Clients are not in the business of litigation, which is why in his over 20 years of practice, Steve has developed an approach that is more akin to a business counselor who helps clients favorably resolve disputes and, when necessary, will take a tough case to trial.
Steve’s clients know he will bring creative solutions to help them avoid disputes, counsel them on the risks and potential benefits of litigation when a dispute is unavoidable, and maintain the kind of professional relationship with opposing counsel necessary to get a business deal done when the opportunity strikes. And when a deal cannot get done on acceptable terms, Steve applies his trial experience to give his clients the best shot at prevailing at trial.
Much of Steve’s work has been in the auto industry, where he represents manufacturers in dealer disputes. Through his litigation and trial work for manufacturers, Steve has learned the lessons necessary to be an effective business counselor who advises manufacturers in connection with a range of dealer network initiatives.
Steve also knows litigation is often unpredictable, and it is critical for clients to understand the process, the risks, and the potential outcomes. He accordingly draws on his litigation and trial experience to effectively advise clients throughout the process, helping them balance the risks in deciding when and how to resolve a case.
- State of Illinois
- U.S. District Court - Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court - Central District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Michigan
- U.S. Court of Appeals - 1st Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals - 7th Circuit
- University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 1999
- Indiana University, B.A., 1995
- Successful defense of vehicle manufacturer in New York state court bench trial against dealer encroachment and product allocation claims.
- Lead counsel for vehicle manufacturer in Idaho federal court preliminary injunction hearing in which dealer sought to prevent termination of dealer agreement. Court denied dealer’s request for preliminary injunction.
- South Carolina federal court jury trial for motor vehicle manufacturer facing claims for breach of dealer agreement and violation of state dealer franchise act. Jury verdict entered in client’s favor on all counts.
- Lead counsel in federal court jury trial for infant product manufacturer facing claims by terminated distributor. Case favorably settled after hung jury mistrial.
- Co-lead counsel in hearing before the Swiss Arbitration Centre in commodities dispute. Award entered in client’s favor and successfully resolved in enforcement proceeding in the U.S.
- Lead counsel in Massachusetts federal court action for vehicle manufacturer defending statutory and contract claims arising out of rejected franchise sale. Summary judgment granted in client’s favor and affirmed by First Circuit.
- Lead counsel for Tier 1 supplier in litigation over long-term supply agreement with Tier 2 supplier. Case favorably settled, with long-term business priorities being secured.
- Represented community bank in seven-figure dispute related to fraudulent wire transfer. Case favorably settled before completion of discovery.
- Lead counsel for issuer of subordinated notes in JAMS arbitration filed by noteholders. Arbitration award entered in client’s favor on breach of contract claim and follow-on fraud lawsuit filed against individual officers dismissed with prejudice.
- Lead counsel for infant products manufacturer in putative consumer fraud class action related to alleged misrepresentations about product safety. Action dismissed with prejudice at pleading stage.
- Lead counsel for gear supplier to major wind turbine manufacturer in Ohio breach of contract arbitration.
- Defended apparel company in distributorship termination litigation. Case favorably settled before final decision.
- Defended auto manufacturers in several price discrimination actions related to incentive and bonus programs.
- Litigated and tried commercial cases in construction, real estate, consumer goods, supply, and distribution.
- The Best Lawyers in America© (2021-2024)
- Franchise Law
- Member, ABA Dispute Resolution and Litigation Sections and Forum on Franchising
- Member, University of Illinois Law Alumni Board (2010-2012)