Michael D. Steger is the founder of the Law Offices of Michael D. Steger, PC, a boutique practice focusing on intellectual property, entertainment and media law. Since he started practicing law in 1993, Mr. Steger has sought to help solve his clients’ problems and expand their business opportunities. Whether in business transactions, litigation and other disputes, or counseling behind the scenes, he has used his experience as an attorney and large and mid-sized firms, as well as in-house counsel to focus on providing value to the individuals, companies and other entities that he has served.
From 1993 to 2000, Mr. Steger practiced law in Los Angeles, California, concentrating on litigation in state and federal court. He handled all aspects of litigation for clients ranging from individuals and partnerships to Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Steger was responsible for a wide range of commercial litigation matters, including entertainment, intellectual property, employment, bankruptcy, real estate, business and construction disputes.
In 2000, Mr. Steger became in-house counsel for STF Productions, Inc., the producer of Fox’s “America’s Most Wanted” and the syndicated “Final Justice,” where he also handled business and legal affairs for other Fox entities. In these roles, his portfolio included handling entertainment, media, intellectual property, Internet, litigation and employment matters for the programs, as well as union issues and other business negotiations. In recent years he has also worked as program counsel for “The Operatives” on PivotTV and “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell” on FXX.
To provide cost-effective solutions using his legal skills and experience in both private practice and as a corporate counsel, Mr. Steger opened his own law offices in 2005.
Mr. Steger is a member of the the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section (Co-Chair of the Copyright Litigation Subcommittee of the Intellectual Property Litigation Committee 2014-present, Co-Chair Regional CLE Subcommittee 2010-14), Communications Law Forum, Entertainment and Sports Law Forum, Intellectual Property Section and the General Practice/Solo Section (Vice Chair of the Intellectual Property Committee); the City Bar of New York, and its Trademark Committee (2013-present); and Gotham City Networking. He is an active member of the New York, Virginia, and District of Columbia Bars, and an inactive member of the California State Bar. In 2010 New York Enterprise Report magazine named Mr. Steger the Best Intellectual Property Lawyer for Growing Businesses in New York.
Mr. Steger has written two law review articles on First Amendment issues: “Slicing the Gordian Knot: A Proposal to Reform Military Regulation of the Press,” University of San Francisco Law Review (1994), and “A Cautious Approach: Racist Speech and the First Amendment at the University of Texas,” Journal of Law and Politics (1992), as well as “You Can’t Win ‘Em All: Fantasy Sports and Rights of Publicity”, ABA Entertainment and Sports Lawyer, Fall 2006; “Document It: Courts Find Joint Authorship in Documentary Films in Absence of Written Agreement,” ABA Entertainment and Sports Lawyer, Winter 2008; “It’s One, Two Three Strikes You’re Out at the Old Ball Game: Use of Player Names and Statistics in Fantasy Baseball”, The Computer & Internet Lawyer, February 2009. He was also a contributor to “Advising and Defending Corporate Officers and Directors” published by California Continuing Education of the Bar (1998). A noted speaker on intellectual property, entertainment and media law issues, his public presentations include “The Media and the War for the ‘Fourth Freedom’: Covering the War on Terror”, National Press Club, January 2003; “The Strongest Links: The Confluence of the Arts, Media, Entertainment, Sports, Intellectual Property and Information Technology,” Virginia Bar Association, July 2003; “A Dangerous Intersection: The First and Sixth Amendments and Media Coverage of Crime,” Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, September 2003; “So You Want to Use Music?” DC Independent Film Festival, March 2004; “Audio and Video Recording and Privacy in the Workplace,” WMACCA IT Forum, June 2004; ABA Media Advocacy Workshop, January 2005; “So You Want to Use Music?” DC Independent Film Festival, March 2005; “An Hour Off The Clock,” WBIS Radio, May and October 2005; and “How Does Grokster Affect Your Business?” WMACCA IT Forum, September 2005; ABA Media Advocacy Workshop, January 2006; “Legal and Business Aspects of Reality Television Production,” District of Columbia Bar, March 2006; “We Need Clearance: Legal Issues for Producers,” Arlington Independent Media, July 2006; “Staying Legal Online”, NY State Bar Association, March 2008; and at the National Sports and Entertainment Law Conference, “Fundamentals of Film and Television Productions” (2007), “Careers in Entertainment and Sports Law” (2008), and “Regulation of Agents and Managers” (2009); ABA Litigation Section Intellectual Property Regional CLE, “Hot Topics in Copyright Law” (2011-2012); NYC Bar, “Entertainment Law Update” (2012); ABA Entertainment and Sports Law Forum, “Annual Litigation Update” (2012).
Mr. Steger received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was the Notes Editor of the Journal of Law and Politics. He also received both his M.A. (Foreign Affairs, 1993) and his B.A. (Foreign Affairs, Minor in History, 1989) from the University of Virginia.
Mr. Steger lives in Palisades, New York with his wife and daughter. He is a lay worship leader of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockland.