Stephen is a partner in the Business Litigation practice group. He focuses his practice on complex business litigation, including financial fraud, lender liability defense and securities cases and investigations, breach of fiduciary duty claims, class actions and entertainment law disputes. He is also an expert and frequent speaker regarding corporate crisis management.
Stephen is admitted to practice in Ohio, the United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio, Michigan and Colorado, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.
- Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, J.D., 1982
- Case Western Reserve University, M.S.S.A., 1977
- Ohio University, B.A., 1973
- Successful representation of financial institutions in lender lilability cases.
- Prosecuted, tried and prevailed in bankruptcy claims filed on behalf of bank group.
- Obtained dismissal of RICO complaint against law firm client.
- Obtained a favorable federal jury verdict in a five week accounting fraud trial.
- Conducted numerous internal investigations prompted by law enforcement and/or regulatory inquiries.
- Assisted a national management recruiting firm in enforcing a large contract for provision of its services against a national computer retailer. The representation resulted in a significant payment to the client.
- Defended a national group of concert promoters in federal court in New York against antitrust and related claims.
- Represented publicly-held provider of telephone service in numerous commercial disputes. In one case, obtained a sanction against the plaintiff in the amount of $500,000.
- Represented public and private boards in numerous cases involving allegations of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.
- Represented public and private boards whose companies were under federal investigation by federal and/or state law enforcement and/or regulatory authorities.
- Led a team of twenty-plus attorneys in representing the court-appointed examiner in the then largest case of fraud in United States Bankruptcy Court history.
- Investigated corporate fraud allegations which led to the imprisonment of the chief financial officer.
- Represented United States government contractor in criminal investigation of fraud. No indictment was issued.
- Represented currency options trading company in federal criminal investigation. No indictment was issued.
- Led the litigation team in representing a public company in successful hostile takeover litigation in federal court.
- Defended companies and board members in shareholder litigation.
- Successfully defended a regional hair cutting chain against class action discrimination claims.
- Successfully represented bank against class action Ponzi scheme claims.
- Defended against federal civil rights claims in the music industry.
Professional & Civic Involvement
Author or co-author of the following articles:
American Bar Association · Business Torts and Corporate Fraud Subcommittee
Ohio State Bar Association
Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
Speaker, Crisis Management for In-House Attorneys, Strafford Publications (May 2012)
Speaker, Ethics and The Media (November 2005)
Speaker, Crisis Management for Attorneys and Clients (January 2004)
Anthony J. Celebrezze Inn of Court · Barrister
Federal Bar Association, Northern District of Ohio Chapter · Former President
FBI National Citizens' Academy Alumni Association · Vice President: Steve is 1 of 10 board members of this organization that coordinates more than 50 local chapters around the United States; Former Chair of the FBI Citizens' Academy of Cleveland
Past Chair, Center for Community Solutions
Former Trustee, United Way Services
Trustee, Cleveland Music School Settlement
Firm Representative to Business and Industry Council for Emergency Planning and Preparedness (American Red Cross)
- "Best Practices: Corralling A Crisis" · Counsel to Counsel, January 2005
- "Negotiating the Minefields of Electronic Discovery" · University of Richmond Law Review, 2004
- "Health Care Entities -- A World of Privilege and Immunity?" · The Federal Lawyer, January 2002
- "Phar-Mor -- A Lesson in Fraud" · Business: Its Legal, Ethical and Global Environment
- "A Trial Lawyer's Perspective on Mental Health Professionals as Expert Witnesses" · Consulting Psychology Journal, Practice and Research, Summery 1995
- "Phar-Mor Inc. -- A Lesson in Fraud" · The Wall Street Journal, March 1994
- The following news stories incorporate interviews with or background information provided by Stephen Williger:
- "Lawyer Receives Award From FBI" · The Plain Dealer, December 2007
- "Embattled Contractor Loses Fight for Airport Contract," Mike Tobin · The Plain Dealer, May 2007
- "Jury Gets History of Rock and More" · The Plain Dealer, May 19, 2005
- "From Counsel to Corporate Cop," Ryan Cornell · Crain's Cleveland Business, January 2002
- "Vermilion River Pollution Leads to Greenhouse Search," Catherine Gabe, · The Plain Dealer, September 2002
- "Local Record Execs Sues Sony on Album Credit," John Soeder · The Plain Dealer, March 2002
- "FBI Probes Head Start Program," Timothy Heider · The Plain Dealer, October 2000
- "Head Start Accused of Ghost Kid Scam," Timothy Heider · The Plain Dealer, September 2000
- "Options Trader's Clients to Recoup Money," Christopher Serres · Crain's Cleveland Business, March 2000
- "Tax Firm's Ex-Owner Sues Acquirer Cbiz," Christopher Serres · Crain's Cleveland Business, March 2000
- "A New Pap Test Costs More, But is it Worth It? Some Think Not," Laura Johannes · The Wall Street Journal, August 1998
- "Mt. Sinai Gains Time to Settle Debt to UH," James F. McCarty · The Plain Dealer, July 1998
- "Fretter Creditor Panel Seeks Nod to Sue Insiders" · The Daily Bankruptcy Review, January 1998
- "Creditors Aim to Sue Fretter Executives," Matt Roush · Crain's Detroit Business, January 1998
- "State Seeks Control of Malpractice Insurer," Troy Flint · The Plain Dealer, December 1997
- "A Free-for-All Over Pap Smears," Bethany McLean · Fortune, October 1997
- "Court Clears Way for Ampco to Shut Down its Lorain Plant," Davis Prizinsky · Crain's Cleveland Business, August 1996
- "LDI Seeks Injunction Against Banks," Donald Sabath · The Plain Dealer, April 1996
- "Danaher Adding Legal Twist in Bid for ACME," Kristen Baird · Crain's Cleveland Business, April 1996
- "Phar-Mor Chairman Knew of Trouble: But Report Does Not Suggest Shapira was Aware of Fraud," Stephen Phillips and Miriam Hill · The Plain Dealer, January 1996
- "Attorney: Broker Played no Part in Alleged Scheme," Lisa Williams · The Youngstown Vindicator
- Burton Awards for Legal Achievement, 2005
- Selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers by Ohio Super Lawyer magazine in 2006-2013
- FBI Director's Community Award, 2007
- Named as one of Northeast Ohio’s Leading Lawyers (Civil Litigation), Inside Business magazine (2010)