- University of Iowa (B.A., with honors and distinction, 1993)
- Columbia University School of Law (J.D., 1996)
Steve Morrissey, a partner in Susman Godfrey’s Seattle office, is an experienced trial lawyer who has devoted more than twenty years to achieving winning results in complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts throughout the country. Mr. Morrissey has represented his clients in trials and arbitrations of complex business disputes throughout California and from Seattle to New York, often as lead counsel on trial teams that have won cases for plaintiffs and defendants in a broad range of legal areas such as antitrust and unfair competition, intellectual property, securities, fraud and breach of contract, entertainment, and toxic tort and environmental impact litigation.
High Stakes Individual Representations
Mr. Morrissey is currently representing entrepreneur Steven Lamar and his company, Jibe Audio, in a breach of contract case againstBeats Electronics LLC, Dr. Dre, and Jimmy Iovine in Los Angeles Superior Court involving a claim for royalties on the iconic Beats headphones products. In June 2018, Morrissey’s trial team won a jury verdict that confirmed Lamar’s right to royalties on Beats headphones and will result in a judgment of more than $31 million for past damages plus an ongoing royalties and a claim for attorneys’ fees.
Mr. Morrissey was also co-lead counsel to Peak Hosting in its breach-of-contract and business tort lawsuit against Machine Zone, Inc.—a Silicon Valley giant and purveyor of two of the most popular mobile games, “Mobile Strike” and “Game of War.” The matter was settled on confidential terms in late 2017.
High Impact Class Actions
In January 2018, Morrissey was selected as interim Co-Lead Class Counsel for a class action lawsuit brought against DuPont and Chemours in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The case seeks relief on behalf of thousands of North Carolinians who have been harmed by decades of discharges by DuPont and Chemours of GenX and other toxic chemicals by DuPont and Chemours into the water supply in the Cape Fear River basin. Click here or here for coverage on this news.
Mr. Morrissey is also currently representing a proposed class of property owners in litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Easter District of Michigan against government entities and officials and private engineering firms arising out of the Flint water crisis. Morrissey was appointed by the Courtas a member of the Executive Committee for the proposed class.
Morrissey is also Co-Lead counsel for a proposed class of members of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade in a breach of contract class action seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages from the CME Group in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago.
Additionally, Morrissey is also co-lead counsel for 1970’s music group, The Turtles, and a class of owners of pre-1972 recordings in a certified class action lawsuit against Sirius XM that settled less than 48 hours before the jury trial was scheduled to begin. Sirius XM agreed to pay at least $25.5 million (over $16 million after fees and expenses) and royalties under a 10-year license that is valued up to $62 million (over $41 million after fees and expenses) as compensation for publicly performing without a license Pre-1972 sound recordings. The settlement was approved by the Court, and has received widespread media coverage from publications such as The New York Times, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Law360, Rolling Stone, Variety, Reuters and Managing IP.
In 2017, Morrissey also helped secure a $43.45 million cash fund (final amount after fees and expenses to be determined) and an agreement to pay future royalties estimated to be worth more than $65 million to settle a class-action lawsuit with Spotify brought on behalf of music copyright owners. The suit alleged that Spotify made music available online without securing mechanical rights from the tracks’ composers.
Successful Defense Cases
Mr. Morrissey also has extensive and diverse experience representing defendants in complex litigation matters. He has represented:
- an insurance company in defending fraud and bad faith claims in federal courts in Seattle and Oregon
- a Fortune 500 mortgage insurance company in “bet the company” arbitrations involving hundreds of millions of dollars in claims relating to its residential mortgage insurance portfolio
- a distillation equipment manufacturer in the successful defense of Lanham Act and unfair competition claims in federal court in Seattle
- several entertainment and pharmaceutical companies in antitrust litigation, and
- a mainframe computer manufacturer in defending dozens of patent infringement claims brought by a competitor while pursuing antitrust claims as part of the same action.
A History of Success
Mr. Morrissey’s biggest wins include:
- A judgment of more than $31 million on behalf of Steven Lamar and Jibe against Beats Electronics, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine after a three week jury trial in Los Angeles Superior Court
- A $180 million jury verdict on behalf of three minority shareholders in an environmental cleanup firm in state court in Dallas (subsequently settled for a confidential amount)
- A $43.5 million judgment following a bench trial of medical device manufacturer Masimo’s antitrust claims against Tyco Healthcare, after the trial court ordered a new trial on damages following a jury verdict for $420 million
- A multi-million dollar arbitration award as lead trial counsel for an Egyptian investor in a FINRA arbitration against an international investment bank in New York and a directed verdict on behalf of the same client at trial in Orange County Superior Court
- A multi-million dollar verdict as lead trial counsel in jury trial against a Chinese electronics manufacturer in Los Angeles
- The favorable settlement of a multi-hundred million dollar patent and patent lawsuit on behalf of a mainframe computer startup in federal court in New York
- The landmark settlement of a pioneering antitrust class action against the NCAA in federal court in Los Angeles challenging rules precluding schools from providing scholarships that cover the full “cost of attendance” for football and basketball players
- The confidential settlement on behalf of founders and early shareholders in Epinions of their claims against the venture capitalists and co-founder of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims arising from the cancellation of their stock in the company without compensation
- Winning summary judgment for an insurance company on a $30 million fraud and breach of contract claims in federal court in Oregon in a case where we were hired after the court had denied a motion for summary judgment filed by prior counsel and with the case set for trial three months after our retention
Mr. Morrissey is always willing to handle cases by the hour, but prefers to work on a contingent or flat fee arrangement that rewards us for effectively and efficiently achieving results. He would be happy to talk to you about the type of arrangement that would work best for your case.