Steve Cologne assumed the Managing Partner role in 2017. He joined Higgs Fletcher & Mack in 1999 after previously enjoyed 15 years as an associate, partner and shareholder with the law firm of McInnis, Fitzgerald, Rees & Sharkey, then San Diego’s premier litigation firm.
Mr. Cologne practices in the area of complex tort and business litigation. Currently, he focuses on employment litigation and trial of complex contract and business matters. Mr. Cologne has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America each year from 2008-2015. He has been named one of Southern California Super Lawyers®, San Diego Edition since 2007. He has earned the rank of Advocate with the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), the premier association of trial attorneys, with 75 jury trials to verdict.
Specifically, Mr. Cologne defends clients in employment litigation, breach of contract disputes and other business litigation matters.
Representative Matters Include
- Defense of a large nationwide packaging manufacturer in Breach of Confidentiality and Breach of Fiduciary lawsuit in San Diego. Result was a very favorable settlement including attorney’s fees.
- Defense of an individual defendant in a $20 million defamation action with additional theories of Breach of Employment Agreement and Trade Secret violations. Action is still pending.
- Defense of the San Diego Unified School District in a Negligence action resulting from the suicide of a high school student allegedly caused by cyber-bullying. Action is still pending.
- Prosecution of a Trademark Infringement Action by the owner of logo and resulting usage of same on products sold in the region. Action is pending in Federal Court.
- Defense of large multi-national athletic training company in State court in Northern California by transgender individual indicating she was required to register and compete as a male, her birth gender, despite being legally registered as a female. Action is still pending.
Mr. Cologne devotes substantial time advising clients in pre-litigation situations to resolve potential disputes and avoid the uncertainty and cost of litigation. His significant trial experience is of great benefit in positioning the client to achieve the result needed for continued future success of the business. Given the fact that litigation through trial is a painful experience for clients, this approach can save significant attorney’s fees and opportunity costs. Even successful litigation clients often express regrets about the failure to aggressively pursue resolution earlier in the dispute.
Mr. Cologne has recently focused his attention on the rapidly growing area of privacy and data security. He is a member of the Privacy and Information Security Practice Group at Higgs Fletcher & Mack.
As an attorney for over 30 years, Mr. Cologne began representing individuals and entities in construction defect and medical professional liability litigation. His practice grew rapidly becoming the primary outside litigation counsel for San Diego Unified School District on a variety of claims in State and Federal court, a position he still holds today.
Mr. Cologne currently serves the Firm in a leadership role as executive partner in charge of the litigation department. He has received the highest rating (A-V) available from Martindale-Hubbell for ethics and legal ability.
Mr. Cologne is a member of a number of professional organizations including the State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law section, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, and Tort and Insurance Practice section. He is a past Executive Editor of San Diego Lawyer™, the quarterly journal of the San Diego County Bar Association, and served as a Board Member of the San Diego County Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Bar. He is proud to be counsel for The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, the top regional theatre in the country. Mr. Cologne serves on the University of San Diego School of Law Board of Visitors for his alma mater.
In his free time, Steve enjoys wilderness backpacking, horseback riding, outdoor photography, and foreign travel.