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Steven F. Stapleton

fax +1 616.608.1169

Steven Stapleton represents clients and provides crisis communication in various areas of commercial litigation, particularly labor and employment matters, including the enforcement of non-compete agreements; business ownership disputes; and a variety of specialized contentious claims, including sports-related sexual abuse litigation.

Steve advises senior management team for employers across the country. He assists clients on corporate governance and restructuring, rule/policy drafting, contract review, and employment related issues. He has established a niche representing sports related entities and governing bodies and is deeply familiar with the obligations those organizations face under various state and federal laws. He serves as outside General Counsel to the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association and is a member of the USA Hockey Legal Council. Steve serves as special counsel to the Arizona Amateur Hockey Association, Connecticut Hockey Conference, Texas Amateur Hockey Association, Utah Amateur Hockey Association, C2 Attack Volleyball Club, RipFest Diving and advises many other governing bodies, conferences, leagues, teams, administrators and coaches. He represents coaches and university athletic department personnel in NCAA related investigations.

Steve counsels educational and sport-related organizations and helps clients implement and monitor comprehensive player safety/background screening and Safe Sport programs and, with Clark Hill Sports Industry Team members, conducts sensitive investigations related to allegations of sexual abuse/harassment. He counsels clients in the context of amateur/collegiate competition and represents the sports client in actions seeking to impose discipline or other sanctions related to athletic competition.


J.D., cum laude, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Detroit, Michigan, 1994
B.A., Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan, 1991, Political Science


Named among The Best Lawyers in America® – Commercial Litigation by Best Lawyers (2014-2024)

Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Star, General Litigation, Government/Cities/Municipalities, Civil Litigation Defense (2009)


American Bar Association, Council Member, State and Local Government Section, 2013-Present; Committee Coordinator, 2015-Present; Chair, Government Operations Committee (2012-2015)

American Bar Foundation, Fellow (2005-present)

Litigation Council of America, Fellow (2009-present)

Grand Rapids Bar Association

Michigan Amateur Hockey Association, General Counsel (2006-present)

Sports Lawyers Association

State Bar of Michigan

USA Hockey, Legal Counsel (2006-present); SafeSport Screening Appeal Committee (2012-present); Legal Council Affiliate Agreement Compliance and Audit Committee (2012-2014); Legal Council League Sanctioning Committee (2012-2014)

State Bar Licenses


Court Admissions

Supreme Court of Michigan
Michigan Court of Appeals
U.S. District Ct., E.D. of Michigan
U.S. District Ct., W.D. of Michigan
U.S. District Ct., S.D. of Indiana
U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit