Bonita Black and Rebecca Bates Manno Join Steptoe & Johnson in Kentucky



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Additions expand firm’s Louisville presence

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Bonita K. Black and Rebecca Bates Manno have joined Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, broadening the firm’s presence in Louisville.  They join Steptoe & Johnson lawyers Henry M. Reed, III and David B. Malone, who have been practicing with the firm in Louisville since 2011 and 2012, respectively.   The addition of Black and Bates Manno expands the firm’s corporate, transactional, litigation, and municipal finance practices in Kentucky.

Prior to joining Steptoe & Johnson, both attorneys practiced with the law firm of Frost Brown Todd LLC.  Bonita Black focuses her practice in general corporate law, mergers, corporate finance law, public finance, and acquisitions and divestitures.  She will be the Louisville office Managing Member.  While at her previous firm, she served in positions of leadership including chair of the firm’s training and development, and diversity and inclusion committees.  Plus, she is the founder of its electronic data and discovery group.

Black is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and recognized as a Kentucky Super Lawyer.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and her legal degree from Harvard Law School.          

Rebecca Bates Manno’s practice focuses on litigation with an emphasis on information management and electronic discovery issues.  She works closely with clients to establish policies and procedures for the use and storage of electronic media, and trains employees on records retention.  She also partners with clients to guide them through the discovery phase of litigation.

Bates Manno earned her Bachelor’s degree as well as her legal degree from the University of Richmond.

“We believe that the firm is expanding at the right time in the right place,” said Steptoe & Johnson CEO Susan Brewer.  “The needs of our clients are changing, and we have to be ready to change to meet those needs.  We look forward to what our enhanced Kentucky team will accomplish for our clients.”

“We’re excited to have Bonita and Rebecca join our team.  Their experience means increased resources for our clients, particularly in our corporate, transactional, and litigation practices,” said Jeffrey K. Phillips, Lexington office Managing Member.  “They will be an integral part of Steptoe & Johnson’s growth in Kentucky.”

About Steptoe & Johnson
Steptoe & Johnson PLLC is a U.S. law firm with core strengths in energy, labor and employment, litigation, and transactional law. In 2013, Steptoe & Johnson celebrated 100 years of helping clients reach their goals. Visit

For more information, contact Betsy Spellman, Chief Marketing Officer, at (304) 933-8000 or by email:

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Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

Betsy Spellman

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