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Senator Kirk Picks Manish Shah for Appointment to be Northern District of Illinois Court Judge

Tuesday, Jun 11, 2013


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) recommended today Manish Shah of Chicago, Chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office and former Chief of its Appellate Division, for appointment to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. 


“I am proud to put forward the name of Manish Shah to be the next federal district court judge for Northern Illinois,” Senator Kirk said.  “He’s the most experienced prosecutor we have, and because of his stellar record in working with former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, I think he is the best one for the bench.  I look forward to working with Senator Durbin to make sure we have highly-skilled candidates like Shah to help strengthen our courts and clean up Illinois.” 


Under Senate tradition for Illinois the senator from the party not in control of the White House generally makes nomination recommendations to the White House for one federal district court judgeship for every three of the party in power. This is the second recommendation by Senator Kirk. Senators Kirk and Durbin consult each other during the recommendation process and work to secure prompt confirmation of nominees. The arrangement is intended to ensure the orderly filling of federal judge vacancies on the Illinois bench.


Sen. Kirk formed a bipartisan Judicial Review Commission earlier this year. He directed the Commission to identify "the strongest applicants from Illinois for consideration by the President and U.S. Senate."  Chaired by Peter Baugher of Schopf & Weiss LLP, the 14-member Commission met four times to review judicial candidates and their backgrounds. The Commission's review process included personal interviews as well as calls to colleagues, opposing counsel and judges. Today's announcement is the result of that process.


"We received over 40 applications from accomplished private practitioners, government attorneys, judges and academics, with diverse backgrounds," said Baugher. "Manish Shah stood out.  At an early age, he has already established a record as an outstanding lawyer and dedicated public servant."


Commission members were: Peter Baugher, Chair (Schopf & Weiss LLP), Wayne Andersen (former federal judge), Keith Beyler (SIU Law School), former-Congresswoman Judy Biggert, Roxane Busey (Baker & McKenzie), James Figliulo (Figliulo & Silverman, P.C.), Victor Henderson (Henderson Adam LLC), Larry Kuster (Rammelkamp Bradney P.C.), Lynn Mirabella (Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC), James Montana (VedderPrice PC), Jennifer Nijman (Nijman Franzetti LLP), Richard Porter (Kirkland & Ellis LLP), Ronald Safer (Schiff Hardin LLP), and Marschall Smith (Archer Daniels Midland).




Manish Shah, age 40, was born in New York. His parents emigrated from India and raised their two sons in West Hartford, Conn.  Shah attended Stanford University and graduated with honors and distinction. He attended the University of Chicago Law School and graduated with honors. Shah and his wife Joanna Grisinger, who teaches at Northwestern University, currently live in Chicago.


After law school, Shah was a litigation associate at Heller Ehrman in San Francisco and clerked for Hon. James B. Zagel of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.


Shah joined the Chicago U.S. Attorney’s Office in September 2001 and prosecuted violent crime, international drug trafficking, complex fraud and public corruption. Together with a team of prosecutors and federal agents, he investigated and prosecuted a series of cases arising out of the City of Chicago’s Hired Truck Program and Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.


During his career at the U.S. Attorney’s Office Shah served in several leadership positions. He was a Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Section and the Financial Crimes and Special Prosecutions Section, and he was the Chief of the Appellate Section. Currently, Shah is the Chief of the Criminal Division and is responsible for supervising the prosecutions in the Northern District of Illinois handled by the approximately 130 Assistant United States Attorneys.




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