NATIONAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE COLLEGE FACULTY
Steve is a graduate of Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina where he graduated with Honors in Criminal Justice. Attending on both a football and baseball scholarship, Steve was also the recipient of a Dana Scholarship for academic excellence. Steve attended law school at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill where he graduated with Honors. While in law school, Steve was a member of the Holderness Moot Court and was one of the directors of the Braxton Craven National Moot Court Competition.
Steve began his law career as an associate with the law firm of Elmore and Powell in Asheville where he lasted an incredible 10 months. With a hand-full of cases, and a positive attitude, Steve started his own law firm and has been running things that way ever since. He is presently in practice with Kerry Sutton and they have offices in Durham and Asheville, North Carolina.
Steve has been involved in several noteworthy cases over the years. Prior to law school he worked with lawyers in Raleigh on US v. McDonald, a well-known case concerning a military doctor who was convicted of murdering his wife and children. Not long after that, Steve worked in the Guilford County District Attorney’s Office while the Klan/Nazi trial was going on. This involved a march in the streets of Greensboro that erupted into a violent gun battle. In one of his earliest cases, Steve was trial and appellate counsel in United States v. Ross & Silvers, 844 F.2d 187 (4th Cir. 1988) used as Key Case for “What Constitutes ‘Counterfeit’ Obligation or Security of United States Within Statutory Provisions Setting Forth Criminal Penalty for Uttering or Dealing in Counterfeit Obligations or Securities,” 99 A.L.R. Fed. 243 (1990).
In more recent years, Steve has handled several high-profile murder cases. State v. Lippard involved two youngmen who murdered six people including two grandparents, two parents and a young child. Through the efforts of Steve and his co-counsel, Mr. Lippard avoided death sentences. Steve worked with Judy Clark on the Eric Rudolph case involving multiple bombings in the southeast, with Kerry Sutton on the Mike Peterson murder case in Durham (an author accused of bludgeoning his wife to death), and on US v. Locust, a federal trial in which the defendant was tried for the murder of a Park Ranger (government sought death but withdrew request at sentencing phase). Steve and Kerry Sutton successfully argued for the removal of the elected District Attorney in Durham, North Carolina. Tracy Kline, who replaced Mike Nifong of the infamous Duke Lacrosse cases, made numerous disparaging remarks about a local judge which triggered the action. Only once before in North Carolina history has an elected district attorney been ordered out of office.
Steve devotes between six and eight weeks a year to training programs, lectures and keynote addresses. He is a faculty member at the National Criminal Defense College (since 1996), at the Defender Advocacy Institute (University of Dayton law school since 1998), at the Federal Defender Trial Skills Institute (Case Western Law School since 2008), at the Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy, and for Bill Daniels Trial Skills College (annual training for Georgia Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys). Steve has published several articles including “Cross Examination in Capital Cases: May I have some … uh … sprinkles. Yes, some sprinkles,” THE CHAMPION (April 2001); “Storytelling: Why We Do It and How To Do It Better,” THE CHAMPION (December 1999); “Do You Hear What I Hear? Demonstrative Evidence Makes A Difference,” THE CHAMPION (June 1998); “Prosecutorial Abuse of Peremptory Challenges in Death Penalty Cases,” Campbell University Law Review, Fall, 1985 (cited by United States Supreme Court in Gray v. Mississippi, 481 U.S. 648, n. 19 (1987). Steve and his law partner are presently working on a book that focuses on the representation of college students accused of sexual misconduct under Title IX. They hope to publish this book in the near future; Steve is a Life Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (NACDL); and a Life Member of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (GACDL).
He is a member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice and the North Carolina Bar Association. He is admitted to practice in North Carolina, in the United States District Courts for Western, Middle and Eastern Districts of North Carolina, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. A father of three (Nicholas age 29, Harper age 17 and Carter who is 13), Steve enjoys spending his spare time being a good father/mother, reading good books, fishing, listening to good music, watching good movies, and cooking good meals.
Recent Teaching History