About Steve Altman

Steve Altman has over 30 years of senior-level attorney experience in complex civil litigation, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), management, and training. An accomplished negotiator and mediator, he has resolved multi-million dollar government-commercial disputes and diverse civil conflicts.

General Experience

Steve served for 25 years as an Assistant Director of the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. Overseeing the work of more than 30 attorneys and other professionals, he supervised litigation and resolved conflicts in cases involving hundreds of millions of dollars for government agencies such as the Departments of Defense, Transportation, Education and HUD. He has special expertise in the False Claims Act.

In addition to his legal and mediation expertise he has extensive experience working with non-profits.

Prior to working for the Department of Justice, he served in the Air Force and as an attorney for the Civil Service Commission. He graduated from Duke University and received his JD from the Syracuse College of Law. He is certified as an arbitrator by FINRA and is a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution, the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, and the DC Bar.


Dispute Resolution

Steve is a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. While at the Department of Justice he co-authored the Civil Division’s Alternate Dispute Resolution Policy and helped create the ADR training course for the Department. In addition to his private practice, Steve has mediated over 1,500 cases in the DC Superior Court’s Multidoor Program, and the mediation programs of the US District Court and US Court of Appeals for DC. He has resolved a broad range of conflicts, including disputes regarding contracts, personal injury, landlord/tenant, non-profit, and workplace issues. In 2019, he was selected as the outstanding mediator in the Superior Court Civil One docket.


Teaching and Training

Steve is a frequent speaker at educational forums sponsored by bar associations, federal agencies, legal associations and law firms. His private training is popular because he tailors each program to the work of the particular class.

Since 1998, Steve has been an Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches negotiation, including components on mediation and arbitration. As an advisor to the student ADR Society and coach of the school’s interscholastic negotiation team, Steve has helped students win regional, national, and international competitions.



Steve’s work has been published in leading professional periodicals. They include:

  • Settlement chapter in The False Claims Act in Government Procurement, American Bar Association, 2018
  • Prepare a Negotiation, Not a Presentation, The Negotiation Magazine, 2014
  • How Can Your Opposition Be So Wrong and What To Do About It, Negotiatormagazine.com, 2013
  • Get The Most Out of Your Mediations: Tips for Better Advocacy in Mediation, DC Trial Lawyers Association Newsletter, 2012
  • Explaining Risks and Rewards, TAF Annual Conference 2008
  • Settlement chapter in FCA Cases in the Construction Industry, (ABA 2007).
Please click to view Steve's resume
Please click to view Steve's resume

Subjects of Mediations

  • False Claims Act
  • Personal Injury
  • Employment
  • Discrimination
  • Property
  • Landlord Tenant
  • Whistleblower
  • Appellate
  • Commercial
  • Nonprofit
  • Probate/estates
  • Torts
  • Contract
  • Construction

“On Monday, we reached a favorable agreement to settle two pending matters. Mr. Altman was integral to this outcome–he was patient, prepared, and his subject matter expertise undoubtedly helped the parties achieve a resolution. Thank you for assigning him to this matter and special thanks to Mr. Altman for his skills, time, and efforts.”