Steven P. O’Neill

Senior Partner

Contact Info
P: (805) 495-4770

Steven P. O’Neill provides litigation services for public agencies with an emphasis on the needs of water districts, municipalities, and other public agencies. His clients also include insurance companies and self-insureds, farming and ranch concerns, privately held corporations, and individuals. In addition to civil litigation, he advises clients on transactional matters and represents them before state boards and the California legislature. Water recycling, conservation, and desalination constitute a large share of his transactional practice.

Steven is the partner responsible for direct supervision of the firm’s litigation and litigation teams. He has litigated most of the firm’s recent major trials. He litigates in both federal and state courts, and has obtained multimillion dollar verdicts on behalf of our clients. His most recent trial occurred in 2009, where he successfully defended a public agency in a three-week construction dispute trial involving a water filtration facility. In 2008, he obtained a verdict for a municipality who sued a developer for breach of a development agreement. Prior to that, he litigated on behalf of a municipal water district who sued an investment bank over an interest rate swap transaction. He has defended numerous other cases, including successfully defending challenges to water rate structures, and a developer’s claim to $56 million in lost profits.

Before joining the firm, Steven worked as a deputy district attorney for the Los Angeles County District Attorney. He developed expertise in a broad range of environmental issues while investigating and prosecuting violations of California environmental laws and regulations. He also worked in a legislative and policy capacity, helping draft new environmental protection laws and instituting the first local Proposition 65 enforcement program in California. He continues to work with current clients in drafting and analyzing new legislation.

As a deputy district attorney, Steven lectured on the Corporate Criminality Liability Act (“CCLA”). More recently, he was a speaker at the Attorneys Conference on Prosecuting Water Pollution Cases for the Association of California Water Agencies (“ACWA”), of which he is a member. He has also lectured on water issues at the University of California at Santa Barbara extension classes.

Steven joined the State Bar of California in 1989. He is admitted to practice in all California state courts and the U. S. District Courts for the Central and Eastern Districts of California.

Steven received his J.D. in 1985 from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and his B.A. in history from Dartmouth College in 1980. Steven lives in Malibu with his wife, Barbara, and their three children. Family activities include surfing and lacrosse, which he coaches.