Steptoe & Johnson LLP is expanding the capabilities offered in its Palo Alto office with the arrival of four lawyers. Joining the firm as a partner is Laurie Edelstein, whose broad practice focuses on commercial litigation, along with energy litigation, government investigations and regulatory enforcement proceedings, and white-collar criminal defense. Also joining Steptoe’s Palo Alto office as of counsel are Sarah Jackel and Margaret “Meg” Pirnie Kammerud, and associate Seth Sias. Both Ms. Jackel and Mr. Sias focus their practices on commercial litigation and white-collar criminal defense, while Ms. Kammerud focuses her practice on intellectual property.

Steptoe opened its Palo Alto office in January 2014, expanding its West Coast presence and its evolving national intellectual property practice to the Silicon Valley.

“The arrival of this terrific group of lawyers diversifies the services offered in our Palo Alto office and provides West Coast reach, depth and versatility to three of the firm’s important practice groups: Complex Commercial Disputes, Energy, and Government Investigations and Enforcement,” said Steptoe Chair Phil West. “Laurie is a talented lawyer who is highly regarded by clients as well as Steptoe lawyers who have worked with her and seen her in action.”

Ms. Edelstein is a seasoned trial lawyer and an experienced and successful appellate advocate. Her matters have included contract disputes, renewable energy issues, securities and tax fraud actions, insider trading allegations, breach of fiduciary duty claims, and consumer class actions. She has represented companies and individuals in federal and state courts throughout the country as well as clients in SEC investigations and enforcement actions, and in criminal investigations and proceedings. Ms. Edelstein’s understanding of energy issues stems from her two years spent as in-house counsel for a California utility.

“Having previously worked with Steptoe, I am thrilled to join the firm,” said Ms. Edelstein. “The firm’s stellar reputation in commercial litigation, energy and white-collar matters provides me with a tremendous opportunity to expand my practice.”

Ms. Edelstein’s team includes Ms. Jackel and Mr. Sias. Ms. Jackel has substantial commercial litigation and white-collar experience. She has defended individuals and corporations against a wide range of allegations, including securities violations, off-label marketing, anti-trust violations, and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). She has worked extensively on cases arising out of the subprime mortgage crisis, including representing the head of the mortgage department of a major investment bank in hearings before the US Senate and in other regulatory proceedings. Mr. Sias’s commercial litigation and white-collar matters have included securities fraud actions arising out of the financial crisis, misappropriation of trade secret cases, commercial and government contract disputes, and regulatory compliance issues.

Ms. Kammerud’s experience spans litigation and counseling concerning intellectual property matters with a focus on patent litigation. She is experienced with all phases of litigation from case initiation through jury and bench trials, post-trial proceedings, and appeals. Ms. Kammerud has represented clients in courts throughout the United States and before the International Trade Commission in complex cases involving technologies such as Internet search systems, Internet advertising systems, mobile computing and devices, location technologies, and semiconductors. Her practice also includes government investigations of individuals and corporations.

Bill Abrams, managing partner of Steptoe’s Palo Alto office, said, “We are delighted to welcome Laurie, Meg, Sarah and Seth to our Palo Alto office. All four are talented lawyers who will give the firm a broader footprint in northern California.”

Ms. Edelstein earned both her J.D. and M. Phil. from Yale, where she won the Joseph L. Parker Prize in Legal History. She received her A.B., Phi Beta Kappa, from Stanford University. Ms. Edelstein clerked for Chief Judge Myron H. Thompson on the US District Court for the Middle District of Alabama in Montgomery.

Ms. Jackel earned her J.D. from Columbia, where she was both a James Kent Scholar and Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and her B.A. from Pomona College. She clerked for the Honorable Robert W. Sweet on the US District Court of the Southern District of New York.

Ms. Kammerud earned her law degree, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania where she was elected to the Order of the Coif. She received her B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University. Ms. Kammerud clerked for the Honorable Gene E.K. Pratter on the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and was a reporter for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer before attending law school.

Mr. Sias graduated with high honors from Swarthmore College, and earned his law degree from Stanford.


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