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H. Dean Steward - News

MAY, 2024- INDICTMENT DISMISSED- After a battle for almost 7 years, the indictment was dismissed against Mr. Steward's client in a white collar fraud case. The matter went to trial, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and back to the district court before the government moved to dismiss against the client and four others. 

November 2023- Client A.L. entered a guilty plea in U.S. District Court. The applicable sentencing Guideline range was 30 to 37 months in custody. After an extensive presentation of mitigating factors by Mr. Steward, the client received a 10 month sentence.

October 2023- Mr. Steward named once again to the Martindale-Hubbell 2023 JUDICIAL EDITION of Preeminent Attorneys.

Best Law Firms Nov. 2022- For more than two decades, Mr. Steward and his firm have been recognized in Best Law Firms  for Criminal Defense: White Collar. Dean and the firm have once again been selected for 2023.    

Wiretap Win- April 2022-Mr. Steward and the defense team succeeded in convincing a federal judge in an illegal pharmaceuticals case to suppress 4 months of DEA wiretaps. This result is unique and rare Santa Ana federal court case of U.S. v. H.M. et. al. 

Martindale-Hubbell  2022 AV Preeminent Attorney - Judicial Edition, April 2022, Dean Steward named in their 2022 AV Preeminent Attorney - Judicial Edition- "a tremendous endorsement by both peers and the judiciary".

Judge’s Evaluation of Steward’s Trial Skills- Feb. 2022-… the record reflects vigorous, knowledgeable, and often detailed cross-examination of each and every government witness. Judge [Andrew]  Guilford explicitly commended Steward’s cross-examinations. See Dkt. No. 180,6 at 242:23– 243:3:

(“I will say what I said at the beginning with more forcefulness: the representation being provided to the defendant is among the best I’ve seen in this court. The examination, the handling, the strategy, as far as I can tell, has been superb. I do not believe the [defendant] could have better representation.”)

U.S. v. J.T. SA-CR-09-210-JVS 

Success in the Return of Client Funds- January 2022-  The FBI seized an enormous amount of money belonging to a client, related to the U.S. Private Vaults case in Beverly Hills, California . Mr. Steward was able to arrange the return of all of the client's money. 

Law Firm Honored- November 2021- For the 15th successive year, Dean Steward's firm has been named as one of the "Best Law Firms" in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

MIS-TRIAL DECLARED IN U.S. v. MICHAEL AVENATTI- August 2021  Mr. Steward and the defense team discovered at the end of the seven week jury trial that the federal prosecutors had failed to turn over material to the defense, as required under Brady v. Maryland. Result: mis-trial. 

Super Lawyers, July 2021- Again, following many years of inclusion, Dean Steward has been named by Super Lawyers as one of the top lawyers in Southern California.
Health Care Fraud Case- May 2021- Client was charged with $1 million+ health care fraud in federal court in San Diego. After navigating the federal court system and defending the client at every turn, the district court accept a negotiated guilty plea and imposed a house-arrest, non-jail sentence. 

DISMISSAL OF ALL FRAUD CHARGES- February 2021- Steward engineered the dismissal of all charges against client E.G. The indictment included allegations of conspiracy, bribery, and bank fraud.

Best Lawyers & Super Lawyers, July 2020- Again, following many years of inclusion, Dean Steward has been named by both organizations as one of the top lawyers in California.

Huge win in the Court of Appeals, July 2020- Steward and his co-counsel scored a major victory involving a Brady violation in the published opinion of U.S. vs. Obaji in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Client's conviction was reversed. "The panel reversed [the defendants'] convictions for federal mortgage fraud in a case in which the government disclosed after the close of evidence information impeaching a government witness in violation of Brady vs. Maryland."

From Who Is Michael Avenatti's New Criminal Defense Lawyer in California?
May 15, 2019- "Steward has represented corporate executives and high-profile law enforcement officers in the Los Angeles area. He is best known for representing Lori Drew, the Missouri mom convicted in what was considered the first cyberbullying criminal trial. Drew allegedly set up a fake MySpace account to harass a 13-year-old girl who later committed suicide. A federal judge dismissed Drew's convictions in 2009, on Steward's motion. " 

Oct. 2018-
 Mr. Steward was given this award for consistently positive client reviews

Steward Named Once Again to  2019 Edition of U.S. News - Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" & 2019 Super Lawyers- For the 15th year in a row, Dean Steward has been selected by these two groups for recognition for attorneys skills and ethics

Misdemeanor Deal After Serious Federal Felony Charges- July 2018,  An out-of-state client was charged, along with others, in a serious federal indictment, including conspiracy. After many months of submissions to the prosecution and negotiations, the case was settled as to Mr. Steward's client for a misdemeanor plea, probation, a fine and several months of house arrest. 

All Charges Dismissed Against Client- March 2018,  Mr. Steward's client R.S. was charged in a federal criminal case- After Dean approached the prosecution and explained the facts and circumstances, the charges were dropped.

Steward Again Named to Best Lawyers Group for 2018- August 2017, the Best Lawyer designation once again went to Mr. Steward. He's been so honored for more than 10 years straight. The group evaluates attorneys from all over the nation for this honor.

Steward's Firm Named Again as One of the Best in the Country- November, 2016- From U.S. News and World Report: WASHINGTON – November 1, 2016 – U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, for the seventh consecutive year, announce the "Best Law Firms" rankings. Firms included in the 2017 "Best Law Firms" list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise. H. Dean Steward, A Prof. Corp., of San Clemente, California is one of the firms honored with this ranking. 

Steward Once Again Named to Best Lawyers Group for 2017- October 2016, the Best Lawyer designation once again went to Mr. Steward. He's been so honored for more than 10 years straight.

Federal Charge Dismissed- September, 2016- After detailed investigation and trial preparation, the prosecution dismissed the federal case against Mr. Steward's client. Mr. Steward's investigator, Terry Rearick, found key witnesses to aid in the argument for dismissal.

Super Lawyers Designate Dean Steward As a Top White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney- January, 2016- The rating organization has repeated their listing of Dean Steward as one of Orange County's best lawyers in the field.

Steward Again Named to Best Lawyers in America: White Collar Criminal Defense- AUGUST, 2015- For the 10th year in a row, Dean Steward has been named one of the top lawyers for white collar criminal defense in America.

KPCC Radio 89.3, Los Angeles- AUGUST, 2015- Internet and audio story on upcoming U.S. v. Paul Tanaka [former UnderSheriff, LASD] case: "Tanaka's attorney, H. Dean Steward, has a strong track record in federal court...and so do the prosecutors..."It [the trial in November of this year] could be a real slugfest."

Orange Coast Magazine Profile - AUGUST 2015 ISSUE "In a field where winning is everything, OC attorney Dean Steward is unquestionably a winner. With 36 years of federal courtroom experience to his credit, Steward is widely considered a legal force to be reckoned with. Formerly in charge of the Federal Public Defender Office in Orange County, Steward has over 200 jury trials to his credit. This white-collar-crime virtuoso has even had one of his high-profile cases portrayed in a four-part television mini-series. After working his way through law school as a firefighter, Steward has risen through the ranks, earning numerous awards and accolades. When asked, Steward says his most significant accomplishment is being named a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, a best-of-the-bestprofessional trial organization reserved for the legal world’s elite. With a firm that favors high quality client service over high volume caseloads, Steward is known for working closely with clients to achieve consistently favorable outcomes."  Read the article

St. Louis Cardinals Hacking Allegations- JUNE 2015 Steward quoted extensively in the St. Louis Post Dispatch on the potential criminal applications of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in this Major League Baseball investigation. Read the article:

Client Paul Tanaka Indicted by federal Grand Jury- May 2015- Mr. Steward's client, former LA County Undersheriff Paul Tanaka was indicted in Los Angeles. Co-counsel Jerome Haig and Mr. Steward promise a vigorous defense. Read the article:

Los Angeles Magazine- March, 2015-
Dean Steward named as one of the top lawyers in Southern California.

“DRUGS MINUS TWO” Motion Filed for Client- December, 2014
In one of the first such motions to be filed in federal court, Mr. Steward prepared and submitted a motion seeking the reduction of his client’s sentence under a new amendment to the federal sentencing drug case Guidelines. Under Amendment 782, district court judges now have the power to go back and re-sentence defendants in drug cases, if the judge uses the amendment and drops the drug Guideline by two levels. The reduced sentence can be very significant, with as much as two to three year reductions, depending on the original sentence. 

Bank Fraud Client Avoids Federal Prison- August, 2014-
A Los Angeles client pled guilty to 11 counts of bank fraud, but was sentenced to 1 day in custody, plus 3 months half-way house residence and 3 months of house arrest. The case involved inter-state fraud, a large nationally known bank and and a number of defendants.

Steward Named to Both Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers Again for 2015- August, 2014-
Continuing years of selection by both attorney rating groups, Dean Steward was once again named as one of the nation's best attorneys.

House Arrest Sentence for Drug Conspiracy Client- May 2014
Mr. Steward fought for a non-prison sentence for his client in a large money laundering/drug conspiracy case with 13 defendants. After months of defense preparation, the federal court sentenced the client to 6 months of house arrest, supervised release and no prison time.

Orange County Businessman Freed from Supervised Release/Probation-January 2014
The Federal Probation Office filed a violation charge against Mr. Steward’s client, just before supervised release was to expire. After major efforts by the client and Mr. Steward, the Probation Office asked for dismissal of the violation charge and the supervised release ended. 

Firm Named One of the Best in the Country- U.S. News and World Report- November 2013
H. Dean Steward, APC has been named one of the premier law firms in the country, once again this year. The firm is rated "Tier 1" by the magazine, their highest rating, for criminal defense.

Informant Scandal Rises Again- June 2013
In a long article in USA Today, the paper reveals that the Drug Enforcement Administration has been using disgraced and fired informant Andrew Chambers for a second time. Dean Steward was instrumental in taking down the informant in the late 1990’s. Steward is quoted extensively.  Read the article

Los Angeles Daily Journal- May, 2013
Steward quoted extensively on Boston bombing case issues and defenses.

Orange Coast Magazine- March 2013
Steward selected as an "Attorney of Distinction" for 2013

Win in Mail Fraud case- February 2013
In U.S. v. R.R. in federal court in Santa Ana, a seven defendant indictment including mail fraud and other charges, Steward successfully negotiated a plea bargain resulting in a probationary sentence for his client.

Steward Named in Trifecta: Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers and Top Law Firms- U.S. News and World Report- February 2013
Starting the new year strong, Dean Steward was named by the premier attorney rating and evaluation groups in the country as one on the top lawyers in the West. He’s a repeat honoree by all three groups.

O.C. Metro Magazine- August 2012
Dean Steward named one of the top lawyers in Orange County for 2012.

U.S. v. Pacheco II- July 2012
Motion to dismiss granted, case dismissed. Mr. Steward and investigator Terry Rearick ran down information on the main informant, revealing his lies and deceit.

U.S. v. Pacheco- April 2012
Motion to vacate the conviction granted; new trial granted in federal court. Government had withheld important material on a paid informant. Court found a violation of Brady v. Maryland and vacated the conviction.

Los Angeles Daily Journal- April 2012
Steward quoted on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Wal-Mart international investigation.

National Trial Lawyers Association- Top 100 Trial Lawyers
Dean Steward admitted, April 2012. “National Trial Lawyers Association is a national organization composed of the top 100 trial lawyers from each state. Membership is obtained through special invitation and is extended only to those attorneys who exemplify superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature, and profile as civil plaintiff or criminal defense trial lawyers.”

Los Angeles Daily Journal- January, 2012
Article on jury pool fairness, Steward quoted on the practical realities of the pool of people who serve as federal court jurors in Los Angeles and Santa Ana. Above the fold/front page article.

Los Angeles Times- October, 2011
Steward quoted on tax fraud case involving Old Quest Services Corporation in Fontana, California.

Wall Street Journal- July, 2011
In an article on fraud cases and the SEC, Steward quoted on an enforcement issue involving Safevest, Inc., Lake Forest, California.

La Opinión- 2011
Steward recognized as one of the “most competent and skilled” attorneys in the nation on the subject of law enforcement’s use of informants

Firm named as one of the top law firms in the country, and in Orange County, “Tier 1” for White-Collar Criminal Defense

Dean Steward named as one of the top lawyers in Southern California

Client needing to travel internationally received an early termination of his two year probation, on Mr. Steward’s successful motion.

ORANGE COAST MAGAZINE Lists Steward as "Super Lawyer" - February, 2010
The magazine used "a blue ribbon panel of their peers within their primary area of practice" to select the best attorneys in a number of fields of law. Dean Steward is listed by the publication under the specialized area of Criminal Defense: White Collar, and considered one of the top attorneys in southern California in this field.

Mr. Steward secured the end of probation 18 months early for an O.C. businessman. Client had received a sentence of 6 months house-arrest and 3 years of probation in a computer related case.

The Los Angeles Daily Journal has selected the top 100 lawyers in California for 2009, including Dean Steward. The 100 selected are, according to Daily Journal, the most influential lawyers in their areas of practice, and have made contributions to both the legal profession and the community. A reception honoring the 100 was held in Los Angeles in mid-September.

San Diego CPA client, after 4 year fight, had federal tax charges dismissed

OC Metro Magazine - August 2009
Named as one of 5 top criminal defense attorneys in Orange County

MySpace Case - U.S. v. Lori Drew: All Charges Dismissed - July 2009
After a week-long jury trial in federal court in Los Angeles involving the tragic death of a teenage girl, client was acquitted of multiple felony computer fraud charges. Case originated in suburban St. Louis. Misdemeanor charges were dismissed months later, on motions filed by Mr. Steward- case received national attention for facts and legal arguments. Click here for the decision by Judge Wu.

Client Acquitted- Federal Court in Santa Ana - April 2009
Dr. T.D. found not guilty on all counts in 6 week health care fraud trial

Orange County Business Journal - January 2009
"In the Public Eye: Lawyers Have a Love-Hate Relationship with the Media" - Quoted extensively

THE TODAY SHOW - December 2008
Interviewed by Matt Lauer on internet issues and case

"Steward is a white collar criminal law expert."

THE TODAY SHOW - June 2008
Interviewed by Meredith Viera on internet issues and case

Wavemakers- O.C.’s Most Talked About Lawyers "Steward is Orange County's go-to man for high profile criminal defendants in federal court."

O.C's Top Lawyers - April 2007 

KDOC TV - March 2008
Profile by Pete Weitzner

"Prominent attorney and federal law expert." "Longtime federal defense specialist"

Listed: Best Lawyers in Southern California

"Well regarded defense lawyer."
"He's considered by some to be the top defense lawyer in Orange County for federal cases."

Mr. Stewards' long time client Mike Carona indicted by the federal grand jury in Santa Ana.

LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE - February 2008, 2009
Top 50 lawyers in Orange County

ABC News- 20/20- summer of 2000
A Closer Look (Crime: Undercover)

Reporter: Connie Chung The unraveling of undercover informant Andrew Chambers, who had an uncanny ability to blend in with drug dealers, but lied about his own past criminal record, featured; details given of the resulting firestorm within the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) due to convictions based on Chambers' undercover work being overturned across the country. CHAMBERS - says no one else can do what he does; adds that he was embarrassed about his past. Former federal defender DEAN STEWARD, who tailed Chambers for more than 3 years and eventually brought him down, said the fair trial process must be upheld. DEA chief of operations Richard FIANO - says we should have known about Chambers falsely testifying; admits Chambers worked outside the rules.

Expert Commentator- CBS News, Los Angeles - August 1993
Sentencing of the Rodney King Defendants in Federal Court 

Working with Harvey Levine (now with TMZ), Mr. Steward provided expert commentary on the sentencing of the 4 police officers convicted in federal court for CBS News

Steward Featured on Inside Edition- Fall of 1993
As one of the real people in the Dusty Brown case (see below), Mr. Steward was interviewed on the case by television's Inside Edition

NBC Mini Series- "A Matter of Justice" - First aired 1993
True life drama of the love triangle and murder involving Mr. Steward's client Dusty Brown in Honolulu, Hawaii. Mr. Steward's words from the cross-examination transcript of the main informant were used in the mini-series. Starred Patti Duke and Martin Shee.