The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York will have a new criminal division chief, the Manhattan-based office announced yesterday.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara tapped defense lawyer Richard B. Zabel for the post. Zabel was the litigation chief at the Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld law firm, which he joined in 1999 after serving eight years as a prosecutor in the Southern District.
He has co-authored two reports of “In Pursuit of Justice, Prosecuting Terrorism Cases in the Federal Courts,” which studies the prosecution of national security and terrorism cases in federal courts. The reports were published in 2008 and 2009 by the non-profit organization Human Rights First.
Zabel has also received the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, the Justice Department’s highest honor, for his work in the investigation and prosecution of the Latin Kings gang.
“I am pleased to name Richard Zabel the new Chief of the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Rich is smart, tough, and fair-minded,” Bharara said in a statement. “He is a legal All-Star, with just the right experience, work ethic, and temperament to lead the Criminal Division at a time when protecting national security and combating financial fraud are such critical priorities of this Office.”
In August, Bharara named three other lawyers to leadership positions in the criminal division. Read about them here.