John Gleeson was a federal judge for 22 years before joining Debevoise & Plimpton in 2016 as a litigation partner in the White Collar & Regulatory Defense and Commercial Litigation Groups. While a judge, he authored more than 1,500 published opinions (including 14 opinions for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, sitting by designation) and presided over more than 200 civil and criminal jury trials.
Before his appointment to the bench in 1994, Mr. Gleeson was a federal prosecutor in the same courthouse for 10 years. He served as Chief of Appeals, Chief of Special Prosecutions, Chief of Organized Crime, and Chief of the Criminal Division. Mr. Gleeson received the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award for his role as lead prosecutor in United States v. John Gotti.
Mr. Gleeson has taught law for 29 years. Over the past 23 years, he has taught courses in Complex Federal Investigations and Sentencing at New York University School of Law. He is a member of the American Law Institute, a trustee of the Vera Institute of Justice, a member of the Board of Directors of the NYU Institute of Judicial Administration and a member of the Advisory Board of the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at NYU School of Law.
Mr. Gleeson’s awards include the following: The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Law, University of Virginia (2016); Honorary Doctor of Laws, Northern Kentucky University (2016); The Distinguished Jurist in Residence, Cornell Law School (2016); The Distinguished Jurist Award, Defense Association of New York (2016); The Judicial Recognition Award, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2015); The Hon. William Brennan Award for Outstanding Jurist, New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2014); The Green Bag Exemplary Writing Award, for United States v. Dossie (2013); The Green Bag Exemplary Writing Award, for United States v. Ovid (2011); Special Recognition Award, New York Criminal Bar Association (2009); and The Hon. Edward Weinfeld Award, New York County Lawyers’ Association (2008)
Mr. Gleeson’s publications include Federal Criminal Practice: A Second Circuit Handbook (18th Edition) (2018) and numerous articles.
Mr. Gleeson earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and went to college at Georgetown University.