Council Award (2009)
- Centennial Lifetime Leadership Award, SMRLS (2009)
- Professional Excellence Award, MSBA (2009)
- Best Lawyers of America
- Madison's Who's Who
- Marquis Who's Who
- Top 25 Distinguished Alumni from Hamline University School of Law
- Fellow, International Society of Barristers (2001)
- Associate, ABOTA (1998)
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers (1997)
- Author’s Award, MSBA (1980)
- SMRLS (1991-present; Chair, Campaign Leadership Committee, SMRLS 1996-present)
- Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) (1976 - present)
- Defense Research Institute (DRI) (1980 - present)
- National Board Representative, American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) (2005-2010)
- President, Minnesota Chapter of American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) (2003-04)
- President, Minnesota Chapter, American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) (2004)
- “Practical Considerations for Effective Mediation,” For the Defense (June 2011).