Katherine Polk Failla is the Chief of the Criminal Appeals Unit in the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, a position she has held since July 2008. For the four years preceding that, she served as a Deputy Chief in the Unit, and before that she was a member of the Office's Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. While in the Appeals Unit, Ms. Failla has worked on such appeals as United States v. Odeh, et al. (the Embassy Bombings case); United States v. Sattar, Stewart, Yousry (the case involving the communication of information to and from convicted terrorist Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman); United States v. Stein, et al. (tax shelters promoted by KPMG LLP); United States v. Coplan, et al. (tax shelters promoted by Ernst & Young LLP), and United States v. Rigas (the Adelphia corporate fraud case).
Ms Failla received a B.A. summa cum laude from the College of William & Mary in 1990, and a J.D. cum laude from the Harvard Law School in 1993. She served as Articles Editor, and later Co-Editor in Chief, of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. Ms. Failla then clerked for the Honorable Joseph E. Irenas of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey for one year. From October 1994 until March 2000, Ms. Failla was an associate in the Securities Litigation and Regulation Group at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in New York, where she worked on, among other things, litigation and regulatory proceedings stemming from the 1994 bankruptcy filing by Orange County, California. In April 2000, she joined the SDNY.