• vcard
  • Education
    • J.D., Loyola Law School-Los Angeles, 1981
    • B.S., Santa Clara University, 1978
  • Court Admissions
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1995
    • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, 1998
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 1991
    • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, 1984
    • U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii, 1985
Steve Nichols is at his professional best when advocating on behalf of clients in front of a jury. As a trial attorney, he partners with clients to develop innovative approaches to case handling. His 39 years of jury trial experience enables him to understand the challenges and concerns of clients, and to respond by providing answers and strategies that address them. Steve's approach consists of developing innovative case-handling and trial strategies that focus on the details that are important to jurors and not necessarily on what others have traditionally done in similar cases. He provides a logical, precise presentation of evidence and argument all directed at achieving the client’s desired results.
  • Represented a well-known power supply company for asbestos matters in Southern California. Part of this representation included obtaining a defense verdict in Orange County, California. The medical causation portion of the case was bifurcated and tried before a jury over 4 weeks, resulting in a defense verdict.
  • Robbins v. Various Asbestos Defendants; Obtained a defense verdict in Portland, Oregon for an asbestos fiber supplier in a case in which the plaintiff claimed to have developed malignant mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to raw asbestos fibers as well as products which were manufactured with those fibers.
  • Luros v. Various Asbestos Defendants; Jury found for client in a case brought against it by a physician who had worked as an expert witness for years on behalf of plaintiffs in asbestos disease cases.  The doctor developed malignant mesothelioma and claimed it was caused by exposure to products manufactured with client’s asbestos fibers.
  • Represented a national manufacturer of chemical containing products in multiple cases including exposures (benzene), fires (paint products) and explosions (aerosol products).
  • Carter v. Petroleum Products Manufacturer; Successfully defended manufacturer of petroleum products against a claim of a dock worker who claimed to have sustained physical injuries as a result of the use of one of its lubricant products over a period of several months.
  • Defended owners of an oil recycling facility against claims of ground contamination by adjacent property owners and regulatory agencies.
  • Thompson v General Contractor; Obtained a defense verdict in favor of a general contractor in a case brought by four subcontractors and the heirs of a fifth all of whom claimed they sustained injuries during a construction project wherein they encountered hazardous materials believed to be a petroleum hydrocarbon plume.  The jury found that the client general contractor who contended that it took all appropriate precautions on discovery of the material and that the various injuries claimed, including death from a brain tumor were not related to any exposures.
  • Defended owners of a metal plating facility against ground contamination claims.
  • Defended a national retailer in premises cases alleging significant injuries as well as claims of false imprisonment and false arrest.
  • Represented numerous state independent banks against claims of fraud, breach of contract.  Also handled operational claims made by bank customers.
  • Financial Institution adv. Fischer; Jury found in favor of bank client in case claiming fraud in the sale of REO property by the bank to the plaintiff.
  • Defended major credit card issuer in multiple cases alleging fraud and breach of contract. 
  • Bucolla v. Various Asbestos Defendants; Successfully defended client in a jury trial brought by a man who claimed that his malignant mesothelioma was caused by his bystander exposure to asbestos fibers on construction sites on which he operated heavy equipment.
  • Harris v. Various Asbestos Defendants; Obtained a defense verdict on behalf of an asbestos containing product manufacturer by a woman who worked as a building manager overseeing new construction and tenant improvements in buildings throughout Los Angeles during a time when joint compound products contained asbestos fibers.
  • Flores v. Various Asbestos Defendants; Jury returned a defense verdict in this case brought by a career dry wall worker who claimed that his malignant mesothelioma was caused by his exposure to asbestos containing joint compounds including one manufactured by client. defense verdict.
  • Fortini v. Various Asbestos Defendants; In this unique case, the plaintiff and his wife brought a claim against client that his malignant mesothelioma was caused by his exposure to client’s product when he worked with asbestos containing joint compounds.  Shortly after the trial began, Mr. Fortini died.  The court permitted the complaint to be amended immediately to allege claims of wrongful death and allowed three new plaintiffs to be added as wrongful death heirs.  The trial continued with the same jury to verdict.  The jury found in favor of client.
  • Home Buyer v. Wax; Recovered damages in favor of a couple who purchased a home against the sellers based on the breach of an oral contract made in conjunction with the sale of real property.
  • Guspari v Various Defendants; Argued successful nonsuit motion in medical malpractice case against anesthesiologist in res ipsa loquitor case in which plaintiff claimed to have sustained a shoulder nerve injury during a surgical procedure as a result of her positioning on the operating table. 
text icon Publications & Presentations
COVID-19 and Litigation: A Roundtable Discussion of Remote Advocacy in the Face of a Global Pandemic
Panelist, Polsinelli Webinar
June 16, 2020
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What were they thinking? The Use of Jury Consultants Before, During and After Trial
Polsinelli In-House Presentation to Firm Litigators
October 14, 2019
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March 12, 2019
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California Asbestos Litigation Conference: Trial of a Cosmetic Talc Mesothelioma Case
HarrisMartin, Co-chair; Los Angeles, California
July 19, 2018
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Polsinelli CLE Presentation - Litigation Training
September 21, 2017
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Corporate Roundtable: In-house Perspectives on Asbestos Litigation
Moderator, Asbestos Litigation Conference: A National Overview & Outlook; Perrin Conferences, San Francisco, CA
September 2017
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California Asbestos Litigation Conference
HarrisMartin, Co-Chair; Los Angeles, California
December 7, 2016
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Association of Corporate Counsel, Southern California Chapter; FOCUS
Third Quarter 2016
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Complex Courts Symposium Asbestos Litigation, Nuts & Bolts: A Primer for Newer Practitioners
Los Angeles County Bar Association; Co-Chair
November 9, 2016
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Cosmetic Talc: Everything You Need to Know to Ride the Next Asbestos Litigation Wave
Cutting-Edge Issues in Asbestos Litigation, Perrin Conferences
Panelist; Beverly Hills, CA
March 15, 2016