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Steve has the kind of meaningful trial experience that is rare among business litigators. His experience benefits clients at all stages of a business dispute, from the very beginning all the way through trial.

Steve draws on his skills to counsel clients before litigation, helping them position their case in a way that maximizes the likelihood of a positive result. Many times, the result is a business resolution in which the expense and burdens of litigation are avoided.

When litigation is unavoidable, Steve applies his experience and ability to identify key issues to get cases focused at the outset. By getting a case focused, he keeps costs controlled and maximizes the likelihood of a favorable resolution, whether through settlement, pre-trial decision, or trial.

Always a Business Counselor

Steve understands that his clients are not in the business of litigating cases, and the burdens of litigation detract from achieving business goals. Accordingly, he works to minimize the burdens of litigation as much as possible for his clients and to help identify opportunities for resolution short of trial.

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 vast experience with business disputes to advise clients through the litigation, including helping them balance the risks in deciding when and how to resolve a case.

Representative Matters

  • Lead counsel in federal court jury trial for infant product manufacturer facing claims by terminated distributor; case favorably settled after hung jury mistrial.
  • Successful defense of vehicle manufacturer in New York state court bench trial against dealer encroachment and product allocation claims.
  • Lead counsel for Tier 1 supplier in litigation over long-term supply agreement with Tier 2 supplier (case pending).
  • Represented community bank in seven-figure dispute over returned checks. Case favorably settled before completion of discovery.
  • 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 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 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 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.
  • Lead counsel defending 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.

Activities & Honors

  • Selected, Franchise Law, The Best Lawyers in America© (2021)
  • Board Member, Greater Chicago/Upper Midwest Region of the Anti-Defamation League
  • Member, ABA Dispute Resolution and Litigation Sections and Forum on Franchising
  • Member, University of Illinois Law Alumni Board (2010-2012)

Speaking Engagements & Presentations

Articles & Publications



University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 1999

Indiana University, B.A., 1995

Bar & Court Admissions

  • State of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court - Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - 1st Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - 7th Circuit
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