Stephen M. Copenhaver is a litigator and a problem solver. He counsels a wide range of clients, from small corporations to Fortune 500 companies, on matters including product liability and class actions, civil conspiracy, consumer fraud, and breach of contract. Steve appears on behalf of his clients in state and federal courts throughout the country.

Drawing on his deep and broad experience, Steve is a conscientious adviser, strategist, negotiator and, when necessary, courtroom advocate. In all instances, Steve works hard to find effective and efficient solutions to meet his clients’ overall strategic goals.

  • Experience

    Steve represents clients in the juvenile products, financial services, banking, agricultural equipment, chemical, industrial products, aviation, consumer electronics, and glass industries. His practice focuses on product liability and general litigation and includes the following:

    • Litigated more than 50 civil conspiracy cases to trial-ready status through all phases of pre-trial proceedings. Directed day-to-day discovery and case management strategy, including the development of medical causation and expert strategy, and coordinated, drafted, and argued pre-trial and dispositive motions.
    • Acts as national coordinating counsel for an industrial products company and is responsible for the coordination and implementation of his client’s overall case-resolution strategy.
    • Regularly represents a leading manufacturer of juvenile products in personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout the country.
    • Secured summary judgment or dismissal before class certification in federal “no-injury” consumer class actions in Florida and South Carolina.
    • Investigated numerous fire scenes and artifact analyses, often demonstrating to a potential plaintiff’s attorney why his client’s product could not have caused the fire.
  • Credentials


    • University of Notre Dame Law School, J.D., 2008
      Dean's List
      Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy, Editorial Staff
      Judicial Extern, Chief Justice Paul DeMuniz, Oregon Supreme Court
    • Oregon State University, B.A., Political Science, 2005, with distinction

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
    • Oregon
    • Washington
    • Wisconsin
      • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
      • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
      • U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
      • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
        • Insights

          Blog Post
          News Release

          18 Schiff Hardin Attorneys Named to 2018 Emerging Lawyers List

          Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that 18 of the firm’s attorneys have been named to the 2018 Emerging Lawyers Network.

          News Release

          Nineteen Schiff Hardin Attorneys Named Emerging Lawyers

          Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that 19 of the firm’s attorneys have been named to the 2017 Emerging Lawyers Network.

          News Release

          22 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2016 Emerging Lawyers Network

          The list comprises those attorneys who are most recommended as top lawyers among their peers.

        • Citizenship

          Pro Bono Activities

          Steve is active in Schiff Hardin’s pro bono practice, representing clients in disputes ranging from family law to civil rights through Schiff Hardin’s partnership with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS).

        Product Liability and Mass Torts Blog

        When Do Manufacturers Need to Anticipate Misuses – and Abuses – of Their Products?

        Manufacturers start with good intentions. They endeavor to create and develop safe products, advertise them accurately, and equip consumers with sufficient warnings and instructions to enable safe and proper use of their products. But despite these efforts, consumers will occasionally find ways to misuse or abuse products in ways that the manufacturer neither intended nor,... Continue Reading