LEWIS M. STEEL is Senior Counsel to Outten & Golden LLP. He works on a range of class action cases involving sexual and racial discrimination, overtime claims, and tipping issues.  For many years he has focused primarily on class action employment discrimination cases. Mr. Steel’s precedent-setting employment discrimination decisions include Sumitomo Shoji America, Inc. v. Avagliano, 457 U.S. 176, which established that American subsidiaries of foreign corporations must obey American civil rights laws.

In the Sumitomo case and other employment discrimination class actions, he has negotiated far-reaching settlements and monitored the companies’ performance. New York Law School awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his civil rights work. Mr. Steel has lectured, appeared on television, and written on a wide variety of employment discrimination and civil rights topics. 

LEWIS M. STEEL is Senior Counsel to Outten & Golden LLP. For many years he has focused primarily on class action employment discrimination cases.

Before joining Outten & Golden, Mr. Steel handled a wide range of civil rights cases involving housing and zoning discrimination, as well as police brutality and criminal cases. He served as co-lead counsel in the Rubin Carter/John Artis case for which he was honored by the New York Criminal Bar Association in 2000. Moreover, New York Law School has awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his civil rights work and he has been an adjunct professor of law there.

Mr. Steel’s precedent-setting employment discrimination decisions include Sumitomo Shoji America, Inc. v. Avagliano, 457 U.S. 176, which established that American subsidiaries of foreign corporations must obey American civil rights laws. In the Sumitomo case and other employment discrimination class actions he has negotiated far-reaching settlements and monitored the companies’ performance. He now works on a range of class action cases involving sexual and racial discrimination, overtime claims, and tipping issues. Mr. Steel recently negotiated a ground-breaking settlement of pay, promotion, and retaliation claims for a class of African-American and Hispanic New York City Department of Parks and Recreation employees.

Mr. Steel graduated from Harvard College in 1958 and from New York Law School in 1963, where he was the Editor in Chief of the Law Review.

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Bar/Professional Activity:

Mr. Steel, who began his career in 1964 on the legal staff of the NAACP, is a past president of the New York City chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and has served on the Board of Directors of the New York County Lawyers Association.

Speaking Engagements:

Mr. Steel has lectured, appeared on television, and written on a wide variety of employment discrimination and civil rights topics.

Publications:

  • Co-Author: "Exonerating the Innocent: Pretrial Innocence Prodecures," New York Law School Law Review, 2011/12.

Awards & Recognition:

Mr. Steel has been listed in Best Lawyers in America for over 20 years.