Don’t Make a Federal Case Out of This
Stephen specializes in intellectual property litigation and has been practicing in that area for almost 25 years. Stephen never forgets the lesson he learned from his father … “Don’t make a federal case out of this.” Thus, Stephen's approach to litigation centers on keeping the client out of court, and he defines a win by preventing or ending the litigation, not by starting or prolonging it. Stephen understands the expense and disruption that litigation entails, and attempts to come to a resolution with the least disruption to the client's business. Yet, if a trial is the only way to resolve the case, and sometimes it is, Stephen can successfully achieve that goal, in the same efficient and least disruptive manner.
Prior to attending law school, Stephen conducted psychological research on how human perception influences decisions and has several published papers in that area. Stephen employs that background in understanding the human dynamics present in complex business and personal decisions, as well as the way juries perceive evidence and arguments. No one is better at explaining complex science issues than Stephen. But perhaps that is not a surprise, as Stephen’s first job interest was to become “Mr. Science” … that guy on TV that makes science fun.
Stephen’s legal work does not end when he leaves his desk. He is actively involved in training the firm's litigation associates, and sits on the Board of the John C. Lifland American Inn of Court, one of the first Inns of Court in the country specializing in intellectual property law. He also lectures frequently on litigation and intellectual property issues. Each semester he is a guest lecturer at the Rutgers and Fordham Law Schools, where he provides real world insight to students on their way to confront the ethical and practical issues in complex litigation. Stephen also volunteers with various artist’s rights groups, and has given his time to assist upcoming artists from having their work infringed -- ranging from a truck driver that developed jewelry designs to a graffiti artist with a one woman show at a national museum.
Passionate About Making -
Ever since Stephen took a shop class in middle school, he has been passionate about working with his hands; what is now called “making.” Stephen’s current work focuses on studio furniture, but in the past he has welded, thrown clay, and blown glass. Indeed, during a break during law-school, Stephen MIG welded a large steel cube on his side lawn, where he first employed his legal talents to convince the town zoning board that his 12 foot high sculpture did not qualify as a “dwelling.” In his practice, Stephen has helped a variety of woodworking companies protect their products, including recently protecting the Ultimate Router Base®
and the SawTooth Shelf System®. Stephen worked on a significant patent litigation between Porter Cable and Dewalt on their biscuit joiner, and was part of the Lerner David team that took Thomas and Bett’s metal barbed TyRap cable tie case all the way to the Supreme Court. Stephen has spoken to various artists and woodworking groups, and was interviewed in a New Jersey Law Journal series on lawyers’ interests outside of work. To see the interview and some of Stephen’s work, check here