Clients depend on Steve’s litigation skills and unique military experience to resolve their most challenging legal issues.
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, employment, insurance, cybersecurity, unmanned aircraft and autonomous vehicles, 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.
In addition to his legal practice, Steve is a Brigadier General currently serving dual-roles as the Assistant Division Commander for Maneuver for the 34th Infantry Division (Red Bulls) and as the Reserve Director of Intelligence for U.S. Cyber Command. He has over 32-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, respectively, 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, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Law School, and 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.
Business and Commercial Litigation
Steve represents clients in a variety of disputes, including: civil Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) claims; Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) compliance; judgment enforcement and domestication of foreign judgments (sister-state and international); business torts, Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) disputes, unfair competition, emergency injunctive relief, franchisee/franchisor disputes, shareholder and ownership disputes, tortious interference with contracts, banking and securities litigation (including FINRA arbitrations), foreclosure defense, public utilities litigation, trust and estate litigation, and general contract litigation.
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. Finally, Steve has defended owners against wrongful turn-over demands in receivership and bankruptcy proceedings.
Steve represents clients in cases involving allegedly wrongful terminations, confidentiality and non-compete/non-solicitation agreements, ERISA and whistleblower claims, and various sales representative statutes.
Steve serves as panel and personal counsel representing insurers and insureds in a variety of litigated disputes involving coverage, indemnification, subrogation, scheduled rating and premium disputes, and defense issues involving all types of commercial insurance policies, including: general liability, professional liability (errors and omissions), wrap up insurance (Owner-Controlled Insurance Programs/Contractor-Controlled Insurance Programs), commercial property, property and business interruption, school and educators legal liability, directors and officers, employment liability, fiduciary liability, workers compensation, aerospace unmanned aircraft and autonomous systems, general aviation liability, aircraft liability, third-party war liability, and cyber.
Government and Regulatory Inquiries and Investigations
Steve provides regulatory compliance consulting and assists clients with responses to governmental and regulatory inquiries and investigations involving the U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Department of Labor and Industry, multiple states’ chiropractic boards, the Minnesota State High School League, and the U.S. Center for SafeSport.
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 major US-based UAS and UAS-technology manufacturers in business and commercial litigation.
Steve helps clients address current and emerging issues, including cybersecurity preparedness, data breach and ransomware incident response, disputes and litigation, regulatory investigations and cyber insurance.
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. He has also defended manufacturers in contractual disputes and product liability and product defect claims involving Unmanned Aircraft Systems, storage and holding tanks, and recreational vehicles (ATVs, UTVs, and snowmobiles).
News & Insights
- Press Release08.17.2023
- Press Release08.18.2022
- Press Release06.30.2022
- Press Release09.02.2021
- Press Release07.20.2020
- In the News03.20.2020
- Press Release03.12.2020
“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
"FAA Imposes New Security Requirement for Small Drones, Previews New Regulations for Operations Over People," Stinson's Government Contracting Matters Blog, February 19, 2019
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
Named to the Minnesota Lawyer POWER30: Real Estate & Construction Law 2022 list
Selected to the 2023, 2024 editions of Best Lawyers in America©
Selected for inclusion to the Super Lawyers® list, 2019-2021
Selected for inclusion to the Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, 2014-2018
Named an Up & Coming Attorney by Minnesota Lawyer, 2015
Received the 2010 Minnesota State Bar Association’s Professional Excellence Award
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, Life Member
34th Infantry Division Association, Commander's Own
U.S. Army War College Foundation, Life Member
Infantry Officers’ Association
Practices & Industries
- Business Litigation
- Business Policyholder Insurance Coverage
- Cybersecurity & Data Privacy
- Government Contracts & Investigations
- Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Litigation
- Product Liability
- Real Estate & Public Finance
- Real Estate Litigation
- Unmanned Aircraft Systems & Autonomous Vehicles
- U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
- Iowa Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
Hamline University School of Law (Mitchell Hamline 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