In 2001, Mr. Fitzgerald was appointed by President George W. Bush as U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois. In this capacity, he led numerous high-profile investigations and prosecutions, including the convictions on corruption charges of two successive governors of Illinois — George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich — and the fraud conviction of media figure Conrad Black. As a special counsel, Mr. Fitzgerald was selected to lead the investigation of leaks in the Valerie Plame matter and tried the case of United States v. Lewis “Scooter” Libby. During his tenure, the U.S. Attorney’s office prosecuted significant fraud, civil rights, organized crime, narcotics and national security cases. Mr. Fitzgerald also was involved in a number of nationwide initiatives, including the President’s Corporate Fraud Task Force and the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee.
Prior to his 2001 appointment, Mr. Fitzgerald spent 13 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York. He served as lead counsel in the investigation, prosecution and seven-month trial of United States v. Usama bin Laden, et al., in which defendants were charged with and convicted of conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals overseas and the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He also participated in the nine-month trial of United States v. Omar Abdel Rahman, the prosecution of a conspiracy to attack the United States that involved the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In 1995, Mr. Fitzgerald co-founded the Organized Crime-Terrorism Unit, investigating terrorist groups and facilitating coordination between the law enforcement and the intelligence communities. He also handled numerous drug trafficking cases and organized crime cases, including the six-month trial of United States v. John Gambino.
“Pat Fitzgerald is one of the most respected lawyers in America. Skadden clients will benefit from his unparalleled skills in the courtroom coupled with his well-deserved reputation for independence and integrity,” said David M. Zornow, global head of Skadden’s Litigation/Controversy practices. Brian W. Duwe, head of Skadden’s Chicago office, noted, “Pat’s extraordinary skills as an investigator and trial lawyer will complement our very talented team of litigators in Chicago. We are thrilled to have him join us.”
“The Skadden attorneys I have met from Chicago, New York and other offices are a superb group of lawyers. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with them on matters in those cities and around the globe,” said Mr. Fitzgerald.
Mr. Fitzgerald began his legal career in 1985 as a litigation associate at a New York-based firm before moving to the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Mr. Fitzgerald earned his undergraduate degree from Amherst College. He has received numerous awards and recognition during his more than 20 years in public service, including the Cox, Coleman, Richardson Award for Distinguished Public Service from Harvard Law School (2007), “Lawyer of the Year” from The National Law Journal (2005) and the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service (2002) and for Exceptional Service (1996). Mr. Fitzgerald is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.