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Hon. Colleen McMahon

Hon. Colleen McMahon

United States District Court, Southern District of New York
District Judge
New York City, NY, USA


Colleen McMahon was appointed to the bench of the Southern District of New York by President William Jefferson Clinton; she was confirmed on October 21, 1998. 

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Judge McMahon graduated from The Ohio State University in 1973, summa cum laude and with distinction in Political Science. She attended Harvard Law School from 1973-1976, graduating cum laude. She spent all but one of the next nineteen years at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, where in 1984 she became the first woman litigator elected to partnership. During 1979-80, Judge McMahon took a ten month leave of absence from the firm to serve as the Speechwriter/Special Assistant to Donald McHenry, the Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations.

During her years in private practice, Judge McMahon chaired the Committees on State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction and Women in the Profession of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and served as a member of other Association committees, including the Committee on the Judiciary. For three years, Judge McMahon was an ABCNY representative to the House of Delegates of the New York State Bar Association. She also served in various civic capacities and as Vice Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of New York.

In 1993, Judge McMahon was asked by Chief Judge Judith Kaye to chair a commission to reform New York's jury system (The Jury Project). The group's report, which Judge McMahon wrote, was praised by The New York Times as "making a persuasive case for serious attention in Albany," and nearly all of its 82 substantive recommendations for reform were eventually implemented.

In June 1995, Governor George Pataki nominated Judge McMahon to the New York Court of Claims. Designated as an Acting Justice of the State Supreme Court, she conducted felony trials in Manhattan until her appointment to the federal bench three years later.

Courtroom Deputy/Judicial Assistant: Mariela De Jesus

Law Clerks: James F. O'Neill, Esq. (Career Law Clerk), Dylan Keenan, Esq., Sarah Siegel, Esq.

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