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Overview

Steve more than 30 years of experience representing clients of all sizes in all modes of transportation and logistics; as well as in general commercial litigation before courts and administrative bodies across the country. He counsels and represents local and national transportation service providers and consumers, as well as companies involved in a wide array of commercial disputes.

Steve represents domestic and international maritime, trucking, aviation and railroad companies in litigation concerning lost and damaged cargo; licensing and regulatory matters before state and federal agencies; freight broker liability; freight charge disputes; employment and independent contractor matters; and insurance coverage. He also prepares and provides consultation regarding transportation and logistics, freight brokerage, and shipper/carrier contracts; interline and sub-haul agreements; owner-operator leases and employed driver contracts; and shipping and warehousing documentation.

As a general commercial litigator, Steve is experienced in business, real estate and land use, intellectual property, and employment law.

Professional Activities

  • Association of Transportation Law Professionals, Member
    • National President, 2005-2006
    • Puget Sound Chapter President, 1999-2000
  • Cardozo Society of Washington State, Member
  • Conference of Freight Counsel, Member
  • Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Member
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States, Member
    • Proctor in Admiralty 
  • National Industrial Transportation League, Associate Member
  • Transportation Club of Seattle, Member
  • Transportation Club of Tacoma, Member
  • Transportation Lawyers Association, Member
    • Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee, Co-Chair, 2000-2012
  • Washington State Bar Association, Member
    • Litigation Section

Experience

Experience

Representative Transactions: Transportation and Logistics Law

  • Defended California-based freight broker against motor carrier’s claims regarding payment of freight charges. Oak Harbor Freight Lines, Inc. v. Sears Roebuck & Co., 420 F. Supp. 2d 1138 (W. D. Wash. 2006), aff’d 513 F.3d 949 (9th Cir. 2007).
  • Defended logistics service provider against shipper’s claims involving disputed damages calculation. CPCI v. Tech. Transp., Inc., 393 F. Supp. 2d 1087, (W.D. Wash. 2005).
  • Defended Canadian vessel component part manufacturer in claim over liability after fire. Foss Mar. Co. v. Corvus Energy Ltd., 878 F.3d 1144 (9th Cir. 2017).
  • Represented New York-based U.S. logistics services provider in dispute with Russian company over contract fees and jurisdiction. Delex Inc. v. Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co., 193 Wn. App. 464 (Div. 1 2016).
  • Represent a wide and inclusive variety of transportation industry participants in disputes over lost, damaged, stolen, destroyed and delayed cargo.
  • Represent a wide and inclusive variety of transportation service providers in freight charge disputes.
  • Represent multiple aviation shippers before the Federal Aviation Administration regarding alleged hazardous materials violations.
  • Represent cargo transloaders in interchange disputes with Class I railroad and over damaged cargo.
  • Represent motor carriers in driver claims for unpaid meal and break time.
  • Represent web-based freight brokerages in regulatory and contracting matters.
  • Represented New Jersey-based logistics service provider in complex dispute with warehouseman over calculation of storage charges in distribution agreement.
  • Represented logistics provider over dispute with competitor using similar d/b/a.
  • Represented ocean freight forwarder in alleged rate reasonableness dispute before the Federal Maritime Commission.
  • Represented Alaska-based shipper in discrimination matter before the Federal Maritime Commission.
  • Represent Dutch bank in enforcement of maritime lien claims in the United States.
  • Represent transportation and logistics organizations with documentation including broker/shipper, co-brokerage and broker/carrier agreements; shipper/carrier agreements; interline and subhauler agreements; owner-operator lease agreements; driver employment agreements; bills of lading; and warehouse receipts.

Representative Matters: Commercial Litigation

  • Successfully defended shopping center landlord against claims of lease violations. QFC v. Mary Jewell T, L.L.C., 134 Wn. App. 814, 815, 142 P.3d 206, 207 (Div. 1 2006).
  • Represented U.S.-based software marketing company in dispute with Russia-based software intellectual property owner.
  • Represented owner of technology developer in intellectual property dispute with large cell phone company.
  • Represented commercial real estate management company in dispute over adjoining property owner’s removal of levies.
  • Represented India-based trading company in contract dispute over quality of purchased materials.
  • Represented California-based importer in dispute with foreign supplier over calculation of purchase payment.
  • Represented building supply company in dispute with salesperson over calculation of compensation.

News & Insights

News & Insights

Presentations

  • "Accident Investigation PowerPoint, Advanced Workshop," Washington Trucking Associations, May 2019
  • "Web-based Transportation Intermediaries and Other Service Providers Hammer Down," Transportation Lawyers Association Annual Conference, May 2019
  • "The Jubilee Panel! Half-Century Game Changers that Rocked the Transpo World! And How They Impact Our Practices Today," Annual Transportation Law Institute, November 2017
  • "2017 Advanced Compliance Workshop," Washington Trucking Associations, November 2017

    "Give Us A Break! Navigating Employment Issues in the Trucking Industry," Washington Trucking Associations, February 2017
  • "Cargo Risk Management, Building Resilience to Supply Chain Risk & Disruption," February 2017
  • "Trucking/Transportation Company Recordkeeping," "Liabilities and Legal Landmines," "Trucking and Transportation Regulations," "Liability and Litigation," National Business Institute, December 2016
  • "Maritime Law & Regulation," Certificate in Maritime Management, Pacific Lutheran University, January/February 2016
  • "U.S. Warehousing Law," Canadian Transport Lawyers Association Annual Conference, October 2015
  • Association of Transportation Law Professionals Annual Meeting
    • "Recent Developments in Motor Carrier Law," Speaker, June 2015
    • "From Truck Drivers to Middlemen, What's New Regarding Motor Carrier Law?" Moderator, June 2015
    • "Canadian Transport Law - A Perspective From Up North," Moderator, June 2015
  • "One if by air, two if by sea... (three if by rail): Cargo does not only move by truck!," Transportation Lawyers Association Annual Conference, May 2015
  • "Marine Cargo Claims, Start to Finish – Getting’ Around the Heroes and Villains of a Marine Cargo Claim," 46th Transportation Law Institute, November 2013
  • "Law of Piracy," Center of Excellence for Global Trade & Supply Chain Management, September 2013
  • "Modal Updates: Ocean," Canadian Transport Lawyers Association 2013 Annual Conference, September 2013
  • "Vocabulary Vinification," Transportation Lawyers Association Annual Conference, May 2013
  • "The Driver/Motor Carrier Relationship – Employment Law Points of Significance to Intermediaries," Transportation Intermediaries Association Annual Convention, April 2013
  • "New Developments in Employment & Labor Law," Wage & Hour Compliance – Beyond the Basics (Part I), February 2013
  • "How to Protect Evidence of a Trucking Accident from Crash to Trial," Safety Management Council of the Washington Trucking Association, December 2012
  • "Update in Recent Regulatory and Legislative Developments," Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations, February 2012
  • "Kirby-Sompo Japan-Royal Beloit," Federal Bar Association Admiralty Committee & WSBA CLE Course, October 2011
  • "Evolution from the Sea," Transportation Lawyers Association Webinar Series: Brief Survey of Maritime Law's Origins, Impacts and Future, August 2011
  • "The Jones Act: How vessel operators are their employees' de facto comprehensive life, health and disability insurers," 43rd Transportation Law Institute, October 2010
  • "West Coast Port and Marine Developments," 2010 Canadian Transport Lawyers Association Annual Conference, September 2010
  • "Multimodal Lightning Round," 2010 TLA Annual Conference and CTLA Mid-Year Meeting, April 2010
  • "Legal Implications of Insurance Coverages Available to Transportation Intermediaries," TIA 32nd Annual Convention and Tradeshow, April 2010

Publications

Steve is a prolific writer. He has authored numerous articles under his monthly column, Legal Lookout, as the western United States member of ForwarderLaw (an internet-based repository of legal resources of interest to the shipping community - www.forwarderlaw.com); and as co-editor of the Motor Column of ATLP Highlights. He is a frequent contributor to The Transportation Lawyer (published by the Transportation Lawyers Association).

Admissions

  • Washington
  • Alaska
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, District of Alaska
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of International Trade

Education

  • LL.M., Admiralty, Tulane Law School, 1994
  • J.D., American University Washington College of Law, 1986
  • M.A., Middlebury College, 1985
  • Certificate, Moscow’s Pushkin Institute, 1983
  • B.A., University of North Carolina, 1982

Honors & Recognition

Washington Super Lawyers list, 2008-2019

Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent rating

Languages

  • Russian, fluent
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