Steven J. "Steve" Cologne

Steven J. "Steve" Cologne

Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP

Recognized since 2008

San Diego, California

Practice Areas

Commercial Litigation

Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants

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Steven Cologne was elected Managing Partner of the Firm in 2016. He devotes his practice to complex Tort and Commercial litigation in State and Federal Courts.

In 2020, Mr. Cologne achieved the distinction of being certified as a Fellow in the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) effective May 2020. On May 4, 2020, he was admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia.

Mr. Cologne joined Higgs Fletcher & Mack in 1999 after previously enjoying 15 years as an associate, partner and shareholder with the law firm of McInnis, Fitzgerald, Rees & Sharkey, then San Diego’s premier litigation firm. He practices in the area of complex tort and business litigation. Currently, he focuses on defending clients in employment litigation, breach of contract disputes and other business litigation matters.

In his practice, Mr. Cologne devotes substantial time advising clients in pre-litigation situations to resolve potential disputes and avoid the uncertainty and cost of litigation. His significant trial experience is of great benefit in positioning the client to achieve the result needed for continued future success of the business. Given the fact that litigation through trial is a painful experience for clients, this approach can save significant attorney’s fees and opportunity costs. Even successful litigation clients often express regrets about the failure to aggressively pursue resolution earlier in the dispute.

As an attorney for over 30 years, Mr. Cologne primarily represents businesses in complex litigation at the state and federal level. He currently serves as the primary litigation counsel for San Diego Unified School District on a variety of claims in State and Federal court. He has received the highest rating (AV) available from Martindale-Hubbell for ethics and legal ability, and has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers® in America each year from 2008-2020. He has been named one of Southern California Super Lawyers®, San Diego Edition since 2007. He has earned the rank of Advocate with the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), the premier association of trial attorneys, with nearly 80 jury trials to verdict. For his demonstrated leadership and vision, in 2017 The Daily Transcript named him as one of the “50 Influential Leaders” in San Diego.

An active participant in both the legal community and the greater San Diego community at large, Mr. Cologne is a member of a number of professional organizations including the State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law section, the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, and the Tort and Insurance Practice section.

He is a past Executive Editor of San Diego Lawyer™, the journal of the San Diego County Bar Association, and served as a Board Member of the San Diego County Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Bar. He is proud to be counsel for The Old Globe in San Diego, the top regional theatre in the country. In addition, he serves on the University of San Diego School of Law Board of Visitors for his alma mater.

In his free time, he enjoys wilderness backpacking, horseback riding, outdoor photography, and foreign travel.

  • 401 West A Street, Suite 2600
    San Diego, CA 92101
  • University of San Diego, J.D., graduated 1984
  • University of Southern California, B.A., graduated 1981
Bar Admissions
  • California, State Bar of California
  • American Board of Trial Advocates - Advocate
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel - Member
  • San Diego County Bar Association - Member
  • State Bar of California - Member
  • Supreme Court Historical Society - Member
  • The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) - Fellow
Court Admissions
  • California State Courts
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District
  • 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States Supreme Court

Recognized in The Best Lawyers® in America 2023 for work in:
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants
Special Focus:
  • COVID-19
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, University of San Diego School of Law (2020)
  • San Diego Business Journal, San Diego 500 List of Influential Business Leaders (2017-2020)
  • San Diego Magazine "Top Lawyers," recognized by Martindale-Hubbell as an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated Lawyer (2020)
  • Daily Transcript, 50 Influential Leaders in San Diego (2017)
  • Best Lawyers (continually since 2008)
  • Super Lawyers® (continually since 2007)
Additional Areas of Practice:
  • Personal Injury Litigation


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