Steven Toprani is a Partner in Leech Tishman’s Pittsburgh office and a member of the Litigation Practice Group, concentrating his practice in civil litigation, special investigations and criminal defense.

He has represented a broad range of public individuals, including elected officials, political candidates, public employees, university faculty and authors, professional athletes, small business owners and executives from major corporations. He has experience in conducting internal investigations for businesses, advising and representing targets of criminal investigations, and defending individuals in serious felony cases.

Most recently, Steve served as District Attorney of Washington County, Pennsylvania. During his time as D.A., Steve set benchmarks in major case investigations and successfully prosecuted numerous corrupt politicians and police officers, narcotics traffickers, racketeers and murderers. As D.A., Steve redirected the County Detectives Bureau, led efforts to curtail illegal aliens from working in area construction and drilling sites and remained vigilant against environmental polluters, effectively limiting the negative impact of Marcellus Shale expansion. Steve created a Public Corruption Task Force with the FBI, and forged new relationships with law enforcement organizations such as the Greater Pittsburgh Financial Crimes Task Force and the Justice Department’s Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition.

Prior to serving as D.A., Steve had a private practice, Toprani & Popojas, where he represented clients in diverse civil, family, criminal, business, commercial real estate and bankruptcy matters and provided counsel to small businesses, injured workers and disabled veterans. Steve also formerly served as assistant counsel in the Office of General Counsel by (former) Governor Ed Rendell, where he aided Pennsylvania’s largest state agency, the Department of Public Welfare. During the course of his career, Steve has provided political consultation by serving on campaign teams of county, state and federal candidates.

Steve’s career is marked in public service. He has held leadership roles in the Young Lawyer Divisions of the Allegheny County and Pennsylvania Bar Associations, where he expanded student loan repayment plans for public lawyers and helped implement the “Wills for Heroes” program to assist first responders with estate planning. He is a court appointed special advocate. During college, Steve served as an intern in the Office of (former) First Lady Michele Ridge and in (former) Governor Tom Ridge’s policy office for business investment, the Governor’s Action Team. While attending law school, Steve worked in Duquesne University’s Economic and Community Development Law Clinic, providing free legal services to community organizations. He also clerked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and was a licensed legal intern in the Governor’s Office of General Counsel in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.

Steve is a frequent lecturer on substantive criminal law, conducting education courses for attorneys and law enforcement; he contributes to academic texts and provides media commentary on police issues. He served as an adjunct professor of criminal law at the California University of Pennsylvania.


J.D., Duquesne University School of Law
B.A., magna cum laude, California University of Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan


District Attorney, Washington County
California University of Pennsylvania (Adjunct Professor, Department of Justice, Law and Society)
Toprani & Popojas
Governor’s Office of General Counsel

Professional Memberships

Allegheny County Bar Association
Pennsylvania Bar Association
Washington County Bar Association
Association of Government Lawyers in Capital Litigation
Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculty
Great Lakes Organized Crime Enforcement Network (Mid-Atlantic Region)
Mon Valley Chiefs of Police
Mon Valley Police Association
National District Attorneys Association
National White Collar Crime Center
Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association (Gaming Law Committee)
Pennsylvania Narcotic Officers Association
Western Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police

Professional Accolades

40 Under 40, Pittsburgh Magazine


Altoona Mirror
Harrisburg Patriot
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Legal Intelligencer
Morgantown Dominion
New York Times
Philadelphia Inquirer
Pittsburgh Magazine
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Uniontown Herald-Standard
USA Today
Valley Independent
Washington Post

Media Appearances

Associated Press (Pennsylvania)
Capitol Wire
FOX News
MSNBC and affiliates
Yahoo! News

Community Involvement

American Legion Post 162 (Sons Member)
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh (Member, Steering Committee)
Click Into the Right Choices
Crime Victims Local Policy Board (Chair)
Criminal Justice Advisory Board
FBI Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition
Graduate School of Criminal Justice, College of Liberal Arts, California University of Pennsylvania (Dean’s Advisory Board)
Greater Pittsburgh Financial Crimes Task Force
Juvenile Justice Advisory Board
Lions Club
Masters of Criminology Program, California University of Pennsylvania (Advisory Board Member)
Monongahela Area Redevelopment Committee
NAACP (Washington Branch)
Pennsylvania Society
Redevelopment Authority of the County of Washington (Board Director)
Rotary International
Shriners International (F&AM, Scottish Rite)
The FBR Foundation for Autism Support (Board Member; Treasurer)
Washington County Prison Board
White Collar Crime Task Force