May 15th, 2009
03:54 PM ET
9 years ago

White House announces names for U.S. attorneys

(CNN) - The White House announced Friday President Obama plans to nominate Preet Bharara, Tristram Coffin, Jenny Durkan, Paul Fishman, John Paul Kacavas and Joyce Vance for U.S. Attorney posts.

Full White House Statement after the jump

President Obama Nominates Preet Bharara, Tristram Coffin, Jenny Durkan, Paul Fishman, John Paul Kacavas and Joyce Vance for US Attorney

WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama today announced his intent to nominate Preet Bharara, Tristram Coffin, Jenny Durkan, Paul Fishman, John Paul Kacavas and Joyce Vance for U.S. Attorney.

“This group of men and women have distinguished themselves as fair, tenacious and respected attorneys throughout their careers in both public and private service,” President Obama said. “They will serve their country with distinction as US Attorneys and it is my honor to nominate them for these esteemed positions.”

Preet Bharara: Nominee for U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York

Preet Bharara, 40, is Chief Counsel for Senator Schumer (D-NY) and from 2005 to 2009 served as Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts. During his tenure, he helped lead the Senate Judiciary Committee investigation into the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. From 2000 to 2005, Mr. Bharara served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, working in the General Crimes, Narcotics, and Organized Crime/Terrorism Units. From 1993 to 2000, he worked in private practice as a litigation associate – at Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman in New York from 1996 to 2000 and at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in New York from 1993 to 1996. Mr. Bharara was named 2007 South Asian Lawyer of the Year by the North American South Asian Bar Association. He graduated from Harvard College (1990) and Columbia Law School (1993).

Tristram Coffin: Nominee for U.S. Attorney, District of Vermont

Tristram Coffin, 46, has been of counsel at Paul Frank & Collins, a law firm in Burlington, Vermont, since 2006. From 1994 to 2006, Mr. Coffin was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Vermont, serving in the Civil Division for four years and the Criminal Division for eight years. From 1991 to 1994, he was a counsel to Senator Leahy (D-VT) on the Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Technology and the Law. Prior to that, Mr. Coffin spent two years as a litigation associate at Hale and Dorr in Boston. Following graduation from law school, he served as a law clerk for Judge Albert Coffrin in the District of Vermont. Mr. Coffin graduated from Wesleyan University (1985) and Columbia University Law School (1989).

Jenny Durkan: Nominee for U.S. Attorney, Western District of Washington

Jenny Durkan, 51, is a noted civil and criminal litigator in private practice. Since 1997, she has owned the Law Offices of Jenny Durkan in Seattle, WA. Ms. Durkan began her legal career as an associate at the law firm Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender, and later worked at Williams & Connolly, and Foster, Pepper & Riviera. She has served as counsel to Washington Governor Christine Gregoire and taught trial advocacy at the University of Washington School of Law. Ms. Durkan graduated from the University of Notre Dame (1980) and the University of Washington School of Law (1985).

Paul Fishman: Nominee for U.S. Attorney, District of New Jersey

Paul Fishman, 52, has been a partner at Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman LLP in Newark, New Jersey since 1997. From 1994 to 1997, he worked in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice. Mr. Fishman spent ten years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of New Jersey, from 1983 to 1993. During his tenure in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he worked in the Office’s Special Prosecutions Division, served as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division/Chief of Narcotics, Chief of the Criminal Division and First Assistant. He coordinated Trenton’s Weed & Seed program, including helping to implement a Violent Offenders Removal Program and, with the Mayor’s office, a Safe Haven program keeping schools open after hours for additional activities. Following law school, Mr. Fishman clerked for Judge Edward Becker on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He graduated from Princeton University (1978) and Harvard Law School (1982), where he was managing editor of the Harvard Law Review.

John Paul Kacavas: Nominee for U.S. Attorney, District of New Hampshire

John Paul Kacavas, 48, is a partner at Kacavas Ramsdell & Howard, P.L.C.C., in Manchester, New Hampshire, a firm he co-founded in 2002. Prior to that, he spent five years working in private practice at Wiggin & Nourie – from 2000 to 2002 and from 1990 to 1993. From 1993 to 1998, Mr. Kacavas served as a prosecutor in the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, eventually becoming chief of the Homicide Unit. In 1999, he served as a trial attorney on the United States Department of Justice Campaign Finance Task Force. Mr. Kacavas served one term as a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Mr. Kacavas graduated from St. Michael’s College (1983), received his Masters in International Relations from American University (1987), and his J.D. from Boston College Law School (1990).

Joyce Vance: Nominee for U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Alabama

Joyce White Vance, 48, is Chief of the Appellate Division in the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Northern District of Alabama, where she has served since 1991. She began as an Assistant United States Attorney in 1991 in the Criminal Division and moved to the Appellate Division in 2002. As an AUSA, Vance participated in the preliminary investigation of Eric Rudolph after the bombing of the New Woman All Women Clinic in Birmingham and on the investigation of several church fires that occurred across the Northern District of Alabama. From 1988 to 1991, Ms. Vance was an associate at a Birmingham law firm, Bradley, Arant, Rose and White. Vance graduated from Bates College (1982) and the University of Virginia Law School (1985).

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (49 Responses)

    The Peoples Ignorance on the Right gets better and Better everyday

    Buffalo-They sound Like Muslim Names-Ignorance

    Awaiting Liberlization-very Ignorant

    I know Your Party has Lost Badly and Is on the Brink to Extinction But Please as Americans show some Intelligence!

    May 15, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. G NO P

    Buffalo May 15th, 2009 4:30 pm ET

    Those all look like Muslim names to me.

    Vance, Durkan, Fishman, Coffin- Yep, those sure do look muslim.
    I just love how people are so willing to flaunt their ignorance in front of the entire world.

    May 15, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Now let's see how many of them have to drop out because they kinda sorta just forgot to pay their taxes three years in a row.

    May 15, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. rightwing scared of middlenames

    grow up right wingers. Join your true allies, just ask wanda sykes who they really are.

    May 15, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Bitter Republican, party of no I mean one, your table is ready!

    awaitingliberalizationbyCNN uses Obama's middle name because he/she thinks it will instill fear in people. That is so cute, but it stopped working after 2004.

    Buffalo writes that all the names look like muslims to him/her. Aw, you are adorable thinking that muslim is the definition of terrorist, but it's not. And believe it or not, we have millions of muslims living in this country right now.....GASP!!!

    May 15, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. dave-texas

    After Republicans lost control of Congress last year, newly empowered Democrats promised to launch a series of tough investigations on everything from the Iraq war to Medicare and high energy prices. But since taking charge on Capitol Hill in January, a series of unexpected new issues have captured their attention, none potentially more damaging to the Bush Administration than the controversy over alleged political influence in the firing of eight Republican U.S. attorneys last Dec. 7, in an episode that some of its victims have already taken to calling the "Pearl Harbor Day Massacre."

    May 15, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. Sheryl


    May 15, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. Peter (Atlanta)

    Really before posting comments one must examine themselves, then the contents of what they have to post, ask yourself does what i have to say pass the smell test.

    awa May 15th, 2009 4:12 pm ET

    What happened to the old US Attorneys, that had the posts? Did Hussein fire them? Is that not what Bush did and Rove is being questioned about.? Why is Hussein replacing attorneys, is it a political thing? Come on libs, start talking about it or button up for good.


    I usually do not post comments but after reading yours i have to say, you have to educate youreslf more before mouthing off, it may help you look a little less ignorant.

    Buy a book on the American Judicial System or even the Government.

    May 15, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. Marc

    awaitingliberalizationbyCNN – It is standard procedure that the US president, at the beggining of his term, fires some US attorneys and put other people in their place. EVERYBODY has been doing it for at the very least a century. Reagan did it, Bush (the father) did it, Clinton did it and, surprise, GW Bush did it also... AT THE BEGGINING OF HIS FIRST TERM. The problem with those 2006 firings is that they were in the middle of GWB's second term, after a new law had just passed (the Republicans still 'owned' both houses) granting more powers to the president to name whoever he wanted, without any checking from the Senate, and that those who were fired had been for political motivations, i.e. they followed the law and not Gonzalez's idea of what the law should be.

    May 15, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. G NO P

    Henry Miller, Cary, NC May 15th, 2009 4:41 pm ET

    Now let's see how many of them have to drop out because they kinda sorta just forgot to pay their taxes three years in a row.

    You mean like Mr "Tea Bagger" himself, Michael P. Leahy ? Ooops,
    sorry that was 16 years. Imagine that, protesting paying taxes, when you are not paying them yourself. Typical republican hypocrite

    May 15, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Clinton fired them all!!

    These are all appointed positions it doesnt matter how or why they were fired because the president is allowed by current law to appoint them. A complete non-issue and waste of time.

    May 15, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. Pluto

    Boy, I can hear the Evil Right now: "OH NO A MUSLIM NAME HE WILL ENFORCE SHARIA ON MY DOG" "Rush says that bla bla bla socialism" "What happened to the old US Attorneys, that had the posts?" "I found mommy's password" "Why can't Ann Coulter be my judge?" "How do I google?"
    They are so depressed it makes them stupid.

    May 15, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. matt

    You people all sound like lunatics. If anyone has read the actual press release, these candidates are obviously qualified for the positions. Leave it at that.

    May 15, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  14. Buffalo

    I apologize if you can't read "tongue in cheek." I figured "awaiting" could use a little more baiting; I reeled in some walleyes (good eating!) when I was trying to hook a sucker. Durkan, Fishman and White Vance are abound as Muslim as O'Hara, Herman and McDonald.

    May 15, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. Kelby In Houston, TX

    awaitingliberalizationbyCNN, I am truly impressed. Your comment was so ignorant, so hateful, so stupid that everybody across the country has focused their comments on your comment...
    I have questions.
    Do you read the responses to your comment?
    Did you know that you were going to get such a hellacious response when you wrote it?
    Did you write that comment just to 'stir the pot' or are you really that ignorant and hateful?
    I think you know what the truth is, why do you ignore the truth?

    May 15, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  16. Lynn

    There is something very pathetic about adults who try to make their point by using "Hussein" or other silly plays on a person's name whether it is the right or the left. It completely negates anything you are saying!

    May 15, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  17. arithmetic is liberal

    Barack Hussein Obama is President of the United States.

    That's right.

    Barack Hussein Obama.

    Deal with THAT.

    May 15, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  18. Mari( maybe one of my comments will be posted)

    Some of the ignorant comments posted here by "awaitingliberalizationbyCNN" (how come this guy gets to keep his long 'blogger name' CNN?) are absolutely ........ funny!

    Dude, please, educate yourself, turn off Limbaugh-the-GOP-leader's show and read something other than far-right propaganda!

    Every president can appoint U.S. attorneys. And they do. Its American History....... read!

    May 15, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. Tulsa

    @DaBird May 15th, 2009 4:23 pm ET
    Make law or enforce it?
    You are thinking of the LAST administration.
    And if no one else will, then I will call you a coward. COWARD.

    May 15, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  20. niraj

    it's hilarious to read these comments... All are muslim names! tch.. tch.
    some of the folks need lesson in not only geography/culture but may be about their own culture:)
    All the names sounds non-muslim to me. The with Preet is most likely a Hindu or Sikh, rest seems Christian names.

    May 15, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  21. MK

    Hopefully all of these new appointees will take their posts and swear to uphold the Constitution, not the Presidents agenda. What a refreshing thing that will be!

    May 15, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  22. I used to like CNN but not anymore!

    And let the Republican sheep belly aching commence in 3.....2.....1!

    May 15, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  23. m smith

    I can't believe that the repos are so ill informed. Do they not read or listen to commentary? They can't all be redneck high school grads. Most of their comments are just plain stupid.

    May 15, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  24. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Some comments are very disrespectful and arrogant when addressing the President such as Hussein. His name is President Barack Hussein Obama.

    Always encouraging to read the bio from people who excels in their respective field of expertise!

    May 15, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
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