Stephen “Steve” M. Schatz is a skilled litigator with more than 30 years of experience handling an array of litigation matters that include third- and first-party coverage, construction defects, arson and fraud, bad faith, environmental law, property insurance disputes, products liability, toxic torts and general liability defense
Throughout his career, Steve has handled a multitude of complex coverage issues under commercial general liability, excess and umbrella, reinsurance, auto, specialty lines, D&O, disability, pollution, professional liability and personal lines insurance policies. He often represents third-party insurers in coverage matters where a case is brought by or against an insured or another insurer, and Steve has successfully pursued nearly a thousand of these cases in state and federal courts.
Steve primarily represents insurance companies who underwrite large exposure policies for commercial entities or individuals in the general liability, property and professional liability arenas. He also represents insurance companies faced with claims of bad faith in connection to claims handling and decisions, as well as time-limited demands for policy limits.
Another of his areas of practice is pursuing and defending against tenders for defense, indemnification and additional insured coverage.
Steve understands that a business’ reputation is often the most valuable asset they have. He looks at the big picture and makes sure the end result of a case lines up with the overall goals of his clients’ businesses. Whether he is handling a mediation, settlement or trial, Steve finesses a plan of attack to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved. He treats all cases with the same vigilance, regardless of “how many zeroes” are involved.
Steve is a dedicated, hard-working and “high motor” litigator who recognizes that with active pursuance comes favorable results. If his clients are on a tight deadline, he works tirelessly to achieve the results they desire. He values his client relationships and makes himself available whenever they need him.
Steve is a member of the Defense Research Institute, the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, the Georgia Fire Investigators Association and the Southern Loss Association. He co-leads the coverage and commercial litigation practice team, co-chairs the Expansion Committee and is a former managing partner.
- AV Preeminent® Rating, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review, 1998 - present
- Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
- Defense Research Institute
- Georgia Fire Investigators Association
- Southern Loss Association
- State Bar of Georgia
Steve’s personal, life-long goal is to hike the entire distance of the Appalachian Trail. He started in 2002 with two friends and has been working toward achieving that goal ever since.
Publications and Presentations
He published an article every year in the Mercer Law Review (the “Annual Insurance Survey”) and the National Fire and Arson Report from 2002 through 2017.
He is a frequent speaker on insurance coverage, bad faith and construction litigation issues.
University of North Carolina School of Law (J.D., 1988)
University of Virginia (B.A., 1985)