Zachary Fardon (Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt Law School) has been nominated to be the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. He would replace Patrick Fitzgerald, who resigned last year. Fardon is currently a partner in the law firm Latham & Watkins LLP and the chair of that firm’s Chicago litigation department.
The following information is from his Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire submitted in connection with his nomination.
- Born in Kansas City, Mo., in 1966.
- Has worked at Latham & Watkins, where he practices commercial litigation, since 2007.
- Significant cases he has handled at Latham & Watkins include representing the University of Illinois in connection with an investigation of its admissions practices in 2009-2010 and representing John Wyma, a key witness in the conviction of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
- Considers his representation of the family of Lizzy Seeberg “one of the most difficult and important engagements of my career.” Seeberg, a student at St. Mary’s College in South Bend, Ind., reported to the University of Notre Dame campus police in 2010 that she’d been sexually assaulted by a Notre Dame football player. Nine days later, she took her own life. After her parents did not get satisfactory answers from the university about the handling of her complaint, Fardon investigated. His representation of the family led to the U.S. Department of Education and Notre Dame agreeing to new procedures for handling sexual assault allegations on campus.
- Is a member of the board of directors of the Legal Aid Society of Chicago, where he has worked to combat sex trafficking, as well as A Better Chicago and Metropolitan Family Services of Chicago.
- Is an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at Northwestern University Law School.
- Worked as First Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Middle District of Tennessee from 2003 to 2006.
- Helped prosecute former Illinois Gov. George Ryan for corruption in 2005-2006.
- Worked as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois from 1997 to 2003.
- Worked in the Nashville Metropolitan Public Defender’s Office as an Assistant Public Defender from 1996 to 1997.
- Was an associate at King & Spalding in Washington from 1992 to 1996. Was also a summer associate at this firm in 1990 and 1991. Left private practice because he had “a thirst for public service” and wanted to try more cases, according to his Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire.
- Graduated from Vanderbilt Law School in 1992.
- According to his financial disclosure form, his net worth is about $3.2 million. His home in Evanston, Ill., is valued at $1.5 million. He also has about $1.3 million in securities.
- His financial liabilities total $184,900, mostly from the mortgage on his home.
Click here for his full Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire.