Lorna Schofield, a 1974 graduate of New Haven Senior High School, was nominated by the President on Thursday for a federal judicial seat for the Southern District of New York.
She is a former Governor of Hoosier Girls State, the American Legion Auxiliary program that gives civic experience to high school students from across Indiana.
Last week, I was privileged to hear former Attorney General Michael Mukasey address a group of conservation lawyers gathered in Washington, D.C. on the subject of terrorism. Mr. Mukasey served under former President George W. Bush and had, himself, earlier served as a federal judge.
I took the opportunity to ask Attorney General Mukasey a self-admittedly leading question after his speech. I remarked that Lorna Schofield had been recommended in January by US Senator Charles Schumer for the federal judiciary. I noted that she was a member of General Mukasey's firm, Debevoise & Plimpton and then asked if he could comment on her qualifications.
He smiled wryly at first but ended with a broad smile after he remarked she had a first rate legal mind, a strong work ethic, was a delight to work with, and that she was not bored easily which, he noted, was a helpful quality as a federal judge. He said that he worked with her closely and could recommend her heartily.
I then responded that all of us who had known her from junior high and high school all knew of her qualities well and that it was not surprising she was being recommended for this high responsibility.
I spoke with Mr. Mukasey briefly after the public portion of the luncheon had ended. I told him that Lorna's mother, a pharmacist, was herself a model of a strong work ethic and high integrity and that those were qualities she had instilled in Lorna.
- Mitch Harper, Editor FWOb
Other biographical information from the Deboise & Plimpton website:
Ms. Schofield has defended clients before the U.S. Department of Justice, the SEC, FTC, EPA, as well as state attorneys general and other state regulators. Clients in these matters have been engaged in the financial services, insurance and reinsurance, accounting, telecommunications, and pesticide industries, among others. She has also led internal investigations at a major software development company and an American automobile manufacturer.
Ms. Schofield is an experienced trial attorney, building on the trial experience she gained as a federal prosecutor. Her trials include the successful defense of celebrity Rosie O’Donnell at trial in a $100 million lawsuit brought by the former publishers of Rosie magazine and a class action jury trial for one of the Big Four accounting firms in which the jury returned a favorable verdict after only 30 minutes.
Prior to joining Debevoise, from 1984 to 1988, Ms. Schofield served as an Assistant US Attorney in the Criminal Division of the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where a majority of her cases involved commercial or financial fraud. During the height of the Iran-Contra scandal, she prosecuted 10 arms dealers, who were charged with defrauding the US Government to sell arms to Iran. Another major investigation that Ms. Schofield handled focused on a complex tax and customs fraud, involving import quotas on designer jeans.
Ms. Schofield is a former chair of the ABA Section of Litigation. She was listed as one of “The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America” in 2008 by The National Law Journal. Ms. Schofield has demonstrated U.S. trial techniques in mock trials for foreign and American lawyers in Hong Kong, Argentina and England. She has testified and provided commentary on proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, concerning class actions and discovery. Ms. Schofield has written and spoken frequently about trial tactics and women in the legal profession.
Ms. Schofield joined Debevoise in 1988 and became a partner in 1991. She received her B.A. magna cum laude from Indiana University and her J.D. from New York University, where she was an editor of the New York University Law Review.