Carrying the Burden

Steven Sitek is willing to settle, until his opponents aren't

Published in 2010 Minnesota Rising Stars Magazine — January 2010

Steven Sitek is not the kind of lawyer who likes arguing for arguments’ sake. When defending his business clients, he strives to resolve litigation quickly, often calling on relationships he has built with the small circle of Twin Cities’ commercial litigators. 

A shareholder at Minneapolis-based Bassford & Remele, Sitek primarily defends business clients against product liability suits, construction and property disputes, personal injury claims, general commercial litigation and insurance defense. 

Yet Sitek goes to trial when necessary, such as when he defended Kurt Manufacturing and Lycoming Engines against a breach of contract and warranty claim involving defective airplane parts. Sitek secured a $400,000 verdict. “It was a fun result because they fought us so hard and said the only way they’d settle was for us to pay them,” he says. “They ended up paying us.”

Currently Sitek is teaming with partner Ed Fox to defend Alliant Techsystems Inc. in federal court in New York. Alliant manufactured sophisticated microchips for high-powered satellites, and a fellow defense contractor is claiming that Alliant’s parts were defective. 

“I tell clients that I see myself as a problem solver and that their problem is my problem. I try to take as much off of their shoulders and put it on mine,” says Sitek. “I try to resolve as much informally as possible. It keeps the acrimony level down and helps my client get the result they want in the most efficient and effective way possible.”

Sitek is active in the Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association and serves as chair of its construction law committee. He also is a mentor for second-year law students at the University of St. Thomas, and he plays hockey and baseball in men’s leagues.  

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