Steven is first and foremost a business lawyer and applies his strong business sense to a practice focused on real estate. He comes from a family of successful entrepreneurs and has an entrepreneurial spirit and mindset. He is familiar with accounting, tax, economic, and risk management concepts, and has held significant management positions in two public Fortune 300 companies with an emphasis in real estate, banking, and finance. His diverse business and legal experience allows him to understand clients' objectives and help them develop creative and efficient strategies for achieving them.
Steven represents buyers and sellers in commercial real estate transactions, lenders, and borrowers in commercial loan transactions, and tenants and landlords in leasing transactions. He also advises builders, developers, and landlords seeking government approvals to pursue project entitlements and in defending alleged regulatory violations. Steven's zoning experience spans across seven states, and he often advocates land use approvals for controversial installations of telecommunications and signage facilities. He is frequently called upon to assist in the resolution of difficult land title issues. Additionally, he represents tenants in the negotiation of leases involving institutional landlords, as well as large owners and developers in situations in which the tenant often has little negotiating leverage.
Steven also advises clients on a variety of business, transactional, corporate, and tax matters. He has represented closely held corporations, partnerships, emerging businesses, lenders, and individuals throughout the United States. He also provides business and corporate law services to a number of clients, with an emphasis on software and hardware solutions.
Steven currently serves on several advisory boards, including the Hennepin County Sheriff Foundation. He served three terms as treasurer and executive committee member of the Federation of Exchange Accommodators (FEA), the only national trade association organized to represent professionals who conduct like-kind exchanges under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code. FEA members include qualified intermediaries (QIs), their primary tax and legal counsel, and affiliated industries (such as tenancy in common investment sponsors, banks, real estate brokers, title companies, and escrow agents). Steven has chaired the FEA’s Annual Conference Committee, among other activities.
He has spoken at various organizations around the country, including the Minnesota State Bar Association, the Federation of Exchange Accommodators, and the Indiana Society of Public Accountants. For more than a decade, he has taught as an adjunct professor of real estate and business law in the evening MBA program at the University of St. Thomas. In 2013 and 2016, Steven’s commitment to providing an annual minimum of 50 hours of pro bono services in the calendar year to Minnesota’s low-income residents and nonprofit organizations earned him recognition from the Minnesota Bar Association as a North Star Lawyer.
Steven received his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. He was a staff member and then managing editor of Law and Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice and was a graduate research assistant to Professor Carol Chomsky, professor of American legal history. He earned his M.S. in justice studies from Arizona State University, during which he was a graduate research assistant for Professor Pat Lauderdale. He received his B.A. in sociology, magna cum laude, from Macalester College.