Named 2018 Litigation Lawyer of the Year by the Century City Bar Association, Steve is an experienced litigator and trial attorney who has successfully managed class actions and other complex business litigation in federal and state courts throughout the country.
His expertise includes such matters as class actions, partnership disputes, business torts, contract actions, real estate, intellectual property, mortgage repurchases, judgment collection, and construction defects. His experience spans numerous industries including consumer products and services, title insurance, healthcare, video games, mortgage, beverages, construction, auto racing, and newspaper publishing.
Steve has been practicing law since 1998 and spent many of those years working for Jones Day, where he consistently worked on high profile, complex litigation. Steve also worked at two other mid-sized law firms where he handled a wide variety of business litigation matters. To bolster his trial experience, Steve participated in an intensive trial training program called TAP where he spent 6 weeks as a prosecutor for the City Attorney’s office. He first chaired five criminal trials in those six weeks, obtaining a guilty verdict in each case.
In 2014, Steve formed Weisskopf Law so that he could provide more efficient and cost-effective legal services to his clients. In 2017, Steve teamed up with Sheila and Terry to form Levato, a dynamic law firm committed to client advocacy and achieving success in litigation and business for its clients. Steve draws on his almost 20 years of experience to devise creative solutions designed to achieve his client’s legal and business objectives.
Steve enjoys spending his free time with his wife and two children, much of which is spent attending their sporting events. He is also an avid poker and tennis player.
Representative Sample of Litigation Matters
Business Litigation Matters:
- Representing auto parts supplier in a bet-the-company trademark case brought by an automobile manufacturer involving allegations of counterfeit and gray market auto parts.
- Representing financial institution in collection action seeking to collect on a multi-million dollar judgment that involves attempting to amend the judgment to include a third party company alleged to be the successor-in-interest to the judgment debtor. To date, have collected 100% of judgment plus interest (over $3 million dollars) and working on collecting attorneys’ fees.
- Member of trial team in complex construction defect litigation involving the contractor of a public school that resulted in an extremely favorable verdict for the client.
- Represented individual in partnership dispute with family member over ownership of family’s commercial real estate businesses.
- Represented founder of start-up tech company in shareholder dispute that resulted in a large buyout of my client’s stock at a premium price.
- Representing entertainment company defending numerous premise liability and negligence actions from injuries sustained at their concert venues.
- Defended national retail company in several breach of contract actions involving disputes with vendors.
- Successfully negotiated a business resolution of a dispute between client, an online video game developer, and the company that contracted for the worldwide publishing rights that allowed client to maintain valuable intellectual property rights in the game and take back most of the worldwide publishing rights.
- Represented a beverage company in a federal Lanham Act case against a competitor where client claimed that the competitor deceptively advertised its product to consumers causing client to lose sales. After a two-week trial, the jury returned a verdict that the client’s competitor intentionally deceived consumers through the packaging and labelling of its product.
- Achieved a complete defense award for a health plan in a two plus week arbitration proceeding wherein a medical group and hospital asserted contract, fraud and quantum meruit claims alleging they were owed over $20 million dollars in unpaid Medicare reimbursement for services provided to patients.
- Represented County and Flood Control District in $100+ million dollar indemnity action arising from the construction of a storm drain and taking of private property for the drain and flood control facilities.
- Represented production company in dispute over producer’s fees for a major motion picture, Rock of Ages.
- Defended Chinese manufacturing company and its U.S. affiliate in RICO litigation involving allegations of bribery and mail and wire fraud.
- Defended national and local drug store in trademark litigation alleging that clients sold either counterfeit or gray market high-end hair care products.
- Advised two public transportation agencies with respect to potential litigation concerning complex financial transactions and their contractual rights and obligations with respect to replacing certain collateral backing up the transactions.
- Represented the City of Los Angeles in a high-profile race discrimination and retaliation action involving firefighter who ate a few bites of dog food as a result of a prank.
- Represented international auto racing series in potential antitrust and business tort litigation against rival racing series.
Class Action Matters:
- Representing payment processing company in class action litigation involving allegations of deceptive advertising practices and successor liability.
- Class action counsel for City of Los Angeles in litigation brought by a law firm involving issue of whether reimbursed expenses can be treated as gross receipts for City tax purposes.
- Represented City of Los Angeles in class action litigation brought by residents alleging that for a 28-month period the City improperly collected hundreds of millions of dollars in telephone utilities taxes.
- Represented oil and gas company in class action litigation involving dispute over royalties.
- Represented a hearing aid company in a federal class action under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act resulting in favorable settlement for client involving a nominal monetary payment.
- Successfully negotiated an early and favorable settlement in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act class action on behalf of client who provides marketing and customer loyalty programs to restaurants.
- Represented company that runs the website freecreditreport.com in five class actions involving allegations that the company’s internet advertisements (and negative option marketing) violated state consumer protection statutes. In three of the cases, class certification was briefed and successfully defeated. In each of those cases, prevailed on summary judgment or settled the case for a nominal amount. The other two cases were dismissed either on demurrer or summary judgment, prior to class certification briefing.
- Member of trial team in class action litigation defending Orange County Register against labor code claims based on allegations that its home delivery newspaper carriers were improperly classified as independent contractors, instead of employees, and entitled to over $100 million in damages. After 6 weeks of trial, the case settled on terms favorable to the client.
- Represented national cellular phone company in class action alleging that its advertisements for cellular phone insurance violated California’s consumer protection statutes, and successfully got action dismissed at the pleadings stage before having to engage in costly discovery.