A 25th Anniversary Tribute to Stephen J. Foley

Stephen J. Foley and Kyle B. Mansfield founded Foley & Mansfield in 1989, with a vision of creating a law firm that not only emphasized the high levels of service and accountability that businesses demand and deserve, but doing so at reasonable rates. Just as importantly, they wanted to create a company with a relaxed, collegial office culture. Steve Foley passed away in 2014 as the firm celebrated its 25th year in business, but his legacy lives on. 

Foley’s career was one of remarkable success representing insurers and their insureds in complex product liability, toxic tort and commercial litigation cases nationwide. The breadth of his practice across the country gave him both an understanding of the legal culture, law, and procedures in most of the “difficult” jurisdictions, as well as a reputation in those same jurisdictions as a very formidable player in the courtroom. 

Foley tried more than 50 jury trials to verdict in his career, with countless additional resolved before verdict. These include a billion dollar insurance coverage fight over liability for silicone breast implants, multi-million dollar fire cases, asbestos-induced mesothelioma and lung cancer cases, and many other product liability cases. He took pride in being a true trial lawyer, always ready to take a case to verdict in front of a jury - and his influence helped shape the national asbestos defense landscape. He was instrumental in the firm’s growth, building its core Minneapolis practice, and subsequent California operations focused on toxic tort defense. 

“Steve was a brilliant strategist, a daunting opponent, a strong role model to numerous young attorneys, and a brilliant friend to all who had the privilege to know and work with him,” says co-founder Kyle Mansfield. “His keen wit, intelligence, drive and vision has been key to the development of our firm’s culture and continued success these past 25 years.” 

Throughout his career, Foley was acknowledged by his peers for his legal accomplishments, including numerous recognitions on Top Attorney and Super Lawyer lists in both Northern California and Minnesota, an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating, and his induction into the Litigation Counsel of America in 2007. In addition to being a sought-after speaker at both national and international conferences, he co-authored Minnesota- Legal Aspects of Doing Business in North America - 2nd Edition. He was a member of the Bar Association of California, Defense Research Institute (DRI), Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, Minnesota State Bar Association, The Northern California Defense Lawyers Association, and Wisconsin State Bar Association. He was also a Congress Fellow for the Center for International Legal Studies. 

Athletic and always poised for adventure, Foley was an avid golfer and cyclist. He completed the LoToJa Classic, a 203 mile bike race to raise funds for cancer research, participated in Olympic track cycling trials at the Velodrome, and long cycle trips through China and South America. In 2009, Foley co-founded the Foley & Mansfield Charitable Foundation as a means to give back to the communities in which firm employees work and live.