Attorney General-elect Eric Schneiderman Announces Senior Legal Staff Appointments

NEW YORK, NY (December 22, 2010) - Attorney General-elect Eric Schneiderman today announced the first round of appointments to the senior legal positions of First Deputy Attorney General, Solicitor General, Counsel to the Attorney General, and Executive Deputy Attorneys General for Economic Justice, Criminal Justice and Social Justice.

In November, the Attorney General-elect assembled a Transition Committee of legal experts and leaders from across the nation to identify the highest quality attorneys to maintain the tradition of legal excellence that has defined the office. Today, the Co-Chairs of the Transition Committee and respected legal voices from across New York praised the appointments, calling them "extraordinary," "outstanding" and in keeping with the Attorney General-elect's commitment to build the greatest public interest law firm in the country above partisanship and politics.

Attorney General-elect Schneiderman will announce additional appointments to senior positions in the weeks ahead.

"When I announced my transition committee last month, I said that my goal was to maintain the excellence of this august office and help build the greatest public interest law firm in America," said Attorney General-elect Schneiderman. "I am thrilled with the caliber of talent the transition committee was able to attract, and the individuals we selected will bring a diverse and distinguished set of experiences, expertise, and talents to the Attorney General's Office. I look forward to working with these dedicated public servants and innovative legal minds to protect all New Yorkers."

"Today's appointments reflect Attorney General-elect Schneiderman's unwavering commitment to continuing this office's tradition of legal excellence," said former New York State Attorney General and Honorary Co-Chair of the Transition Committee Robert Abrams. "These individuals bring top-tier talent and an impressive depth of experience to the mission of protecting the people of New York State."

"Attorney General-elect Schneiderman today took an important step toward fulfilling his promise to staff his office with highly-talented public servants prepared to meet the difficult challenges we face,"said former U.S. Attorney and Honorary Co-Chair of the Transition Committee Zachary Carter. "These individuals will undoubtedly bring unique and diverse experiences and expertise to their positions that will serve the Attorney General and state of New York well in the years ahead."

"Attorney General-elect Schneiderman has pledged to ensure his office is staffed with top-notch legal talent and is above partisanship and politics," said Westchester County District Attorney and Honorary Co-Chair of the Transition Committee Janet DiFiore. "With these extraordinary selections, New Yorkers can feel confident that they will have an Attorney General deeply committed to that promise."

"These appointments reflect both the diversity of our great state and the high standard of legal excellence the Attorney General-elect will demand from his administration," said former Chief Judge Judith Kaye. "Attorney General-elect Schneiderman has sought the highest level of integrity, professionalism, and accomplishment in these selections, and he has successfully found just that with these outstanding choices."

"Attorney General-Elect Schneiderman has put together an outstanding team that represents the highest caliber of legal talent that New York has to offer,"said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. "I am particularly proud to congratulate former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Harlan Levy, a highly distinguished lawyer and bar leader, as well as former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Nancy Hoppock, who returns home after an impressive career as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey." All of today's appointments make it clear that the Attorney General's office will continue to uphold the tradition of legal excellence and innovation for which it has become nationally known. I look forward to partnering with the Attorney General and his office in the years to come."

"These appointments show Eric Schneiderman's commitment to building the best public law firm in the United States," said Lance Liebman, Director of the American Law Institute, former dean of Columbia Law School, and William S. Beinecke Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. "It is terrific that such able and experienced lawyers will now seek justice on behalf of New Yorkers."

"These appointments reflect the broad diversity and top legal minds our state has to offer,"said Stephen Younger, President of the New York State Bar Association and member of the Attorney General-elect's Solicitor General/State Counsel Transition Committee. "Attorney General-elect Schneiderman should be congratulated for assembling a distinguished team dedicated to justice and the rule of law."

Attorney General-elect Schneiderman announced the following appointments today:

Harlan Levy will serve as First Deputy Attorney General. Mr. Levy was a partner at Boies Schiller & Flexner. Mr. Levy is Chair of the Council on Criminal Justice of the New York City Bar Association, a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Fund for Modern Courts, and a member of the American Bar Association Committee on Criminal Justice Standards. Mr. Levy previously served as a homicide prosecutor in the New York County District Attorney's Office and in 2009 Co-Chaired the Special Victims Committee of the transition team of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. He earned a B.A. from Amherst College and J.D. from Columbia Law School.

Barbara D. Underwood will serve as Solicitor General. Ms. Underwood has been Solicitor General of the State of New York since January 2007." Prior to her appointment, she served as Counsel and as Chief Assistant to the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York." She was the Acting Solicitor General of the United States from January to June 2001, and Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the United States from March 1998 to January 2001." She has argued nineteen cases in the United States Supreme Court, and she has extensive appellate experience in both federal and state courts of appeals. Ms. Underwood has served in executive positions in the Queens and Brooklyn District Attorneys' Offices, supervising appellate litigation and other matters, and as a trial attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. She was also a tenured Professor of Law at Yale Law School, law clerk to Chief Judge David L. Bazelon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and to Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court. "She earned a B.A. from Harvard University (Radcliffe College) and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Terryl Brown will serve as Counsel to the Attorney General. Ms. Brown has served as the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the New York Power Authority (NYPA) for the past two years."Prior to joining NYPA, Ms. Brown was Acting Counsel to Governor David A. Paterson, and previously served as First Assistant Counsel to Governors Paterson and former Governor Spitzer. Prior to joining the Governor's Office in 2007, Ms. Brown served as the Assistant Deputy Attorney General of the Division of Public Advocacy in the New York State Attorney General's Office. In 1998, Ms. Brown was the Deputy Chief of the Civil Rights Bureau, and before that was an Assistant Attorney General in the Litigation Bureau defending actions brought against the state, state agencies and state officials. Ms. Brown worked in private practice and also worked overseas for the Dutch law firm, Nauta Dutilh. Ms. Brown received a B.A. from Pace University, and a J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh.

Karla Sanchez will serve as Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice. Ms. Sanchez was a Partner at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler. She has successfully litigated before courts and arbitration panels throughout the country representing both plaintiffs and defendants involving a broad range of products and disciplines, including residential mortgage-backed securities, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, underwater sea cables, and consumer products. She was the first and sole Hispanic partner at Patterson Belknap and was recognized as one of Crain's New York Business's 40 Under Forty. Prior to joining Patterson Belknap, Ms. Sanchez served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Deborah A. Batts, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She received her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and A.B. from Columbia University.

Nancy Hoppock will serve as Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice. Ms. Hoppock joined the United States Attorney's Office in New Jersey in 2001, where she handled a broad range of federal white collar and violent crime cases." During her tenure with the U.S. Attorney's Office she was promoted to supervise the Government Fraud Unit, then became the Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, and later the Chief of the Criminal Division, where she oversaw all seven units with the U.S. Attorney's Office to include Asset Forfeiture, Organized Crime, General Crimes, Economic Crimes, Health Care Fraud, Narcotics, and National Security. Ms. Hoppock was a recipient of the Department of Justice's Directors Award this year for her work on the prosecution of a human trafficking case arising out of Newark, United States vs. Afolabi, et al. A career prosecutor for 16 years, Ms. Hoppock spent seven years as an Assistant District Attorney with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office in their trial division. She received her B.A. from the University of Delaware and her law degree from Seton Hall.

Janet Sabel will serve as Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice. Ms. Sabel was the General Counsel of the Legal Aid Society and an experienced civil litigator. Ms. Sabel has been an attorney at the Legal Aid Society since 1985. At Legal Aid, Ms. Sabel has held the positions of staff attorney in the Civil Division's Brooklyn Neighborhood Office, staff attorney in the Civil Appeals and Law Reform Unit, where she worked on federal and class action litigation on disability and health issues, managing attorney of the Lower Manhattan Neighborhood Office and the Society's Health Law Unit, and Attorney-in-Charge of Legal Aid's citywide Immigration Law. Ms. Sabel received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden Scholar.