Biography

Steve is a Partner at Preti Flaherty, where he practices with the firm's Intellectual Property, Litigation, Sports & Entertainment, Food & Beverage, Business, Financial Services, and Securities Groups. He is Chair of the Sports & Entertainment Law Group and Chair of the Food & Beverage Group. He formerly served as Chair of the Intellectual Property Group and Chair of the Recruitment Committee.

Intellectual Property
Steve assists clients with intellectual property matters ranging from litigation to transactions, including trademark prosecution, registration, licensing, assignment, and litigation, copyright registration, licensing, assignment, termination, and litigation, patent infringement litigation, anti-cybersquatting, domain name disputes, Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) proceedings, trade secret litigation and protection, digital rights management (DRM), unfair competition, false advertising, unfair and deceptive trade practices, intellectual property audits and portfolios, rights of publicity, rights of privacy, noncompete, nondisclosure, and noncircumvention agreements, work for hire agreements, formation of intellectual property holding companies, compulsory licenses, model releases, reality television agreements, performance contract disputes, endorsement agreements, Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown letters, software licenses, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) proceedings, ICANN proceedings, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) proceedings, undeveloped ideas, intellectual property estate planning, web user agreements, and other intellectual property matters.

Litigation, Appeals, and ADR
Steve has successfully served as lead counsel in well over 100 lawsuits, with extensive experience in intellectual property litigation, entertainment and sports litigation, products liability litigation, securities and financial services litigation, and business and commercial litigation. He has represented plaintiffs and defendants as lead counsel, local counsel, and counsel pro hac vice in litigation and appeals in numerous state and federal courts, as well as alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings ranging from mediation to judicial settlement conferences to arbitration before tribunals including the American Arbitration Association (AAA), WIPO, and the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Steve has assisted clients in obtaining favorable judgments, emergency relief, and settlements in a broad range of litigation matters including trademark, copyright, patent, trade secret, and publicity rights litigation, complex commercial litigation, entertainment and sports industries litigation, domain name disputes, shareholder derivative litigation, securities litigation, products liability, construction litigation, professional negligence, trustee liability, insurance litigation, real estate litigation, commercial and residential evictions, and other disputes. When litigation becomes necessary to protect a client's interests, or when lawsuits are threatened or commenced against a client, Steve and the firm's experienced Litigation Practice Group provide aggressive, efficient, creative, and effective representation.

Before entering private practice, Steve served a Judicial Clerkship with the Honorable Paul L. Rudman of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. While in law school, he served a Judicial Internship with the Honorable John C. Cratsley of the Massachusetts Superior Court. These experiences provided invaluable insight into the litigation, appellate, and judicial process behind the scenes at both the trial and appellate stages.

Sports & Entertainment Law
Steve represents athletes, entertainers, actors, musicians, bands, authors, publishers, reality television contestants, and other companies and individuals in the sports and entertainment industries. He assists sports and entertainment industry clients in a broad variety of transactional and litigation matters, including formation of limited liability entities, holding companies, and non-profit organizations, intellectual property clearance, registration, licensing, assignment, monitoring, and enforcement, work for hire agreements, model releases, endorsement agreements, publicity and privacy rights agreements and enforcement, cybersquatting and UDRP domain name disputes, celebrity estate planning, contract negotiations and disputes, nondisclosure, noncompetition, and noncircumvention agreements, trade secrets, undeveloped idea protection, reality television agreements, publishing agreements, rights clearance and audits, sports and entertainment litigation and arbitration, and other matters. When representing talent, including athletes, entertainers, and celebrities, Steve works closely with the client's team of trusted advisors (including agents, accountants, managers, investment representatives, and other professional advisors) as needed to meet the client's short-term and long-term interests.

Business Law
Steve serves as legal counsel and trusted advisor for a wide range of individual, for-profit, and non-profit clients, ranging from entrepreneurs to publicly-traded companies to franchisors and franchisees to charitable organizations. Utilizing a multi-disciplinary team approach tailored to meet each client's specific needs and goals, he marshals the firm's resources to assist clients in forming, growing, and selling limited liability entities and intellectual property holding companies, protecting and exploiting valuable intellectual property assets, minimizing liability risk exposure, and effectively avoiding or resolving disputes through strategic planning, negotiation, alternative dispute resolution, and litigation. His extensive litigation experience also informs his practical business advice to clients on avoiding pitfalls for the unwary that lead to litigation and strategically positioning clients when litigation is on the horizon.

Securities and Financial Services
In connection with his securities and financial services practice, Steve has counseled and represented clients in litigation, arbitration, securities investigations (including FINRA and state securities office investigations), and other matters including shareholder disputes, broker/dealer liability, employment termination matters, noncompete agreements, shareholder derivative litigation, director and officer liability, majority shareholder liability, investor complaints, fiduciary liability, asset recovery, financial litigation and dispute resolution, and other securities and financial services matters.

Seminars and Publications
Steve is regularly asked to teach seminars and continuing legal education courses, and to author written materials for legal and professional publications. He has served as a faculty member for seminars and CLE courses on a range of legal topics such as intellectual property, music industry contracts, social media/Web 2.0 issues affecting businesses, commercial and residential evictions, and landlord/tenant law. He authored a chapter in the Thomson Reuters book Recent Trends In Trademark Protection, 2013 ed.: Leading Lawyers on Educating Clients, Understanding the Impact of Technology, and Navigating the Current Marketplace. The title of the chapter is Successfully Protecting Trademarks and Avoiding Litigation in a Changing Marketplace."

Practice Areas

Education

  • Lehigh University
    • Advanced Placement
    • Crew, Stroke Position
    • Classic Guitar Ensemble
  • University of Maine (B.A., summa cum laude, with High Honors, 1995)
    • Senior Skull Honor Society, Vice President
    • Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, President
    • Phi Kappa Phi Interdisciplinary Honor Society
    • Delta Tau Delta, Kershner Scholar, Director of Academic Affairs
  • Boston University School of Law (J.D., 1998)
    • Concentration in Intellectual Property
    • Edward F. Hennessey Scholar, Top 10% 3L
    • American Journal of Law & Medicine, Third-Year Editor
    • Communications, Entertainment & Sports Law Association, Vice President

Admissions

  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maine
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Affiliations

  • Cumberland Bar Association (CBA)
    • Immediate Past President (2015-2016)
    • President (2014-2015)
    • First Vice President (2013-2014)
    • General Committee Member (2006-2013)
  • International Trademark Association (INTA)
    • Enforcement Committee
      • 2016-2017 Term
      • 2014-2015 Term
    • Trademark Enforcement Policy Advocacy Subcommittee
      • 2016-2017 Term
    • Judicial Administration & Trademark Litigation Subcommittee
      • 2014-2015 Term
    • U.S. Litigators Local Counsel Group
  • American Bar Association (ABA)
    • Section of Intellectual Property Law
    • Forum on Entertainment & Sports Industries
    • Litigation Section
    • Advisory Panel
  • Maine Trial Lawyers Association (MTLA)
  • Maine State Bar Association (MSBA)
    • Intellectual Property Section
    • Former Board of Governors Member
    • Former Director and Chair of Governing Council of New Lawyers Section
  • Greater Portland Chambers of Commerce
  • Athletes & Executives
    • Board of Advisors
    • Ambassador

Honors & Awards

  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating
  • Selected as a 2016 New England Super Lawyer in Intellectual Property
  • The American Registry, 2016 America’s Most Honored Professionals Award, Top 1%
  • American Lawyer Media (ALM) and Martindale-Hubbell®, 2016 Top Rated Lawyer in Litigation
  • American Lawyer Media (ALM) and Martindale-Hubbell®, 2016 Top Rated Lawyer in IP
  • Who’s Who Legal 2016 - Compendium Edition, World’s Leading Sports Lawyers
  • Who’s Who Legal 2016 - Compendium Edition, World’s Leading Entertainment Lawyers
  • Martindale-Hubbell® Top Rated Lawyer in Litigation 2015
  • Corporate America 2015 M&A Awards, Best for Intellectual Property Transactions - Maine
  • Who’s Who Legal: Sports & Entertainment 2015, World’s Leading Sports Lawyers
  • Who’s Who Legal: Sports & Entertainment 2015, World’s Leading Entertainment Lawyers
  • American Lawyer Media (ALM) and Martindale-Hubbell®, 2015 Top Rated Lawyer in Intellectual Property
  • Who’s Who Legal 2015 - Compendium Edition, World’s Leading Sports & Entertainment Lawyers
  • Benchmark Litigation, Appellate 2015
  • Who's Who Legal: Sports & Entertainment 2014, World's Leading Sports & Entertainment Lawyers
  • Benchmark Litigation, First Circuit Litigation Star: Maine, Appellate 2013
  • Benchmark Appellate, Litigation Star 2013
  • Super Lawyers, New England Rising Stars 2011
  • Top Attorneys, New England's Outstanding Young Lawyers: Business Litigation 2011
  • Super Lawyers, New England Rising Stars 2010
  • Top Attorneys, New England's Outstanding Young Lawyers 2010
  • Super Lawyers, New England Rising Stars 2008

Civic Involvement

  • Junior Achievement of Maine, Incorporated (JA)
    • Board of Directors
    • Programs & Volunteers Committee
    • Titan Challenge Committee
    • Titan Challenge Business Mentor
    • Golf Committee
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA): Chair of Local Advisory Board
  • Christian Leaders In Maine Business (C.L.I.M.B.): Board of Directors
  • Maine Jazz Alliance: Former Vice President
  • American Red Cross, Disaster Relief Services: 1994 Northridge, California Earthquake Disaster Relief Services Volunteer (100 Hours Volunteer Pin Recipient)

Noteworthy Contributions

  • Judicial Clerkship: Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Hon. Paul L. Rudman 1998-1999
  • Judicial Internship: Massachusetts Superior Court, Hon. John C. Cratsley 1997
  • Grey Havens: Independent Film Actor 1997
  • Maine Department of Conservation: Popham Beach State Park Lifeguard 1991-1995 (25 ocean rescues)