Linda K. Stevens
Linda K. Stevens
Linda K. Stevens is Of Counsel with Smith O’Callaghan & White. She is an experienced litigator and counselor who helps clients protect their intellectual property and resolve their commercial disputes. Much of Linda’s work relates to employee departures, including those involving non-competition and confidentiality covenants, trade secrets, and allegations of employee raiding and other unfair competition. Linda assists clients big and small, and while Linda has successfully handled significant cases in state and federal courts around the country, she is most proud of her ability to achieve her clients’ goals outside of the courtroom. Linda recognizes that a “business win” is sometimes more important and cost-effective than a legal victory, and she is adept at identifying and creating the leverage necessary to achieve her clients’ goals as swiftly and inexpensively as possible. And when litigation becomes necessary, Linda is an impassioned advocate with a laser focus on success. For over thirty years, Linda’s clients have relied on her judgment, experience, and total commitment to their cause.
Linda is frequently asked to speak, write, and teach regarding her areas of concentration. For example, Linda has been a guest lecturer on intellectual property protection at various Chicago law schools and at industry meetings across the country, and she has taught trial advocacy at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. Linda has held leadership positions within and outside her firm in the trade secret and non-competes area. For more than a decade, Linda co-chaired her former firm’s Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants Client Service Team and she co-chaired an American Bar Association Trade Secrets subcommittee, as well.
Linda comes to Smith O’Callaghan & White after spending more than 30 years in “Big Law” (Schiff Hardin LLP, 1987-2018). In Smith O’Callaghan & White, Linda has found a boutique firm offering the same top-quality legal assistance that her clients have come to expect with flexible fee arrangements and lower hourly rates.
Recognition & Achievements
- Has obtained – and defeated requests for – emergency injunctive relief in trade secrets, noncompete, employee raiding, trademark, and other commercial disputes.
- Regularly drafts contracts (including licenses, non-competes, non-disclosure covenants, and other agreements) to assist clients in protecting their valuable business information and customer relationships.
- Clients regularly call on Linda for counsel on how to minimize the risk of liability – and to avoid being sued in the first place – when hiring employees from the competition.
- Helps clients respond to cease and desist letters in a way that helps to defuse conflict and avoid litigation.
- Drafts intellectual property licenses and other contracts to help clients realize the maximum value from their intangible assets.
- For clients seeking to minimize their liability risk and maximize the safeguarding of their IP assets, Linda designs information protection programs that include appropriate contracts and policies as well as computer and network-based security measures.
- AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating from Martindale Hubbell
Highest rating for legal ability and ethics
- Named to Top 50 Women Lawyers in Illinois list, 2011 and 2012, by Super Lawyers
See All Awards
- Named Illinois Super Lawyer
in Intellectual Property Litigation Law
Sixteen consecutive years, 2006-2021
- Recognized again in 2018 by peers as a Leading Lawyer
Intellectual Property Law
Trade Secrets/Unfair Competition Law
Law Bulletin Publishing Company
- Selected for The Legal 500’s elite “Leading Lawyers” list in
Intellectual Property: Trade Secrets
- Linda K. Stevens selected by The National Law Journal as one of Midwest’s Top Rated Lawyers, April, 2019
American Bar Association, Former Co-Chair of Trade Secrets Subcommittee (2001-2017)
For more than a decade, Linda Co-Chaired her former firm’s Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants Client Service Team
Publications and Presentations
Linda writes and speaks extensively regarding various litigation and intellectual property-related topics. Much of her work addresses the substantive legal, procedural, and practical issues arising in cases regarding trade secrets and non-competes. Linda’s publications and presentations include:
Speaker and Presenter
Select Counsel Webinar
“Non-Competes, Trade Secrets, Departing Employees and Raiding:
Key Tips for In-House Counsel to Protect Your Company’s Interests”
June 27, 2018
Link to Webinar
Speaker and Presenter
Wolters Kluwer Webinar
“The Defend Trade Secrets Act: Practical Lessons and Strategic Tips”
May 16, 2018
“Drafting Non-competes in a Tough Enforcement Climate,” Corporate Counsel Magazine (Feb. 22, 2017)
Co-Author, Defend Trade Secrets Act Handbook (Wolters Kluwer, 2016)
“Trade Secret Remedies” chapter of the Intellectual Property Handbook (IICLE)
“Update on the Defend Trade Secrets Act: Recent Cases and Emerging Issues,” (webinar) Managing Intellectual Property (Nov. 3, 2016)
“Secrecy in the Age of Email and Social Media” CFAA Update, American Bar Association Second Annual Intellectual Property Litigation Regional CLE Workshop (Jun. 2012)
“Use of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in Trade Secret Litigation: Employer v. Former Employee,” The John Marshall Law School 56th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference: Hot Topics and Current Developments in Patent, Trademark, Copyright and Trade Secrets Law (Feb. 24, 2012)
“You Can’t Take It With You: What’s New in the Law Regarding Trade Secrets and Non-Competes,” ABA Section of Litigation, Hot Topics in Intellectual Property Litigation CLE Workshop (Jun. 10, 2011)
“Fundamentals of Franchising,” American Bar Association Thirty-Third Forum on Franchising (Oct. 13, 2010)
Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University School of Law
Adjunct Faculty, National Institute for Trial Advocacy
Chicago Volunteer Legal Services
Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, Edward J. Lewis II Lawyers in the Classroom Program