President Biden Nominates Former Partner Zahid Quraishi for U.S. District Court
Riker Danzig is proud to announce that President Biden has nominated our former White Collar Criminal Defense and Investigations Group Chair and current federal Magistrate Judge Zahid N. Quraishi to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on March 30, 2021. When confirmed, Judge Quraishi will be the first Muslim American in the country to serve on a U.S. District Court. He has served as a Magistrate judge for the court since 2019.
The New Jersey Law Journal reached out to two Riker Danzig attorneys for their thoughts on Judge Quraishi’s nomination in its April 1, 2021 article, “2 Nominees for Federal Court Signal End of NJ's Judicial Drought.”
Of Counsel Samuel P. Moulthrop, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of the Criminal Division, cited Judge Quraishi’s “deep reservoir of legal knowledge and experience, respect for the law and the institutions of government,” as well as his “penchant for fairness to all who come before him.” Partner Charles B. McKenna, formerly Chief Counsel to the Governor and Chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, described Judge Quraishi’s prosecutorial approach when in the U.S. Attorney’s Office as seeking “not just a particular result, but justice in each case,” and described him as “bright, hardworking, careful, empathetic and fair to both lawyers and litigants” on the bench. See NJLJ for the full article.
Judge Quraishi joined Riker Danzig in 2013, and was elected a partner in 2016. In 2019, he was named Chair of the Firm’s White Collar Criminal Defense and Investigations Group. The Firm also appointed him as its first Chief Diversity Officer in 2019. In addition to these roles, he was a member of the Firm’s Management and Hiring Committees. On June 13, 2019, Judge Quraishi received the Professional Achievement Award by the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association at its annual gala.
Before joining Riker Danzig, Judge Quraishi served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for over five years, where he tried numerous federal criminal cases involving public corruption, financial fraud, perjury, firearms and narcotics offenses within the Special Prosecutions Division and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and Government Fraud Units of the Criminal Division.
He previously represented the United States as an Assistant Chief Counsel and trial attorney with the Department of Homeland Security, and was military prosecutor with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, where he achieved the rank of Captain. He was assigned to the First Infantry Division stationed in Germany and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and 2006 before he was honorably discharged.
When sworn in as a federal Magistrate judge, Judge Quraishi became the first Asian American to sit on the federal bench in New Jersey’s history. He continued Riker’s long and noted tradition of public service by many current and former attorneys who have served on the state and federal bench and held other public offices. Among them are Marie Garibaldi, the first woman to serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court, and Anne Patterson, current Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.