Steve serves as Co-Chair of the Business Litigation Practice Group, is the head of the firm’s Technology Litigation Practice, and is a member of the Litigation Department of McDonald Hopkins’ Chicago office. The former managing partner of a litigation boutique in Chicago has a mature and sophisticated practice based on extensive experience in complex commercial litigation involving all aspects of technology, business, and intellectual property disputes.
Steve’s focus is on creative problem solving for his clients rather than a cookie-cutter litigation approach. Through his established international client base, Steve has unique insight and experience to resolve the most complex and high-stakes technology and commercial disputes for his clients. And, if litigation is necessary, Steve has tried cases in federal and state courts and before arbitration panels across the country.
Steve earned his J.D. in 1993 from the University of Illinois, graduating cum laude. He completed a B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1990. Prior to beginning his law practice, Steve founded a computer consulting firm concentrating on the development and implementation of custom software designed to manage mid-sized distribution and services companies.
Representative Cases & Matters
- In 2023, obtained a TRO preventing a Fortune 500 shipper from improperly engaging in collection activities against a client’s international shipping recipients;
- In 2022, successfully resolved--through tactical litigation--a founder’s claim against the venture capital firm that purchased a majority share of his business;
- In 2022, successfully defeated class certification for a client in a matter involving employee wage and invasion of privacy allegations;
- In 2022, obtained an $18.3 million jury verdict in federal court for a technology startup against a Fortune 500 information technology company;
- In 2021, successfully resolved several high-stakes licensing disputes for an international software company, including matters in U.S. federal courts;
- In 2021, successfully defeated class certification on behalf of a technology company that implemented software for state governments;
- In 2020, successfully resolved an international e-commerce dispute involving grey market goods and Lanham Act claims pending in federal court
- In 2020, successfully pierced the corporate veil of a defendant and had the defendant held in contempt of court to permit a media company to recover from a fraudster who purchased millions of dollars of advertising and failed to pay
- Won a verdict in favor of a scientific society in a case involving allegations of defamation and trade libel filed by a large consumer products company based on an article concerning the type of product the company sells.
- Won a jury verdict in favor of a television station and reporter in a case involving allegations of defamation and false light.
- Tried a high-profile right of publicity case against an advertiser brought by one of the world’s most famous athletes.
- Won an injunction in federal court in favor of a prominent university professor in a case involving allegations of securities fraud and tortious interference with prospective business relations.
- Won dismissal of a class action based on claims arising under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
- Won a jury verdict in favor of a telecommunications company in a case involving allegations of fraud and breach of contract.
- Arbitrated many complex software implementation and licensing cases involving Fortune-500 companies.
- Successfully obtained a dismissal with prejudice of a complaint alleging a failed software implementation against a Fortune-500 software company (2010 U.S. Dist. Lexis 136254).
- Won a verdict in federal court in favor of a Fortune-500 company in a case involving allegations of breach of fiduciary, conversion and successor liability.
- Won a permanent injunction in federal court in a trademark infringement case involving trademark infringement and dilution.
- Won a Sixth Circuit appeal upholding a district court’s grant of summary judgment in his client’s favor in a multi-million dollar software licensing and product liability dispute where Mr. Rosenfeld represented a Fortune-100 software company.
- Won a preliminary injunction preventing a corporate squeeze-out merger involving the Chief Executive Officer of a hotel management corporation.
- Won a jury verdict in federal court favor of a Fortune-500 company in a case involving allegations of insider trading and breach of a separation agreement.
- Obtained summary judgment on breach of contract and partnership-by-estoppel claims against a Fortune-500 software manufacturer in federal court in Michigan.
- Won a jury verdict in favor of a Fortune-500 lending institution in a case involving allegations of anticipatory breach by a company that had borrowed money to purchase a chain of medical clinics. The jury not only found against the plaintiffs on its claim, but also found for the lending institution on its counterclaim and awarded the lending institution its attorney’s fees. In 2006, tried a high-profile defamation case brought by the Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court.
- Successfully tried three complex software cases in one year for one of the nation’s leading enterprise resource software companies. In one of the cases, which involved both software issues and international copyright infringement issues, Mr. Rosenfeld convinced the plaintiff to abandon its case just before argument on a directed verdict motion.
- Obtained a dismissal with prejudice of all fraud, quasi-contract and warranty claims brought by a manufacturing company against a major software manufacturer in federal court in Michigan.
- Obtained a dismissal with prejudice of all fraud and quasi-fraud claims brought by a multi-national manufacturing company against a major software manufacturer in federal court in Indiana.
- Obtained summary judgment upholding the limitation of liability clause in a software contract in the face of allegations of fraud and unconscionability.
- Obtained a dismissal with prejudice of all claims filed against a software company in federal court in Illinois based on the applicable statute of limitations.
- Obtained a preliminary injunction in federal court in Illinois on behalf of a Fortune 500 food company against a website publisher in a high-profile trademark suit involving the protection accorded commercial versus free speech.
- Obtained a summary judgment in state court in Louisiana in a defamation case involving allegedly defamatory allegations in a pleading.
Honors & Recognition
AV Preeminent rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
Named one of the Top Lawyers in Illinois by the Legal Network
Named one of the Top Lawyers in Chicago by the National Law Journal
University of Illinois
University of Michigan
Admissions – Court
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar Member)
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
Admissions – State
Professional & Civic
Litigation Section of the American Bar Association
Section on Intellectual Property Law of the American Bar Association
The Science and Technology Law Section of the American Bar Association
The Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association
News & Insights
- McDonald Hopkins Event9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
- Speaking Engagement2:00 PM - 5:30 PM
- McDonald Hopkins Event2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
- Speaking Engagement9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
- Speaking Engagement9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
- Speaking Engagement1:00 PM - 9:00 PM
PLI Advanced Licensing Agreements 2021 | Party Disputes: Litigation and Case Law Update for Licensing Lawyers — Thinking About Licensing From A Litigator’s Perspective, January 25, 2021
Understanding the Intellectual Property License 2020 | Drafting Software Licenses—A Litigator’s Viewpoint, October 22, 2020
Understanding the Intellectual Property License 2020 | “Putting it Together – Faculty Answers Your Questions, October 22, 2020