Steven D. Atlee

Steve Atlee litigates complex commercial matters, including class actions, intellectual property, securities, contract and other disputes.

Mr. Atlee has broad experience in a variety of areas, including consumer class actions, unfair competition, patent, trademark, trade secrets, professional liability, telecommunications, securities fraud, and property disputes. He routinely first-chairs matters on behalf of his clients before juries, judges, arbitrators and mediators.

Steve’s representative cases include:

RMD Holdings v. W.H. Smith (defended airport concessionaire in 15-day jury trial regarding tortious interference with contract; won defense verdict)

Pacific Mercantile Bank (first-chaired jury trial in which the court dismissed lender liability claims against the bank and then the jury returned a verdict in favor of bank on contract and fraudulent transfer claims; litigated several other cases in arbitration, state, and bankruptcy courts, obtaining favorable settlements)

Guitar Center (represented client in consumer class actions regarding credit card transactions and other sales practices under Beverly-Song Credit Card Act and Consumer Legal Remedies Act; obtained favorable settlements after mediation)

U.S. TelePacific Corp. (represents telecom company in arbitrations, state and federal courts in a  variety of contract and tariff issues)

Universal Studios (represented client in consumer class action involving gift cards; obtained favorable settlement)

LG Electronics (represented client in nationwide consumer class action relating to LCD rear projection televisions; obtained favorable settlement after mediation)

Grant Thornton (represented client in the dismissal of consolidated securities class action cases concerning mortgage giant Countrywide; plaintiffs alleged that auditor Grant Thornton was at least partially responsible for the recent collapse in the value of Countrywide’s securities)

Oversee.net (represented client in nationwide class action involving domain names; obtained favorable settlement after class certification denied)

Data Center Owner (represented owners of Internet data center in commercial and trademark dispute; obtained favorable settlement)

Live Nation (represented client in various class action matters)

In re New Century (represented corporate investor in securities fraud claim; obtained favorable settlement)

Catalina Marketing Corp. (represented marketing company in commercial dispute; obtained favorable settlement)

Various Unfair Competition Cases (represented Pebble Beach Company, The Sports Authority, Oriental Trading Company, Toshiba America Consumer Products, Reebok, Office Depot, eToys, Petco Animal Supplies, American Golf Corporation, State Life Insurance Company, Weider, Twin Labs, Dairy Queen, General Growth Properties, Blockbuster, KinderCare, ShopNBC, Rockwell Collins and Guitar Center, among others)

Mosher v. Lasch (represented investor in derivative action brought by major shareholder to enjoin proposed transaction; injunction successfully denied)

Keybanc v. Alpine Biomed (represented biomedical company in dispute over finder’s fee in financing transaction; obtained favorable settlement)

Guthy-Renker Corp. v. University Medical Products, Inc. (obtained preliminary injunction requiring nationwide recall of a competitor’s infringing product; multiple other representations involving contract, trademark, and unfair competition issues)

American Golf Corporation and David Price (represented clients in 13 separate state and federal class and derivative litigations alleging securities fraud and breach of fiduciary duty; obtained favorable settlement)

Townshend v. Rockwell International Corp.; Townshend v. Conexant Systems, Inc. (defense of modem chip maker in trade secrets and patent litigation regarding high-speed modems)

Oriental Trading Company (represented client in nationwide consumer class action relating to replacement fees; obtained favorable settlement after mediation)

Goodring v. Harry Wu (defended Wu family in nine-week bench trial and three-week jury trial involving allegations of fraud, embezzlement, and breach of contract; won defense verdict)

FedEx Freight West, Inc. (represented company in arbitration relating to trucking terminal)

Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. (represented retailer in patent and trademark litigation)

Conexant Systems, Inc. (represented modem chip manufacturer in multi-party patent litigation)

Imagine Films (successfully opposed summary judgment motion regarding non-payment on director’s agreement; plaintiff David Mamet dismissed case shortly thereafter)

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (defended hospital in 40-day arbitration regarding construction dispute)

City of Hope National Medical Center (defended medical center in contractual dispute)

Mr. Atlee received a B.A. in Economics and Political Science, summa cum laude, from Yale in 1987. He received a J.D. from the University of Southern California in 1990, where he was a member of the Law Review, was elected to the Order of the Coif, and was a writing instructor.

Honors & Awards

Mr. Atlee has been recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer for the past several years ( 2010-2013). 


Mr. Atlee serves on the board of directors of the American Red Cross, Greater Los Angeles Region. He also has served on the board of directors and co-chaired the Development Committee of the Western Center on Law & Poverty.

Mr. Atlee is a member of the Planning Committee for the USC Intellectual Property Institute. He is also a member of the Chancery Club.

Mr. Atlee serves on the Steering Committee of the firm’s Class Action Practice Group. He also is a member of the firm’s Associate Evaluation Committee and Pro Bono Committee.


  • “California, Delaware, Illinois and New York contractual boilerplate: Same provisions, different results?” Inside Counsel, Part I: Aug. 26, 2014; Part II: September 25, 2014 (co-author).
  • “10 Tips for a Successful Mediation,” Corporate Counsel, August 2014 (co-author).
  • “How Advertising Can Be a Source of Inter-Office Conflict,” The Daily Journal, November 14, 2011 (co-author).
  • “Saving the Franchise: How to Avert and Survive Unexpected Crises,” Association of Corporate Counsel – Southern California Chapter Doubleheader, March 2011 (co-presenter).
  • “Hot Topics in Trademark and New Media,” USC IP Institute, March 2011 (planned program and moderated panel).
  • “Avoiding and Defeating Consumer Class Actions: Effective Litigation Risk Management Strategies to Control Costs and Reduce Reputational Risks,” Winston & Strawn eLunch, February 2011 (co-presenter).
  • “Class Actions: Act Early, Stay a Step Ahead of the Plaintiffs’ Bar,” Counsel to Counsel, January 2011 (interviewed).
  • “Communicating With the Putative Class,” Executive Counsel, October/November 2010 (co-author).
  • “Don’t Shred That Demand Letter! Defending Your Client Under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act,” ACC Docket, May 2010 (co-author).
  • “When Good Contracts Go Bad:  A Litigator’s Perspective On Common Contract Disputes,” Association of Corporate Counsel, Southern California Chapter, April 2010 (co-speaker).
  • “Demand and Response (Industry Experts Outline: What Retailers Should Do If They Get a Demand Letter Under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act),” Retail Merchandiser, January/February 2010.
  • “Best Practices for Defending Claims Under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act,” Association of Corporate Counsel – Southern California Chapter, Nov. 17, 2009.
  • “Update on Class Actions - Trends and Defense Strategies,” American Lawyer Media’s 7th Annual General Counsel West Coast Conference, Nov. 11-12, 2009. 
  • “Compliance and the Legal Landscape,” Lead Generation Conference, April 2-4, 2008.  
  • “Navigating Legal Issues in the Electronic Age” Association of Corporate Counsel – Southern California Chapter, February 2008. 
  • “Recent Developments Affecting Trade and Operations,” Institute for Corporate Counsel, Dec. 5-6, 2007 (panelist).  
  • “Privacy Protection: What Every In-House Counsel Needs to Know About Managing and Protecting Private Employee, Consumer, and Company Information,” Association of Corporate Counsel, Southern California Chapter, February 2007 (co-speaker). 
  • “Search Terms: The Use of Trademarked Terms by Web Search Pages Has Challenged Traditional Boundaries of Trademark Protection,” Los Angeles Lawyer, November 2005 (co-author).  
  • “E-Discovery Approaches: What Do They All Mean and Which Approach Is Best?” panel discussion, LegalTech West Coast 2004.  
  • Contributions to the California Real Property Journal’s “Top Ten Real Property Cases” for 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003.