Following the arrest of former Admiral William Ross for his actions in connection with Section 31, Captain Steeby was assigned the thankless task of working as his defense counsel. During a conference with Attorney General Phillipa Louvois, Steeby attempted to defend Ross by pointing out that Section 31 was authorized by the Federation Charter, but Louvois was unpersuaded by that argument. Determined to face justice for his crimes, Ross insisted on answering every question put to him, even though Steeby would have advised against it.
Steeby died along with Admiral Ross when Federation Security Agency officer Margo Dempsey fired a phaser set to kill the two of them. This was in retaliation for Section 31 engineering the death of her husband Clark. Due to the position of the bodies, it had appeared that Ross had thrown himself in front of his defense counsel, but at the setting Dempsey fired her phaser at, it did little good as the beam burned through both of their bodies. (TNG novel: Available Light)