Steven Plitt

Mr. Steven Plitt

The Cavanagh Law Firm
1850 N. Central Avenue, Suite 1900
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Office: 602-322-4000
Fax: 602-322-4100


Mr. Plitt is a nationally recognized expert in claim handling practices, insurance industry standards of care, and extracontractual claims. He has been retained as an expert in hundreds of cases nationwide.

During his 34+ year practice career, Mr. Plitt managed a large litigation practice where he represented policyholders and insureds in litigation as well as acting as coverage counsel for insurance companies. He has extensive trial and litigation experience. He is a veteran of numerous cases tried to jury verdict.

Mr. Plitt is the current senior author of the widely recognized and authoritative insurance coverage treatise series titled COUCH ON INSURANCE 3D. Mr. Plitt and his team are rewriting and revising the treatise series. This treatise series comprises 24 volumes of substantive texts covering all aspects of insurance. He is the author of ARIZONA LIABILITY INSURANCE LAW which is a treatise on Arizona insurance coverage. He is also an author of the national treatises THE CLAIM ADJUSTER’S AUTOMOBILE LIABILITY HANDBOOK and PRACTICAL TOOLS FOR HANDLING INSURANCE CASES. He is a Senior Contributing Editor and Editorial Board Member of the nationally recognized INSURANCE LITIGATION REPORTER. He was on the Editorial Board for Claims Journal.

Mr. Plitt has been cited by the Supreme Courts in 32 states, the Intermediate Appellate Courts in 23 states, 10 of the Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal, 54 Federal District Courts, the Federal Court of Claims and Federal Bankruptcy Court. Mr. Plitt has been cited in the Code of Federal Regulations. Mr. Plitt has also been cited in 91 scholarly articles.

Mr. Plitt is currently teaching insurance law at the University of Arizona’s College of Law. He is a former adjunct professor of law at Arizona State University’s College of Law where he taught the insurance law curriculum. He has been a licensed insurance broker since 1974. Mr. Plitt is listed as one of THE BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA® in the field of insurance law. He was identified as one of PHOENIX’S TOP LAWYERS by PHOENIX MAGAZINE®. He was selected as a SOUTHWEST SUPER LAWYERS® and chosen by SUPER LAWYERS® and his peers as one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Arizona. In 2012 and 2017 Mr. Plitt was selected as the Insurance Lawyer of the Year – Phoenix by BEST LAWYERS®. He is a Fellow of the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel.

During his practice career, Mr. Plitt conservatively estimates that he has reviewed and analyzed thousands of claim files from more than a hundred different insurance companies. This practical knowledge and experience informs him as to industry custom, standard and practice. He has participated in roundtable discussions, claim handling, and bad faith risk avoidance activities as part of his national insurance law practice. During his direct representation, as well as his consulting retentions, Mr. Plitt has been able to review the claim manuals, claim bulletins and general corporate claim documentation (where those materials had been available) for many insurance companies. He has also reviewed the depositions of insurance claim adjusters, claim supervisors, other claim management personnel, and insurance company representatives ((30)(b)(6) persons most knowledgeable) regarding the handling of specific claims, claims handling generally, and claim operations. Mr. Plitt has participated in many insurance company “roundtable” discussions which are part of the overall claim adjustment and evaluation process. When he has attended a “roundtable” discussion his role was to provide guidance and advice on claim valuation, claim handling issues and problems, and he provided advice and solutions regarding impediments that may have arisen in the claim environment on specific claims. Additionally, in Mr. Plitt’s capacity as an attorney directly representing insurance companies, he had oftentimes been called upon to provide informal advice and guidance regarding claim handling practices and procedures and possible revisions thereto. These discussions would take place with claim management professionals including in-house counsel.

Mr. Plitt has been invited to conduct in-house training seminars on claim handling, bad faith and insurance regulations (including the NAIC Model Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act and specific state iterations of the Act) for 22 different insurance companies with adjusting staffs in 13 different states. As part of those training sessions, he would provide advice for specific claims as well as advice for general claim handling practices. Mr. Plitt recently developed an on-line course for claim adjusters regarding Unfair Claims Settlement Practices statutes and accompanying state regulations. Adjusters who take the course will be eligible for continuing education credits. Through the innumerable dealings Mr. Plitt has had with claim adjusters, supervisors and claim management personnel and through his experience as an attorney directly representing insurance companies as well as a consultant over the last 34+ years, he has observed industry standards, customs and practices regarding claim handling and processing issues.

Mr. Plitt has been qualified as a claims handling expert in both state and federal courts. Over the years Mr. Plitt has analyzed coverage issues in all 50 states and has been an expert witness consultant in matters venued in 31 states. He has been an expert consultant for policyholders/insureds and insurance companies in hundreds of matters in the following venues: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Areas of Expertise
  • Bad Faith
  • Fire Insurance
  • Health/Medical/Disability Insurance
  • Homeowner's Insurance
  • Insurance
  • Insurance Adjuster
  • Insurance Agent/Broker
  • Insurance Customs & Practices
  • Insurance Excess & Surplus Lines
  • Insurance Fraud
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Liability Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Medical Insurance
  • Property & Casualty Insurance
  • Reinsurance

Expert Background
Q: Please list your professional accreditations, degrees, licenses, and certificates granted:
• Graduated “With Honors”
• CALI Award of Excellence – Workers’ Compensation
• Recipient 2012 Insurance Law Center LL.M. Award (Awarded to the outstanding LL.M. graduating student)
• Honors Thesis — A Practical Exploration Into The Policy Architecture Of Directors & Officers Insurance Coverage

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA: J.D. With Distinction, 1982
• Recipient, Best Oral Advocate Award, Second Year Moot Court Competition
• Member, U of A National Moot Court Team
• Editor, Second Year Moot Court Board
• National Order of Barristers

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY: B.S. Political Science, 1978
• Barrett Honors College Graduate
• Graduated Summa Cum Laude and “With Honors”
• Honors Thesis — The Panama Canal: A Question of Sovereignty
Q: Please list your affiliations or memberships in any professional and/or industry organizations:
A: • Admitted to the State Bar of Arizona, 1982; U.S. District Court (Arizona), 1982; Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1983; U.S. Court of Appeals (D.C. Circuit), 1989; U.S. Supreme Court, 2002
• Licensed Insurance Broker, Arizona, 1974 to present (Property and Casualty; Accident and Health; Life)
• Chairman, CLE Committee, Young Lawyers Division, Arizona State Bar Association, 1990-1992
• Member, Arizona State Bar Association, CLE Committee, 1990-1993; 2001-2004.

Mr. Plitt has been elected to the American Law Institute. The American Law Institute is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law. The Institute is made up of distinguished lawyers, judges and law professors. The Institute publishes RESTATEMENTS of the law, model statutes, and principals of law that are influential in courts and legislatures, as well as in legal scholarship and education.
• Principles of the Law of Liability Insurance (Members Consultive Group)
• Restatement of the Law of Liability Insurance (Members Consultive Group)

Mr. Plitt has been elected to the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (ACCEC). ACCEC is comprised of preeminent coverage and extracontractual counsel in the United States and Canada. ACCEC is equally divided between policyholder counsel and insurer counsel.

Mr. Plitt is the Director of the Arizona State Bar sponsored Annual Insurance Institute.

• Recipient, Outstanding Contribution to Continuing Legal Education Award, Arizona State Bar Association, 1999
• Listed in “Who’s Who in American Law” (5th Edition)
• Listed in “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges” (1978-1979).
• Listed in “PHOENIX MAGAZINE®” as one of Phoenix’s Top Lawyers (November 2006)
• Listed in “THE BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA®” (2007*–2016) *First year insurance law was considered for inclusion within Arizona
• Selected 2012* Phoenix Insurance Lawyer of the Year by BEST LAWYERS® *First year awarded in Arizona
• Listed in “SOUTHWEST SUPER LAWYERS®” (2007*–2016) *inaugural year
• TOP 50 Lawyers in Arizona, “SOUTHWEST SUPER LAWYERS®” (2007-2016)
• Listed in “CORPORATE COUNSEL ALMANAC” as one of the top lawyers in the field of insurance law in the United States
• TOP 10 Lawyers in Arizona (Category: Employee Benefits & Insurance), “AZ BUSINESS MAGAZINE”
• TOP 100 Lawyers in Arizona (for all categories) “AZ BUSINESS MAGAZINE”
• AV Preeminent Rated with Martindale-Hubbell®
• Legal Leaders – Top Rated Lawyers–Insurance Law (Top 5% of AV Preeminent Lawyers)
Q: Please list any teaching or speaking experience you have had, including subject matter:
(Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law, 2010-Present) (Class taught: Insurance Law)

(Adjunct Professor of Insurance Law, 2014, 2015) (Class taught: Insurance Law)

(former Adjunct Professor of Insurance Law, 2000-2005) (Classes taught: Insurance Law & Regulation; Liability Insurance; Advanced Coverage Research and Analysis)

(1) Developed an online, continuing education compliant course for claim adjusters on the NAIC Model Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act, state-specific UCSPAs, and accompanying insurance department regulations;
(2) Faculty Instructor, CLM Claim College, Extra-Contractual School (Subject: Insurance Company Claim Handling Regulations and Practices).

(Provided in-house training seminars on claim handling, bad faith, insurance regulations, Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act, and Advice of Counsel to 22 insurance companies with adjusters attending from 11 different states)

SPEAKING EXPERIENCE: See website and attached CV.
Q: Have any of your accreditations ever been investigated, suspended or removed? (if yes, explain)
A: No.
Q: On how many occasions have you been retained as an expert?
A: Hundreds nationally.
Q: For what area(s) of expertise have you been retained as an expert?
A: Claim handling, industry standards, bad faith, insurance agent malpractice, legal malpractice.
Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the plaintiff?
A: It varies depending upon current case inventory.
Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the defendant?
A: It varies depending upon current case inventory.
Q: On how many occasions have you had your deposition taken?
A: Call for information.
Q: When was the last time you had your deposition taken?
A: Call for information.
Q: On how many occasions have you been qualified by a court to give expert testimony?
A: Call for information.
Q: On how many occasions have you testified as an expert in court or before an arbitrator?
A: Call for information.
Q: For how many years have you worked with the legal industry as an expert?
A: Since 1996
Q: What services do you offer? (E.g.: consulting, testing, reports, site inspections etc.)
A: File analysis, trial preparation and as a testifying expert.
Q: What is your hourly rate to consult with an attorney?
A: Call for rate sheet.
Q: What is your hourly rate to review documents?
A: Call for rate sheet.
Q: What is your hourly rate to provide deposition testimony?
A: Call for rate sheet.
Q: What is your hourly rate to provide testimony at trial?
A: Call for rate sheet.
Q: Please list any fees other than those stated above (E.g.: travel expenses, copy fees, etc.)
A: Call for rate sheet.


References can be provided upon request.