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  • Dartmouth College (B.A., cum laude)
  • Northwestern University School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude and Order of the Coif)
Judicial Clerkship

Law Clerk to the Honorable David M. Ebel, United States Court of Appeal for the Tenth Circuit

Steven G. Sklaver

Selected by the Daily Journal as 1 of the 30 Top Plaintiff Lawyers in all of California in 2016, Steven Sklaver, also a member of Susman Godfrey’s Executive Committee, has secured substantial litigation victories for both plaintiffs and defendants. For plaintiffs, Sklaver was lead counsel for a certified class of insurance policy owners, helping them achieve what the Court in the Southern District of New York described as “the best settlement pound for pound for the class that I’ve ever seen.” You can read the Court’s statement in full here. You can also read more about the case in The Deal's profile on the litigation here. Sklaver was also lead trial and appellate counsel for investors against an insurance company that resulted in a complete victory and full pay-out of a $20 million life insurance policy. A copy of the appellate court decision is available here. To listen to Sklaver's appellate oral argument, click here. That matter was the feature cover story of the April 2012 California Lawyer.

Sklaver currently represents a class of animation employees in In re Animation Workers (N.D. Cal.) an antitrust action against the largest animation companies, including Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilms, DreamWorks, and Sony.  The Court certified the class in 2016, and trial is scheduled for 2017.  Nearly $170 million in settlements have been achieved so far (amount after fees and expenses is TBD).   Sklaver also represents the former members of the legendary rock group The Turtles in Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc. (C.D. Cal.) in a class action lawsuit against Sirius XM that settled less than 48 hours before the jury trial was scheduled to begin.  Sirius XM agreed to pay class members a cash fund and royalties under a 10-year license that is valued up to $99 million as compensation for publicly performing without a license Pre-1972 sound recordings.  The settlement has received widespread media coverage from publications such as The New York Times, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter,Law360, Rolling Stone, Variety, Reuters and Managing IP and remains subject to Court approval.  

Due to Mr. Sklaver’s many significant and widely covered class action results in 2016, in January 2017, Susman Godfrey was named a winner of Law360’s "Class Action Group of the Year" award. You can read that article announcing the award here.

For defendants, Sklaver has handled numerous employment class actions across the country. He served, along with the Managing Partner of Susman Godfrey, as trial counsel for Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, trying a large employment class action in California. He also successfully defended and defeated class certification in numerous, substantial wage and hour matters for Alta-Dena Certified Dairy, LLC, dairy producers for Dean Foods, one of the leading food and beverage companies in the United States.  Copies of the pro-employer decisions are available here, here, and here.

Sklaver has tried complex commercial and class action disputes — including jury trials and bench trials in federal and state court, as well as arbitrations. Sklaver graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College, magna cum laude and Order of the Coif from Northwestern University School of Law, and clerked for Judge David Ebel on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Sklaver also won the National Debate Tournament for Dartmouth College, and is just one of four individuals in debate history to win three national championships at the high school and collegiate level. From 2010-2017, Sklaver has been recognized every year as a "Super Lawyer” in Southern California, awarded to no more than the top 5% of the lawyers in the state of California (Law & Politics Magazine, Thomson Reuters).

Sklaver currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Western Center on Law & Poverty, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League, and the Association of Business Trial Lawyers. Sklaver was also selected as the 2016-2017 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference Lawyer Representative

Honors and Distinctions
  • Northwestern Law Review member and editor
  • National Debate Tournament (NDT) collegiate championship winner
  • 2010-2017 listings of Southern California "Super Lawyers” awarded to no more than the top 5% of the lawyers in the state of California (Law & Politics Magazine, Thomson Reuters)
Articles and Speeches

"Federal Power to Commandeer State Courts: Implications for the Theory of Judicial Federalism," 32 Ind. L. Rev. 71 (1998) (with Martin H. Redish, Professor, Northwestern University School of Law).

Speaking Engagements

  • Litigation Update: Will the Arthur Kramer Insurable-Interest Decision Lift the Cloud Over Much of the Litigation in the Market?  The 2011 International Life Settlements Conference (London, England)
  • Seeking Interlocutory Appellate Review of Class-Certification Rulings:  Tactics, Strategies, and Selected Issues.  Bridgeport 10th Annual Class Action Litigation Conference (Los Angeles, CA)
  • PwC 2010 Securities Litigation Study Luncheon.   (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Life Settlement Litigation Update.  2010 Life Settlement Compliance Conference and Legal Round Table (Atlanta, GA)
  • Litigation: What are the Legal Trends Affecting the Market?  The Life Settlements Conference 2010 (Las Vegas, NV)


Professional Associations and Memberships
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Tenth Circuits
  • United States District Courts for the Central, Southern, Northern, and Eastern Districts of California and District of Colorado
  • Admitted to state bars of Illinois, Colorado, and California
  • Board of Directors, Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League
  • Board of Directors, Western Center on Law & Poverty