Brooklyn District Attorney-elect Ken Thompson Announces Transition Committee
Distinguished Leaders Lead Effort to Recruit Top Legal Talent For DA's Office, Restore Integrity To Brooklyn's Criminal Justice System
(Brooklyn, NY – October 30, 2013) BROOKLYN - Brooklyn District Attorney-elect Ken Thompson today announced the formation of a diverse, bipartisan Transition Committee that will help recruit top legal talent to join the staff of the District Attorney's office. Thompson's Transition Committee has begun the search for the highest quality attorneys to restore faith in the District Attorney's office and move Brooklyn's criminal justice system forward. The Transition Committee is composed of 32 lawyers, civic leaders and criminal justice experts, and reflects a diverse range of legal, academic and professional talent across a wide spectrum of backgrounds.
Led by co-chairs Michele Hirshman, partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and Paul Shechtman, partner at Zuckerman Spaeder, the panel of nationally recognized leaders from the public and private sectors will help shape the incoming Thompson Administration. While the members of the Transition Committee will be helping to recruit talent, they will not make the final hiring decisions nor will they provide guidance or opinions on any cases pending before the District Attorney.
"As Brooklyn's next District Attorney, I am deeply committed to keeping our streets safe and making sure that everyone is treated equally under the law. I am confident that with the help of this distinguished group of leaders, we will be able to begin the process of restoring our borough's trust in its justice system and fulfilling the mission of this extraordinary office," said District Attorney-elect Ken Thompson. "I thank everyone for agreeing to be part of this transition team. Together, we will work to ensure that the people of Brooklyn have the best prosecutor's office possible."
"District Attorney-Elect Thompson is committed to ensuring that his office is staffed by top-notch public servants, and I am honored to help make that pledge a reality," said Michele Hirshman, Transition Committee co-chair and partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. "This committee draws upon some of the best legal minds in the greater New York area, and we will help ensure that the DA's office does the same."
"I am honored to co-chair District Attorney-Elect Thompson's Transition Committee. Recruiting this dedicated and impressive panel of public servants is a strong first step that shows Ken Thompson's abiding commitment to protecting the people of Brooklyn," said Paul Shechtman, Transition Committee co-chair and partner at Zuckerman Spaeder.
Ken Thompson won the general election in November with 72% of the vote, becoming the first person to defeat an incumbent district attorney in Brooklyn since 1912, and the first African-American ever elected Brooklyn District Attorney.
TRANSITION COMMITTEE FOR DISTRICT ATTORNEY-ELECT KEN THOMPSON
Michele Hirshman Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP:
A partner in the Litigation Department, Michele Hirshman focuses her practice on white-collar defense and regulatory enforcement matters and internal investigations. Prior to joining Paul, Weiss, she served for eight years as first deputy attorney general for the State of New York and for eleven years as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, where she was the deputy chief appellate attorney and chief of the General Crimes and Public Corruption Units. Ms. Hirshman also works on a broad range of criminal and civil pro bono cases and is a member of the Boards of Directors of The Legal Aid Society and the City Bar Justice Center. Ms. Hirshman is recognized as a leading lawyer in Chambers USA Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations in 2012. She is also recognized by Legal 500 in White-Collar Criminal Defense, and was named to the first-ever Benchmark Litigation's Top 250 Women in Litigation guide. Benchmark Litigation also named her a Local Litigation Star for New York.
Paul Shechtman: Partner, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP
Paul Shechtman joined Zuckerman Spaeder in 2011, after more than 30 years of experience drawn from private practice and government service, which included serving as the Director of Criminal Justice under New York Gov. George E. Pataki. He was also appointed by Gov. Pataki to serve as the chair of the New York State Ethics Commission. Since entering private practice, he has been recognized for his appellate and white-collar work. In 2012, Mr. Shechtman represented the New York Crane Company, which was indicted for manslaughter and other crimes arising out of an accident at 91st Street in Manhattan. The highly publicized trial resulted in an acquittal on all counts. Mr. Shechtman was recognized as a leading lawyer in Chambers USA Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations in 2011. In 2013, he was named in the National Law Journal's annual "Winning" feature, which recognizes six litigators who overcame significant obstacles to prevail during 2012 before a bench or jury trial. He has been named in Super Lawyers ever year since 2007, and in 2013 he received the Milton S. Gould Award for Outstanding Oral Advocacy, Office of the Appellate Defender. Benchmark Litigation also named him a Local Litigation Star for New York.
TRANSITION COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Pastor A.R. Bernard: Senior Pastor and CEO, Christian Cultural Center
Zachary W. Carter: Partner, Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Catherine Christian: Counsel for Special Projects for the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, New York County District Attorney's Office
Mark Feldman: Deputy Inspector General, Office of the Inspector General Metropolitan Transit Authority
Leroy Frazer, Jr.: Executive Assistant District Attorney for External Affairs, New York County District Attorney's Office
Michael J. Garcia: Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Abe George: Former Assistant District Attorney, New York County District Attorney's Office
Robert J. Giuffra, Jr.: Partner, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Jerry H. Goldfeder: Special Counsel, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
Willis J. Goldsmith: Partner, Jones Day
Jill Harris: Managing Director of Strategic Initiatives, Drug Policy Alliance
Peter C. Harvey: Partner, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
Hon. Elizabeth Holtzman: Counsel; Co-Chair Government Relations Group, Herrick, Feinstein LLP
David M. Kennedy: Professor and Director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Michael S. Kim: Co-Founder and Lead Counsel, Kobre & Kim LLP
Arnold N. Kriss: Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Arnold N. Kriss
Neal Kwatra: Founder and CEO, Metropolitan Public Strategies
Chauncey Parker: Executive Assistant District Attorney for Crime Prevention Strategies, New York County District Attorney's Office
Josh Saunders: Senior Trial Attorney, Brooklyn Defender Services
Avi Schick: Partner, Dentons LLP
Jay H. Schwitzman: Criminal Defense, Schwitzman Law
Derek Sells: Managing Partner, The Cochran Firm
George A. Stamboulidis: Partner, BakerHostetler
Jeremy Travis: President, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Nick Turner: President and Director, Vera Institute of Justice
Barbara D. Underwood : Solicitor General, New York Attorney General Office
Anne C. Vladeck: Partner, Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C.
Alan Vinegrad: Partner, Covington & Burling LLP
Theodore V. Wells, Jr.: Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Douglas H. Wigdor: Partner, Thompson Wigdor LLP
**Adrienne Harris, Associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, served in an advisory role to incoming District Attorney Ken Thompson and the transition team committees.
For more information on Ken's campaign, visit: www.KenThompson4DA.com
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