On Friday, October 11, at 7:30 p.m., join former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York and New York Times best-selling author Preet Bharara at the Morristown Festival of Books as he discusses his book, Doing Justice: A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law. “In a fascinating combination of memoir and ethical-legal manifesto, Bharara reminds readers that, while the law is an incredible tool, it is people who create or corrupt justice.” Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review.
Preet Bharara served as U.S. attorney for the Southern
District of New York from 2009 to 2017. Bharara oversaw the
investigation and litigation of all criminal and civil cases and
supervised an office of more than 200 assistant U.S. attorneys, who
handled cases involving terrorism, narcotics and arms trafficking,
financial and healthcare fraud, cybercrime, public corruption, gang
violence, organized crime, and civil rights violations.
In 2017, Bharara joined the NYU School of Law faculty as a distinguished scholar in residence. He is the executive vice president of Some Spider Studios and the host of CAFE’s Stay Tuned With Preet, a podcast focused on issues of justice and fairness. Bharara graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and from Columbia Law School, where he was a member of the law review.
For more information and to buy tickets, click here.
On April 30, AABANY and Cleary Gottlieb co-hosted An Evening with Preet Bharara, at which former Acting US Attorney and current Cleary Partner Joon Kim engaged Preet in conversation about his new book Doing Justice. The event took place at Cleary and the room was filled to capacity, with those attendees who were not able to find seats standing along the sides.
After welcome remarks from Cleary by Managing Partner Michael Gerstenzang, AABANY President Brian Song offered some introductory remarks on behalf of AABANY and kicked off Joon Kim’s conversation with Preet Bharara. Preet spoke about his departure from the US Attorney’s office and the befuddling manner in which the President-Elect initially asked him to stay on as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, followed a few months later by his perplexing request, as President, for Preet to resign. Preet was confused by this request because he had been asked to stay on shortly after the 2016 election. When Preet received confirmation from the White House that the President indeed wanted him to resign, Preet refused, which led to his firing.
Despite starting the talk with President Trump’s firing of Preet, Preet pointed out that his book was not about President Trump. Preet stated that, in fact, the name Joon Kim shows up far more often in the index than Donald Trump. Preet spoke about his reasons for writing the book. He stated that for many years, he had wanted to write a sort “how to” manual for prosecutors who were at the start of their careers. He quickly realized that such a book would not make the bestseller list. Preet broadened his horizons and wanted to write a book that tackled questions like “What is justice? What is fairness? What is truth?” He realized that issues of truth and bias occur everywhere and affect everyone, not just in the law, but in society as a whole. He thus came up with Doing Justice, which is subtitled A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law.
The conversation covered numerous subjects and stories from Preet’s storied career as US Attorney in the Southern District, one of the nation’s leading prosecutor’s offices. During the Q&A that followed, Preet was asked what his inspiration was for becoming a lawyer. Preet responded that when he was in high school, he entered a public speaking contest and had to memorize and present a speech by legendary lawyer Clarence Darrow. This speech was Darrow’s summation in the case of People v. Henry Sweet, in which Darrow defended a black man accused of murder during an attack by white neighbors who did not want black people living in their neighborhood. Preet committed the following passage from Darrow to memory:
After all, every human being’s life in this world is inevitably mixed with every other life and, no matter what laws we pass, no matter what precautions we take, unless people we meet are kindly and decent and human and liberty-loving, then there is no liberty. Freedom comes from human beings, rather than from laws and institutions.
Preet admits that he might not have fully appreciated the meaning of those words as a teenager but understood it better every day as US Attorney.
We thank everyone who came out for An Evening with Preet Bharara, and we especially thank Cleary for providing the space, food, refreshments, drinks and copies of Doing Justice. It was a wonderful event, filled with inspiring ideas and stories. For the many young lawyers and lawyers-to-be in the room, there was ample reason given to devote at least some part of their legal careers to serve the public interest, and we thank Preet and Joon for providing us that inspiration.
Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney who fought corruption, financial fraud and violent crime, takes his NPR radio show Stay Tuned with Preet on the road this fall. Past episodes have covered topics such as the Kavanaugh hearings, leaks from the West Wing, and the silence of Congressional Republicans. Join Preet in NY on 10/25 with New Yorker staff writer and CNN analyst, Jeff Toobin. Next stop is a conversation with Meet the Press host Chuck Todd in Washington, DC on 11/15. Preet’s last show of the fall will be in Los Angeles with Oscar nominated writer and actor Kumail Nanjiani on 11/29. Come to one–or all! To get more details and purchase tickets, please visit Cafe’s website here. Listen to his previous podcasts here.
Former US Attorney for SDNY Preet Bharara brings his podcast “Stay Tuned with Preet” to the world-renowned Apollo Theater on April 26. Preet will interview Bassem Youssef, who has been called “the Jon Stewart of the Arab World.” President-Elect Brian Song will be there. Can we make it an AABANY group outing? If you are interested in helping us from a group, let Executive Director Yang Chen know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the link in the title for more details.
Preet Bharara starts from “first principles: Are we doing the right thing, and are we doing it for the right reasons?” – Joon Kim, Acting US Attorney, SDNY.
At the 2015 AABANY Annual Dinner, Charting New Frontiers, we presented the Public Service Leadership Award to Preet Bharara, for his extensive and well-known dedication and commitment to public service as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and in the many years before then. In accepting the award, Preet gave a moving and inspiring speech filled with good humor and the spirit of pride and professionalism in public interest and public service that has characterized his distinguished and storied career. Our usually raucous crowd listened in rapt silence for the entire length of his remarks and rose up in an enthusiastic standing ovation at their conclusion.
Preet, thank you for your leadership and your service, for Charting New Frontiers, for daring to Speak Up, Rise Up and Lift Up, and for serving as an exemplary role model as we seek to Take Charge, Lead Change in the coming weeks and months.
Joon H. Kim, who was honored at AABANY’s Annual Prosecutors Reception, was recently profiled by Bloomberg Business’s “Bharara’s Deputy Wall Street Cop Brings CV Pairing Citi, Gotti,” by Greg Farrell and Patricia Hurtado. The article points out how Joon’s unique background as white collar defense attorney and mob prosecutor may be exactly what high-profile U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Preet Bharara needs during the final phase of his tenure. As quoted in the article, [Benjamin Lawsky] said “He’s not afraid to say, even to a good friend like Preet, that this is a good idea or not a good idea.”
To read more, click on the link in the title.
This past Annual Dinner, we were privileged to award three inspirational honorees: Jenny R. Yang, An-Ping Hsieh, and Preet Bharara. We invite you to view the video playlist of the friends and colleagues that were kind enough to share the stories, successes, and journeys.
Jenny R. Yang Chair, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Women’s Leadership Award
An-Ping Hsieh Vice President & General Counsel, Hubbell Incorporated Corporate Counsel Leadership Award
Preet Bharara United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Public Service Leadership Award
Thanks to all those who attended the Annual Dinner in person and celebrated the strides that AABANY has made in getting a seat at the table, meeting amazing trailblazers such as the ones honored, and changing the game. Special thanks to all those featured, videographer Peter Chin, Lotas Productions, and the Annual Dinner Video Committee, chaired by Marianne Chow: Diane Gujarati, Naf Kwun, Amy Ngai, Ligee Gu, and Irene Tan.