Steve’s experience allows him to advise clients as to how best protect their interests in business and contract matters, while also assisting clients with dispute resolution when conflicts arise.
Steve represents a number of businesses, including government contractors, wealth management companies, a juice chain with multiple locations in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, companies owned by professional athletes seeking to expand their business interests, a federal credit union, a political consulting company, the financing arm of a major luxury automobile company, an online content provider, a beer distribution company, a local bakery chain, and a hot sauce company. The common thread of Steve’s business clients is that they are successful businesses that need responsive, comprehensive, and quality legal advice at reasonable prices.
Steve’s practice regularly involves organizing limited liability companies, forming corporations, and drafting and negotiating contracts (including subcontracts, operating agreements, shareholder agreements, unit purchase agreements, stock purchase agreements, non-compete agreements, teaming agreements, non-disclosure agreements, independent contractor agreements, and license agreements), as well as managing lease-related, trademark-related, and employment-related matters.
Litigation and dispute resolution:
Steve’s business representation and contract-drafting is informed by his significant experience in dispute resolution matters. Steve regularly litigates on behalf of limited liability companies (including numerous government contractors), corporations, partnerships, trusts, and estates in federal courts, state courts, and alternative dispute resolution settings such as arbitrations.
Steve’s commercial litigation experience includes LLC member disputes, shareholder disputes, breach of contract claims, non-compete disputes, business torts (including breach of fiduciary duty, business conspiracy, trade secrets, and conversion), computer crimes with private causes of action, fraud claims (including claims arising from business acquisitions), False Claims Act claims, and dissolution-related disputes. Steve’s trusts and estate litigation experience includes litigating undue influence claims, will contests, breach of fiduciary duty claims, partition claims, conversion claims, and accounting claims.
Steve is AV-Preeminent rated in litigation by Martindale-Hubbell.
Steve is admitted to practice in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, as well as numerous federal courts. Steve’s diverse civil litigation practice includes the following cases:
• Steve, in October, 2020, obtained dismissal of a seven-figure claim brought against a government contractor by one of the owners of the government contractor.
• Steve, in May, 2020, obtained judgment in federal court in favor of his client, an executive of a government contractor, wherein Steve’s client was awarded damages and shares of the government contractor that had been the subject of a stock pledge agreement.
• Steve, in March, 2019, obtained dismissal of a $19,000,000 claim for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty brought against the managers and controlling members of a government contractor by a 49% member of the government contractor. The claimant’s demand for judicial dissolution of the government contractor was also dismissed.
• Steve, in a November, 2018 trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court, obtained a $3,300,000 judgment against the former trustee of a family trust.
• Steve, in October, 2018, instituted an arbitration action against an Afghanistan-based subcontractor in order to enforce non-compete and nondisclosure provisions of an agreement. The dispute resolved favorably for Steve’s client.
• Steve, in September, 2018, filed suit against a government contractor on behalf of a former executive who had not been paid certain win-based incentives. The dispute resolved favorably for Steve’s client.
• Steve, in June, 2018, obtained dismissal in federal court of a claim brought by a former executive of a government contractor regarding the former executive’s unexercised stock options.
• Steve, in November, 2017, filed suit on behalf of an LLC member against a government contractor and obtained dissolution of the government contractor in the Delaware Court of Chancery.
• Steve has filed multiple bid protests, including a September, 2017 bid protest regarding a $26,000,000 task order resulting in the government taking corrective action favorable to Steve’s client. Steve has also intervened in bid protests to represent the interests of government contract awardees, including a March, 2019 intervention wherein Steve assisted in obtaining dismissal of the bid protest.
• Steve, in July, 2017, obtained a favorable result for two executives and shareholders of a government contractor sued by their company for business torts, including breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy. Despite being sued for millions of dollars, Steve’s clients, after filing counterclaims and obtaining favorable preliminary rulings from the Court, received a seven-figure settlement in their favor.
• Steve, in an April, 2017 trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court, successfully defended a corporation against a shareholder’s claims of judicial dissolution, breach of contract, and conversion.
• In November, 2015, Steve filed a lawsuit on behalf of a major airline manufacturer that resulted in the defendant making an immediate half-million-dollar concession.
• In June, 2015, Steve filed suit on behalf of a Delaware LLC against seven defendants alleging, among other counts, conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty under Delaware law. The Court denied the defendants’ challenge to seventeen of the counts against them, and the case subsequently settled.
• Steve, in a reported June, 2015 opinion, argued and won a case in the Supreme Court of Virginia wherein the Court unanimously ruled in favor of Steve’s clients (two limited partnerships) in a breach of contract case. See Spectra-4, LLP, et al. v. Uniwest Commercial Realty, Inc., 290 Va. 36, 772 S.E.2d 290 (2015).
• In December, 2014, Steve obtained the dismissal of all claims, including alleged breaches of fiduciary duties, brought against the members of a registered investment advisor firm by a former LLC member.
• Steve, in November, 2014, obtained the dismissal of all claims against the majority shareholders of a District of Columbia corporation, and, in subsequent proceedings, again obtained the dismissal of all claims against the majority shareholders. Steve also obtained the dismissal of all claims against the majority shareholders of the District of Columbia corporation in a separate case.
Education and Professional Credentials
• Graduate, Mary Washington College
• Graduate, University of North Carolina School of Law
• National Trial Advocacy College (Charlottesville, Virginia)
News & Publications
• District of Columbia
• United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
• United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia
• United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
• United States District Court for the District of Columbia
• United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia
• United States District Court for the District of Maryland
• United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
• United States Tax Court
• Supreme Court of the United States
National Law Journal. 2017 Top Rated Lawyer, DC Metro Area (2017)
Peer-rated 'AV Preeminent' in Litigation by Martindale-Hubbell (2020 / 2016)