Steve was appointed as the Chief Counsel for the Economic Development Administration (EDA) in July 2013. EDA, through grants-based investments, leads the Federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the global economy. In his role as Chief Counsel, Steve directs and supervises the legal activities of the Office of the Chief Counsel (OCC) that is responsible for ensuring that EDA complies with applicable legal requirements imposed by, among other things, its controlling programmatic authorities (i.e., Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965, Trade Act of 1974 and Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980) and regulations (i.e., 13 CFR Chapter III). OCC, at full capacity, also encompasses the Deputy Chief Counsel, EDA’s seven Regional Counsels, one additional attorney in the field, two attorneys in Washington, DC HQ and one administrative specialist.
Steve’s legal background is quite varied, with extensive litigation and legal management experience in both the private and public sectors. Most recently, Steve was the founding partner of two small, full-service law firms where his practice included advising clients on labor and employment “best practices” to minimize litigation risk as well as providing guidance to small businesses regarding eligibility for Federal small and minority business contracting programs. In addition, as co-counsel he helped to successfully defend a Federal contractor in a complex copyright infringement case involving source code and the burden of proof to demonstrate substantial similarity under the Altai test.
At CPA Global, Steve was part of a start-up team seeking to make a foray into the legal process outsourcing industry. While there, Steve provided litigation technical experience and market perspective to CPA senior management and staff developing sales strategies and potential project offerings. He also developed CPA’s legal training program for its Indian attorney staff and traveled to India to personally conduct training in U.S. Federal Civil Procedure, document review processes as well as privilege law.
Steve was formerly the Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and from July 2006 to February 2007 served as the Acting General Counsel of the agency. In those capacities, he supervised the day-to-day operations of the 160-person staff in the Office of General Counsel and was actively involved in all of SBA’s major legal decisions, ranging from employment litigation strategy to the agency’s positions on small business legislation.
At Proskauer Rose in New York City, Steve had a diverse client portfolio where he represented claimants in a $230 million asbestos case, an aluminum company in a $200 million insurance litigation involving environmental remediation, and a Canadian pharmaceutical company in a $100 million contract dispute over the purchase and subsequent recall of an anti-infection drug, among others. Likewise, at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, Steve achieved favorable results in a diverse collection of cases covering the insurance, real estate and securities industries.
Following graduation from Fordham Law School in 1994, Steve joined the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney, and subsequently served as a Law Clerk for the late Judith S. Kaye, the first female Associate Judge and first female Chief Judge of New York State’s highest court.
In addition to this legal experience, after graduating from Princeton University in 1988, Steve held positions with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) and Sterling Drug (now Sanofi-Aventis), business experience that has given him valuable insight into the everyday needs and concerns of companies and their employees.