Paul J. Fishman

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Paul J. Fishman
Paul Fishman US Attorney.JPG
U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey
In office
October 14, 2009 – March 10, 2017
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded by Ralph J. Marra
Succeeded by William E. Fitzpatrick
Personal details
Born (1957-02-26) February 26, 1957 (age 60)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Princeton University (B.A.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)
Religion Judaism

Paul J. Fishman (born February 26, 1957) is an American lawyer who served as the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey from 2009 to 2017. He was sworn in on October 14, 2009, along with his First Assistant U.S. Attorney, Gil Childers.


Early Life and Education[edit]

Born in New York City in 1957, [1] Fishman grew up in River Edge, Bergen County, New Jersey and attended River Dell High School.[2] He is Jewish.

After graduating magna cum laude from Princeton University with a B.A. in 1978, he attended Harvard Law School, where he was Editor of the Harvard Law Review from 1980 to 1981 and Managing Editor from 1981 to 1982. After receiving his J.D. from Harvard in 1982, he served as law clerk to Edward Roy Becker, a judge on the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, from 1982 to 1983.[1]


In 1983, Fishman was admitted to the bar in the state of New Jersey and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. That same year, he joined the office of the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, serving in that position until 1987. He served as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division from 1987 to 1989 and as Chief of the Criminal Division from 1989 to 1991. He then served as First Assistant U.S. Attorney from 1991 to 1994 under Michael Chertoff.[1]

Fishman joined the United States Department of Justice under Janet Reno in 1994 as Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General. He was named Associate Deputy Attorney General in 1995, serving until 1997.[1]

In 1997, he became a partner at Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman. His clients included Carla Katz, the former president of the Communications Workers of America who dated New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and Encap Golf Holdings, a company that was contracted to build golf courses and homes on remediated landfills in the New Jersey Meadowlands. Both of these clients were targets of investigations by the U.S. Attorney's Office.[2]

On June 4, 2009, Fishman was nominated by President Barack Obama to be U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey.[3] He was sworn into office on October 14, 2009, succeeding Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra, who had served after the resignation of Chris Christie in December 2008 to run for Governor of New Jersey.[4]

Fishman is a registered Democrat and resides in Montclair. He is married with two children. He is also a board member of the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Little Falls.[2]

Divorce kidnapping case[edit]

Fishman represented the U.S. government in its case against members of an Orthodox Jewish gang accused of kidnapping and extortion in the 2013 New York divorce torture plot.[5][6]

Fort Lee lane closure scandal[edit]

Fishman led the investigation involving the Fort Lee lane closure scandal.[7][8] The resulting indictment lead to the guilty plea of David Weinstein and the trial of Bridget Ann Kelly and Bill Baroni. After a month long trial, Kelly and Baroni were both convicted of 9 counts. [9]

See also[edit]


Legal offices
Preceded by
Ralph J. Marra (acting)
United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey
October 14, 2009 – March 10, 2017
Succeeded by
William E. Fitzpatrick (acting)