Steven Comen is a retired partner in the firm's Litigation Department, has represented clients in complex business disputes in state and federal courts, arbitration proceedings and before administrative agencies throughout the United States and abroad. Steven has also focused on the different advocacy expertise required for effective representation of clients to maximize the opportunities in mediations and other types of non-binding alternative dispute resolution proceedings, both formal and informal in the United States and abroad.
Steven has significant experience in major development and construction projects of all kinds, including public and private infrastructure such as bridges, tunnels, highways, water, and sewage treatment facilities; and industrial, commercial, and residential buildings such as office towers, high-rise condominiums, stadiums, and other athletic facilities. He also has extensive experience with power plants of all types, including cogeneration and waste-to-energy facilities. In development and construction disputes, Steven has represented public and private owners, local, national, and international contractors, design-builders, major subcontractors, and material and equipment suppliers.
With the objective of establishing effective dispute avoidance and resolution processes, Steven has counseled a variety of owners in the negotiation and preparation of their contracts with design professionals and with construction managers, general contractors, and others associated with the construction process. Among the institutional owners he has represented are Harvard, Boston College, Brandeis University, Middlebury College, Williams College, and Deerfield Academy. Steven also has extensive experience in negotiating design/build and construction contracts for and with private developers.
Steven has frequently worked with companies that do not typically do real estate development in connection with their new construction projects. For example, he represented the New England Patriots throughout the process of the design, construction, and resolution of all disputes regarding the new Gillette Stadium and the surrounding Patriot Place mixed-use development.
As the variety of insurance products for large projects has evolved and the number of insurance providers has become more limited, Steven has counseled clients on the structuring of their insurance programs, the negotiation of policy terms and the effective use of these insurance resources to facilitate the resolution of disputes.
Steven also has extensive experience in the representation of media, arts, and sports clients. In media matters, he has represented television broadcasters and print media on issues such as access of television cameras in the courtroom, privacy matters, libel and defamation, First Amendment, reporters’ privilege, trademark, copyright, and proprietary personal and creative rights. In the arts, Steven has represented internationally renowned art galleries and experts. In sports matters, he has represented owners of professional football teams and, occasionally, their players.
Steven has participated in a videotaped training program prepared by Harvard Law School demonstrating the role of outside counsel as the mediation advocate. This videotape is disseminated by the American Bar Association and used by it and other organizations in their mediation and advocacy training programs. Steven has been accredited as a mediator by a number of organizations, including the Centre for Dispute Resolution (CEDR) in London and is also a member of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution Panel of Distinguished Neutrals.
The University of Michigan Law School
U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Honorable W. Arthur Garrity
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
As a member of the CPR Arbitration Commission, Steven participated in the preparation of “Commercial Arbitration at Its Best, Successful Strategies for Business Users,” a book published by the American Bar Association and the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution. At conferences of international arbitrators and mediators, Steven has spoken on “Mediation as an Adjunct to Arbitration,” based on a chapter of this book on which he particularly focused his efforts. He has also spoken on various arbitration, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution topics at seminars sponsored by the American Bar Association, American Arbitration Association, Corporate Legal Institute, New England Corporate Counsel Association, Engineering News Record, Associated General Contractors and Continuing Legal Education of New England. Most recently, Steven was a leader of the Arbitration Advocates Task Force for the National Summit on Business to Business Arbitration being presented by the College of Commercial Arbitrators in WashingtonDC.
In recent years, the theme of Steven’s presentations is how outside counsel and in-house counsel can obtain the greatest benefits for their clients by the effective use of mediation for managing dispute resolution. The latest seminars at which he spoke on this topic were an Annual Meeting of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, and an Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association program “Mediating the Bet the Business, High Stakes, Large Complex Case.” The CPR Institute acknowledged Steven as a member of a select group of “CPR Heroes” for extraordinary contributions made to the accomplishments of CPR.
Most recently, Steven was a panelist at the National Summit of the College of Commercial Arbitrators in Washington, D.C., which is devoted to improving the arbitration processes for complex commercial disputes. He was also a panelist in London at a program on “Hot Topics in International Arbitration,” for which his topic was 28 U.S.C. §1782 litigation in the United States courts in support of international arbitration.