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STEVEN R. KUHN, ESQ.

  • Available in All of California, Nationwide
  • Available for Mediation, Arbitration, and Private Judging assignments

Introduction

After 38 successful years as a trial attorney whose practice has been limited to all aspects of personal injury and civil litigation, Steven R. Kuhn, Esq. is focusing his career on Dispute Resolution. He has mediated and arbitrated cases in the field of personal injury, medical and legal malpractice, and business litigation, as well is in other fields such as homeowner association, real estate, employment and construction defect matters.

Mr. Kuhn is respected for his professionalism, sensitivity, knowledge and preparedness. His integrity and fairness are matched by his willingness to persist and resolute calmness through complex and difficult hearings. He has a success rate in excess of 90 percent in resolving mediated matters. One attorney commented "In my opinion, Mr. Kuhn's solid grasp of the law together with his strong reputation in the community helped me get my matter resolved to my client's complete satisfaction

Specialties

ADR Highlights

  • Successfully mediated in excess of 5,000 cases
  • Panel member on CEB legal malpractice seminar
  • Read More

Hobbies & Interests

Enjoys golfing, reading and traveling

ADR Highlights

  • Successfully mediated in excess of 5,000 cases
  • Panel member on CEB legal malpractice seminar
  • Expertise in complex personal injury cases, including, but not limited to, construction site accidents, automobile/truck/motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, schoolyard accidents, defective road condition accidents, dog bites, mold cases, and premises liability accidents
  • Expertise in Homeowner Association cases, having numerous such cases and also having been president of three different HOA’s and a planning and transportation commissioner for the City of Irvine

Testimonials

"Steve Kuhn did an excellent job at getting both sides together and settling a very difficult case with punitive damages. Steve is very professional and has a good track record with a 99% success rate of settling my cases. "
- Attorney, Orange County, California

"I really appreciate Steve's direct approach and his ability to cut through some of the issues that can bog down a case. I have worked with many mediators and I can say that he is among the greatest. We will definitely seek his services in the future."
- Attorney, San Diego County, California

"Very knowledgeable, personable and interested in helping the settlement."
- Attorney on a Personal Injury Dangerous Condition Dispute

"Steve was proposed as a mediator by the other side in a complex real estate and insurance dispute in Los Angeles County. I am so glad they did. He helped us resolve a year-long litigation matter between my client and several other parties with insurance. Steve understood the dispute and parties positions’ from the start of the day, and helped us get the case resolved, even where a number of factual disputes remained between the parties. I highly recommend him."
- Attorney on a Complex Real Estate and Insurance Dispute

"I would like to thank Steve for his excellent work. I was very pleased with the result and felt that he handled the entire proceeding masterfully. I am heartily recommending him to my colleagues."
- Attorney, Los Angeles County, California

"I wanted to take a minute to complement Steve on the fantastic job he did at today’s mediation. He rolled up his sleeves, figured out the pressure points and obstacles , and found a way to get a high value case settled and for a contribution that was very comfortable for my client. He respected openness and didn’t come back and use my frankness to try to get more money and just did an expert job of understanding the case and the parties in getting it down. And he did it in half a day. I truly appreciate his efforts."
- Attorney on a Personal Injury Auto Matter

"I would like to thank Steve for his time and effort. He went beyond whatever any other mediator would do. Not only is that good business practice, it how much he cares about bringing these cases to resolution. I admire his drive to actually try to make a difference."
- Attorney, Los Angeles, California

"Was helpful + effective with difficult clients."
- Attorney on a warranty of habitability dispute

Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • Law Offices of Kuhn & Belz, specializing in personal injury, professional negligence, business, construction defect and real estate litigation cases. Served as a private mediator (1998 - 2009)
  • Law Offices of Steven R. Kuhn, an emphasis on personal injury, attorney negligence and business litigation cases (1979-1998, and 2009-2011)
  • Associate, Hunt, Liljestrom & Wentworth, Santa Ana, CA., with emphasis in plaintiff personal injury (1976-79)
  • Associate, Parker, Stanbury, McGee & Babcock, Los Angeles, CA., emphasizing insurance defense (1973-76)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • B.A., Economics, University of California at Los Angeles (1970)
  • J.D., Southwestern University School of Law (1973)
  • Arbitrator and Mediator for Orange County Superior Court
  • Mediator for Los Angeles Superior Court
  • Mediating the Litigated Case at Pepperdine University Straus Institute (2003)
  • President, Orange County Trial Lawyers Association (1991)
  • Settlement Officer for United States District Court for the Central District of California
  • Board of Governors , California Trial Lawyers Association, (1991-94)
  • Lecturer for California Continuing Education of the Bar and Consumer Attorneys Association of CA
  • Board of Directors and Legal Counsel, Irvine Chamber of Commerce (1983-88)
  • Board of Directors ,Orange County Bar Association (1991)
  • Client Relations and Judiciary Committee of the Orange County Bar Association (2004)
  • Workshop Judge, Orange County College of Trial Advocacy
  • Planning and Transportation Commissioner for the City of Irvine

Achievements & Awards

  • Mr. Kuhn was named by Los Angeles Magazine as one of California's top lawyers from 2013 through 2020, in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
  • Economic Honor Society - U.C.L.A.
  • Top 10% of class, Law Review - Southwestern University
  • Recipient of Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Services Award
  • California Trial Lawyers Association (recognition of experience in areas of trial lawyer, general personal injury, product liability and professional negligence)
  • Member Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • AVVO Superb Attorney Rating
  • Rated as a Top Attorney in Alternative Dispute Resolution Law, Orange Coast Magazine
  • Named a Super Lawyer, by Super Lawyers Rating Service from 2010 through 2021.
  • Awarded AV Preeminent Status by Martindale Hubbell for over 25 years

Legal Experience

  • Personal Injury
  • Product Liability
  • Legal and Medical Malpractice
  • Real Estate
  • Construction Defects
  • Homeowner Association matters and Business/Contractual

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases

Business/Commercial

A.D.A Act

  • Plaintiff slipped and fell on her knee in market. Market only kept a snippet of the video and has no proof of sweeps before the accident. Plaintiff went to family doctor and chiropractor. Plaintiff had 2 epidurals and a minimally invasive percutaneous discectomy.

Contractual

  • Defendants defaulted on a lease of property used as a bar. Some of the defendants were judgement proof, but combined settlement of the remaining defendants was reached.
  • Defendant hired by plaintiff to design and build a medical product. They did not produce the product on time and produced a faulty product according to plaintiff. Defendant claims the delays caused by plaintiff and plaintiff owed them a five-figure sum for the cost of designing and building the product. Case settled with plaintiff paying defendant a low-figure amount in satisfaction of their outstanding invoice and defendant will turn over all original design plans and IP documentation.

Construction

Construction Defects

  • Plaintiff hired defendant to remodel her office. Defendant used defective flooring and also did not determine if the main sewer line could accept the new plumbing. Defendant admitted to defective flooring but claims tenant is responsible per the contract to make sure the main sewer line was in proper working order. Plaintiff claimed damages, including loss of income and also attorneys fees.
  • House in Malibu was damaged in the fires of 2018. A remediation company was hired to do remediation and they subcontracted with a window cleaning to do part of the work. Homeowners claims work caused additional damage to their home. Remediation company sued homeowners for balance due for remediation work and homeowners cross complained against remediation company and window cleaners and for their damages. A mechanics lien was filed against the property. Case settled with the use of a Mediator's Proposal.

Insurance

Bad Faith

  • Bad faith insurance case. Stipulated judgment in underlying case of seven figures. Defendant claimed collusion between the parties and claimed no coverage due to exclusions in the insurance policy. Demand at beginning of mediation was eight figures with no offer. Case settled in mediation.

Property Damage

  • Dispute between two adjoining landowners regarding responsibility for the repair of the fence between the two properties, but fully on one landowners property. Case settled in mediation as the parties agreed to what was considered a fair division of repair work and maintenance responsibilities going forward.

Professional Malpractice

Medical Malpractice

  • Claimed chiropractic malpractice. Plaintiff had neck injury through workers compensation and was sent to chiropractor. Adjustment allegedly caused the plaintiff to have a stroke. Defendant denied liability. Plaintiff made a good recovery and all neurological tests were normal, but was claiming subjective residuals. Also there was a claim of lack of informed consent.

Real Estate

Breach Of Contract

  • Plaintiff claimed wrongful eviction as a tenant following Unlawful Detainer Judgment against property owner. Case complicated by former owner/landlord failing to give any notice to his tenant who occupied a small unit on the foreclosed property. New owner entered property and removed single female tenant who alleged emotional distress damages, punitive damages and attorney fees based on statutory violations.

Home Owners Association

  • HOA case where homeowner sued the association and its board for failure to maintain proper reserves, breach of fiduciary duty for failure to maintain the the common areas, allowing them to go in disrepair. Case was settled for payment by the association for the plaintiff's attorneys fees. HOA to hire a forensic accountant to audit the financials of the HOA; an oversight committee will be formed to make sure the repairs and construction being done is done properly. The HOA was to send out a monthly update on the construction project as well as a letter to the members of the HOA advising them of the settlement and that the plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in the best interests of the community.

Landlord/Tenant

  • Landlord tenant dispute wherein the tenant claimed the landlord failed to maintain the property, alleging an unsafe conditions and failure to proper landscape maintenance which compromised view from the property. Settled for five-figures and return of security deposit.

Warranty of Habitability

  • Habitability case where plaintiff claims landlord retaliated against her for reporting violations to city inspector. Musty carpets, leaking toilet and non working wheelchair lift. Case settled in mediation.

Tort

Civil Rights

  • Plaintiffs were minors who were placed in a home for children without a warrant by the City. They were then held for 10 months by the County and then released back to their mother. Issue if the government entities infringed on the civil rights of the minors for various reasons. If the plaintiffs were successful on any claim, they would be entitled to attorney fees. The case was settled in mediation.

Elder Abuse

  • Negligence claim against a skilled nursing home. Plaintiff, with dementia and trouble walking, had numerous slip and falls while in the facility, some causing fairly serious injuries. Claims that facility did not take proper care of plaintiff and did not respond to call button. All claims denied by defendant. Case settled in mediation.

General Negligence

  • Child struck by an unattended commercial vehicle, causing severe injuries. Case settled with a structured settlement for the minor in the seven-figure range.
  • Plaintiffs are 2 homeowners who live adjacent to defendant's property. One Neighbor caught defendant with pesticide pellets and he allegedly was putting them below plaintiff's trees. The plaintiffs had been losing trees since 2011 and claim defendant previously did the same thing. They had soil tested and found the pesticide in the soil.

Personal Injury

  • Slip & fall accident while plaintiff was in the course and scope of her employment. Case settled for a low six-figure amount with the worker's compensation carrier waiving their lien in exchange for a 3rd party C&R
  • Minor severely bitten by defendant's dog, with issue of potential trespassing involved. Case settled for a six-figure amount.
  • Plaintiff slipped and fell on liquid in an aisle of the grocery store. The defendant claimed no notice. Plaintiff sustained a shoulder injury resulting in arthroscopic surgery. Case settled in mediation.
  • 51-year-old female bit on mouth by a dog. Defense claiming comparative fault for disturbing the dog when it was eating. Facial scaring that can be improved with plastic surgery. Case settled in mediation.
  • Slip and fall at a supermarket. Fractured femur with surgery with pinning. Good recovery. Plaintiff claimed low five-figures for medical bills as well as low four-figures for loss of earnings. Defense claimed no notice of small puddle of water and plaintiff was wearing flip flops. Case settled in mediation.
  • Two young minors claim to have been molested over several months by an employee of a private after school program. The employee was not supposed to be left alone with any of the children but was, according to witnesses. Both cases were settled in mediation.
  • Defendant's dog was off leash on federal land where horses were ridden. Signs clearly indicated dogs were to be kept on leash. Defendant's dog attacked plaintiff and her horse, biting the horse numerous times and causing plaintiff to fall off the horse. Minor soft tissue injuries to plaintiff but the horse needed extensive surgery and incurred vet bills. Horse also needs a lifetime of treatment. Plaintiff was also claiming emotional distress which is not allowed unless there is an intentional act. Defense claimed no intentional act and plaintiff not entitled to future treatment for the horse based upon the CACI instructions. Plaintiff was planning to amend the complaint for trespass, and intentional tort. Case settled in mediation.
  • Slip and fall in a grocery store near checkstands. Sweeps not done properly. Plaintiff had knee surgery but no knee complaints for several weeks after the accident. Inconsistent complaints to different doctors. Plaintiff does not speak English.
  • Contested liability trip and fall at a hotel in Anaheim where plaintiff tripped over a decorative boulder next to a walkway. Plaintiff claimed very dark and didn't see boulder. Defense claimed open and obvious. Serious injury to shoulder with surgery for plate and screws for fracture and also carpal tunnel surgery. Medicals around $45,000 and LOE around the same. Case settled in mediation.
  • Plaintiff was a high school senior who is special needs and was molested by another special needs student. Plaintiff claimed considerable emotional distress from the incidents.
  • Plaintiff was living in a convalescent home and was being taken for dialysis by defendant transportation service. Instead of taking the plaintiff out of the vehicle with an exit with no step, they took the plaintiff out through an exit with a step and the plaintiff fell onto the sidewalk. Plaintiff sustained 4 broken ribs and contusions and was hospitalized days. Home alleged note to driver to take plaintiff out proper exit.
  • Plaintiff was working for a subcontractor to general contractor and was using a cement mixer that his employer had altered and taken off the protective grate. Plaintiff's hand got stuck while putting a bag of cement in the mixer and he sustained a very serious injury to his major right hand. Defendants were the general contractor and the manufacturer of the cement mixer. Major issue of comparative fault of plaintiff and his employer.
  • Plaintiff was badly injured when a pit bull owned by defendants, bit her and knocked her to the ground, causing her to have a broken leg that needed surgery with plates in her leg. She has bad residual scarring on her leg and stomach. She continues to have pain and discomfort in her leg. The dog had bitten someone previously, and the plaintiff contends the dog should have been declared vicious and put down.
  • Plaintiff tripped and fell over drain pipes while walking to her laundry room at her apartment complex. Plaintiff was pushing a laundry cart and the wheels of the cart caught the drain and caused her to fall and break her left wrist. Case settled during mediation.
  • Plaintiff slipped and fell on a newly mopped floor at a gas station market. Defense argued since there were three wet floor signs and video surveillance showed a very mild fall with Plaintiff getting up immediately with no injuries reported; Plaintiff did not need the surgery she ended up having. Case settled in mediation.

PI Auto

  • Automobile accident involving 3 different policies of insurance with UM Coverage. Case settled for a six-figure amount divided equally among the 3 insurance carriers.
  • Plaintiff was pedestrian who was struck in a crosswalk by defendant's vehicle, a commercial vehicle. Plaintiff suffered multiple fractures. Case settled for a six-figure amount general damages.
  • Automobile vs. motorcycle accident resulting in complaints of complex regional pain syndrome, and also knee surgery. Defense claimed plaintiff was speeding. Case settled in mediation for a six-figure amount.
  • Contested liability auto vs. auto accident. Plaintiff had both a cervical and lumbar laminectomy as a result of the accident and had to retire early. Case settled for high six-figures.
  • Auto incident dispute that involved issues with liability, causation and damages. Plaintiff had two lumbar surgeries with poor results. Defense asserted that plaintiff ran red light and was subjected to unnecessary surgery as the impact was minor. Case settled in mediation for a 6 figure amount.
  • This was a 3 car automobile rear-end accident. At the second session a Mediator's Proposal was made which was initially accepted by the plaintiff and rejected by the defendant. After continued follow-up by the mediator, the case was set for a 3rd session of mediation at which time the case settled.
  • Mediated and settled case involving plaintiff who had two lumbar surgeries. Problems on liability, causation and damages.
  • Plaintiff was driving a tractor trailer when he was rear-ended by defendant's tractor trailer at 55 MPH. Plaintiff sustained low back injuries and PTSD. No surgery for low back but he did receive injections in his low back. Case settled in mediation.
  • Rear-end automobile accident while plaintiff was a passenger in a car driven by a co-employee in the course and scope of his employment. Allegations that co-employee was negligent for failing to tie down a pump in the back seat. Surgery to shoulder and knee and soft tissue injuries to back and neck. Dispute settled in mediation.
  • Motorcycle vs. car accident. Disputed liability. Serious injuries with six-figures in medical special damages. Case settled in mediation.
  • Pedestrian vs. auto accident in unmarked crosswalk. Plaintiff sustained badly fractured leg and shoulder injury. Surgery to leg and continuing pain and discomfort. Case settled in early mediation prior to depositions being taken.
  • Auto vs.18 wheeler with clear liability. The automobile rolled 6-7 times Main injury was PTSD for which plaintiff is still treating. She had pre-existing depression problems. Case settled in mediation.
  • Rear-end auto accident with clear liability and heavy PD. Plaintiff in course and scope of employment. Plaintiff has thoracic outlet syndrome, tinnitus, hearing loss, and partial loss of vision in one eye. Case settled in mediation exclusive of workers compensation lien.
  • Bad liability bicycle vs. auto accident. Plaintiff riding on sidewalk in violation of Municipal Code at 15-20 MPH. Even if allowed to ride on sidewalk, not supposed to go faster than 5 MPH. Also wearing headphones listening to music. Defendant makes right turn into gas station driveway and hits plaintiff on his bike. Plaintiff had been complaining of low back pain for months before the accident and was on his way for X-rays when accident happened. Plaintiff is now claiming he was just telling his doctor of back pain to get percocet so he could lift weights. Plaintiff had epidurals and low back surgery.
  • Defective repair of motorcycle by defendant's motorcycle shop. Lug nut came off front wheel while plaintiffs riding on motorcycle on the freeway same day as repair. Driver of motorcycle sustained a large laceration to his leg with sutures and staples. Also sustained a broken wrist with surgery. Passenger on motorcycle sustained road rash and badly broken left hand with residuals of no use of the pinky. Case settled for both the passenger and the driver.
  • Clear liability auto case where plaintiff turned left on a green arrown and defendant made a right turn on a no right turn red light. Plaintiff tried conservative care which didn't work and she had disc replacement surgery in cervical spine. Also developed Horners Syndrome (drooping eye) after surgery.
  • Aggravated liability/road rage auto accident. Plaintiff had neck surgery in 2014 and was improving very well before this accident. She had to have another neck surgery after accident and probably needs a 3rd surgery.

Premises Liability

  • 3 year old went down an old slide in a city park and caught his pinky finger on a protruding dangerous weld on the slide. This caused a traumatic amputation of the finger. Attempts to reattach the finger were unsuccessful.
  • Very tough case; extremely emotional. 21-month-old boy drowns in babysitters pool. Case settled for policy limits, plus defendants agree to move from neighborhood and sell their house. Also agree to pay plaintiffs back the amount in which the babysitter had earned from babysitting over the year prior to the accident.
  • Plaintiff was a patient at a hospital and was being transported in a van as he was wheelchair bound. Van driver failed to help him down the ramp from the van and he tipped over and broke his femur. All of his treatment was at the hospital so there were no medical special damages. He had open reduction, internal fixation of the fracture. He also had an increase in his PTSD. Case settled in mediation.
  • Electrical shock on gate at hotel with clear liability. Plaintiff had a lot of pre-existing conditions but made much worse by accident. Claimed TBI that defense disputes. High 5-figures in present medicals with hundreds of thousands in future medicals claimed. Defense claims no TBI and plaintiff was faking some of her injuries. Settled in mediation for a confidential amount.
  • Plaintiff sustained a badly fractured ankle jumping on a trampoline at a trampoline park. The park just opened 3 weeks before the accident and failed to supply suction socks are they said were required to use the trampoline. Instead they let the customers jump without the socks. Plaintiff slipped on one of his jumps and injured himself. Plaintiff signed a waiver and lied that he was 18 when he was only 17. He also lied in his deposition and said he did not sign the waiver and also lied in discovery when he did not disclose a subsequent accident where he broke his same ankle. Defense also claimd assumption of the risk. Case settled in mediation.
  • Slip and fall on privately owned sidewalk in City. Trees caused sidewalk to come up and cause tripping hazard. Defendant responsible for maintenance of property had fixed other areas of sidewalk before accident and removed trees but did not fix area where plaintiff fell. Plaintiff fell and sustained fractures to 2 bones in left arm requiring 2 surgeries and plates and pins as well as non-displaced fracture in other arm. Residual problems that likely will require should replacement.
  • Plaintiff in the course and scope of her employment was a security officer. Defendant was driving a golf cart with no headlights and hit plaintiff who was sitting in the middle of an intersection that had no lighting. Golf cart ran the stop sign and ran over plaintiff. Defense claims plaintiff on cell phone and not carrying her light saber. Co Defendant should have had lights at intersection and put them in after accident. Plaintiff had a ton of comparative fault and so did her employer and co-employees. Claimed shoulder, back and concussion such that plaintiff could no longer work.