Steve litigates on behalf of limited liability companies, corporations, government contractors, partnerships, estates, and other law firms in federal courts, state courts, and alternative dispute resolution settings. He regularly handles commercial litigation, such as shareholder disputes, LLC member disputes, breach of contract claims, non-compete disputes, business torts (including breach of fiduciary duty, business conspiracy, trade secrets, and conversion), and dissolution-related disputes. Steve is AV-Preeminent rated in litigation by Martindale-Hubbell.
Steve represents a number of closely-held companies in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including government contractors, wealth management companies, a federal credit union, a smoothie chain, a political consulting company, a litigation consulting company, and an online content provider. Steve’s general representation, aside from dispute resolution, regularly involves drafting and negotiating contracts, including non-compete agreements, non-disclosure agreements, subcontracts, consulting agreements, license agreements, and teaming agreements, as well as managing lease-related matters, trademark-related matters, and employment-related matters.
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:
Corporate litigation and business torts
• 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 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.
• 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 exchange for dismissal of the lawsuit.
• 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.
• 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 clients. 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 successfully defended a government contractor sued under the False Claims Act in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington State.
• Steve obtained a significant summary judgment ruling in the United States District Court for the Eastern District Court on behalf of a subcontractor suing an Alaskan Native Corporation government contractor.
• Steve, in November, 2017, in a case wherein he was admitted to practice in the Delaware Court of Chancery, obtained the judicial dissolution of a Delaware limited liability company on behalf of the minority member of a government contractor.
• 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.
Computer crimes litigation
• Steve is also experienced in civil claims arising from state and federal computer crime statutes, including the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, the Stored Communications Act, and the Virginia Computer Crimes Act. In April, 2014, Steve obtained emergency injunctive relief in federal court on behalf of a limited liability company whose web site had been taken over without authority by a former member.
Trusts and estates litigation
• Steve also handles trust and estate litigation. Steve, in August, 2015, tried a case in Fairfax County Circuit Court on behalf of a trustee resulting in a favorable judgment for the trustee. Steve also resolved a will contest involving a Sharia will.
• In another estate case which was ultimately ruled upon by the Supreme Court of Virginia, Steve assisted in the successful representation of a client involved in a seven-figure estate-related dispute. See Dolby v. Dolby, et al., 280 Va. 132 (2010).
Business representation and contract drafting
• Steve regularly drafts contracts on behalf of clients, including non-compete agreements, non-disclosure agreements, subcontracts, consulting agreements, license agreements, and teaming agreements.
• Steve regularly negotiates contracts on behalf of clients, such as a multi-million-dollar contract between a consulting company and a union representing over one million members, and, separately, a funding agreement involving a major automobile manufacturer.
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)