Briefing Room


Bodiker Lecture to feature prosecutor in Usama bin Laden, Blagojevich cases

September 18, 2013 | Events

In a post-9/11 world, debates regarding terrorism often pit civil liberties and national security interests against one another. For example: A suspected terrorist has been captured, and a choice has to be made as to whether to advise him of his Miranda rights.

Reaching a decision is more complicated than one would think – and many of the assumptions made on both sides of the debate are not so clear – as Patrick J. Fitzgerald will explain in an upcoming lecture at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. (To register for the event, click here.)

Fitzgerald, a partner with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, will present “Miranda and Terrorism Suspects: What to Do?” during the fifth annual David H. Bodiker Lecture on Criminal Justice on Oct. 8 at 12:10 p.m. in the Saxbe Auditorium. A seasoned trial lawyer and experienced investigator, Fitzgerald’s practice focuses on internal investigations, government enforcement matters, and civil litigation.

Prior to joining Skadden’s Chicago office in 2012, Fitzgerald 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, 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.

Fitzgerald previously 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 defendants were charged with and convicted of conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals overseas and the 1998 bombings of 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. He co-founded a unit investigating terrorist groups and facilitating coordination between the law enforcement and the intelligence communities. He also handled numerous drug trafficking cases and organized crime cases, including the six-month trial of United States v. John Gambino.

In 2013, Fitzgerald became the inaugural Steven Feirson Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. He has received numerous awards and recognition during his more than 20 years in public service, including the Justice John Paul Stevens Award from the Chicago Bar Association; the Cox, Coleman, Richardson Award for Distinguished Public Service from Harvard Law School; the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service; the Stimson Medal from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York; and the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service. Earlier this year, Fitzgerald was named one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” by The National Law Journal.