Patrick Fitzgerald is a seasoned trial lawyer and experienced investigator whose practice focuses on internal investigations, government enforcement matters and civil litigation. Prior to joining Skadden in 2012, Mr. Fitzgerald most recently served as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
Appointed in 2001 by President George W. Bush, he was the longest-serving U.S. Attorney ever in Chicago. 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.
From 1988 to 2001, Mr. Fitzgerald was 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 multiple 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 Southern District’s Organized Crime-Terrorism Unit, investigating terrorist groups and facilitating coordination between the law enforcement and the intelligence communities.
Mr. Fitzgerald served as both the National Security Coordinator and the Crisis Management Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and also was selected to serve on the Attorney General’s Critical Incident Response Group to provide legal advice during critical national security events.
He handled numerous drug trafficking cases and organized crime cases, including the six-month trial of United States v. John Gambino. Mr. Fitzgerald is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. In 2013, he became the inaugural Steven Feirson Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.
In 2013, he also was appointed by the governor of Illinois to serve on the 15-member Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force, an independent panel of leaders who will issue recommendations to reform the mass transit system in northeastern Illinois.
- J.D., Harvard Law School, 1985
- B.A., Amherst College, 1982 (Phi Beta Kappa)
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, Northern District of Illinois, Northern District of Indiana and Eastern District of Wisconsin
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- Member, Board of Trustees, University of Illinois
- Member, Board of Trustees, Amherst College
- Lecturer, University of Chicago Law School
- Treasurer & Board Member, School of Hope Foundation
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