Brooklyn Boro

Breon Peace sworn in as new U.S. attorney for Eastern District

Headquartered in Brooklyn, district stretches from Staten Island to Suffolk

October 15, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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As anticipated, Breon Peace, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer’s pick for U.S. attorney for the Eastern District, was sworn in on Friday in Brooklyn Federal Court by U.S Chief District Judge Margo K. Brodie, EDNY.

Peace, a longtime member of the international law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, was appointed by President Joseph R. Biden. As U.S. attorney, he leads an office that is responsible for all federal criminal and civil cases in a district comprised of more than 8 million people in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Peace was a partner in the New York office of Cleary and was a member of the firm’s White Collar Defense & Investigations and Litigation Groups.

“I am honored to serve as the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York. This office has a long history of excellence, integrity, and outstanding service to the community. I look forward to leading the office’s incredibly talented and dedicated women and men in addressing present and future challenges in the Eastern District,” said U.S. Attorney Peace.

Peace has had a distinguished career, having joined Cleary in 1996. He is no stranger to the Eastern District — From 1997 to 1998, he served as law clerk to Hon. Sterling Johnson Jr. of the United States District Court, EDNY.

From 2000 to 2002, he served as an assistant United States attorney for the Eastern District, where he successfully handled a wide array of federal criminal cases in the district court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Breon Peace, new U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Photo courtesy of U.S. Attorney’s Office

As an acting professor of clinical law at NYU Law School, Peace trained aspiring prosecutors in the law school’s Prosecution Clinic during the 2002-2003 academic year.

He returned to Cleary in 2003, and in 2007 made history by becoming the first African American man to be elected partner at the firm. In addition to handling significant white collar, regulatory enforcement, and complex commercial litigation matters for clients, Peace held several positions of leadership at the firm, serving most recently as a member of its Global Executive Committee.

In 2012, Peace was appointed by Hon. Nicholas G. Garaufis of the United States District Court, EDNY, to serve as a special master in United States et al. v. City of New York, a high-profile case brought against the New York City Fire Department alleging discrimination on the basis of race and national origin in hiring Black and Hispanic firefighters.

While at the law firm, Mr. Peace also maintained an active pro bono practice vindicating the rights of clients in criminal, immigration, human trafficking, and civil rights cases. Notably, he led the team of lawyers that in 2016 won dismissal of the indictment of a man who had been wrongly convicted of murder, rape, and robbery in 1981 and spent almost 30 years in prison.

Mr. Peace received his J.D. in 1996 from New York University School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review and later served as a member of the Board of Trustees, and his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, in 1993.

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