Steven M. Schneebaum
Steven has more than three decades of experience handling a range of international and domestic dispute resolution and complex litigation matters. He has represented clients in civil litigation before federal and state trial courts and administrative bodies in cases involving commercial disputes, public and private international law, antitrust, constitutional law, confirmation of arbitral awards, defamation, attorney malpractice, judicial review of agency action and personnel issues. Steven handles arbitration before domestic and international tribunals, as well as appeals before federal and state courts, including more than 50 oral arguments in circuit courts of appeals and state supreme courts. He also negotiates contracts, licenses and international agreements.
Steven has extensive experience in international trade disputes, including customs, trade legislation and litigation, GATT, World Trade Organization, foreign market development, antidumping, countervailing duties and Sections 201 and 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. He also has substantial knowledge of European Union law—including completion of the internal market, impact of European Union legislation on foreign companies, Common Agricultural Policy, corporate law, labor relations and Euro-lobbying—as well as public international law and comparative law.
Among many other matters, Steven has:
- Represented a consumer-products manufacturer in a complex breach of contract/antitrust lawsuit brought by a retail chain, culminating in a jury trial in federal court in San Francisco.
- Drafted the first petition ever presented to the Department of State seeking removal of a group from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, and represented the organization on judicial review, on remand to the Department, and then in an ongoing petition for a writ of mandamus.
- Represented an individual claiming that his prosecution, conviction, and conditions of imprisonment in a Latin American country constitute violations of the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights.
- Acted for an Italian wine producer in a dispute with a distributor in the United States.
- Negotiated a complex multi-million dollar agreement for a multinational company outsourcing certain telecommunications services.
- Designed and presented to a multinational client a series of contract templates, along with guidance notes and a training program intended to permit non-legal staff to negotiate acquisitions of hardware, software, and services.
- Advised several American investors with claims of expropriation at the hands of states with which the United States has bilateral investment treaties.
- Represented a significant local employer in a shareholders dispute, including a two-week jury trial and subsequent appeal.
- Represented a tax agency of local government in a challenge to assessment methodology.
- Represented a major American interest in international arbitration deriving from "the Banana Wars" between the U.S. and the European Union.
- Acted on behalf of an American food producer in protracted negotiations with the European Commission and other interested parties in promoting implementation by the European Union of one of its concessions in the Uruguay Round of multinational trade negotiations, culminating in two requests for consultations and a negotiated settlement before the World Trade Organization (WTO).
- Represented an international partnership of executive recruiters in defending its intellectual property against a former partner in Hong Kong in an arbitration conducted in London applying Bahamian law.
- Acted for an American publisher that had an exclusive licensing agreement with the Soviet Copyright Agency, which was breached after the dissolution of the Soviet Union (arbitration conducted in Stockholm).
- Acted for an American attorney who was one of the first to secure a money judgment on behalf of victims of terrorism against a foreign state sponsor of terrorism in a dispute over compensation.
- Represented two American manufacturers entitled to distribution of antidumping duties under the Byrd Amendment who were omitted from the list of eligible parties.
- Acted for a U.S. steel producer in one of the only cases ever to seek injunctive relief under the 1916 Antidumping Act.
- Represented the harbor authority of a Midwestern state that sought to recover its investment in an improvement to one of the Great Lakes built at the state's expense.
- Represented American multinationals with investment interests in Europe, monitoring and lobbying EU institutions in connection with legislative initiatives on company law, worker participation and products liability.
- Represented death row inmates in Texas, Virginia and Alabama, including appearances before state and federal trial courts, courts of appeal, and the Supreme Court of Virginia.
- Been involved in many of the significant cases under the Alien Tort Claims Act, including Filartiga v. Pena (2d Cir. 1979) and Doe v. Lumintang (D.D.C. 2001), in which a federal judge in Washington awarded survivors $66 million against an Indonesian general who gave orders to carry out atrocities in East Timor.
- Represented the families of a group of dissidents against the current regime in Iran who have been living in Iraq since the 1980's and are currently under the protection of the U.S. military authorities at Camp Ashraf.
- Represented an American professional basketball player in an antitrust suit to obtain a license to play basketball as an "amateur" in European leagues.
- Represented a former Yugoslav Republic in litigation in New York, seeking to make the successor states liable for the debts of the dissolved Socialist Federal Republic.
- Represented a Central American government in defense of an action seeking to compel it to sell commercial assets to an American bidder.
- Represented the Swiss subsidiary of an American manufacturer in a case concerning components with latent defects not discovered until years after they were delivered and installed.
- Represented an American food processor in a case of first impression concerning the scope of a contractual exclusion of "consequential damages."
- Represented parties both seeking and resisting judicial review of arbitral awards.
- Acted for an American toy manufacturer in negotiating a joint venture in China and in withdrawing from a similar relationship in Italy.
- Represented an American university operating in Europe, both in licensing matters before the District of Columbia government and in disputes concerning the right to use its name.
- Served as Deputy Special Master in Petties v. District of Columbia, No. 95-0148 (PLF) (D.D.C.)
Beyond Fox Rothschild
Steven is heavily involved in pro bono activities, representing needy individuals and handling numerous matters involving international human rights, protection of the elderly poor, civil rights and the death penalty.
Steven is a regular author and speaker at conferences and seminars on public international law, international human rights, U.S. litigation strategies, international trade, European Law and other international legal topics. He has taught numerous courses on related topics at the George Washington University School of Law, Cornell, Catholic and American Universities, and Oxford University. Since 1990, he has been an adjunct professor of international law at the School of Advanced International Studies, The John Hopkins University.
Honors and Awards
- Recipient of the "Commander's Award for Public Service," U.S. Army Medal (2009)
- Included in a list of Washington DC Super Lawyers in the category of international in Super Lawyers Magazine (2007)
- Included in a list of "Washington DC & Baltimore’s Top Rated Lawyers" by ALM media and Martindale Hubbell® (2012)
- Recipient of the "Caritas Advocacy Award," Catholic Community Services (2005)
- Recipient of the "Pro Bono Legal Service Award," John Carroll Society (2003)
- Recipient of the "Silver Circle Award," Legal Counsel for the Elderly (2001)
- Twice recipient of the "Pamela Young Award," International Law Students Association (1993 and 2011)
- Recipient of the "Pro Bono Award," Legal Counsel for the Elderly (1987)
- Recipient of the "Pro Bono Award," International Human Rights Law Group (1986)
- Recipient of the "Certificate of Appreciation," District of Columbia Bar (1985)