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Robert Capers ’96, former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, has joined Arent Fox LLP as a partner and co-chair of its government enforcement and white collar practice, the firm announced Monday.
Capers, a career prosecutor, is shifting to private practice after more than 20 years in public service. He started at the New York County District Attorney’s Office in 1996, joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York in 2003, and was confirmed in December 2015 as U.S. Attorney. As the district’s top prosecutor, Capers led a number of high-profile cases—including the indictment of pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli on fraud charges—and oversaw the extradition of infamous drug cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman from Mexico.
“Rob has distinguished himself as one of the top prosecutors in the country,” Arent Fox chair Mark Katz said in a statement, noting Capers’ “experience managing one of the busiest U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the country.” Capers and dozens of other U.S. Attorneys resigned in March 2017 at the behest the new presidential administration.
“The first step was finding a place that felt very comfortable for me and felt like home, working with a diverse group of people who were doing great work and who also understand the importance of balance and community service,” Capers told the New York Law Journal. “And I found that at Arent Fox.”
Capers will work from the firm’s New York City office. He also is part of its business compliance and integrity monitorships team, which advises corporations on governance best-practices; conducts internal investigations; counsels boards of directors; creates compliance programs; and provides representation for clients in matters before the Department of Justice.
Capers has participated in a number of Albany Law School events. Most recently he delivered the keynote at the Class of 2020 orientation, advising the incoming law students to keep their minds open to different careers in the law, recalling how his trajectory changed after taking a trial tactics course in his second year. "That class tapped into something that I didn't realize I was missing," he said.
He celebrated his 20th class reunion last year.