- Dartmouth College (B.A., cum laude)
- Northwestern University School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude and Order of the Coif)
Law Clerk to the Honorable David M. Ebel, United States Court of Appeal for the Tenth Circuit
Named one of Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Lawyers in 2020, a recipient of the California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year award in 2017 and selected as “Top Plaintiff Lawyers in all of California” in 2016 and 2017 by The Daily Journal; Steven Sklaver 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 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 certified 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 at least $25.5 million (over $16 million after fees and expenses) and royalties under a 10-year license that is valued up to $62 million (over $41 million after fees and expenses) as compensation for publicly performing without a license Pre-1972 sound recordings. The settlement was approved by the Court, and 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.
Within six months after the Sirius XM class action settled, so did Sklaver’s copyright class action brought on behalf of artists owed mechanical royalties for compositions made available by Spotify, the leader in digital music streaming. Spotify agreed to a class action settlement valued at over $112 million (over $95 million after fees and expenses), a settlement for which the district court granted final approval and remains subject to a pending appeal. You can read more about this matter in Billboard.
Sklaver’s many significant and widely covered class action results in 2016 helped secure Susman Godfrey’s recognition as Law360’s “Class Action Group of the Year” in early 2017. 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.