Steve focuses his practice on product liability and business litigation, concentrating on the automobile, health care, pharmaceutical, medical device and life science industries, including the animal health sector. He brings experience handling complex litigation and as trial counsel. Before joining Shook, Steve was a senior attorney with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), where he played a leading role in federal antitrust investigations and litigation. His practice at the FTC primarily concerned health care providers and the pharmaceutical industry. As a result of his work, Steve received the prestigious Janet D. Steiger award on two occasions for his contributions to government enforcement actions and litigation.
Besides his enforcement work at the FTC, Steve was part of an interagency team that reviewed health care joint ventures participating in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Accountable Care Organization program for their competitive impact. He also analyzed settlement agreements entered into between pharmaceutical companies in Hatch-Waxman litigation matters for antitrust compliance.
Earlier in his career, Steve worked in the FTC’s Office of General Counsel, where he worked on competition, consumer protection, employment, ethics and administrative law matters. He also completed a temporary detail as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, managing a caseload of more than 100 criminal cases.
FTC v. Shire ViroPharma, Inc.: Core member of the team that brought the first FTC suit against a pharmaceutical company for allegedly abusing the FDA citizen petition process through sham petitioning.
FTC v. Actavis: Core member of the FTC team that undertook the underlying investigation and initial challenge of an alleged reverse payment patent litigation settlement agreement between the manufacturer of a testosterone replacement drug and two manufacturers of competing generic versions of the drug. On certiorari, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the federal circuit court’s dismissal, allowing so-called reverse payment patent litigation settlement agreements to come under antitrust scrutiny.
In the Matter of Schering-Plough Corp.: Actively involved in the FTC’s first litigated challenge of an alleged reverse payment patent litigation settlement agreement between pharmaceutical companies.
In the Matter of Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Corp.: Member of the FTC trial team that successfully challenged the consummated merger of two health systems in the Chicago area suburbs.
FTC v. CSL Limited: A leading member of the FTC team challenging the proposed merger of two of the three largest producers, at the time, of plasma-derived protein therapies in the U.S. Led the team’s effort in proving the difficulty of competitive entry and expansion in that market. The parties abandoned the proposed merger before trial following the FTC’s lawsuit.
In the Matter of CentraCare Health System: Represented the FTC in its investigation of a large health system’s acquisition of a multispecialty medical practice group in central Minnesota. In a consent order, CentraCare agreed to release some physicians from “non-compete” contract clauses so they could join local competing practices or establish their own practice in the area.
In the Matter of Keystone Orthopaedic Specialists, LLC: Played a leading role in the investigation of a consummated merger of six orthopedic practices in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The parties agreed to a consent order that preserved the separation of one of the six practices and required prior approval before acquiring another orthopedic practice in the area.
In the Matter of Preferred Health Services, Inc.: Led the investigation and settlement negotiations of allegations that a physician-hospital organization facilitated joint pricing among independent physicians in northwestern South Carolina. The negotiated consent order not only prohibited the organization from orchestrating collective agreements among physicians when dealing with payors, but also prohibited it from acting as an agent for any physicians in connection with health plan contracting.
In the Matter of White Sands Health Care System, LLC: Led an FTC investigation of a physician-hospital organization and its consultant for facilitating collective refusals to deal among the main area hospital, independent physicians and ancillary providers, including all of the nurse anesthetists in the area. The parties agreed to a consent order prohibiting the organization and its consultant from orchestrating collective agreements among providers when negotiating with payers as well as preventing the consultant from negotiating with payors on behalf of the providers.
In the Matter of San Juan IPA, Inc.: Managed the investigation of an independent practice association operating in northwestern New Mexico that allegedly facilitated price-fixing and collective refusals to deal with payors. Negotiated a consent order prohibiting the association from collectively negotiating with health plans on behalf of its physician members and from setting their terms of dealing with such purchasers.
In the Matter of Southeastern New Mexico Physicians IPA: Led the investigation of price-fixing among competing physician members of an independent practice association. Negotiated a consent order that prohibited the association from orchestrating collective agreements with payors on behalf of the physicians and prohibited two of its employees from jointly negotiating on behalf of the physicians.
In the Matter of Carlsbad Physician Association, Inc.: Managed an FTC enforcement action against a physician organization accused of facilitating price-fixing among its physician members. Led the settlement negotiations that resulted in the organization’s dissolution and the prohibition of its physician leaders and consultant from acting as agents for physicians in health plan contracting matters.
Co-Presenter, Recent Enforcement Trends in Life Sciences - Understanding Areas of Concern from Advertising/Promotion to Competition and GMP Enforcement, ABA Life Sciences Summit, San Francisco, September 26, 2018 (with Sonali Gunawardhana).
Panelist, Bid-Rigging Detection, Webinar, ABA, June 21, 2018.
Instructor, The Role of the Agencies: FTC, Antitrust and Health Care Policy, The Washington Campus, Washington, D.C., April 7, 2017.
Faculty, What to do When the Enforcers Call, ABA-AHLA 2016 Antitrust in Health Care Conference, Arlington, VA, May 13, 2016.
Faculty Expert, Health Care Antitrust Fundamentals, ABA Health Law Section, Washington, D.C., March 10, 2016.
Instructor, Training Seminar: Competition Investigations & Merger Review in the Health Care Industry, Competition Commission of India, New Delhi, India, September 22-24, 2014.
Panelist, Blurring the Line Between Bio and Pharma, American Chemical Society, 2008 Meeting and Symposium, New Orleans, LA, 2008.
Panelist, What Every Lawyer Should Know about Antitrust, 2004 National Bar Association Convention, Charlotte, NC, 2008.
Moderator, Lessons from 'Do-Not-Call', 2004 Midyear Meeting of the ABA Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice Section, San Antonio, TX, 2004.
Moderator, Antitrust Abuse or Intellectual Property? 2003 National Bar Association Convention, New Orleans, LA, 2003.
Tenth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Health System’s Antitrust Suit Against a Health Plan, Antitrust Practice Group Alert, American Health Lawyers Association, July 19, 2017.
Antitrust & Consumer Protection, District of Columbia Practice Manual 2012 Edition, District of Columbia Bar Association, 2012.
Economic Credentialing: Can Physicians Look to the Antitrust Laws for Help? Physician Organizations, American Health Lawyers Association, Winter 2007.
Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Developments In Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice 2002-2003, American Bar Association, 2004 (with Yaa Apori, et al.).
Government Information & Right to Privacy, Developments in Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice 2002-2003, American Bar Association, 2004 (with James O’Reilly, et al.).
Competition from Generic Biologics: Obstacles and Progress, Update Food & Drug Law Institute, November/December 2003 (with Natasha Moskvina).