Stephen T. Waimey


Newport Beach

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Stephen T. Waimey specializes in representing corporations regarding serious liability issues including class action, product liability, and commercial matters. His background experience was in antitrust and appellate litigation, and he then commenced a successful career of trying product liability, commercial and government regulatory disputes. An active trial attorney during his career, he has also developed a no-nonsense ability to advise clients on the risks of litigation and evaluating evidence and jurisdictions to make key trial decisions. He also focuses on providing strategic advice to corporations confronting high risk situations, which inevitably has led him to handling matters involving highly confidential corporate issues and internal investigations.

Steve also has had the unique opportunity to provide representation over his career to a wide range of foreign corporations in doing business in the United States. These have included companies from Korea, Japan, Germany, Canada, Central and South America, and elsewhere. He is particularly skilled at the problems related to starting up major operations in the United States and the risks from the U.S. legal system, which can damage and derail foreign companies in their drive to be successful here. His experience includes his tenure as first outside and then inside General Counsel of Kia Motors America, Inc. during its development years.

On several occasions, Steve created nationwide litigation management systems to assume the burdens for foreign companies in handling their inevitable litigation throughout the United States. These services start from initial advice on controlling product risk issues and providing warnings and instructions, through investigation serious incidents, retaining local counsel, supervising litigation, handling discovery on a cost-effective basis, which is also user-friendly to foreign managers and engineers, working with experts and providing critical advice on whether to try or settle individual cases. These services also include sophisticated planning and systems using both dedicated servers and online web based platforms for managing large amounts of document and information discovery. The results are long term cost control, error free discovery and consistent discovery responses between cases - even when litigated many years apart to ensure that sanctions and default judgments are avoided.

Steve also has a wide ranging, but highly specialized expertise in the automotive industry. As a longtime member of the Society of Automotive Engineers and the Product Liability Advisory Council, as well as other industry specific legal organizations, he has handled virtually every type of automotive product liability issue from the product planning, regulatory and litigation perspectives. He has worked with the best experts in the industry in evaluating, litigation and trying high risk issues, and has a corresponding sophisticated knowledge of cutting edge technologies with significant product liability risks. He has also represented auto manufacturers in adversarial proceedings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration throughout his career. Not a lobbyist, Steve specializes in compiling and analyzing evidence where potential safety issues exist and in ensuring that NHTSA does not make mistakes in forcing manufacturers to conduct recalls in inappropriate situations.

His career long class action work has also taken him through some of the most complicated and difficult issues that confront auto manufacturers regarding their products, handling cases across the United States with outstanding local counsel and managing the huge amounts of documents and information involved in such cases, while providing cutting edge advice to the companies in defeating certification as well as in preventing large scale recoveries for plaintiffs’ attorneys. He has been unusually successful in evaluating risk in allowing manufacturers to decide when cases are appropriate for trial, if certification is granted.

In recognition of his achievements, Mr. Waimey was Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system.

Steve is admitted to practice before the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Second and Ninth Federal Appellate Courts, the state courts of California and all Federal District Courts in California, along with the Federal Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Practice Areas


  • New York University School of Law, J.D., National Moot Court Finalist Awards Winner, Lewis F. Powell Medal, American College of Trial Lawyers, 1975
  • Sewanee, The University of the South, B.A., Honors Graduate in Political Science, Order of Gownsmen (Academic Honors), 3 years
  • United States Marine Corps, Captain-1972, Bronze Star w/V

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • French (basic)