Freeman, Freeman & Smiley LLP

Professional Details

Steven M. Buha, Associate

Steven M. Buha is an associate in the Los Angeles office and a member of the Litigation Department.  His practice focuses primarily on litigation, with an emphasis on securities litigation, professional liability litigation, and commercial and business litigation.  

Mr. Buha represents broker-dealers and investment advisers in securities disputes, both in litigation before California courts and in arbitration before FINRA. He has also represented a major online real estate auctioneer as well as insurance agents, real estate agents, attorneys and accountants in professional liability actions and general business disputes, including contract disputes, employment discrimination and landlord/tenant matters. He has handled all aspects of case management, including interaction with clients and insurance adjusters, oral argument, settlement negotiations and taking and defending depositions.

Mr. Buha also prosecuted and defended lawsuits on behalf of one of the largest mortgage loan servicers in the country, assisted in resolving title disputes and code violation matters with various cities and municipalities throughout California, and prepared advisory opinions concerning internal policies and handling of regulatory matters. At his previous firm, he closed the second most cases firm-wide within his first year, including twelve lawsuits successfully dismissed or settled at the pleading stage.

While in law school, Mr. Buha worked as a summer law clerk with the Immigration Unit at Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • St. Thomas More Law Honor Society
  • Loyola Law School | Donor
  • University of California, Santa Barbara | Donor
  • Goodwill Industries | Donor

Representative Clients and Matters

  • Successful defense of financial advisor, general agency and life insurance provider at summary judgment stage in complex litigation that involved allegations of involvement in a Ponzi scheme.
  • Second-chaired FINRA arbitration involving customer complaint against broker-dealer and individual broker for unsuitable investments which was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice on second day.
  • Successful defense of nationwide mortgage loan servicer in eight different lawsuits, each on demurrer, between 2014 and 2015, involving allegations of improper securitization of mortgage loans and violations of California foreclosure law.
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction in federal court enjoining an improperly-filed FINRA arbitration from proceeding against a broker for unsuitable investments, which was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice thereafter.
  • Successful defense of tenant in residential unlawful detainer bench trial, where real estate investment company purchased home from landlord at foreclosure sale and claimed that tenant's rent was substantially below fair market.  

Presentations & Publications