Judge John Gleeson went to college at Georgetown University and received his law degree in 1980 from the University of Virginia School of Law. After law school, Judge Gleeson served as a law clerk for the Hon. Boyce F. Martin, Jr., United States Circuit Judge in the Sixth Circuit, in Louisville, Kentucky. From 1981 to 1985, he was a litigation associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York City.
Judge Gleeson was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York from 1985 to 1994. He served as Chief of Appeals, Chief of Special Prosecutions, Chief of Organized Crime, and Chief of the Criminal Division, the position he occupied when he was appointed to the bench. In 1992, Judge Gleeson was awarded the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award for his work as lead prosecutor in the case United States v. John Gotti, et al. Judge Gleeson was appointed as a United States District Judge on September 28,1994, and sits in the Eastern District courthouse on Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn Heights.
Judge Gleeson is an author of the treatise Federal Criminal Practice: A Second Circuit Handbook, LexisNexis (12th Edition 2012) (with Gordon Mehler and David C. James), and of the following articles: “The Sentencing Commission and Prosecutorial Discretion: The Role of Courts in Policing Sentence Bargains,” 36 Hofstra Law Review 639 (2008); “Supervising Federal Capital Punishment: Why The Attorney General Should Defer When U.S. Attorneys Recommend Against The Death Penalty,” 89 Virginia Law Review 1697 (2003); “Supervising Criminal Investigations: The Proper Scope of the Supervisory Power of Federal Judges,” 5 Journal of Law and Social Policy 423 (1997); “Sentence Bargaining Under the Guidelines,” 8 Federal Sentencing Reporter 6 (1996); and “The Federalization of Organized Crime: The Advantages of Federal Prosecution,” 46 Hastings Law Journal 1095 (1995) (with John C. Jeffries, Jr.).
Judge Gleeson is an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, where he teaches courses in Complex Federal Investigations and Sentencing. He has also taught at Brooklyn Law School. In the spring of 1994, Judge Gleeson served as the John A. Ewald, Jr., Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law. From 1999 to 2008, Judge Gleeson was a member of the Defender Services Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, and he served as Chair of the Committee from 2005 to 2008.