Steven L. Vanderporten
Steven L. Vanderporten is a partner in the Litigation Law Group. Steven represents clients in a broad range of complex commercial litigation, class action, and intellectual property matters. Steven has prosecuted and defended breach of contract and fraud claims, RICO, environmental contamination, and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class actions, false advertising, defamation and unfair competition claims, and trademark, copyright and trade secret disputes. Steven has also represented the interests of shareholders and members of corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) in closely held business disputes.
Steven also provides transactional and intellectual property counseling to emerging businesses, including on trademark registration, protection and licensing. He has prosecuted numerous trademarks before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), has successfully overcome “Office Actions” before the USPTO, and serves as legal counsel for several registered trademarks. Steven counsels startups in the music technology, clothing, software, and fitness industries on intellectual property matters, corporate formation, restrictive covenants, and financing issues.
Since 2018, Steven has served as co-chair for the Chicago Bar Association’s Tort Litigation Committee, Young Lawyers Division. In 2017, Steven was the Commercial Litigation Committee Annual Meeting Liaison for the Defense Research Institute (DRI). Steven was also previously a Mentor at 2112, a Chicago incubator focused on the development of business and entrepreneurs in music, film/video, and creative technology.
During law school, Steven worked for the criminal division of the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) in Washington D.C. and served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Jeffrey Cole in the United States District for the Northern District of Illinois.
- Second chaired a breach of contract and contract reformation lawsuit, defending one of the largest food companies in the world against claims made by a foreign supplier. During the trial, Steven argued motions in limine and jury instructions and cross-examined key witnesses.
- Successfully obtained a dismissal with prejudice for an accounting firm alleged to have committed professional malpractice by arguing that the firm did not owe a legal duty to the plaintiffs under the Illinois Public Accounting Act and Illinois common law.
- Won partial summary judgment in a TCPA case, which decision was one of the first in the country to apply a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulatory waiver as a matter of law to dispose of claims based on improper opt-out notices appearing on fax advertisements.
- Obtained summary judgment in a false advertising case filed under the Lanham Act based on a competitor’s false and misleading statements about his client’s products.
- Second chaired a breach of contract trial and obtained a not guilty verdict on behalf of a medical device manufacturer.
- Second chaired a four-week premises liability wrongful death case. During the trial, Steven cross-examined the plaintiff’s economist.
Alternative Dispute Resolutions
Steven has also utilized alternative dispute resolution to obtain favorable results for his clients.
- Resolved a closely held business dispute over a two-day settlement conference, wherein members of an LLC divided in excess of $20 million in real estate held across multiple corporate entities, each with different operating agreements and ownership structures.
- Secured a royalty-based settlement at mediation for a start-up whose trade secrets and confidential information were misappropriated by a larger competitor.
- Prosecuting numerous trademark applications before the USPTO.
- Counsel for numerous registered trademarks.
- Drafted several Trademark License Agreements for a clothing supplier licensing a desirable trademark to several licensees.
- Drafted Property Use Agreements allowing for the use of certain real estate for a limited commercial purpose.
- Drafted Master Services Agreement outlining the back-end software design and development of an e-commerce platform.
- Drafted LLC Resolutions and Quit Claim Deeds to facilitate the resolution of a complex closely held business dispute involving real estate held by nine different corporate entities.
Since 2017, Steven has been selected to the list of Illinois Rising Stars, a list published by Super Lawyers. Rising Stars is an exclusive list of top-rated attorneys in specific practice areas who were chosen after thorough evaluation of numerous criteria.
- “Ten Things Associates Should Know about Preparing for Trial,” Decalogue Society, The Decalogue Tablets; a list and analysis of the top ten items of importance for associates assisting with a trial. The items included making a Trial Checklist, drafting Motions in Limine, creating an Exhibit List, using Demonstrative Exhibits, utilizing Trial Support companies, working with Live Witnesses, developing Impeachment Materials, and other tips, Co-Author, 2018
- “Recent Trends in False Advertising Law,” Defense Research Institute (DRI) Annual Meeting; this presentation focused on false advertising cases brought under the Lanham Act, including claims based on the false designation of geographic origin, and the Federal Trade Commission’s increased scrutiny of “Made in the USA” claims. Speaker, 2017
- “Nuts and Bolts,” Class Action Lawsuits in Federal Court, Illinois MCLE; Presentation about class action lawsuits in federal court and the class certification process under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Speaker 2016
- “Procedural Issues Arising out of Aviation Accidents,” inaugural Aviation Practice Group Meeting at prior law firm; Presented holdings of cases and analysis of courts deciding procedural issues, including personal jurisdiction, venue, and choice of law, arising out of aviation accidents where injured passengers resided in differing locations, Speaker, 2015
Chicago Bar Association (Co-Chair of Tort Litigation Committee, Young Lawyers Division)
Defense Research Institute (DRI) (Associate Liaison, Commercial Litigation Committee, 2017)