John C. Steele


Mr. Steele is a partner and trial attorney with the firm. He has extensive experience in state and federal courts, as well various arbitration tribunals (FINRA, AAA, ADR Services, and JAMS). Mr. Steele’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, including securities, banking, health care, employment, intellectual property, and real property disputes. He represents brokerage firms, banks, health care providers (including skilled nursing facilities and assisted living centers) fortune 500 companies, corporate officers and directors, and individuals through trial in a wide variety of business disputes involving allegations of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, unfair competition, negligence, breach of contract, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, discrimination, and misappropriation of trade secrets. Mr. Steele also advises clients in regulatory matters. Prior to joining Palmer, Lombardi & Donohue LLP, Mr. Steele was a partner at the national litigation firm of Zelle, Hoffmann, Voelbel, Mason & Gette LLP and was previously associated with Latham & Watkins LLP.


Mr. Steele received his Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from Brigham Young University, and obtained his Juris Doctorate degree cum laude from the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University.

Honors & Awards

Mr. Steele was the Executive Editor of BYU Journal of Public Law. He was also a Judicial Extern to the Honorable Bruce S. Jenkins, U.S. District Court, Central District of Utah; and the Honorable Leonard H. Russon, Utah Court of Appeals.

Professional Activities

Mr. Steele is a member of the American Bar Association, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Santa Clarita Valley Bar Association and the Los Angeles Inns of Court.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully defended brokerage firms and financial advisors in numerous FINRA arbitrations, many resulting in favorable arbitration awards and expungement of broker records.
  • Obtained $1.6 million award in binding arbitration of partnership dispute on fraud, conversion and breach of fiduciary duty claims.
  • Defended general partner in multi-million dollar suit brought by limited partners of oil and gas partnership alleging fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Represented corporation and its officers in various securities class actions and shareholder derivative suits pending in state and federal court.
  • Prosecuted trade secret action on behalf of bank involving misappropriation of client lists and account files by former employee.
  • Represented “Big Four” accounting firm in securities fraud action alleging accounting violations.
  • Obtained a $78 million jury verdict, including $30 million in punitive damages, on behalf of a start-up biotechnology company after a three-month jury trial involving unfair competition and misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • Defended company in wage and hour class action trial.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of former officer of large feed and grain distributor in $30 million breach of fiduciary duty action.
  • Represented accounting firm in securities fraud action alleging accounting violations.
  • Represented small manufacturing company in prosecuting claims for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of confidence and unfair competition.
  • Defended software corporation in dispute alleging claims of false advertising and trademark infringement.
  • Defended numerous companies and individuals in employment matters, including claims of wrongful termination, sexual harassment, and discrimination.