Leasa M. Stewart 2017-08-24T15:57:36+00:00

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Leasa M. Stewart

 

Leasa’s clients include insurance companies, manufacturers, distributors, hospitality service providers and individuals.  She represents clients in litigation in federal and state courts throughout Oklahoma.  She also has an active appellate practice.

Leasa has been named an Oklahoma Super Lawyer in employee benefits/ERISA law.  She is a member of the American Bar Association, Defense Research Institute, Oklahoma Bar Association, State Bar of Texas, and the Oklahoma County Bar Association.  She was selected as a National Merit Scholar, OU Alumni Scholar, NCR Centennial Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Kappa Omicron Nu.  She served as the administrative editor of the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review and on the board of directors for the Georgetown Gilbert & Sullivan Society.  She is an active member of McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church and volunteer for the Sooner Theatre.

 

Leasa’s recent experience includes:

 Insurance Litigation

  • Obtained jury verdict for defendant insurer in case involving allegations of misrepresentation and fraud in the sale of annuity products in the District Court of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma
  • Obtained declaratory judgment for insurer that no proceeds were due under term life policy that had been converted by the insured based on mistaken billing and acceptance of premium.  Represented insurer on insured’s appeal to the Tenth Circuit, which affirmed judgment for insurer.  Fidelity & Guar. Life Ins. v. Litchfield, 592 Fed. Appx. 751, 2015 WL 669880 (10th Cir. 2015)
  • Successfully represented numerous insurance carriers in suits alleging breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing and breach of contract involving life, disability, and health policies, as well as property and casualty policies
  • Successfully defended federal court jurisdiction in action involving claim for disability benefits under non-ERISA plan. Veale v. Standard Ins. Co., 2006 WL 1720551 (N.D. Okla. 2006)

ERISA Litigation

  • Obtained judgment for insurer in case involving denial of accidental death benefits based on sickness exclusion.  Malenski v. Standard Ins. Co., 2014 WL 5320645, 58 Employee Benefits Cas. 2911 (E.D. Okla. 2014)
  • Obtained judgment for insurer in case involving denial of continuing disability benefits based on any occupation standard.  Liebel v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 2014 WL 348965 (W.D. Okla. 2014)
  • Obtained judgment for insurer in case involving application of substance abuse limitation to claim for disability benefits.  Funnell v. Standard Ins. Co., 2013 WL 6115754 (W.D. Okla. 2013)
  • Obtained judgment for insurer in case involving denial of accidental death benefits based on operation of vehicle while intoxicated exclusion.  Goeringer v. Sun Life Assur. Co., 2012 WL 393618 (W.D. Okla. 2012)
  • Secured judgment for insurer and prevailed on appeal after oral argument before the Tenth Circuit in case involving application of mental disorder limitation to claim for disability benefits based on alleged lyme neuropathy.  Schwob v. Standard Ins. Co., 248 Fed.Appx. 22, 2007 WL 2562450, 41 Employee Benefits Cas. 2742 (10th Cir. 2007)
  • Secured judgment for insurer in case involving application of any occupation definition of disability and claimant with multiple claimed disorders.  Duncan v. Standard Ins. Co., 2007 WL 1231820 (E.D. Okla. 2007)

Commercial Litigation

  • Obtained judgment for garnishee employer and award of attorney’s fees in garnishment action where garnishor sought to hold garnishee liable for entire judgment debt.  Garnishor appealed and Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals upheld judgment for garnishee and award of fees.  Discover Bank v. Barnes, 294 P.3d 453 (Okla. Ct. App. 2012)
  • Assisted in defeating request for temporary injunction in alleged trademark infringement action.  J.D. Williams & Co. v. American Home Mortgage Invest. Corp., 2005 WL 1429271 (W.D. Okla. 2005)
  • Secured dismissal of motion to vacate arbitration award for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.  Dismissal was upheld on appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Smittle v. Fidelity Brokerage Servs., LLC, 68 Fed.Appx. 960, 2003 WL 21673717 (10th Cir. 2003)

Products Liability

  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of airplane manufacturer and prevailed on appeal before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in action involving airplane crash. U.S. Aviation Underwriters, Inc. v. Raytheon Aircraft Co.,174 Fed.Appx. 833 (5th Cir. 2006)
  • Obtained summary judgment for oil field tool manufacturer in action involving purported manufacturing defect based on plaintiff’s lack of evidence of what entity manufactured the allegedly defective tongs

Personal Injury

  • Obtained judgment for international hotel corporation after bench trial in case alleging injury to teeth from foreign substance in hamburger meat
  • Successfully represented international hotel corporation in cases involving allegations of negligent maintenance of security and premises and liability for third-party criminal activity

Publications/Presentations

  • “Life Insurance Update 2015”, Defense Research Institute’s Life, Health, Disability and ERISA Seminar, Washington, D.C., April 2015
  • Misrepresentations in the Life, Health, and Disability Insurance Application Process: A National Survey, 2nd Edition, American Bar Association, 2015 (contributing author)

EDUCATION

J.D. cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center, 1991
B.S. with Special Distinction, University of Oklahoma, 1988

AWARDS & HONORS

AV PREEMINENT
Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Ratings

Best Lawyers
Litigation – ERISA
2015-2018

Super Lawyers
Employee Benefits/ERISA
Business Litigation
Civil Litigation Defense
2011-2016

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

American Bar Association
Defense Research Institute
Oklahoma Bar Association
Oklahoma County Bar Association
State Bar of Texas