Steven is a seasoned trial attorney with years of experience handling all aspects of litigation. As a former Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia and Maryland, Steven has tried more than 20 cases to juries and coordinated in excess of 100 grand jury investigations. He has also briefed and argued appeals in the District of Columbia and Fourth Circuits.

In private practice, Steven has a proven track record of aggressively and successfully defending his clients in high-stakes class actions in state and federal courts. His practice focuses on the defense of class actions involving allegations of product defect, consumer fraud, breach of warranty, and other mass tort claims. His strategy seeks early dismissal of claims through aggressive motions and discovery practice, with the aim of achieving positive and cost-effective results that drastically reduce or eliminate exposure, protect his clients’ brands and reputations, and prevent his clients from becoming frequent targets of class litigation.

Steven’s broad range of experience in all aspects of litigation allows him to be actively involved in defending his clients at all stages of litigation, from attacking the pleadings to factual investigation, discovery, summary judgment, trial, and appeal.

  • Experience

    • Defended major automaker in a class action asserting fraud, breach of warranty, and unfair competition claims, in which summary judgment was granted dismissing plaintiff’s claims.
    • Defended national insurance company in class action alleging deceptive sales practices for its life and disability products, asserting breach of contract and unfair competition law claims.
    • Represented chemical manufacturer in putative class action involving mass tort and medical monitoring claims, in which denial of class certification upheld on appeal.
    • Co-authored amicus brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in capital case involving application of federal Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (Lawrence v. Florida, 549 U.S. 327).
  • Credentials


    • Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, J.D., 2002, cum laude
      Order of the Coif
      Northwestern University Law Review, Associate Editor
      William Jennings Bryan Award, 2001 Moot Court Winner
    • Santa Clara University, B.A., English, 1997, cum laude

    Bar Admissions

    • California
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California


        • Law Clerk for the Honorable Rosemary M. Collyer, United States District Judge, District of Columbia (2006-2007)
        • Judicial Extern for the Honorable Lourdes G. Baird (ret.), United States District Judge, Central District of California (2000)

        Professional Memberships

        • San Francisco Bar Association, Member
        • National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys, Member
      • Insights

        Blog Post
        News Release

        Schiff Hardin Adds Product Liability and Class Action Lawyer Steven E. Swaney in San Francisco

        Schiff Hardin LLP today announced the addition of Steven E. Swaney as a partner in the Product Liability and Mass Torts Practice in the San Francisco office.

        Speeches & Presentations

        • “Class Action Update 2017,” California State Bar Litigation Section CLE Program, (Sep. 2017)
        • “Who’s in the Driver’s Seat? Assessing Misrepresentation, Liability, and Injury in a World of Complex Automated Products. Insights from Economics, Marketing, and Law,” Cornerstone Research CLE Program (Mar. 2017)