Steven B. Lesser chairs the firm’s national Construction Law and Litigation practice group. He is Past Chair of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Construction Law, a nationally prestigious organization devoted entirely to members of the construction industry. The Forum is the largest construction lawyer group in the world and is known for its scholarly publications and programs focusing on developments and trends in construction law.
Steve is presently Chair of the American Bar Association’s 2019 Annual Meeting Program Planning Committee. Mr. Lesser leads a Committee of lawyers from throughout the country to select, develop and produce CLE Showcase Programs focusing on newsworthy, cutting edge topics that impact the legal community. The 2019 CLE Programs will be presented at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
Mr. Lesser is Board Certified in Construction Law by the Florida Bar and devotes his practice exclusively to construction law and litigation, including governmental construction claims and defense and hotel/condominium disputes.
PROFESSIONAL / COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES
Member, American Bar Association’s Scope and Correlation Standing Committee for 2017-18.
Vice Chair, The Florida Bar Association’s Board of Legal Specialization & Education, July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019.
He is presently a member of the Florida Bar Association’s Board of Legal Specialization & Education Committee.
He has served as the chairman of the ABA’s Forum on Construction Law, one of the largest and most well-respected organizations devoted exclusively to construction law.
In 2016 he was appointed by ABA President Linda A. Klein to serve on the ABA’s Standing Committee on Specialization, which promotes and oversees the ABA’s specialist certification programs to enhance attorneys’ credentials as the national representative of the legal profession. He previously served on the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Membership and the Commission on the American Jury Project.
He previously served as Chair of the Task Force on the Contingent Fee for the ABA ‘s Tort and Insurance Practice Section having led the Task Force’s review of the contingent fee system to evaluate the impact of future changes to this fee structure on attorneys and their clients. The Task Force published “Contingent Fees in Mass Tort Litigation” in the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal, Fall 2006 and its earlier report entitled “Report on Contingent Fees in Class Action Litigation” was published in The Review Of Litigation, The University of Texas School of Law, Volume 25, No. 3, Summer 2006.
Mr. Lesser served as Past Chair of the Construction Law Certification Committee of the Florida Bar. This Committee is responsible for establishing standards for board certification of construction lawyers in Florida including the preparation and grading of the certification exam. In 2019, Mr. Lesser was appointed Chair of the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education (“BLSE”) which administers the Bar’s certification plan and provides oversight over all 26 certification committees that each focus upon a specific practice area. As part of its mission, the BLSE helps identify for the general public and the profession those attorneys who have substantial experience and have demonstrated special knowledge, skills, and proficiency in certified areas of practice and professionalism and ethics in the practice of law.
He previously served as a member of the prestigious Council for the ABA’s Tort and Insurance Practice Section having served as Past Chair of the Special Standing Committee on Professionalism. He also served as Past Chair of the Florida Bar’s Journal and News 40-member Editorial Board and as a member of the Editorial Board Committee actively reviewing articles for publication and teaching seminars on legal writing. Mr. Lesser is Past Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on the Construction Industry Steering Committee on Owners and Lenders (Division 12), and serves as Vice President of the International Concrete Repair Institute, Southeast Region. Previously, Mr. Lesser served as Past Chair of the Committees on Economics of Tort and Insurance Law Practice, and Trial Techniques of the Tort and Insurance Law and Practice Section of the ABA. He also served as past Chair of The Broward County Bar Association Construction Law Committee. He was a member of the Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee for The Florida Bar and served as Past Chair of the Bar’s Grievance Committees 15(f) and 17(b). Mr. Lesser served as Past Chair of the Legus, a group of affiliated law firms throughout the world and Co-Chair of the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry Program entitled “New Forms, New Issues, New Strategies” designed to introduce the 2007 version of the AIA Form Documents to construction lawyers throughout the country.
Mr. Lesser has been a featured speaker at several ABA National Conventions and has lectured on a variety of topics dealing with litigation, ethics, professionalism and construction including “Attacking The Expert Witness At Deposition: The Aftermath of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc.”; “The Cost-Effective Use of Case Management in Multi-Party Litigation”; and “50 Ways To Get Into Or Avoid Trouble! How To Avoid Legal Malpractice And Grievance Claims”. Mr. Lesser has also lectured at the ABA Forum on Construction Law, Fall 2016 Meeting in Chicago on “My Favorite Mistakes: The Owner’s Guide to
Avoiding Disaster on Construction Projects”. He previously spoke at the ABA Forum on Construction Law’s Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico on “The Twelve Deadly Sins: An Owner’s Guide To Avoiding Liability For Implied Obligations During the Construction of a Project” and as a panelist on the ABA Forum On The Construction Law teleconference entitled “Ethical Dilemmas and Pitfalls in Construction Contacting and Litigation”. He presented “Legal Writing for the 21st Century Lawyer” and “Drafting Disclaimers of Liability, Indemnification Clauses and Releases” at Annual Conventions of the Florida Bar.
Mr. Lesser also served as a featured speaker at the Florida Law Inaugural Construction Law Institute lecturing on “The Florida Construction Lawyer’s Guide to the New 2007 AIA A201 “General Conditions of the Contract for Construction” and has been a frequent lecturer at the Florida Bar Construction Certification Review Course lecturing on construction defect claims and Chapter 558, Florida Statutes. He is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Mr. Lesser was inducted into the Cleveland Heights High School Alumni Hall of Fame and presently serves as an Honorary Trustee for the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Alumni Association. On a personal note, Mr. Lesser was honored to be named the 2010 TOPSoccer Volunteer of the Year from the Florida Youth Soccer Association. TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is a community- based program for young athletes with disabilities, organized by youth soccer association volunteers.