A federal judge and former prosecutor, Barbara S. Jones, is resigning from the bench in order to join the law firm of Zuckerman Spaeder, according to The New York Times. Jones works in the Federal District Court in Manhattan and told the New York Times that her final day was Friday and she will begin working with the law firm later in January.
“I’ve been in public service for more than 40 years, the last 17 on the bench,” Judge Jones said. “I’m ready to try something new.”
Jones, 65, has yet to work for a law firm. Jones has not even worked for a law firm during a summer internship. She graduated from Temple University’s law school and worked the first half of her career as a prosecutor in three different offices. Those three offices include the Justice Department’s organized crime strike force, the United States attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York and the Manhattan district attorney’s office. Jones was nominated for a judgeship in 1995 by President Bill Clinton after being recommended by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
“Barbara is smart, dedicated and understands both the letter and objectives of the law,” Mary Jo White said. White is a former United States attorney in Manhattan. She now works as a partner for Debevoise & Plimpton. “She also understands people and brings real humanity to everything she does.”
Zuckerman Spaeder operates its headquarters in Washington and has continued to expand its office in Manhattan recently. There are roughly 90 lawyers employed by the firm and made a name for itself with its criminal defense work. William W. Taylor III, a partner in the Washington office of the firm, was on the team that defended Dominique Strauss-Kahn in the sexual assault case against him.
“Being able to attract a lawyer like Judge Jones validates what we have been doing since we relaunched the New York office,” Steven M. Cohen said. Cohen is a former aide for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who was recently hired at Zuckerman Spaeder.
“I’ve always been awed by the power and responsibility that comes with being a judge and don’t expect to have that ever again,” Judge Jones said. “But I’ve never been a private citizen and am excited to go out into the world.”
Judge Jones presided over many high-profile cases, including the 1997 trial of Autumn Jackson, who tried to extort millions of dollars from entertainer Bill Cosby. The case against Jackson resulted in a conviction.