Steven Boldt, an accomplished litigator, concentrates his practice on the defense of general and commercial aviation matters nationwide in state and federal courts representing pilots, mechanics, airlines, charter operators, maintenance facilities, aircraft owners, airports, fixed-based operators, and airframe, engine, and component part manufacturers in personal injury, wrongful death, and regulatory matters.
Steve also defends several major manufacturers and their global insurers' product liability portfolios. He works closely with clients to understand the technical aspects of their products while considering the bigger picture surrounding their industries and provides practical solutions and zealous representation at all stages of litigation through trial and appeal.
In addition to his demanding scholastic schedule in law school, Steve clerked for the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Felony Trial Division of the Cook County State's Attorney, and a well-respected plaintiffs' personal injury firm in the Chicago suburbs. Steve also interned at the Office of the State Appellate Defender. His unique experience on both sides of the table, including behind the scenes on the bench, has helped develop Steve's unique and well-rounded litigation approach to his practice today.
- Korean American Bar Association
- Former Director and Advisory Board Member, 2014 – 2020
- Appellate Lawyers Association
- Former Committee Chair, 2012 – 2018
- Chicago Bar Association
- Aviation Law Committee, Former Chair, 2017 – 2019
- Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC), Investigative Division, 2019 – Present
Honors & Awards
- Northern Illinois University College of Law
- Graduated in the top five of class
- Northern Illinois University of Law Review, Editor-in-Chief, 2009 – 2010
- Moot Court Society, 2008 – 2010
- Associate Justice
- 2010 Hall of Fame
Personal Injury and Property Damage
- Obtained dismissal with prejudice of personal injury claims involving malpractice against an architecture firm for designing commercial structures located at Edens Plaza.
Product Liability and Commercial Dispute
- Obtained dismissal with prejudice of a personal injury claim involving traumatic brain injury related to the architectural design of a Panera Bread restaurant in Wilmette, Illinois.
- Represented aircraft operator in litigation arising from the crash of Cessna 421B airplane at Palwaukee Municipal Airport in Wheeling, Illinois. An issue of first impression in the State of Illinois concerned the scope of the educational malpractice doctrine in aviation cases.
- Obtained dismissal of a class action complaint for breach of contract based upon the "pick-off" exception to class certification and established Illinois precedent. Successfully represented an air carrier before the Illinois Supreme Court, which issued a unanimous opinion dismissing the plaintiffs' putative class action complaint and reversing the Illinois Appellate Court's opinion.
- On behalf of an air carrier, successfully obtained dismissal of the airport's indemnity claim arising from racial discrimination allegations brought by a passenger following her removal from a flight and detainment by airport authorities on the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks.
- Obtained summary judgment against a foreign airline on behalf of a domestic aircraft maintenance facility at Diyarbakir Airport in Turkey on negligent repair claims allegedly resulting in substantial aircraft damage to a Boeing 737-400 and lost profits. Affirmed on appeal in the reported decision Havayollari v. AAR Aircraft Servs., Inc., 2016 IL App (2d) 150940.
- Obtained summary judgment in the Circuit Court of Cook County on a wrongful death claim on behalf of an emergency medical helicopter operator involved in an aero-medical transfer of a patient who died of an acute aortic dissection after an inter-hospital transfer.
- Successfully represent private pilots and businesses in FAA enforcement actions arising from alleged violations of FAA regulations.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a component manufacturer in wrongful death litigation filed in the Monroe County Supreme Court, New York, based on lack of sufficient evidence and expert testimony of defect.
- Obtained forum non conveniens dismissal in favor of avionics manufacturer in the Northern District of Illinois arising out of the crash of AirAsia 8501 in Indonesia.
Labor & Employment
- Obtained dismissal of discrimination complaint in Missouri Human Rights Commission involving airline disability accommodations.
- Obtained favorable summary judgment ruling for the Veterans Assistance Commission in regard to actions for quo warranto and violations of the Illinois Open Meetings Act.
Architects & Engineers Liability
- Obtained summary judgment on negligence claims related to the design of a residential subdivision in McHenry, Illinois.
- Obtained dismissal of breach of contract claims against architect based upon the design of residential structure involving mold and water infiltration.
Steve presents on topical issues at aviation law seminars, and a selection of presentations includes:
- "The Component Parts Defense – Overview and Strategies in Products Liability Cases," Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois, October 2, 2019
- "New Practical Considerations When Seeking and Opposing Personal Jurisdiction in Products Liability Cases: Tips for Both Sides," Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois, September 5, 2018
- "Real-World Effects of Personal Jurisdiction Decision on Filing and Defending Aviation Cases," American Bar Association, National Institute on Aviation Litigation, Chicago, Illinois, June 14, 2018
Steve often contributes to industry publications, including the Chicago Bar Association and the American Bar Association. Examples include:
- "The Death of the Stream of Commerce in Aviation Litigation," ABA's Mass Torts Litigation Practice Points, October 24, 2018
- Co-Author, "Recent Developments in Aviation and Space Law," 51, American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Law Journal, 307, Winter 2016
Steve resides in the western suburbs with his wife, three kids, and their giant Bernedoodle, Bruce. He is the commissioner of a local youth baseball league and spends most of his "free time" as his kids’ own personal chauffeur when coaching and watching their various sports and activities. A lifelong Cubs fan, Steve holds a certain game played on a Wednesday in Cleveland as the greatest game ever played.
J.D., magna cum laude, Northern Illinois University College of Law, 2010
B.S., summa cum laude, History and Secondary Education, Illinois State University, 2006
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan