FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Steven S. Michaels

Steven S. Michaels

IBM Corporate Litigation

Armonk, NY, USA


Steven S. Michaels is an Associate General Counsel for Investigations at IBM Corporation and has served in that position since February 8, 2016. 

Prior to taking on his position at IBM, Mr. Michaels was for two decades a member of the White Collar Litigation practice group at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, where he advised companies and individuals about and conducted investigations of compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other statutes and regulations, including those governing capital markets, securities and financial services, data-privacy, OECD and non OECD transnational anti-bribery regimes, antitrust, trade sanctions, anti-boycott laws, and other U.S. regulatory regimes involving health, safety, the environment, civil rights, labor law, and employment.  Mr. Michaels had an active pro bono practice and served as co-counsel for the American Bar Association, as amicus curiae, before the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2015 marriage equality cases DeBoer v. Snyder and Bourke v. Beshear, Nos. 14-571 and 14-574, and in 2012 served as counsel of record for the Brennan Center and the League of Women Voters, also as amicus curiae, in the university admissions affirmative action case Fisher v. University of Texas, No. 11-345.  Mr. Michaels also served as a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee.

Before joining Debevoise in 1996, Mr. Michaels served for more than eleven years in various capacities in the Department of the Attorney General, State of Hawaii, including First Deputy Attorney General and Solicitor General.  In these roles he had an active appellate practice, and twice argued successfully before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

From 1983 to 1984, Mr. Michaels served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Edward Weinfeld, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  From 1979 to 1980, Mr. Michaels served as a member of the Minority Staff of the U.S. Senate Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management.  

Mr. Michaels received his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was Supreme Court and Developments Editor of the Law Review, in 1983 and obtained an A.B. in Public and International Affairs cum laude from Princeton University in 1979.

He is a nine-time finisher of the New York Marathon and a two-time finisher of the Honolulu Marathon.
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