Steven Phillips

Lecturer in Law

Office:
Tel: (212) 605 - 6220
Email: sphill@law.columbia.edu
Steven Phillips is a founding partner of Phillips & Paolicelli. For over forty years he has built a nationwide reputation as a pioneer in the representation of the victims of wrongful workplace and environmental exposures to toxic substances.

Steve’s many accomplishments span a broad spectrum. A leading courtroom lawyer, he has tried scores of cases to verdict in federal and state courts around the nation, routinely winning awards and collecting judgments in the millions and tens of millions of dollars. As a mark of respect by his peers as well as the courts before he has appeared, he has generally been named as lead trial counsel in mass tort cases successfully representing scores of plaintiffs in bellwether cases.

Steve is also a leading appellate lawyer, who has appeared and argued precedent-setting cases in the highest state courts and in federal appellate courts throughout the nation. He is also a legal scholar and educator who has taught on the faculty at the Columbia University School of Law for the past sixteen years. Steve has lectured at the Epidemiology and Bio Statistics Department at McGill University about the relationship of science and law.

Professionally, Steve’s passion involves the prosecution of complex and ground breaking litigations, giving voice and representation to the severely injured while taking on the largest and most powerful corporate defendants. A pioneer from the early days of the asbestos litigation, he has taking on not only those who manufactured and sold that deadly product, but also large pharmaceutical manufacturers, computer giants such as IBM, Intel, Motorola and AMD whose chemicals have inflicted appalling birth defects on the offspring of its workers, Philip Morris USA and other tobacco manufacturers, pesticide manufacturers such as Monsanto, and power companies such as AES, whose coal ash waste has devastated communities and caused disease and especially birth defects in exposed populations.

Steve’s practice is both local and global in its reach. Among the clients he represents are children from both Argentina and the Dominican Republic suffering from appalling birth defects caused by grave misconduct by American corporations beyond our borders.

Concerned not only to obtain compensation for those already injured, Steve has played a preeminent and pioneering role in shaping our law to save lives and prevent or minimize injuries. Over thirty years ago, in the groundbreaking and frequently cited case of Ayers v. Township of Jackson Steve established the right to medical surveillance as a remedy, permitting the victims of wrongful exposures to toxins, the chance to obtain medical examinations that might detect at the earliest moment developing disease so that it might be treated and cured. Continuing this important battle to this very day, Steve’s recent victory in Donovan v. Philip Morris USA established that in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, cigarette manufacturers might be held liable to provide low dose CT scans to long time smokers who are at high risk for developing lung cancer.