Steven has represented clients at trial in partnership dissolutions, prosecution and defense of patent infringement claims, product defect cases, royalty disputes, professional liability, insurance bad faith, and engineering and construction disputes.
Steven is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts for Idaho, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Federal Circuit.
He has extensive experience in contingent and alternative fee arrangements, general commercial litigation and intellectual property litigation (see below).
Contingent and Alternative Fee Arrangements
Steven maintains a practice for carefully selected and deserving plaintiffs who have complex products liability claims (such as tire failures, seat belt design and food contamination), premises liability (such as road design, Dram Shop and unsafe public areas), medical devices, aircraft defects, medical negligence, lender liability, federal tort claims, insurance bad faith and business torts.
In 2011 and 2013, Steven was named Plaintiffs’ Lawyer of the Year for the state of Idaho by Best Lawyers in America.
Steven obtained Idaho’s largest affirmed personal injury verdict of $7.8 million and a $56 million verdict for a defective agricultural fungicide. He recently achieved a $17.8 million verdict for four plaintiffs in a multi-party products liability claim. Over his career, he has obtained dozens of verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million with total verdicts and settlements for plaintiffs of approximately $256 million.
In addition, Steven has extensive experience representing institutional clients, individuals and industries on an alternative-fee basis, which includes fixed fees, mixed fees that blend contingent and hourly components, fee arrangements with lower rates, and benchmark payments and incentives.
General Commercial Litigation
Steven represents companies and industries in a variety of complex commercial disputes. Typically, he represents defendants in claims such as lender liability defenses, aviation manufacturing defect defenses, product defenses, royalty claims and trade secret appropriation defenses. Steven tried to successfully verdict the only Idaho case involving the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, obtaining complete injunctive relief against expropriation of computer information. He has also successfully defended local banks in claims involving breach of contract, failure to lend and other alleged improper bank conduct. In a recent commercial dispute, he obtained a $10.1 million settlement on a counterclaim filed in defense of a breach of contract claim filed by a plaintiff. Steven has also obtained defense verdicts against plaintiffs alleging plaintiff aviation manufacturing defects, breach of royalty agreements and accounting negligence claims.
Additionally, Steven has represented plaintiffs and defendants in antitrust claims, including claims involving patent misuse and horizontal and vertical tying, as well as price-fixing cases.
Intellectual Property Litigation
Steven has acted as lead trial counsel in various forms of intellectual property litigation, including trial to successful verdicts in cases involving claims of disputed inventorship and defense of patent infringement claims. He has also led the prosecution of patent infringement, including jury trials for willful infringement, defense of trade dress claims, Lanham Act violations, antitrust and patent misuse issues, trade secret violations, and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claims.
Steven has obtained jury verdicts invalidating otherwise infringed claims of patents in suit, proven willful infringement and induced infringement of certain patents in suit, and verdicts dismissing all claims for royalties under otherwise infringed claims of patents in suit. He has also obtained verdicts defeating claims of inequitable conduct and recently successfully defeated a $24 million royalty and treble damage claim for patent infringement.
At trial, Steven has never lost an intellectual property case. His cases have covered a wide range of products, devices and methods such as technology for a potato sprout inhibition, sonar devices, bioassay devices, smoke protection devices, software infringement, identity theft, Wi-Fi design and installation, and radar detector.
Aside from his legal experience, Steven has a mechanical and technical background as a plumbing tradesman.
Plaintiff CasesLead trial counsel for international farm conglomerate who alleged crop and soil damage from a recalled fungicide. Achieved a $56 million jury verdict.
Lead trial counsel for Idaho potato and beet growers who alleged crop and property damage from herbicide drift. Achieved a $17.8 million jury verdict. The trial was the longest jury trial in Idaho history and the verdict covered only four plaintiffs. Their verdict set the precedent for over 100 other claims, all of which were successfully settled post trial.
Lead trial counsel for an injured driver who alleged flawed road failure. Achieved a $7.5 million court verdict under the federal Tort Claims Act, which was affirmed on appeal.
Lead trial counsel for multiple injured parties due to unsafe public event.
Achieved liability verdict in bifurcated cases that allowed settlement of multiple party claims against multiple defendants determined by the jury to be liable.
Lead trial counsel for Dram Shop case alleging overselling of alcohol and resultant multiple wrongful death claim. Achieved multi-million dollar jury verdict and punitive damages awarded.
Lead trial counsel on wrongful death claim involving unique mishandling of heavy equipment. Achieved $2.4 million outcome.