Steve Atlee, an experienced litigator and trial attorney, joined the Office of the General Counsel on December 2 as its new deputy general counsel.
Atlee's responsibilities will include managing all litigation, overseeing the day-to-day operations at JPL, supervising the office's practice groups, and interacting with senior management across campus and JPL regarding all matters involving the Office of General Counsel. In this role, he will also serve as a member of the Institute's leadership group and will act for General Counsel Jennifer Lum in her absence.
Lum says that Atlee "has a depth and breadth of experience that will support the many diverse areas of our practice. He has a keen interest in and a strong desire to support the values and mission of the Institute. I am excited that Steve has joined our office and look forward to the community getting to know him."
Atlee is an experienced litigator and trial attorney who has litigated as well as provided strategic advice to clients in the areas of intellectual property, business and contract disputes, corporate governance, real property, class actions, and other complex commercial disputes.
He has been a partner in several law firms, including most recently Park & Velayos, Winston & Strawn, and Latham & Watkins. Atlee graduated from Yale University summa cum laude with a BA with distinction in economics and political science, and obtained his JD from the University of Southern California, where he was on the Southern California Law Review and joined the honorary society Order of the Coif.
He says that during his 30 years of private practice, while litigating a variety of disputes, his role was primarily to help clients react to problems that had already arisen.
"I was attracted to the deputy GC opportunity at Caltech and JPL not just because the legal issues are fascinating and, in many cases, unique," Atlee says, "but more importantly because I recognized that the culture and mission of these institutions are special. I am looking forward to having a proactive role in counseling, anticipating and avoiding problems, and devoting my energies toward advancing the important missions of Caltech and JPL."