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Maslon Partner Steve Schleicher Serves Pro Bono as Special Assistant Attorney General on AG Ellison's Prosecution Team for the Trial and Sentencing of Derek Chauvin

June 25, 2021

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.

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About Steve:

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.


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