Areas of Practice
  • Spanish
  • University of Arizona College of Law, J.D., 1988, Note and Comment Editor, Arizona Law Review
  • University of Arizona, B.A., 1983
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Arizona
  • US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Paul K. Charlton

201 E. Washington Street
Suite 1600
Phoenix AZ 85004
TEL: +1 602 257 5205
FAX: +1 602 257 5299

Paul K. Charlton is a partner in Steptoe's Phoenix office, where he is a member of the Litigation Department.  An experienced trial lawyer, Mr. Charlton concentrates his practice on high-profile and complex litigation, internal investigations, and white-collar criminal defense.  Mr. Charlton spent six years as the US attorney for the District of Arizona, and prior to that, he spent 10 years as an assistant US attorney.  He has represented numerous corporate and elected officials who reported illegal acts committed by others.  He has also successfully represented corporations and individuals who were the subject of a state or federal investigation.  In addition, he has substantial experience representing agencies, municipalities, and companies who wish to conduct internal investigations.

Mr. Charlton has extensive experience with Native American law and he has successfully represented several Native American tribes and tribal leaders in various matters. 

Mr. Charlton is also fluent in Spanish, and has been deployed by the US Department of Justice on numerous occasions to provide instruction to Latin American prosecutors and judges on the American criminal justice system.


  • Chambers USA, Litigation: White Collar and Government Investigations (Arizona), 2010-2015
  • Best Lawyers in America, Criminal Defense: White-Collar and Native American Law, 2013-2016
  • Southwest Super Lawyers, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2012-2015
  • Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation, 2012-2015
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Legal 500 US, Litigation: White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2014
  • University of Arizona Alumni Association Public Service Award, 2014
  • Honorary Member, The Order of the Coif, 2008
  • Michael C. Cudahy Criminal Justice Award, 2007
  • United States Secret Service Director's Recognition Award, 2007
  • Indian Country Intelligence Network Lifetime Achievement Award, 2007
  • US Attorney General's Special Commendation Award, 2005
  • US Forest Service Director's Award, 2004
  • Federal Law Enforcement Officer's Association National Prosecutor's Award, 1997

Select News & Events

Selected Publications

Professional Affiliations

  • Chair, United States Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel, 2014-2015
  • Senator John McCain's Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee, 2013-2014
  • Board of Directors, Law College Association, University of Arizona College of Law, 2013-Present
  • Board of Trustees, Brophy College Preparatory, 2012-Present
  • Maricopa Integrated Health System Board Advisory Committee, 2012-2014
  • District of Arizona Local Rules of Practice Advisory Committee, 2012-Present
  • Adjunct Professor,Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, 2012-Present
  • Chairman, Anti-Terrorism Advisory Committee, 2001-2007
  • Chairman, Border and Immigration Subcommittee, Attorney General's Advisory Committee, 2005-2007
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Arizona School of Law, 2005-2006
  • Miembro Honorio, Colegio de Abogados de Caracas