Steven Ellison, Esq.
Legal Writer, FindLaw.com
Steve is an experienced lawyer who writes legal articles for FindLaw.com.
Steve went to Iowa State University and received a bachelor’s degree with honors, Phi Beta Kappa, in English before going to the University of Minnesota Law School. He was on the law review and graduated magna cum laude, Order of the Coif. After graduation, he clerked for Chief Judge Harry H. MacLaughlin of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota.
Steve then entered private practice. He focused on complex civil litigation, including class actions, product liability litigation, and contract disputes. He spent nearly 15 years in Chicago and became a litigation partner in a large global law firm. He then returned to Minneapolis and, after nearly five years with two Twin Cities firms, opened his own firm. He continued to focus on complex civil litigation, but added family law, intellectual property, and employment law to his practice. He has litigated cases in state and federal courts all across the country and has first-chair trial and appellate experience.
In addition to his legal practice, Steve has been an Adjunct Professor of Legal Writing at DePaul Law School in Chicago and the University of Minnesota. He mentored students for many years in moot court classes and competitions. He has spoken at many continuing legal education seminars about issues relating to the practice and profession of law.
Steve believes that service is fundamental. He served on the board of the Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers, an organization that provides legal and educational services to help maintain the bond between imprisoned mothers and their children. He has represented mothers in abuse and neglect proceedings. He has specialized training in representing women who have survived domestic abuse. Steve has received commendations from the Minnesota Supreme Court for pro bono work he has done on behalf of members of the Red Lake Nation and a domestic abuse survivor.
Steve has varied interests. He loves Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Milton, and reads them for fun. He has run the Chicago Marathon twice and holds a black belt in a Korean martial art. Steve is a voracious reader, loves video games, and enjoys spending time with his wife of more than 30 years and their four children.
Twitter has been a free-for-all of fake news and misinformation since Elon Musk took over. The coveted blue check mark, which used to mean Twitter had verified that an account was authentic, now looks like it is available for purchase to anyone at $8 a month through a Twitter Blue subscription. Verified accounts are not necessarily authentic any longer. If you were the victim of a fake account with a blue check mark, you might be thinking about suing Twitter. Think again.
Trying to come up with something to talk about over the holidays can be daunting. Politics and religion are (or should be) off the table, and some in your family may have no interest in discussing the football game on in the background. So what does that leave you? If you find yourself struggling for topics, throw out a few of the weird food laws we list here and see what sort of conversations they inspire. We can't verify that all of these are legit, but they may give you and your guests something to chew on apart from the turkey.
We hope you never have to deal with a stalker. The experience can be terrifying, and you never know when the stalking might escalate. Your life could be in danger. We have some safety tips for you if you find yourself facing a stalker. But if you get anything out of reading this post, it's this: If you believe you may be in danger, call the police. Your safety comes first.
Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is over, Americans are once again gathering in public places. And where there are people, there are misunderstandings. Some of these misunderstandings even escalate to physical altercations. Or perhaps you're a survivor of domestic violence or the victim of a violent crime. If you happen to be on the receiving end of physical violence, you may be able to legally use reasonable force to defend yourself.
Don't expect the law to support you if you do something stupid. At least that's the lesson NFL linebacker Bobby Wagner will have taught a protester during Week 4's Monday Night Football game between the Rams and the 49ers at Levi's Stadium in San Francisco. In one of the better hits of the night, Wagner tackled the protester as he raced across the field holding a pink smoke bomb. The protester responded by filing a police report claiming Wagner assaulted him. This is America, after all. But America notwithstanding, this assault claim shouldn't fly.
Article II of the U.S. Constitution states that the person receiving the most votes in the Electoral College becomes president. It doesn't say much about how the voting process should take place. So, in 1887, following a disputed presidential election, Congress created one that worked, more or less, for more than a century. On January 6, 2021, we saw the process's shortcomings first-hand. To prevent electoral chaos from erupting again, Congress is considering reforms in a bill entitled, “the Electoral Count Reform Act of 2022." Let's take a look at the current Electoral College process and see what the bill would do.
In the wake of George Floyd's murder, Illinois enacted a package of sweeping criminal justice reforms set to go into effect in January 2023. Part of that package, the Pretrial Fairness Act (PFA), eliminates cash bail for those accused of crimes and makes it harder to detain suspects before trial. Critics have dubbed it "the 'Purge' Law," after the dystopian horror film in which all crime, including murder, is temporarily legalized once per year. But does the law really go that far? We don't think so.
Winnie the Pooh and his friends from the Hundred Acre Woods are some of the most popular of all beloved children's characters. They are also some of the most commercially valuable. Since Disney acquired the rights to the original Pooh, the bear with a rumbly tummy has starred in feature films, direct-to-tv videos, and television shows. You can go to Walt Disney World and ride on Pooh-themed rides. And Pooh merchandise — t-shirts, mugs, children's toys, jewelry, Halloween costumes, to name just a few examples — is everywhere. All in all, Pooh and his friends generate an estimated $3 billion to $6 billion for Disney every year. Maybe you want to get on the Pooh bandwagon and sell your own Pooh stuff. You used to need Disney's permission and, even if they gave it to you, you'd have to pay them for it. Well, within certain limits, not anymore.
Looks like Taylor Swift may be in trouble. Two songwriters sued Swift, claiming that she stole their tune and lyrics and used them in her Grammy-nominated mega-hit, "Shake It Off." On Sept. 12, Taylor got the bad news that the judge would not kick out the case before trial. Did Taylor really steal from the two songwriters? A jury of people just like you will decide.
On Sept. 5, U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of Florida Aileen M. Cannon appointed a special master to review some 11,000 documents obtained by the FBI in its search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. This ruling essentially delegates to a third party the power to decide what documents the government can and can't use in its criminal investigation of the former president. To many lawyers, this development is breathtaking. Before we explain why, let's talk about what a special master is and why Judge Cannon's appointment of one here is so controversial.