W. Stephen Cannon

Steve Cannon is Chairman of Constantine Cannon LLP and the Managing Partner of Constantine Cannon’s Washington, DC, office.

Prior to joining the firm on February 1, 2005, Steve served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Circuit City Stores, Inc., a Fortune 200 retailer of consumer electronics with approximately $10 billion in annual sales. As Circuit City’s chief legal and public policy officer, Steve was responsible for the management of all legal and policy issues including corporate governance, SEC/FCC/FTC regulatory matters, antitrust, consumer credit, mergers and acquisitions/divestitures, litigation, employment, intellectual property as well as government affairs. As corporate secretary, Steve was responsible for the coordination of all Circuit City Board of Directors meetings and related activities. He was a member of the Circuit City Executive Committee and reported directly to the Chief Executive Officer.

Prior to joining Circuit City in 1994, Steve was a partner in the Washington, D.C., firm of Wunder, Diefenderfer, Ryan, Cannon & Thelen, where he concentrated his practice in antitrust, trade regulation and administrative law involving both litigation and regulatory matters as well as legislative advocacy. In particular, Steve focused his practice in the telecommunications, pharmaceutical and retail industries.

Before joining Wunder, Diefenderfer in 1986, Steve spent 10 years in government service in Washington, D.C. After a clerkship with the South Carolina Supreme Court, Steve received an appointment under the U. S. Justice Department’s Honors Law Graduate Program and served as a trial lawyer in the Antitrust Division from 1977 to 1981.

In 1981, Steve was appointed Chief Antitrust Counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. Serving in this position from 1981–1984 (97th and 98th Congresses), Steve had overall staff responsibility for all antitrust legislation, as well as Department of Justice Antitrust Division oversight. As Chief Antitrust Counsel, he coordinated preparation of antitrust legislation including hearings, committee mark-ups and floor debates. Antitrust legislation enacted by the Congress during Steve’s tenure included:

  • The Antitrust Reciprocity Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-393)
  • The National Cooperative Research Act of 1984 (P.L. 98-462)
  • The Local Government Antitrust Act of 1984 (P.L. 98-544)

In 1985, Steve returned to the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department as Deputy Assistant Attorney General. As a political appointee, he was responsible for coordinating the Reagan Administration’s policy positions on antitrust matters, including all antitrust legislation. Steve was also responsible for all Antitrust Division appellate matters and, in this capacity, argued before the United States Supreme Court as amicus curiæ on behalf of the United States in 324 Liquor Corp. v. Duffy, 107 SCT 720 (1987).

Over the course of his career, Steve has served in numerous professional, civic and business organizations. Most recently, Steve was appointed by Senate Majority Leader Frist to serve on the Antitrust Modernization Commission. Composed of 12 appointees, the Commission is charged with examining the broad scope of the nation’s antitrust laws and determining what, if any, changes might be appropriate and beneficial to our 21st century economy.

Steve has also served in various capacities in the ABA’s Section of Antitrust Law, including Chairman of the Legislation Committee as well as a three-year term on the Section Council.

In addition to these bar activities, Steve serves on the Board of Directors of the U. S. Chamber Litigation Center.  From 2009-2014, he also served on the Board of Crocs, Inc. (NASDAQ: CROX), where he was a member of the Audit and Compensation Committees, and served as Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee.

A native of South Carolina, Steve received both his undergraduate and law degree from the University of South Carolina. Steve is married to Barbara Gordon and they have two daughters, Katy and Caroline.

W. Stephen Cannon's Publications & Speeches

The Federal Trade Commission Hour

Presenter; 2018 FARB Regulatory Law Seminar Portland, Oregon (Sept. 27-29, 2018) Download

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Illinois Supervision of Customary and Reasonable Fees

Presenter; Illinois Coalition of Appraisal Professionals (Aug. 20, 2018) Download

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UPDATE: CUSTOMARY & REASONABLE A Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board Perspective

Presenter; Valuation Expo (March 20, 2018) Download

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Appraisal Agency Options for Supervising Customary and Reasonable Fees

A Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board Perspective Presenter; Association of Appraiser Regulatory Officials (Oct. 16, 2017) Download PDF

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Data Compromise Issues: Is Your Company in Shape To Deal with Banks & Card Networks?

W. Stephen Cannon Co-presenter Retail Law Conference (Oct. 26, 2016) Download

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Litigation Update: The Cisero’s Case Challenging Card Network Enforcement Mechanisms

Paper presented by W. Stephen Cannon and Richard O. Levine. Hospitality Law Conference (Feb. 8, 2012) Download

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Electronic Payments 2011: The Winds of Change / A Call to Action

Steve Cannon and Richard O. Levine participated on a panel of the 2011 Hospitality Law Conference concerning recent legal and regulatory developments affecting the relationship...

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Assessing the Need for Antitrust Immunity For Collective Merchant Negotiations With Electronic Payment Systems

Chairman of Constantine Cannon Stephen Cannon participated in a panel discussion at the 2010 Spring Meeting of the American Bar Associations' Antitrust Section that addressed...

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The U.S. Payment Card Industry: Select Challenges and Issues From a Hospitality Industry Perspective

Chairman of Constantine Cannon Steve Cannon participated on a panel of the 2010 Hospitality Law Conference concerning the relationship between hosptility merchants and the payment...

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The Currency of Progress? Visa and MasterCard Arrogate Governmental Powers in the Name of Card System Security

Chairman of Constantine Cannon Steve Cannon co-authored this article on the payment card industry's enforcement of data security standards. The article appeared in the December...

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Association of Corporate Counsel's 2008 Annual Meeting

Chairman of Constantine Cannon Steve Cannon was the moderator on two panels on Answers to Questions You Wish Your Outside Auditor Hadn't Asked and Report...

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The Council of State Restaurant Associations, 2008 Annual Meeting

Chairman of Constantine Cannon Steve Cannon and partner Todd Anderson spoke on the Role of PCI compliance in the Visa and MasterCard systems and what...

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Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2008

Chairman of Constantine Cannon Steve Cannon testified on behalf of the Merchants Payments Coalition, before the United States House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary...

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Bloomberg Interview with Steve Cannon

Concerning Credit Card Interchange Rates. download video file

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Credit Card Interchange Rates: Antitrust Issue?

Steve Cannon testified before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary Hearing. download PDF

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Oppose Healthcare Spending Mandate Legislation

Steve Cannon testified before the New Jersey State Senate Labor Committee. download PDF

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