Steve grew up in a small farming community in Southern Illinois not far from the Kentucky border known as Salem, Illinois. His hometown was also the birthplace of William Jennings Bryan. Steve was the President of his high school’s student government and was also a standout on its football, basketball and track teams. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1972 where he was a sprinter on its varsity track team. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army on the day of his graduation and immediately went on active duty for two years. While serving in Ft. Benning, Georgia, he was asked to become the Brigade Legal Officer for the 197th Infantry Brigade even though he was not yet a lawyer. He served in this position for 18 months and tried over 100 Special Courts Martial, ten of which were jury trials as a prosecutor. After he completed his tour in the Army, he attended Cumberland School of Law where he graduated summa cum laude in 1977.
After clerking for U.S. District Judge, James H. Hancock, he began his legal career in representing plaintiffs in civil ligation for the past 40 years. He has taught courses in trial work for the American Association for Justice (AAJ) at such prestigious law schools as Harvard, Georgetown, Stanford, University of Wisconsin, University of North Caroline and the University of Alabama. He has been listed as a top 50 lawyer for Alabama in Super Lawyers for the past 5 years. Steve has been married to his wife, Karen, for 48 years and has three children and five grandchildren who all live in the Birmingham area.
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