May 15th, 2009
03:54 PM ET
5 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)
  1. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    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.

    May 15, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I'm sure that was easy for the President.

    May 15, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Finally we have someone here in NJ. I can't wait to see how well he does. I just hope he doesn't secretly harbor ambition to run for governor that could taint his prosecutions.

    May 15, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  4. Marge

    Wonder what the republicans are going to do...after all they fired all, every single one of the attorney's Clinton had in place. Every president does that when he takes office. BUT THE PARTY OF NO WILL START circulating their spin all over the web, just watch.

    May 15, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. Tulsa

    @awaitingliberalizationbyCNN May 15th, 2009 4:12 pm ET

    My God your ignorance is stupifying.

    May 15, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Biff Biffington

    To: awaiting liberalization...

    These positions have been open for some time.

    how stupid do YOU look.

    May 15, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. awaitingdominospizzatypingonCNN.com

    What happened to the old attourneys? Why are libs replacing them? Why do I have to read to find information? Why do I comment before actually reading further into things? Come on Libs, button your fly after you go to the bathroom!

    May 15, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. Randolph Carter

    awaitingliberalizationbyCNN, you're a moron. Every incoming administration does this. The Bush administration did it to anyone who found a problem with doing their dirty work. Hence the investigation. Do a little research before you open your mouth. Have a nice day!

    May 15, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. Matthew, Houston, TX

    awaitingliberalizationbyCNN 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.

    ======================================================

    Once more, someone from the right totally misrepresenting the facts. Bush fired the attorneys for political reasons, not for the normal change that happens whenever a new President takes over. No other President fired so many attorneys in the middle of his term and none for politcal reasons.

    So, no, it IS NOT the same as what Rove is being investigated for. The wonder is , is that you even think you sound smart or informed when asking these stupid Limbaugh talking points. Give it a rest no one is falling for it, anymore.

    May 15, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. DaBird

    Are the new hires going to call me a coward like their boss Mr. Holder? Will they make law or enforce the law?

    May 15, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. shucks

    awaitingliberalblahblahblah, No your ex leader had US attorneys fired who weren't prosecuting according to republican agenda. That is why the investigation, and why most Americans consider Bush, Cheney, and Rove political criminals. President Obama has brought integrity back to America. But, no matter what is proven or fact won't change your bigoted little insufficient mind in the least. I'm sure your white, a bible toting christian, a member of the NRA, and on the short list when it comes to intelligence.

    May 15, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. Ray Fisher

    Kinda like giving birth huh???

    May 15, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. WAW

    If you knew anything about what you are talking about, you would know that each new president appoints new attorneys, the old ones offer their resignations as a matter of tradition. What Bush and Rove did was to fire Bush's appointees who would not do as Rove told them rather than follow the law. He replaced them with graduates of Jerry Farwell' s Liberty college law school. If you are "awaiting", as you say, try using your time to get your head out of the sand.

    May 15, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Eileen

    awaitingliberalizationbyCNN 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 don't know if word of what the bush admin actually did hit your junior high yet – do your research. Or does mommy need her computer back.

    My you're clever calling the President by his middle name. You're so very clever!!!

    May 15, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  15. Dan

    How is Dick Cheney and his daughter going to defend this?

    May 15, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  16. Buffalo

    Those all look like Muslim names to me.

    May 15, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. Mookie01

    Not sure why I'm even bothering to respond to the first comment, but all US Attorneys offer their resignations when the White House changes hands. When the change is from one party to the other, as is the case this year, all or very nearly all of those resignations are accepted and the new President names successors. This is not political.

    May 15, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  18. GuyInVA

    Start the investigation! These hirings are politically motivated!

    May 15, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. Sparky

    @ awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    It would behoove you to have at least a passing knowledge of an issue before you begin to yammer away about it. You make youreself look like an utter fool!

    May 15, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  20. peter

    The old U.S. Attorneys are gone with the wind together witht he Bush and his administration. We need a fresh start from the ground and that is what Obama is doing rite. So get over it Rebuff or repubs because you made this country a hell of a mess and now is a time to straight the thing up.

    Obama/Clinton 2012!!

    May 15, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. P from CA

    Hmmm.... no one from the West Coast.

    May 15, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  22. human being

    I guess it's ok with the right wing to pick on Hillary and Pelosi, because they are democrats but god forbid we say something negative against saint Sarah Palin.

    May 15, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. Nick

    For those who don't know or has very little knowledge in Politics,before you comment, you should know U.S attorneys were fired by Bush administration so that they can avoid legal problems.....

    Karl Rove the author and the finisher of our American goverment!

    May 15, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  24. human being

    hussein, wow the right wing is scared of a little old name. I am sure the world gets an allergy when they hear Cheney, bush, rumsfeld, Rove and right wing nuts like limbaugh, beck, coulter, and Palin.

    May 15, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. G NO P

    awaitingliberalizationbyCNN 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.

    You are an idiot. It is completely normal for a new administration to name their own US attorneys. What is not normal is to fire some of them in mid stream because they won't bend to political pressure from the administration, as was the case with Bush. Come on wingnuts, start looking into facts, or button up for good. Moron

    May 15, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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