Clients depend on Steve’s litigation skills and unique military experience to resolve their most challenging legal issues.

Overview

Steve represents businesses nationwide in complex commercial litigation. He has prosecuted claims and defended clients' interests in courtrooms across the country, dealing with a broad spectrum of litigated and appellate matters primarily focused on business and commercial litigation, construction and real estate, cybersecurity, unmanned aircraft and autonomous vehicles, employment, and product liability issues. A qualified mediator and arbitrator under Minnesota Rule 114, Steve represents parties and acts as a neutral in a wide range of legal disputes. He also chairs the Firm's Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Autonomous Vehicles practice group and the Veterans’ Employee Resource Group, and he co-chairs the Firm’s Construction Practice Group and serves on the Firm’s recruiting committee. 

In addition to his legal practice, Steve is an Army Colonel currently serving as the Brigade Commander for the 347th Regional Support Group, Minnesota Army National Guard (MNARNG). He has over 28-years of service, including combat tours to Afghanistan and Iraq where he was awarded two Bronze Stars, a Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and an Army Commendation Medal. Steve has also been awarded the Order of St. Maurice and the Knowlton Award for excellence in the Infantry and Military Intelligence fields, and he is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, where he researched and studied as a National Security Fellow at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the Harvard Kennedy School, the Harvard Law School, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Sloan School of Management. Steve also holds a Top Secret / Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) security clearance. 

Steve’s military operational experience, coupled with his legal knowledge of construction, cybersecurity, and unmanned aircraft systems and autonomous vehicles, is truly unique and sets him apart from other legal practitioners in the field. His knowledge of the regulations governing UAS is bolstered by over two decades of military experience operating them both internationally in support of combat operations and domestically in support of natural disasters. Similarly, his operational cybersecurity experience and assistance developing the MNARNG's Cyber Protection Team provides a viewpoint virtually unmatched in the industry. Finally, he draws on his experience as a Combat Engineer to inform his working knowledge and understanding of the construction industry. 

Prior to law school, Steve worked for Vermeer Manufacturing, where he advised on trenching, plowing and directional drilling projects involving oil and gas, utilities, mining, electrical and fiber optic work worldwide.

Steve devotes significant time to several pro bono and community organizations, including the Children’s Law Center, the Volunteer Lawyer's Network, the Hennepin County ADR program, and the State Public Defender's Office. He is also a member of the board of directors for the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, and he is the Chairman of the Board for the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans. Steve is also active in the local bar, and he has served on the Minnesota State Bar Association's Alternative Dispute Resolution and Construction sections' councils.

Experience

Unmanned Aircraft and Autonomous Vehicles: Steve performs risk mitigation consulting for government defense contractors and private companies and advises on the use of UAS and AV on projects worldwide. He also assists clients in the development of internal corporate policies, practices and procedures regarding the same, and he represents a major US-based UAS and UAS-technology manufacturer in business and commercial litigation.

Cybersecurity: Steve helps clients address current and emerging issues, including cybersecurity preparedness, data breach incident response, disputes and litigation, regulatory investigations and cyber insurance.

Construction and Real Estate: Steve represents general contractors, subcontractors, developers, owners and property managers in litigation and alternative dispute resolution, including energy service contracts/performance contracts, bid disputes, construction defect claims, payment disputes, mechanic’s liens, termination clauses, delay and disruption disputes, payment and performance bonds, claims and change orders, inspection and rejection criteria, and cardinal change disputes. He also assists clients with transactional work, including contract drafting, review and negotiations.

Business and Commercial Litigation: Steve represents clients in a variety of disputes, including: Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) compliance; judgment enforcement and domestication of foreign judgments; business torts, unfair competition, emergency injunctive relief, shareholder and ownership disputes, banking and securities litigation (including FINRA arbitrations), foreclosure defense, public utilities litigation, and general contract litigation.

Product Liability: Steve defends clients in a variety of product liability and toxic tort matters and has served as part of a team of statewide counsel for global medical and diversified technology companies in product liability actions involving asbestos and orthopedic products.

Employment: Steve represents clients in cases involving allegedly wrongful terminations, confidentiality and non-compete/non-solicitation agreements, ERISA claims and various sales representative statutes.

News & Insights

Speaking Engagements

“Constructive Changes: Specifications and Technical Communications for Construction Managers,” University of Minnesota College of Continuing and Professional Studies, Construction and Facility Management Program, 2018

“Building a Solid Foundation for Cybersecurity in the Construction Industry,” SLS Construction Seminar, 2018

"Cybersecurity and Incident Response Plans," presented to Schneider Electric, 2016

"The Most Common Ethical Complaints Against Architects and Engineers," Construction Specifications Institute Annual Showcase, 2015

"Inspection Acceptance and Rejection Criteria," The American Public Works Association Minnesota Chapter's 2015 Underground Utilities Construction Inspector School

"Claims and Change Orders," The American Public Works Association Minnesota Chapter's 2014 Underground Utilities Construction Inspector School

"What's Hot and What's Not in Minnesota Construction Law," Construction Specifications Institute Annual Showcase, 2013, 2014

Publications

Co-Author, “Chapter 20: Judgment Enforcement,” Minnesota State Bar Association’s Civil Practice Deskbook, 2011-Present

“Using the Rule of Law to Combat the Islamic State”; The Army War College Review, Vol. 2, Number 3, August 2016

Quote, "Laws Add Leverage for Subcontractors," Finance & Commerce, June 2016

Recognitions

Recognitions

Steve was selected to the Minnesota Rising Stars list, 2014-2017; named an Up & Coming Attorney by Minnesota Lawyer, 2015; received the 2010 Minnesota State Bar Association’s Professional Excellence Award; and has been recognized as a Minnesota Northstar Lawyer

Professional & Civic Activities

Professional & Civic Activities

St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, Board Member, 2016-Present

Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV), Board member, Vice-Chairman, and Chairman of the Board, 2012-Present

Minnesota State Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Board Member, 2010-2015

Minnesota State Bar Association, Construction Law Section, Board Member, 2010

Minnesota Federal Bar Association

Hennepin County Bar Association

Association of Builders and Contractors

Associated General Contractors of America

Rosetown American Legion Post 542, former Executive Board member

Roseville VFW Post 7555, former Junior Vice-Commander

National Guard Association of the United States

Infantry Officers’ Association

34th Infantry Division Association, Commander's Own

U.S. Army War College Foundation, Life Member

Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

Education

Hamline University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, B.S., Political Science, highest honors

U.S. Army War College, National Security Fellow; Certificate in International Security Studies from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University

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