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Steptoe’s Office Expands with Three New Lawyers

Steptoe & Johnson LLP announced the arrivals of three new lawyers in its Phoenix office.  All three have joined the firm as associates.

Erin Norris Bass, a 2011 summer associate at Steptoe, has rejoined the firm after clerking for Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch.  Ms. Bass received her law degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Arizona in 2012, where she was elected to Order of the Coif and was the research editor and marketing manager for the Arizona Law Review.  She is a 2009 cum laude graduate of Arizona State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a focus on public relations.

Quintin Cushner has joined the firm’s Commercial Litigation and White-Collar Criminal Defense Groups.  He will focus on civil litigation, criminal law, and Native American law.  Mr. Cushner clerked for the Honorable Stephen M. McNamee of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona from 2010-2011.  He earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Arizona in 2009, where he was elected to Order of the Coif and served as managing editor of the Arizona Law Review.  He received a B.A. in history from Oberlin College in 2001.

Kate Frenzinger has joined the firm’s ERISA, Labor & Employment Group.  Ms. Frenzinger was named Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year in 2012 by the State Bar of Arizona’s Young Lawyers Division, and was named to Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Star’s list in 2012 and 2013.  She was awarded a J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles in 2004, where she was elected to Order of the Coif and served as chief copy editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review.  She received a B.A. in art history from UCLA in 1999.

The associates’ arrivals follow that of former U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton, who joined Steptoe’s Phoenix office in November as a partner.  Mr. Charlton practices in the firm’s Commercial Litigation and White-Collar Criminal Defense Groups.

Charlton, Paul - Phx - 300 DPI

Former U.S. Attorney Charlton Joins Steptoe

Steptoe & Johnson LLP announced that Paul Charlton, the former U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona, has joined the firm as a partner.  He will be based in the Phoenix office and will practice in Steptoe’s Commercial Litigation and White-Collar Criminal Defense Groups.

Mr. Charlton concentrates his practice on high-profile and complex litigation, internal investigations and white-collar criminal defense.  He has represented corporations and public officials, as well as provided special assistance to those who were subjects of a state or federal investigation.  Over the course of his career, Mr. Charlton has also developed an outstanding track record in the representation of Native American governments and tribal leaders.

A former federal prosecutor, Mr. Charlton was nominated by President Bush as U.S. attorney for Arizona in 2001 after serving as an assistant U.S. attorney for ten years.  During his six years of service as the U.S. attorney, Mr. Charlton established the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC), a program that improved communication and coordination between law enforcement agencies.  He also established a national security division within the U.S. Attorney’s Office to actively work with law enforcement agencies on terrorism related criminal cases, and expanded the victim advocate staff in his office to better serve crime victims.  In 2002, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Victim Witness Program was awarded the Federal Service Award.  In 2007, USA Today published an article that ranked Mr. Charlton number one among the nation’s 93 U.S. attorneys for prosecutions and convictions.

“Paul’s arrival represents an important addition to our Phoenix office, by continuing the growth of practices in Phoenix that have local, national and global reach,” said Bruce Converse, managing partner of Steptoe’s Phoenix office.  “Paul joins two recent exciting additions to our office, former Congressman John Shadegg and former chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission and national FERC Commissioner Marc Spitzer.”

Steptoe Chair Roger Warin commented:  “We are delighted that Paul has joined us.  He has a strong and varied background in both civil and criminal investigation.  He can draw upon his experience as a federal prosecutor to advise companies that might be facing both criminal and civil exposure, as well as handle their large-scale internal investigations.  His addition also adds a top-shelf criminal defense attorney to our white-collar practice west of the Mississippi.”

Over the past 18 months, Steptoe’s white-collar practice has expanded its depth and reach with several key additions.  Earlier this year, it added Jason Weinstein, former deputy assistant attorney general of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Criminal Division to the Washington office, and Patrick Rappo, the former joint head of Bribery and Corruption of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office to the London office.  In July 2012, it established a Midwest presence with Chris Niewoehner, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois who served as a lead trial attorney in the prosecution and conviction of former Governor Rod Blagojevich.  Also in 2012, Michelle Levin in the firm’s New York office was elected to the partnership.  With Mr. Charlton’s arrival, Steptoe’s white-collar practice, which was named a Law360 “White Collar Group of the Year” in 2011 and 2012, includes nine former federal prosecutors with extensive trial experience and a host of lawyers with substantial experience in other government positions.

“I am honored to be joining such a well-renowned firm with its talented roster of lawyers,” said Mr. Charlton.  “I am truly looking forward to working with my new colleagues, as well as using the national platform that Steptoe offers to expand my practice beyond Arizona.”

Fluent in Spanish, Mr. Charlton has been deployed by the DOJ on numerous occasions to provide instruction to Latin American prosecutors and judges on the American criminal justice system.  An adjunct professor at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Mr. Charlton was named “Prosecutor of the Year” by the Arizona State Bar a year after leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  He has been recommended by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, and Southwest Super Lawyers, among other accolades.

Mr. Charlton received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Arizona.