Steve is a partner in Ice Miller's litigation practice group.  Steve advises clients how to avoid litigation and, when necessary, represents clients in prosecution and in defense of lawsuits.  Steve has represented clients in federal and state courts across the country, including California, Florida, Minnesota, Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma.  Steve practices all manner of commercial litigation, with particular focus on financial services litigation, construction litigation, and Fair Credit Reporting Act issues.

In the financial services litigation arena, Steve has represented banks, short-term lenders, mortgage servicing companies, insurers, and individuals in single-plaintiff matters and class actions, in both state and federal courts.  Those matters cover the spectrum of financial services litigation, including defense of consumer class actions, individual consumer claims, enforcement of loan agreements and guaranties, defense of claims for statutory violations including the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Truth in Lending Act, and disputes regarding statutory interpretation.  Steve also audits clients' processes for Fair Credit Reporting Act compliance.  Steve is an active member of the ABA Consumer Financial Services Committee, is the creator and chair of the Columbus Bar Association Financial Services Committee, and is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association committee coordinating the annual Banking Law Institute.  

In the construction litigation arena, Steve has represented owners, general contractors, and subcontractors in numerous state and federal courts.  Those litigation matters involve all manner of disputes, including construction defects, contract disputes, professional negligence, and termination disputes.  Steve also advises construction clients regarding contract formation issues.  Steve is a member of the 2014 Builders Exchange of Central Ohio's Rising Leaders Program, and is a creator and moderator of the Builders Exchange's BX-WIN course for recent-hires in the construction industry.


Reported and Representative Cases
Financial Services Litigation and Fair Credit Reporting Act Issues
  • Obtained early dismissal of a putative class action lawsuit in federal court against a small dollar lender, challenging the lender's right to perform services pursuant to the Ohio Mortgage Loan Act.
  • Coordinated early resolution of claims against small dollar lender relating to debt collection allegations.
  • Obtained verdict for bank, denying a guarantor's claims to enjoin enforcement of a personal continuing guaranty of a commercial loan and to void the guaranty due to mistake or fraudulent inducement.
  • Obtained dismissal of claims against a life insurance company, alleging false and deceptive advertising and defamation. 
  • Represented bank in lawsuit against former executive, resulting from executive's violation of non-competition agreement.
  • Obtained early dismissal of putative class action against logistics company client for alleged violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • Prevailed on a motion to dismiss in a federal court lawsuit alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act against credit card loyalty program company.
  • Assisted client with developing online employment application process to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Construction Litigation
  • Represented a university in a lawsuit arising from installation of a defective artificial turf athletic field.  The favorable resolution included installation of a new, updated field.
  • Represented a hospital in a lawsuit resulting from windows that were defectively installed in a new maternity and surgical step-down wing.  The favorable resolution included reimbursement of fees and proper installation of the windows.
  • Represented a general industrial contractor in a contract dispute. After an approximately thirty-day arbitration hearing, won more than $10 million for client, including attorney’s fees and costs, and defeated the owner’s considerably larger counterclaim for alleged construction and design deficiencies relating to a large production facility.
  • Represented general contractor in trial of contract dispute with subcontractor relating to construction of a big-box retailer store.
  • Represented general contractor in contract dispute with owner relating to rehabilitation of a hotel.
  • Represented site contractor in state and federal court lawsuits demanding insurance coverage from more than 50 insurers as an "additional insured" on its subcontractors' policies, relating to underlying litigation of alleged construction defects.
  • Defended specialty subcontractor in lawsuit resulting from the accidental collapse of a bridge shoring system. 
Other Commercial Litigation
  • Obtained summary judgment and recovery of nearly $600,000 in legal fees and costs for defendant in copyright infringement lawsuit.
  • Obtained early voluntary dismissal of client from copyright infringement lawsuit filed in California federal court.
  • Obtained early settlement of copyright infringement lawsuit in Georgia federal court for plaintiff-client, including agreed permanent injunctions against future infringement.
  • Successfully moved to transfer lawsuit alleging various claims arising from purchase of an online auction business, from New Jersey federal court to Ohio federal court.
  • Represented dairy product manufacturer in a product recall action filed in Minnesota and transferred to Florida court.  Obtained favorable resolution of multi-party action.
  • Represented a protective clothing manufacturer in a ten-day bench trial in federal court in lawsuit, in which the plaintiff charged the client with 65 separate Lanham Act false advertising and unfair competition claims. Prevailed on all claims seeking monetary relief.
  • Obtained successful injunction in favor of electronic voting machine manufacturer in lawsuit against the Ohio Secretary of State, in response to the Secretary's attempt to bar the client's sales to Ohio municipalities.  Coordinated intervention of numerous county boards of election with an interest in purchasing client's products and defended the injunction through multiple appeals.
  • Obtained trial verdict on behalf of a School District in a matter involving interpretation of a statute relating to regional water and sewer districts.
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction in favor of a human resources outsourcing company in a lawsuit against a former employee and former customer, alleging violations of non-competition and non-solicitation agreements.
  • Served as local counsel for numerous international automobile companies in protest matters filed with the Ohio Motor Vehicles Dealers Board and in federal court.
Firm Publications
Published In
  • Author, Ice Miller's "Current-C" Newsletter, updating clients on current commercial, consumer, and class action litigation matters.
  • Author, "2012: The CFPB Set Its Sights on Credit Card Companies", Business Law Today, ABA Business Law Section March 2013.
  • Contributing author, "Financial Institutions Litigation" Chapter, ABA Annual Review of Business and Corporate Litigation 2012.
  • Author, "The CFPB in Review: A Healthy Dose of Enforcement and a Dash of Setting Boundaries," Banking & Financial Services Policy Report October 2013.
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