Senior Vice President
Steve Koplan joined The Wessel Group in March 2007 after serving as a Commissioner on the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) for more than 8 years. Steve was nominated to the ITC by President Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 30, 1998. While at the ITC, he served two separate terms as Chairman, from June 2004 to June 2006, and from June 2000 to June 2002. As Chairman, he had the principal responsibility for testifying before the ITC’s Congressional authorizing committees in justification of the Commission’s annual budget submissions.
During his tenure as Chairman at the ITC, Steve effectuated a substantial increase in the number of Administrative Law Judges to meet the growing numbers of Section 337 intellectual property complaints alleging infringement of U.S. patent, copyright, or trademarks. He was a frequent speaker at conferences and universities explaining the independent role of the ITC in the administration of U.S. trade laws.
In November 2011, the ITC certified him as a mediator for Section 337 intellectual property cases. He has mediated such cases, including one investigation uniquely designated by the Commission for an early determination as to whether the complainant could satisfy the economic prong required in its patent infringement suit.
He began his career as a prosecutor in the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He served in the Department for a total of 12 years, dividing his time between the Tax and Civil Rights Divisions. While there, he gained both criminal and civil trial experience and ultimately headed up a section responsible for the enforcement of those laws intended to assure nondiscrimination in federal financial assistance programs. Subsequently, he joined the AFL-CIO as the Legislative Representative responsible for federal tax and foreign trade issues.
Steve also served as staff attorney to former U.S. Senator Lee Metcalf (D-Montana), where he was responsible for all federal tax and foreign trade legislation referred to the Senate Committee on Finance. He later returned to the Senate to serve as the General Counsel of what was formerly the Post Office and Civil Service Committee. His business experience includes having been the Vice President of Governmental Affairs of Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, Inc., where he directed the federal legislative and regulatory operations of the corporation with an emphasis on federal tax and foreign trade. He has also been a partner with similar emphasis in two Washington, D.C., law firms, Bayh & Connaughton and the McNair Law Firm.
Steve is originally from Belmont, Massachusetts. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University, a Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law, and a Master of Laws (in Taxation) from the Graduate Tax Program of New York University School of Law.