Steven L. Schleicher
Steve Schleicher is a renowned trial lawyer with deep experience in high profile cases. He concentrates his work on high stakes criminal and civil litigation, government and internal investigations, and appellate practice, and leads Maslon's Investigations & White Collar Defense Group.
Steve’s extraordinary trial skills are well known throughout the United States and the world. He was recognized for his role as a special prosecutor in the internationally televised homicide trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. Steve received high praise for his prominent role conducting jury selection and witness examination. His devastating cross-examination of the defense use-of-force expert received national acclaim, and his powerful closing was viewed as a pivotal factor in the trial verdict.
In his white collar criminal defense practice, Steve represents individuals accused of financial crimes involving health care, agriculture, and corporate embezzlement. 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 numerous state and federal courts across the country.
Steve's investigations practice has included a high-profile investigation of a private security company holding a contract at a major NFL venue that resulted in its termination; a data security breach and IP theft conspiracy at a major automobile manufacturer; and internal investigations and government compliance on behalf of health care providers, including hospital systems and physicians. Across all, he leverages deep experience and an acute skillset honed through both public service and private practice.
A former federal prosecutor, Steve worked for 13 years in the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota, 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, he was a prosecutor at the Minnesota Attorney General's Office and the Winona County Attorney's Office. Steve also has experience in military courts, having served as a JAG Corps Officer in the United States Army Reserve for 10 years.
Throughout his career, Steve has tried 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 had numerous jury trials and has conducted hundreds of investigations.
In 2016, Steve served as a prosecutor on the Jacob Wetterling case, prosecuting Danny Heinrich on federal child pornography charges that led to his confession to Jacob’s kidnapping and murder as well as the recovery of his remains. Steve was recognized as an "Attorney of the Year" by Minnesota Lawyer for his dedicated work.
Steve is often interviewed by the media for insight and commentary relating to high profile litigation matters. He served as an on-air commentator during the internationally watched trial of Mohamed Noor, the former Minneapolis police officer who was prosecuted for murder in connection with the on-duty shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
Investigations & White Collar Defense
- As a former federal prosecutor, conducted hundreds of investigations on behalf of the United States, including complex fraud matters, money laundering, organized crime, and violent crime.
- Investigated a security company holding a multimillion-dollar contract at a major NFL venue on behalf of a worldwide venue management company.
- Investigated a data security breach and complex intellectual property theft conspiracy on behalf of a major automobile manufacturer.
- Represents health care providers and pharmacies in investigations conducted by government agencies.
- Assists financial institutions with Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering Act compliance to include investigation and reporting.
- Represents clients under investigation by federal and state entities, including United States Attorneys' Offices; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Department of Justice; Department of Health and Human Services; Federal Trade Commission, and Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Represents clients accused of crimes in federal and state court, including complex financial crimes, health care fraud, narcotics violations, and all serious felony matters.
- Criminal constitutional law expertise; obtained complete dismissal of “dark web” narcotics distribution charges on Fourth Amendment grounds.
- Respected criminal trial attorney with experience handling sensitive, high profile criminal cases, including homicide, organized crime, fraud, and official misconduct.
- Experienced appellate advocate; successful practice before the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, Minnesota Supreme Court, and Minnesota Court of Appeals.
- Served as liaison defense counsel for leading corn seed developer in Minnesota state court consolidated action involving over 65,000 individual U.S. corn growers and various entities that purchased, stored, transported, and exported corn grown in the U.S., along with a class of Minnesota corn growers alleging tort and consumer fraud claims against client.
Tort & Product Liability Litigation
- Represented leading medical device manufacturer in nationwide lawsuits involving both implanted and external medical devices in multiple state and federal courts across the country.
Recognized in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Litigation: White Collar Crime and Government Investigations, Minnesota, 2022-23
Recognized on Minnesota Super Lawyers® list, 2022 (Minnesota Super Lawyers® is a designation given to only 5% of Minnesota attorneys each year, based on a selection process that includes the recommendation of peers in the legal profession.)
2021 Attorney of the Year, Minnesota Lawyer
2021 Distinguished Service Award, Pennsylvania Innocence Project
2021 Outstanding Service Award, Minnesota Justice Foundation
Praeses Elit Award, Law Society of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, 2022
Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America®, 2022-2023
Advocate Award, Civil Litigation Section of Minnesota State Bar Association, 2021 (The award honors those who have made a significant contribution to improving the system of civil justice in Minnesota.)
Truth and Justice Award, Urban League Twin Cities, 2021
North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2020-2021 (North Star Lawyer is a designation that recognizes members who provide 50 hours or more of pro bono legal services in a calendar year.)
Presidents Award, Minnesota State Association of Narcotics Investigators, 2017
Julius E. Gernes Prosecutor Award, Minnesota State Bar Association Public Law Section, 2017
Attorney of the Year, Minnesota Lawyer, 2016
Arson Prosecutor of the Year, International Association of Arson Investigators, Minnesota Chapter, 2004
Pro Bono Award, for commitment to pro bono service, Maslon LLP, 2022