In 2001, Stephen Cavanagh left the prominent Ottawa law firm at which he was a partner and struck out on his own. His goal was to form a civil litigation boutique that would become a leader among Ottawa law firms. He is very proud that the firm he started now includes top lawyers who have come together from other leading firms, both national and local, to practise civil litigation at the highest level. Read More

J. Stephen Cavanagh

In 2001, Stephen Cavanagh left the prominent Ottawa law firm at which he was a partner and struck out on his own. His goal was to form a civil litigation boutique that would become a leader among Ottawa law firms. He is very proud that the firm he started now includes top lawyers who have come together from other leading firms, both national and local, to practise civil litigation at the highest level.

Steve’s other ambition was to make maximum use of computers and technology in the practice and this too has been realized, with the help of his colleagues. The firm intends to remain at the forefront of innovators in the practice of civil litigation.

Steve’s practice focuses on professional liability, insurance and commercial litigation. He has extensive experience in advising both insurers and insureds about coverage issues and has had a number of reported cases in that field. He has also acted as a mediator and as an arbitrator in various types of civil disputes, principally in the areas of insurance and commercial law. As well, he has acted as counsel in disciplinary proceedings.

Steve is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, certified by the Law Society as a Specialist in Civil Litigation, has been selected for inclusion among The Best Lawyers in Canada since 2006 and has been “Repeatedly Recommended” as a Leading Practitioner in the field of “Litigation-Commercial Insurance” by LEXPERT.

In August, 2013, Best Lawyers in Canada named Steve the 2014 Lawyer of the Year in the area of Insurance Law in Ottawa.

Since 2007, Steve has been a member of the Ontario Civil Rules Committee, which is responsible for the Rules of Civil Procedure. In 2013, he chaired a subcommittee which made recommendations to the Civil Rules Committee regarding the discount rate for future pecuniary damages (Rule 53.09). Those recommendations have since been enacted. He also served as a member of another subcommittee that considered the issue of whether medical examinations in a litigation context should be recorded.

For five years, Steve was the Ottawa Senior Instructor in Civil Litigation for the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Bar Admission Course. He also taught Insurance Law and Trial Advocacy at uOttawa’s law school for several years.

The Cavillations blog  has been written by Steve for a number of years and is widely read among lawyers, judges and insurance professionals.

Despite his math-challenged background, one of Steve’s interests is quantitative risk analysis as applied to civil litigation.

Steve is a geek at heart and his multi-monitor workstation is often referred to within the firm as the “Flight Simulator”. He also secretly aspires to be a busker but, lacking the talent to do so, contents himself with listening to eastern Ontario’s largest (only?) collection of surf guitar, big band and Celtic accordion recordings.

Education
LL. B. 1978 – Western University
B.A. (Hons.) 1975 – Carleton University

Bar Admission
1980 – Ontario

Affiliations
Advocates’ Society
American College of Trial Lawyers
Canadian Defence Lawyers
County of Carleton Law Association

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