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U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox names Prerak Shah First Assistant

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United States Attorney Erin Nealy Cox has appointed Prerak Shah as First Assistant United States Attorney, the office’s second in command, she announced today.

“Prerak Shah is a great addition to the Northern District of Texas and I am confident he will do a wonderful job working with our team, our law enforcement partners, and our judges,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox.  “We are glad that he has returned to Dallas and know his extraordinary depth of experience – inside both federal and state government as well as the private sector – will no doubt inform our strategic approach to Justice Department priorities moving forward.”

Mr. Shah’s first day with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas was Monday, July 13.

Prior to joining the office, Mr. Shah served in various senior leadership positions at the U.S. Department of Justice, including as a Deputy Associate Attorney General in the office overseeing the civil and criminal work of the Antitrust, Civil, Civil Rights, Environment & Natural Resources, and Tax Divisions. He also previously served as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General directly supervising the approximately 75 trial lawyers of the Department’s Natural Resources Section in investigations and trials across the country.

Before joining the Justice Department, Mr. Shah served as an attorney in the Dallas office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, as Senior Counsel to the Attorney General of Texas, as an Assistant Solicitor General of Texas, and Chief of Staff and Chief Counsel to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.  He graduated with honors from the University of Chicago Law School and clerked for the Hon. Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

“Pre is an extraordinarily talented attorney and was an invaluable member of the Associate’s Office.  The Department is grateful for his past work and looks forward to everything he will accomplish in the Northern District of Texas,” said Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Claire Murray.

“Pre was a tremendous Deputy Assistant Attorney General, ably overseeing some of the most controversial litigation in the Environment Division at Main Justice. My loss is definitely USA Nealy Cox’s and Dallas’s gain,” echoed Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division Jeff Clark.

Mr. Shah took the reins from Northern District of Texas Criminal Chief Steve Fahey, who served as Acting FAUSA from January to July.

“Steve’s extraordinary contributions during this challenging time have made it possible to continue to advance a number of mission-critical objectives while facing the unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic,” U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox wrote in an office-wide email. “I have felt so lucky to be able to call upon his wise counsel.”

Mr. Fahey will return to his role as Criminal Chief, where he’ll focus on a number of important strategic objectives facing the Northern District of Texas’ Criminal Division.

Prior to this, U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox’s first FAUSA was Tanya Pierce, who had worked as a Northern District of Texas AUSA for 18 years and then served the Drug Enforcement Administration as Chief of Staff and Division Counsel for 11 years. Ms. Pierce retired at the end of 2019 after 30 years in federal service.  

Established in 1879, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas has prospective responsibility for 96,000 square miles of Texas, a population of approximately eight million. The office is charged with vigorously enforcing the laws and defending the interests of the United States, and with promoting a peaceful and lawful community.

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