Stuart A. Miller Partner

     

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Stuart Miller oversees the firm’s National Emergency Response Team, an increasingly essential component of the value-added services Wilson Elser offers its clients across all practice areas. He also is a member of Wilson Elser’s executive committee and co-chair of the national Transportation practice. Stu frequently assists in pre-suit liability investigations and determination of causation. Retained as counsel of choice by notable retailers and transportation, security and construction companies, Stu enjoys a well-earned reputation for defending high-exposure personal injury claims and leads the development of a growing “active shooter/crisis” specialization. 

Stu brings the same practiced discipline and tenacity to all general liability cases, whether defending a national restaurant chain, a “big box” retailer or any one of a number of Fortune 500 companies or other prominent self-insureds that regard him as trusted counsel. Clients frequently involve him at the earliest stages of a claim, and Stu tackles each case with his trademark enthusiasm, backed by the stamina to take it to a successful conclusion. While more than capable of managing the entire litigation process, his remarkable negotiating skills frequently allow him to reach resolutions before litigation might otherwise commence. Accustomed to arriving at accident scenes at any hour of the day or night, Stu immediately engages in gathering the information and witness insights that can help clients manage investigatory demands and fortify potential future litigation defenses. 

Based in the firm’s New York Metro region, Stu’s active practice encompasses extensive experience in state, federal and appellate courts in New York, New Jersey, Florida and other jurisdictions. Stu holds the designation of Special Master bestowed by the New York Appellate Division, Second Department. He handles matters through trial for national accounts and is engaged as National Counsel for an American multinational investment bank and financial services company. He also defends clients in the full range of civil litigation matters, including class actions, and provides corporate and commercial assistance to his clients in connection with real estate transactions, shareholder agreements and other types of contractual matters.

Areas of Focus

NATIONAL COORDINATING COUNSEL / PROGRAM MANAGEMENT
Stu works with numerous retailers, hotels, transportation companies, and e-commerce enterprises as their national coordinating counsel, managing litigation across a wide array of liability claims. The hallmark of Stu’s approach is to ensure implementation of a consistent and client-specific claims strategy that ably supports his client’s business objectives. Companies address liability claims in many ways – some prefer to litigate, others to settle quickly, and still others something in between – and Stu’s skill lies in his ability to design management approaches that align with his clients’ unique mindsets and executing them across all relevant jurisdictions, while also ensuring the claims themselves are handled in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

CORPORATE INVESTIGATIONS
Stu works with numerous organizations to conduct unbiased and confidential, attorney-client protected corporate investigations. Stu has investigated alleged wrongdoings by management, employees and third parties. He has investigated claims including fraud, theft, misconduct and misrepresentation and in doing has been recognized for his ability to limited both the financial and reputational harm to his clients. As an experienced litigator and when necessary, Stu is adept building a solid legal argument to achieve the expected outcome.

CRISIS RESPONSE & MANAGEMENT
Providing swift, comprehensive crisis-management support for clients in the event of catastrophes, Stu assembles the attorneys and support personnel who are best equipped to handle the emerging crisis. Team members become fully engaged, often within hours of the event, interviewing relevant parties and determining the facts of the incident, the potential need for specialized criminal attorney representation, hours or service issues, federal agency compliance concerns, safety violations and any other potential causation issues or concerns. Should a client be required to face regulatory bodies, the media or the public anywhere in the country or around the world, Stu brings support and experienced guidance, no matter the venue. Notably, Stu currently represents the largest school districts in the United States.

Active Shooter Program
Increasingly involved in Active Shooter programs in the United States, Stu is a sought-after speaker on that subject and premises violence in general, from the workplace to schools and universities to public venues. Stu works with insurers in London and the United States to develop responsive programs that cover such events, from preventive measures and protocols through engaging with police to gather information, assess further danger and provide remedial services.

Premises Liability
After crisis events, Stu provides defense against claims of negligence, failure to warn and failure to anticipate reasonable danger, as well as security guard negligence.

TRANSPORTATION/TRUCKING
Stu is designated national counsel to major transportation and logistics companies, acting as the gatekeeper and national coordinator of all liability claims. He leads mediations, settlement conferences and trials throughout the United States, working alongside local counsel. Stu also defends several national long-haul and local trucking companies, taxi and livery fleets, and bus and ambulette companies. Understanding the importance of “boots on the ground” in crisis situations, Stu oversees a 24/7 national emergency response team that responds to catastrophic trucking losses. He is a member of the Trucking Industry Defense Association and the Trucking Lawyers Association. Reflective of the respect he commands in the area of transportation is Stu’s position as a local prosecutor in the state of New York, focusing on transportation and vehicular-related matters.

CONSTRUCTION
Stu oversees several sizeable construction and land development accounts where the clients have substantial self-insured retentions. He strategizes with the account risk managers and general counsel on case management and corporate consistency. Stu works closely with the client, brokers, insurers and third-party administrators to reduce indemnity exposure while keeping expenses contained. In New York, Stu is designated as counsel of choice in several Owner Controlled Insurance Programs (OCIPs) and Contractor Controlled Insurance Programs (CCIPs) where he provides sound legal and risk management advice before and after an accident occurs. Stu also defends “Grave Injury” claims asserted against employers in negligence lawsuits under the 1B coverage provided through their employer liability policies. Stu is extremely well versed in the construction industry and has an in-depth understanding of the New York Labor Law.

RETAIL / HOSPITALITY
With a well-earned reputation for success in retail and restaurant defense, Stu helps to manage and mitigate related risks and proactively resolve litigation. Clients often involve him early in a case, given his remarkable negotiating skills and ability to reach resolutions before litigation might otherwise commence. Stu defends retail and restaurant operations in the areas of personal injury, premises liability, dram shop law, product liability, toxic tort, employment discrimination, intellectual property infringement and myriad other claims. He also provides corporate and commercial assistance to his clients in connection with real estate transactions, shareholder agreements and other types of contractual matters. In addition, Stu is called upon to conduct security assessments of insureds before the policy is written, with a view toward pre-loss awareness through on-the-ground conditions.

 

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