Steven Ward Williams

Steven Ward Williams

Attorney Profile

Top Rated General Litigation Attorney in Syracuse, NY

Smith Sovik Kendrick & Sugnet PC
 | 250 South Clinton Street, Suite 600
Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone: 315-474-2911
Fax: 315-474-6015
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2007 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1994
Practice Areas:
  • General Litigation (10%),
  • Employment & Labor: Employer (30%),
  • Personal Injury - General: Defense (30%),
  • Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (20%),
  • Professional Liability: Defense (10%)
Attorney Profile

Steve has been consistently recognized as one of the top lawyers in New York State and the country by: Super Lawyers; Best Lawyers;; and Spree Magazine, among other entities.  He was admitted to the California Bar in 1990.  He went on to hone his trial advocacy skills while serving as an officer in the United States Navy's Judge Advocate General's Corps from 1990 to 1995, where he was twice awarded the Naval Commendation Medal.  He joined the Smith Sovik Law Firm in 1995 and was made a partner in 1997.  He handles a wide range of litigation matters for self-insured companies, individuals and insured entities.  Although his office is located in Syracuse, NY, he has tried cases in New Jersey, Texas, and throughout New York State.  He represented a foreign businessman in a defamation claim and earned the largest defamation verdict in our nation's history.  The jury trial was held in the Eastern District of New York.  Steve has also used his appellate advocacy skills to create new law.  For example, in a case heard by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, he successfully argued that retailers have no duty to serve customers within a reasonable time frame (plaintiff was injured when trying to retrieve paint products from an elevated shelf).  See, Alfaro v. Wal Mart, 210 F.3d 111 (2nd Cir. 2000).  Steve recently completed a three week trial in Houston, Texas, where he represented a Bahamian corporation in a breach of contract claim.  The jury returned a verdict in favor of the Bahamian corporation, and in so doing, reinstated a 1986 $92 million judgment the corporation had released in 1987.  Steve’s litigation practice includes cases involving: contracts; employment issues; personal injury; transportation; commercial litigation and professional malpractice.

About Steven Williams

Admitted: 1994, New York

Professional Webpage:


  • Richard D. Westbrook Scholarship & Trial Advocacy Award 1990; Outstanding Advocate Award 1990; National Defense Service Medal 1991; Naval Comendation Medal 1994; Naval Comendation Medal 1995; Super Lawyers Recognition 2007 & 2008; Spree Magazine: Best Lawyers in Western New York 2007 & 2008; Best Lawyers: Best Lawyers in New York Area 2007 & 2008;  and Best Lawyers: Best Lawyers in America 2007 & 2008.

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Admitted to: NYS Bar; CA Bar; Southern District of New York; Eastern District of New York; Northern District of New York; Western District of New York; Second Circuit Court of Appeals; and the Court of Military Appeals.

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Member of: American Bar Association; New York Bar Association; California Bar Association; Northern District Bar Association; American Law Firm Association; Defense Research Institute; New York State Trial Lawyers Association; and Onondaga Bar Association.

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Steve regularly handles a variety of pro bono matters.


  • Steve has earned over 50 defense trial verdicts.  In the only trial where he did not earn a defense verdict, he appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Court made new law in reversing the trial verdict and dismissing plaintiff's claims.  On the plaintiff side, Steve has earned multiple multimillion dollar verdicts.  He recently earned a verdict on behalf of a man injured at a construction site in the amount of $4.8 million (Sparks v. Essex Homes of WNY).  In February of 2008, Steve earned a $188 million verdict on behalf of a foreign businessman who had been defamed by a Texas businessman (Cantu v. Flanigan).  It was the largest defamation verdict in history and the nation's third largest overall verdict in 2008.   More recently, Steve represented a company in a breach of contract case in Houston, Texas. After a three week trial, the jury reinstated a $92 million judgment his client had previously released in 1987.  Lastly, Steve has earned many one million dollar plus settlements for his clients who have experienced personal injuries.

Educational Background:

  • Saratoga Springs High School 1981; State University of New York College at Cortland 1987; California Western School of Law 1990; United States Navy Officer Indoctrination School 1989; and Naval Justice School 1990.

Industry Groups

  • Onondaga Bar Association
Office Location for Steven Ward Williams

250 South Clinton Street
Suite 600
Syracuse, NY 13202

Steven Ward Williams:

Last Updated: 3/25/2019

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