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Steven N. Leitess

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Phone: (410) 385-2225
Fax: (410) 547-2432

201 N. Charles St, #2600
Baltimore, Maryland 21201


J.D., University of Maryland Francis King Carey Law School, 1988

B.A., University of Maryland, College Park, 1985

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice Maryland
District of Columbia

Mr. Leitess’ practice has a national scope, serving clients located around the country in litigation and transactional matters arising in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. His practice focuses on the areas of substantive law that businesses rely upon daily.

The majority of Mr. Leitess’ daily professional activity relates to business litigation and arbitration, however a substantial amount of his time is dedicated to transactional matters and “outside general counsel” services for day-to-day operations of clients who do not have an in-house legal department.

Mr. Leitess has 25 years of experience as “first chair” attorney in numerous evidentiary and non-evidentiary hearings, court trials, jury trial and appellate matters in state and federal courts around the country, including Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and California. He has argued hundreds of motions and appeals, and participated in mediations and arbitrations. He is a prolific legal writer and has drafted and filed a very large number of pleadings and motion papers in connection with those representations.

Representative Matters and Engagements
  1. Represented a 4,700 member LLC in a lawsuit against investment brokers, agents and advisors for fraud and related causes of action arising out of a viatical/life settlement scam.

  2. Represented joint venture parties in dispute with co-venturers to a $25 million real estate development project in Houston TX. The dispute arose over breaches of internal agreements for governance that threatened the parties’ ability to execute on a contract for purchase and development of a large parcel of raw land.

  3. Representing a major equipment finance company in enforcement of multi-million-dollar judgments in five jurisdictions.

  4. Defended preference avoidance action against numerous textile industry factoring clients in U.S. Bankruptcy Court; reduced defendants’ potential litigation exposure from $75 million to approximately $15 million.

  5. Defended preference avoidance action against large Japanese consumer electronics manufacturers in U.S. Bankruptcy Courts during Circuit City bankruptcy case.

  6. Represented general counsel of large family of healthcare companies in key fact witness role. The matter was an extremely contentious “David v. Goliath” dispute that resulted in several reported decisions concerning attorney-client privilege and confidential attorney work product, spoliation and other issues.

  7. Defended “red light camera” manufacturer and administrator of red light enforcement program from putative class action claims brought in two Maryland jurisdictions.

  8. Represented large equipment finance company in dispute that resulted in an order from U.S. District Court declaring unconstitutional a Maryland statute permitting certain third parties to seize and dispose of equipment collateral without giving prior notice to secured party.

  9. Represented large commercial finance companies in multiple-titling fraud scheme by borrower who obtained up to 4 purchase money loans on each of 33 new Peterbilt over-the-road tractors by exploiting gaps in filing and perfection procedures in motor vehicle administrations of Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

  10. Representing an entrepreneurial asset-based lender in Northern Virginia that is active among small and medium-sized companies, including those with set-aside designations such as service disabled, veteran-owned small business and the like. The engagement includes corporate advice, litigation, turnaround & workout activity and strategic business planning.

  11. Represents government contractors in various employment, internal investigation, corporate and litigation matters in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

  12. Represent patent owners in negotiating and implementing patent licensing agreements, royalty agreements and related matters.

  13. Represent venture capital lenders in technology financing matters.

  14. Counsel to official committee of unsecured creditors, debtor-in-possession financing lenders and secured creditors in business bankruptcy cases. These matters include experience with plans of liquidation or reorganization, Sec. 363 sales, automatic stay litigation, voidable transactions claims, non-dischargeability litigation and numerous other kinds of adversary proceedings, contested matters and administrative matters that arise in business bankruptcy.

  15. Negotiated and documented business loan transactions on behalf of lenders and borrowers, including asset-based financing such as floorplan financing transactions, accounts receivable financing transactions and equipment financing and leasing transactions.

  16. Mr. Leitess has a personal interest and occasionally writes on first amendment, prior restraint, privacy, national security, public safety and technology issues.
Professional Associations
  1. American Bar Association (1989-present)
    1. Intellectual Property Section
    2. Litigation Section
    3. Law Practice Management Section
    4. Business Law Section
      1. Uniform Commercial Code Committee – Programs Coordinator
      2. Commercial Finance Committee
      3. ABA Advisor – Uniform Certificate of Title Act (2003)

  2. American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers (2004-present)
    1. President 2015-2016
    2. Member, Executive Committee 2010-present
    3. Chair, Technology and Website Committee
    4. Alternative Dispute Resolution Program
    5. Past-chair, ACCFL Official Observer Program

  3. Uniform Law Commission (2004-present)
    1. ULC Division Chair 2011-2015
    2. Maryland Delegation Chair 2015-present
    3. Maryland Delegation, Legislative Liaison to the Maryland General Assembly 2004-present
    4. ULC committees include:
      1. Uniform Series of Unincorporated Business Entities Act (“Series LLC”) – drafting committee
      2. Uniform Voidable Transactions Act – drafting committee
      3. Uniform Asset Preservation Act – drafting committee and enactment committee
      4. Athlete Agents Act –drafting committee
      5. Uniform Custodial Interrogation Act – drafting committee
      6. Uniform Certificate of Title Act – drafting committee
      7. Permanent Editorial Board for Unincorporated Business Entities (primarily LLC) – standing committee
      8. Enactment Committee for Revisions to UCC Article 9

  4. Maryland Commission on Uniform State Laws (2004-present; incoming chair 2016).
    1. Examples of uniform acts enacted in Maryland during Mr. Leitess’ tenure as a commissioner and Legislative Liaison:
      1. Revisions to UCC Article 9
      2. Power of Attorney Act
      3. Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act
      4. Interstate Deposition and Discovery Act
      5. Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act
      6. Anatomical Gift Act
      7. Revisions to Maryland Trust Code
    2. Current uniform law initiatives in Maryland:
      1. Enactment of Uniform Voidable Transactions Act (modernizes Maryland’s 98-year-old Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance Act)
      2. Repeal of UCC Art 6 (Bulk Transfers Act)
      3. Enactment of Revisions to Uniform Athlete Agents Act
      4. Enactment of Uniform Commercial Real Estate Receivers Act
      5. Additional uniform acts to be determined

  5. Maryland State Bar Association (1989-present)
    1. Business Law Section
      1. Uniform Commercial Code Committee
    2. Litigation Section

  6. Anne Arundel Bar Association (1990-present)
    1. Chair, Continuing Legal Education
    2. Chair, AABA Annual Crab Feast Golf Tournament

  7. District of Columbia Bar Association (1989-present)
    1. Litigation Section
    2. Law Practice Section

  8. Association of Commercial Finance Attorneys (1993-present)
    1. Board of Trustees (2000-present)
    2. Chair, Continuing Legal Education Weekend (2009, 2013 )

  9. Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, Member of the Legal Committee (2004-2006)