Steven L. Katz

Principal, Chicago
Phone: 312.245.7500
skatz@masudafunai.com

Steve Katz is a results-oriented commercial litigator and business counselor with 25 years of experience representing clients word-wide on issues relating to product sales/distribution, licensing and technology. Mr. Katz represents clients across many industries, including printing, semiconductor, industrial control and automation, solar power, construction equipment, automotive parts supply, machine tool, consumer products, software and office furniture.

Mr. Katz has successfully represented manufacturers and suppliers in a wide variety of litigation, appellate and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings across the country, including claims for breach of contract/warranty, intellectual property infringement, antitrust and unfair trade.

Outside the courtroom, Mr. Katz represents clients across the globe in negotiating licensing arrangements and sales-related contracts, including OEM and supply agreements, terms and conditions of sale and security agreements, relating to both domestic and worldwide supply relationships. He also counsels clients in all facets of their agreements and disputes with distributors, dealers, sales representatives and franchisees, including the termination of those relationships.

Mr. Katz regularly advises on antitrust issues, including relations and arrangements with competitors and concerning product distribution. He provides compliance training to executives and employees, including with respect to antitrust and anti-corruption.

As a member of the firm's Intellectual Property & Technology Group, he also counsels clients on intellectual property and trade secret protection, advertising and information technology issues.

Mr. Katz is a frequent author and speaker on litigation, antirust and sales/distribution topics, with a focus on issues that impact foreign companies conducting business in the United States. He was recently published in the National Litigation Consultants' Review: "The Risk of Proffering Financial Expert Testimony in Lay Witness Clothing: The Limits of Rule 701 of the Federal Rules of Evidence", Litigation Forensics Board of the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA), National Litigation Consultants' Review, Volume 2, 2013, page 6; "Promoter Wars: Round 1 / Top Rank & Golden Boy Fire First Shot [in Antitrust Case]", Royal Divide Magazine, Aug 11, 2015.

Representative Matters


  • As lead counsel, successfully defended a manufacturer of graphics arts equipment at a week-long trial in federal bankruptcy court in North Carolina against claims of breach of warranty and unfair trade practices alleging over $5 million dollars in damages.

  • Successfully defended a food products franchisor against multi-million dollar claims in a two-week trial conducted before the American Arbitration Association in Los Angeles, California.

  • As lead counsel, obtained a summary judgment in federal court in Chicago for a manufacturer of outdoor power equipment on a $2.8 million breach of contact claim against a former New England distributor, including dismissal of the former distributor's $50 million franchise law counterclaim; prevailed on appeal before the federal court of appeals in Chicago; case listed as "One of the Ten Key Economic Damage Cases of 2012" in Dunn on Damages, Spring 2013.

  • As lead counsel, swiftly secured dismissal with prejudice in federal court in Chicago for clients on a pro se plaintiff's billion dollar claim for infringement of a U.S. patent relating to security and mobile telephone technology.

  • Represented a machine tool manufacturer and its Japan parent in obtaining a preliminary injunction against the infringing use of its name and other trademarks before a federal court in Chicago.

  • As lead counsel, settled on highly favorable terms to defendant seafood distributors, claims of patent infringement and unfair trade practices brought by patentee in federal court in Hawaii.

  • Represented Japan manufacturers of semiconductor equipment and a California subsidiary in collecting on multi-million dollar unsecured claims and settling on highly favorable terms multi-million dollar preference claims asserted in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware.

  • Coordinated the defense of a Tier I automotive parts supplier in federal court in Ohio from claims brought by an industrial equipment supplier; the case was settled and dismissed without any payment to the plaintiff.

  • Settled and resolved on highly favorable terms multi-district claims pending against a manufacturer of graphics arts equipment in Chicago and New York federal courts alleging antitrust violations, fraud, deceptive trade practices and wrongful termination of dealer contracts and claiming several million dollars in damages.

  • Settled on highly favorable terms claims of wrongful dealer termination pending in federal court in Puerto Rico against a manufacturer of outdoor power equipment.

  • As lead counsel, successfully defended admiralty claims against a manufacturer of large diesel marine engines pending in federal court in Alaska; obtained dismissal of fraud and unfair trade claims, including dismissal of multi-million dollar punitive damage claim.

  • Assisted a manufacturer of capital equipment to conclude an equipment development and supply agreement with a major Silicon Valley consumer electronics brand.

  • Helped a manufacturer of construction equipment to conclude a series of worldwide distribution and license agreements with an internationally recognized OEM customer.

  • Assisted a manufacturer of capital equipment to conclude an international supply agreement with a leading semiconductor technology manufacturer.

  • For a leading supplier of printing equipment and technology, negotiated multiple, multi-million dollar sales and licensing arrangements with customers located across the country.

  • REPRESENTATIVE PUBLICATIONS

    • "The Risk of Proffering Financial Expert Testimony in Lay Witness Clothing: The Limits of Rule 701 of the Federal Rules of Evidence", Litigation Forensics Board of the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA), National Litigation Consultants' Review, Volume 2, 2013, page 6
    • "Promoter Wars: Round 1 | Top Rank & Golden Boy Fire First Shot", Royal Divide Magazine, Aug 11, 2015

Practice Areas

Education

  • University of Michigan, 1989
  • Northern Illinois University College of Law , magna cum laude, 1992 - Law Review, 1991-1992 and National Moot Court Team

Admissions

  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, including Trial Bar
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association - Litigation and Antitrust Sections
  • Chicago Bar Association - Federal Civil Practice and Antitrust Committees
  • Japan America Society of Chicago - Former Director

Distinctions

  • Leading Lawyers, 2013-2018
  • Recipient of American Jurisprudence Prizes in Contracts, Corporations, Property, Antitrust Law and Legal Research and Writing
  • Recipient of "Antitrust Prize" for scholarship, 1992