Michele has extensive complex commercial litigation experience representing corporate and entrepreneurial clients in state and federal courts in disputes involving intellectual property, commercial and partnership contracts, and other complex matters. Michele earns client loyalty through informed, tenacious representation, balanced and driven by business needs. Her ability to develop and marshal a multitude of facts in a strategic and cohesive way leads to successful results for her clients, whether achieved at trial or in a favorable settlement. Michele also counsels clients on pre-litigation planning and strategy and litigation avoidance.
Before joining Savitt Bruce & Willey, Michele was a partner at the Chicago firm of Freeborn & Peters. Michele is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
Michele was born and raised in sunny San Diego, which she willingly left to attend law school in Chicago and experience true winter. After buying her first winter coat, she spent almost eleven years there before coming to Seattle in 2007 with her husband. They and their young son enjoy continued exploration of all the Pacific Northwest has to offer.
Areas of Practice
- Contracts and Commercial Litigation
- Corporate Governance Disputes
- Intellectual Property Litigation
- Risk Management and Litigation Avoidance
Prior Professional Experience
- Freeborn & Peters LLP, Chicago IL, 2001-2007
- Partner, 2006-2007
- Associate, 2001-2006
- Cassiday, Schade & Gloor LLP, Chicago IL, 1999-2001
- Judicial Extern to the Honorable George M. Marovich, United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1999
InfoFlows v. Corbis. Prosecuted claims for misappropriation of trade secrets, fraud and breach of contract relating to digital image tracking technology, and defended related counterclaims; obtained $36 million jury verdict and defeated counterclaims in three-week trial.
Alliance Packaging v. Altivity Packaging, et al. Prosecuted patent infringement claims relating to retail product packaging; prevailed at Markman hearing, defeated defendant’s summary judgment motions and prevailed on motions for partial summary judgment and motions dismissing counterclaims, and then obtained favorable settlement.
ChemPoint v. Xenon Arc Inc., et al. Defended technology startup and its founders against claims for misappropriation of trade secrets, false advertising, usurpation of corporate opportunity and breach of fiduciary duty; obtained ruling entitling clients to advancement of fees under plaintiff’s articles of incorporation, partial summary judgment, and then favorable settlement.
Seelig v. Seelig. Defended claims and prosecuted counterclaims involving allocation of assets and profits from long-term real estate partnerships; obtained summary judgment prevailing on all claims relating to division of assets and profits, and then negotiated settlement to wind up partnerships and distribute monies accordingly to end litigation.
Montano v. City of Seattle. Defended tort and inverse condemnation claims brought by multiple property owners alleging damage resulting from City’s management of surface water and storm response.
Professional Associations & Leadership
- Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington
- American Bar Association
- Washington State Bar Association
Publications & Presentations
- Michele L. Stephen, Brandi B. Balanda, & Ryan Solomon, Provisional Remedies: Washington, Practical Law, http://us.practicallaw.com/w-000-6380
- Covering Your Bases: Practical Tips to Deal with and Avoid Litigation, Washington Association of Corporate Counsel, presenter, 2013
- Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D., 1999
- San Diego State University, B.A., 1994
- United States District Court, Western District of Washington
- United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
- United States District Court, Northern District of California