Fordham Law

Adjunct Professor Patty Shwartz Nominated for the United States Court of Appeals

October 11, 2011

President Obama has nominated Judge Patty Shwartz, an adjunct professor of law at Fordham Law School, for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

"Judge Shwartz has a long and impressive record of service and a history of handing down fair and judicious decisions," President Obama said. "She will be a thoughtful and distinguished addition to the 3rd circuit and I am extremely pleased to put her forward."

Judge Shwartz has served as a Magistrate Judge on the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey since 2003 and has taught as an adjunct at Fordham Law since 2009. She received her B.A. in 1983 from Rutgers University, graduating with highest honors and received her J.D. in 1986 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was named the Outstanding Woman Law Graduate of her class. 

After graduating from law school, she worked as an associate at Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz (now Pepper Hamilton LLP) before serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Harold A. Ackerman of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey from 1987 to 1989.

In 1989, Judge Shwartz joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, where she prosecuted a wide range of criminal cases.  During her time at the United States Attorney’s Office, Judge Shwartz held the following leadership positions: Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, from 1995 to 1999; Chief of the Criminal Division, from 1999 to 2001 and again from 2002 to 2003; and Executive Assistant United States Attorney, from 2001 to 2002.

Since becoming a Magistrate Judge in 2003, Judge Shwartz has handled more than 4000 civil and criminal cases.  She has issued opinions and orders resolving pre-trial disputes in civil cases, written reports and recommendations to district court judges on a variety of issues, conducted preliminary proceedings in criminal cases, and presided over 14 trials with the consent of the parties.