Steve is an original partner of the firm specializing in business valuation disputes, fiduciary duty claims and shareholder rights. He has brought and defended securities claims for nearly 30 years. Consistent with the firm’s mission statement, Steve believes that the greatest value proposition is to partner with his clients in pursuing value-maximizing litigation opportunities.
Steve is a go-to trial lawyer for hedge funds, institutional investors, family offices, university endowments, venture funds and other investors interested in utilizing the legal process to create value for their own investors. Whether by activist litigation, fiduciary duty claims, or appraisal and other valuation strategies, Steve has extensive experience across the gamut of options for shareholders. He regularly tries cases in Delaware Chancery Court and around the country for clients seeking outsized returns.
As the co-creator of RKS’s Business Valuation and Shareholder Rights Blog, an online forum providing extensive coverage of issues surrounding shareholders’ affirmative use of their rights to create value, including by valuation litigation. Steve has become widely known for his insights on underutilized but highly effective shareholder tools.
Within the business valuation space, Steve’s practice has expanded to include focus on the growing cannabis sector, where he is handling cannabis valuation cases both within and outside Delaware.
Steve's work also includes representing investment funds in opt-out and direct litigation in securities fraud cases; he represents clients before the SEC and FINRA, and he is a member of FINRA's Board of Arbitrators.
- Pioneered shareholder litigation arbitrage strategy involving public company stockholder claims against underpriced mergers.
- Argued in Delaware Supreme Court for recognition of appraisal award to reflect accretion in value between M&A transaction’s signing and closing. Watch the argument here.
- Secured multi-million dollar recoveries for investors in several recent cases, including against Marrone Bio and its advisors.
- Defended client's constitutional right to a jury before Maryland's highest court. Watch the argument here.
- Litigated numerous valuation disputes to trial, trying such issues as discounted cash flow (DCF) inputs, adjustments to projections, synergies, weighted average cost of capital (WACC) disputes, perpetuity growth rate assumptions, discounts for lack of marketability (DLOM) and for lack of control (DLOC), and size premiums.
- Represented investors with over $2 billion at stake in business valuation disputes in the last five years.
- Won major issue of Delaware law that appraisal prepayments are not subject to clawback.
Reported Decisions of Note:
- Represented and negotiated, as corporate counsel, a settlement for a complex derivative action alleging related-party transactions and then challenged and substantially reduced the plaintiff's attorneys' fees, as reported at In re Emerson Radio Shareholder Derivative Action, 2011 WL 1135006 (Del. Ch. 2011).
- Represented a private foreign satellite manufacturer in a business dispute, as reported at NML Capital, Ltd. v. The Republic of Argentina, 2011 WL 1533072, (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 30, 2011), vacated as moot on other grounds, 2012 WL 4123151 (2d Cir. 2012).
- Represented a secondary mortgage purchaser against claims of predatory lending and discrimination, as reported at Grimes v. Fremont General Corp. et al., 785 F. Supp.2d 269 (S.D.N.Y. 2011), a decision cited over 100 times.
- Defended a national mortgage servicing company against a purported class action claiming allegedly improper and unauthorized fees in connection with the mortgage foreclosure process, as reported at Perkins v. WaMu et al., 655 F. Supp.2d 463 (D.N.J. 2009), in a decision cited over two dozen times.
- Defended a mortgage lender against a claim for predatory lending, fraud, and violation of the Truth in Lending Act and RESPA, as reported at Sutherland v. REMAX 2000, Ask Realty Inc. & Wells Fargo Bank, 872 N.Y.S. 2d 693 (N.Y. Sup Ct. 2008).
- Represented an online communications company in an action concerning the timely exercise of a contractual option to renew a license under a source code agreement, as reported at FaceTime Communications, Inc. v. Reuters Limited, 2008 WL 2853389 (S.D.N.Y. July 22, 2008).
- Represented a former controlling stockholder in defense of the sale of a majority block of stock to competitors, resulting in a landmark decision of the Delaware Chancery Court, reported at Abraham v. Emerson Radio Corp., 901 A.2d 751 (Del. Ch. 2006).
Steve is the founder of the RKS Valuation Litigation and Shareholder Rights Blog (VLSR), a clearinghouse for news and analysis involving global issues of shareholder and investor rights, including investors’ ability to use valuation litigation to enhance returns.
Numerous media organizations have covered the formation of Rolnick Kramer Sadighi LLP, a “premier securities litigation boutique dedicated to serving the investment management industry, including hedge funds, mutual funds, private equity, credit, real estate and structured finance firms.” Other outlets covering the formation include: Law.com; NJBiz; Bloomberg.com; and AlternativesWatch.com.