Steven (Steve) S. Scholes is the global head of McDermott’s Litigation Practice Group. His practice focuses on SEC investigations, shareholder litigation, including class and derivative actions, and internal investigations. Steve is an experienced trial lawyer, and he has tried civil, criminal and administrative cases in federal and state courts. He regularly represents clients before the Securities and Exchange Commission, state securities regulators and self-regulatory organizations, such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and stock, options and futures exchanges. He has served as the global operations partner for the Firm’s Litigation Practice Group and the partner-in-charge of both the Chicago Trial Department and the Firm’s SEC Defense Group.
Steve has substantial experience in securities class and derivative actions, including cases alleging accounting irregularities, illegal trading and breaches of fiduciary duty. He regularly represents public companies and their officers and directors in merger and acquisition litigation, including class and derivative actions, across the country. He has significant experience in conducting internal investigations in numerous industries, including real estate investment trusts (REITs). He has also represented audit firms and corporate officers and directors in internal investigations.
A former attorney in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, Steve has been appointed by three different federal judges in Chicago to serve as receiver in SEC civil enforcement proceedings. In this role, he conducted fraud investigations, prosecuted fraudulent conveyance claims, enforced judgments, marshaled and liquidated assets, and developed and implemented plans of distribution. Stemming from his work as a receiver, Steve has extensive experience in prosecuting and in defending a wide variety of fraudulent conveyance claims.
Represents a special committee of the board of directors of a publicly traded company in conducting an internal investigation regarding potential Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations
Represents a family office in an SEC insider trading investigation
Represents the co-representatives of the Estate of Donald Flynn in an action by the bankruptcy trustee for Emerald Casino, Inc., concerning Donald Flynn’s alleged breaches of fiduciary duty as a director of Emerald Casino, Inc., in connection with various alleged violations of Illinois Gaming Board Rules and Regulations
Represented the former CFO of Diebold, Inc., in several securities-related actions, including a derivative case, a securities class action and an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) class action; in the SEC action, negotiated a highly favorable settlement that did not involve any injunction against any future violations of the federal securities laws
Represented the Special Litigation Committee of the Inland American Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc., at the time the largest non-publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT), in connection with an independent investigation of various facts and circumstances raised in derivative demands, a filed derivative action, various books and records actions, and an SEC investigation
Served as counsel to the board of directors of Strong Financial Corporation in connection with the liquidation of the company as a result of the mutual fund market timing controversy; advised the board as to their fiduciary duties during the extended liquidation process
American Bar Association, member of the Federal Regulation of Securities Committee, as well as the subcommittees on Criminal Laws and Civil Litigation and SEC Enforcement Matters
Association of SEC Alumni
Chicago Bar Association, past co-chair of the Securities Law Committee (2001-2002) and of the Securities Law Committee’s Subcommittee on SEC Litigation and Enforcement (1999-2000), as well as member of the Futures Law and the Financial and Investment Services committees
Board of Advisers of the SEC Historical Society, member
US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
US District Court for the Central District of Illinois
US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (trial bar)
US District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
Do not send any information or documents that you want to have treated as secret or confidential. Providing information to McDermott via email links on this website or other introductory email communications will not create an attorney-client relationship; will not preclude McDermott from representing any other person or firm in any matter; and will not obligate McDermott to keep confidential the information you provide. McDermott cannot enter into an attorney-client relationship with you until McDermott has determined that doing so will not create a conflict of interest and until you and McDermott have entered into a written agreement or engagement letter that sets forth the terms of our relationship.