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Brian G. Steller

Chair, Insurance Defense

Overview

A highly experienced trial attorney, Brian Steller focuses his practice on insurance defense and coverage, professional and product liability, and corporate liability matters. A Certified Civil Trial Attorney, Brian has tried to verdict well over 80 matters in New Jersey state and federal courts. Viewing the trial courtroom as his office, Brian has also successfully argued before the New Jersey Court of Appeals on more than 30 occasions and before the New Jersey Supreme Court on four occasions. He serves as Chair of the firm's Insurance Defense group.

In addition to his practice, Brian devotes substantial time to helping develop the trial skills of younger attorneys. He is the Immediate Past President of the Northern New Jersey Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Organization and is a Life Fellow of its Foundation. He is also the Creator, Academic Administrator and Dean of the ABOTA Trial College. The inaugural College was held on the campus of Princeton University in 2010 and featured a national faculty of 24 ABOTA members (including five former national presidents) and 36 “students” (practicing attorneys with four to six years of trial experience) from around the country. Beginning in 2012, the ABOTA National Trial College has been held at Harvard Law School and continues to be conducted there every other summer. On a more regular basis, Brian serves as a Master in the Brennan-Vanderbilt Inn of Court, teaching local young trial attorneys how to improve their skills.

Brian is also an active member of the New Jersey State and Essex County Bar Associations. In April of 2003, he was elected President of the Essex County Bar Association and was sworn into his post by then-New Jersey Supreme Court Associate Justice James R. Zazzali. As early as 1995, Brian was recognized for his trial skills, having received the Civil Trial Attorney Achievement Award from the Essex Bar Association that year. During the past 30 years, he has also served as a moderator and panelist for numerous ABOTA, New Jersey State and Essex County Bar Association Continuing Legal Education programs.

During law school, Brian clerked for the Newark, New Jersey firm of former Chief Justice James R. Zazzali. He began his legal career in 1982 as the law clerk to one of New Jersey’s finest trial judges, the Hon. Murray G. Simon.

Experience

Decisions

  • Pinto v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, 183 N.J. 405, 874 A.2d 520 (2004)
  • Green v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, 160 N.J. 480, 734 A.2d 1147 (1999)
  • New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company v. Breen, 153 N.J. 424, 710 A.2d 421 (1998)
  • Unsatisfied Claim and Judgment Fund Board v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, 138 N.J. 185, 649 A.2d 1243 (1994)

Activities

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • Lawyers Advisory Committee, Judicial Council of the Third Judicial Circuit
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Essex County Bar Association
  • Life Fellow, Foundation of the American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Fellow, International Society of Barristers
  • Master, William J. Brennan American Inn of Court
  • Member, NJ State Golf Association and its Caddy Scholarship Foundation
  • Former President and current Officer, College Men's Club of Westfield, a civic organization dedicated to providing college scholarship funds to deserving high school graduates
  • Former Trustee, Greater Elizabeth New Jersey Habitat for Humanity, which builds homes for low-income families

Presentations

  • Panelist, "The Art of Advocacy," Seton Hall Law Review Symposium (October 1, 2014)
  • Panelist, "Civility in the American Justice System: Promoting Public Trust and Confidence," National Judicial College, 50th Annual Symposium on Civility, Philadelphia, PA (April 8, 2013)
  • Presenter, "Settling Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Claims,” National Business Institute Seminar; Princeton, New Jersey (July 9, 2008)

News & Insights

News

Honors

“John B. LaVecchia” Achievement Award for outstanding efforts to elevate the quality of Trial Advocacy and Image of the Bar, ABOTA (2015)

Fellow, International Society of Barristers

"New Jersey's Top Rated Lawyers" as seen in Inside Jersey magazine (2012)

New Jersey Super Lawyers, Civil Litigation (2005-2006, 2008-2017)

AV Preeminent Peer Rated by Martindale-Hubbell (20 plus consecutive years)

Clerkships

  • Newark, New Jersey firm of former Chief Justice James R. Zazzali
  • Hon. Murray G. Simon, Trial Judge 

Education

Seton Hall Law School (J.D., 1982)

Villanova University (B.A., Political Science, 1978), Pi Sigma Alpha

Admissions

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