After nearly a year of dedicated pro bono service as part of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison's prosecution team for the trial of Derek Chauvin, Maslon partner and veteran trial attorney Steve Schleicher stood with the AG’s team for the June 25 sentencing of Chauvin. Following emotionally charged victim-impact statements by family members, Judge Peter Cahill sentenced Chauvin to 22.5 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd.
On April 20, 2021, the Hennepin County jury returned verdicts of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. During the press conference following the verdict, Ellison and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman recognized Steve and the entire prosecution team for their tireless efforts. Steve expressed gratitude for the opportunity to return to public service alongside dedicated colleagues from the Attorney General's Office, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, private practice, and corporate counsel.
"I'm honored to have stood with the Floyd family, with the state of Minnesota," Steve shared. "It's been a privilege."
In July 2020, Steve was one of four attorneys selected from private practice and in house to serve on a pro bono basis as part of AG Ellison's larger prosecution team. Steve's service to the team culminated in the nearly month-long trial, where he conducted the two-week voir dire, examined and cross-examined the fact and expert witnesses on use of force by the police and related training, and delivered the main closing argument for the prosecution in the trial.
Maslon acknowledges Steve's remarkable work on this matter as well as the extraordinary contributions made by all who served on the prosecution team—including Jerry Blackwell, Erin Eldridge, Matthew Frank, Sundeep Iyer, Neal Katyal, and Lola Velazquez-Aguilu—and those who provided invaluable support behind the scenes.
Maslon is proud of our longstanding commitment to advancing civil rights and liberties, and will continue to pursue steps to further address racial disparities, particularly in the legal system. Most importantly, we express our deepest sympathy to the family of George Floyd.
Related Media Coverage*:
- June 28, 2021, Good Morning America: "Former officer Derek Chauvin sentenced in killing of George Floyd"
- June 25, 2021, MSNBC — The Last Word: "Prosecutor in Chauvin trial: 'Sense of peace' with sentencing"
- June 22, 2021, CBS News — 60 Minutes: "A young girl's impact on the Derek Chauvin trial"
- May 6, 2021, Stay Tuned with Preet: "The Chauvin Prosecutors (with Jerry Blackwell and Steve Schleicher)"
- May 4, 2021, "Maslon Partner Steve Schleicher Recognized for Service as Part of MN AG Ellison's Prosecution Team in the Trial of Derek Chauvin"
- April 26, 2021, Fox 9 KMSP: "Derek Chauvin trial prosecutors discuss strategy after verdict"
- April 26, 2021, KSTP 5 Eyewitness News: "Schleicher, Ellison discuss prosecuting Chauvin case"
- April 26, 2021, CBS News — 60 Minutes: "60 Minutes interviews the prosecutors of Derek Chauvin"
- April 24, 2021, Star Tribune: "Chauvin verdicts 'not a cause for celebration,' prosecutor says"
- April 20, 2021, CBS Minnesota News: "AG Keith Ellison Speaks After Derek Chauvin Found Guilty"
- March 9, 2021, Star Tribune: "3 jurors chosen in first day of Chauvin trial jury selection"
- July 15, 2020, Minnesota Lawyer: "All-star lawyers sign onto Floyd murder case" (subscription required)
- July 13, 2020, "Seasoned attorneys join AG Ellison's team pro bono in George Floyd case"
*Media Inquiries: For immediate attention, please contact Pamela Erwin Roemer, Director of Marketing & Business Development by email or phone at 612.672.8252.
- April 19, 2021, Star Tribune: "Prosecution presents closing arguments in Derek Chauvin's murder trial" (article + trial footage)
- April 19, 2021, NPR: "'Believe Your Eyes': Prosecution Presents Closing Arguments In Derek Chauvin's Trial" (article + trial footage)
- April 13, 2021, NPR: "Expert Testifies Chauvin's Actions Were Justified And In Line With Policies" | View Trial Video
- April 12, 2021, MPR News: "Chauvin trial: Two more witnesses for the prosecution" (article + trial footage)
- April 6, 2021, NPR: "Chauvin's Restraint On Floyd's Neck Isn't Taught By Police, Use-Of-Force Trainer Says" | View Trial Video
- April 5, 2021, CBS News: "Chief: Chauvin's use of force not part of policy, ethics or values" (article + trial footage)
- April 2, 2021, NPR: "Senior Police Officer Says Chauvin's Neck Restraint Of Floyd Was 'Uncalled For'" | View Trial Video
- April 1, 2021, Star Tribune: "Day 16 of Derek Chauvin trial: Supervisor detailed to jurors the immediate aftermath of George Floyd's death" (article + trial footage)
- March 12, 2021, MPR News: "Chauvin trial: 7th juror seated; Mpls. to pay $27M to settle Floyd family lawsuit" | View Trial Video
Steve is a highly experienced trial and appellate lawyer who concentrates his work on criminal defense, government and internal investigations, and high stakes civil litigation. A former federal prosecutor, he spent 13 years in the U.S. Attorney's Office serving as the Deputy Criminal Chief of the Special Prosecution Section (2014-2016) and as the St. Paul Branch Chief. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney's Office, Steve worked at the Minnesota Attorney General's Office and Winona County Attorney's Office. Steve also served 10 years as a JAG Corps Officer in the United States Army Reserve.
Throughout his career, Steve has prosecuted a diverse variety of criminal cases, including homicide, criminal sexual conduct, armed robbery, assault, and other violent crime; complex narcotics conspiracies; racketeering; organized crime; fraud; money laundering, and civil rights violations. He has also had numerous jury trials and has conducted hundreds of investigations. In 2016, he served as a prosecutor on the Jacob Wetterling case and was recognized as an "Attorney of the Year" by Minnesota Lawyer for his dedicated work.
At Maslon, Steve serves as co-chair of the firm's Government & Internal Investigations Group. Steve's notable investigations include a security company holding a contract at a major NFL venue as well as a data security breach and IP theft conspiracy at a major automobile manufacturer. As a business litigator, Steve served as liaison defense counsel for a leading corn seed developer in a consolidated action involving over 65,000 plaintiffs, and he has represented a leading medical device manufacturer in product liability lawsuits in multiple state and federal courts across the country.