Ken E. Steelman
Ken E. Steelman, born Ames, Iowa, September 28, 1945; admitted to bar, 1972, California. Preparatory education, University of Iowa (B.S., 1967); legal education, California Western School of Law (J.D., 1972). Fraternity: Phi Delta Phi. Deputy District Attorney, County of Orange, 1973-1975. Member: Orange County Bar Association (Member: Business Litigation Section; Committee on Administration of Justice; Mandatory Fee Arbitration Committee); American Bar Association (Member: Corporate, Business Litigation). Judge Pro Tempore: Superior Court of California, County of Orange; Municipal Court, County of Orange, Harbor and Central Judicial Districts. Special Master: Superior Court of California, Orange County.
Mr. Steelman is an experienced former prosecutor, and has established himself as one of Orange County's leading civil litigators. Mr. Steelman has successfully litigated numerous complex business jury trials to verdicts. Since entering private practice, he has been requested to act as a special prosecutor, and was appointed a Special Master by the Orange County Superior Court to sort out the details of the Golden Eagle real estate fraud, involving several million dollars and hundreds of investors. Mr. Steelman is a lecturer for Continuing Education of the Bar seminars. He is one of the few private attorneys to have acted as a Judge Pro Tem in the former Law and Motion Department of the Orange County Superior Court.
Mr. Steelman represents manufacturers, lenders, construction and engineering companies, law firms, and real estate developers in sophisticated business, real estate, employment and professional liability litigation. Examples of the cases in which Mr. Steelman has represented clients include: a dispute between joint venturers in a $48 million dollar real estate project; defective construction of a major water treatment plant; and actions arising out of landslides and land subsidence. Recently, Mr. Steelman defended bond counsel in a federal securities class action suit involving the default of a multi million dollar bond.
Mr. Steelman has defended financial institutions in matters involving allegations of lender liability, breach of participation and joint venture agreements and has drafted and negotiated loan workout agreements. Most recently, Mr. Steelman successfully defended directors and officers of a Bank in a shareholders derivative action, which was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.
Examples of recent cases which Mr. Steelman has successfully tried include a dissolution of partnership, accounting and breach of fiduciary duty action involving a large commercial real estate development, the defense of a law firm involving wrongful termination for reporting alleged unethical conduct and sexual harassment allegations and the defense of a major law firm in a case alleging professional liability arising out of complex business litigation matter. The defense of clients in a multi-party action arising out of an alleged nationwide scheme to defraud an automobile manufacturer is an example of a recent case which Mr. Steelman settled through mediation.