Wil­liam McSwain sworn in as U.S. At­tor­ney

Ch­ester County na­tive lauded by Penn­syl­va­nia dig­ni­taries

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS SPOTLIGHT - By Michael P. Rel­la­han mrel­la­han @21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Ch­escoCourtNews on Twit­ter

PHILADEL­PHIA» Ch­ester County na­tive Wil­liam M. McSwain was for­mally in­stalled into the of­fice of U.S. At­tor­ney for the East­ern Dis­trict of Penn­syl­va­nia on Fri­day in the halls of the fed­eral courthouse here, the first of his kind to do so, not too many steps from the land­marks of the Lib­erty Bell and In­de­pen­dence Hall.

And de­spite the dig­ni­taries who packed the court­room to see McSwain sworn in to the po­si­tion he was ap­pointed to ear­lier this year, the pro­ceed­ings made clear that McSwain’s con­nec­tion with fam­ily and friends were not lost in the pro­ceed­ings.

Present in Chief U.S. Dis­trict Judge Lawrence F. Sten­gel’s court­room were U.S. Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey, as well as U.S. Cir­cuit Judge Mar­jorie O. Ren­dell, for whom McSwain served as clerk as a law school grad­u­ate and who ad­min­is­tered the for­mal oath of of­fice.

But also there were his close friends John J. Soroko, chair­man emer­i­tus of the pres­ti­gious Duane Mor­ris law firm, and Sa­muel G. Wil­liamson of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. As was his fam­ily, wife Stephanie, sons Con­nor, Brady, and Billy, and daugh­ter Nancy, as well as par­ents Hol­land McSwain Jr. and Lucy McSwain and in-laws Bill and Nancy Pol­lock.

His youngest child, Billy, a stu­dent at Pierce Mid­dle School in West Goshen, where McSwain and his fu­ture wife grew up as friends, led those in the court­room in the Pledge of Al­le­giance.

“The oath I took to­day reaf­firms my com­mit­ment to the cause of jus­tice for the peo­ple in the East­ern Dis­trict,” McSwain com­mented. “It is the same oath ev­ery As­sis­tant United States At­tor­ney in my of­fice takes on the first day on the job. And in that sense, we fully com­mit our­selves to­gether to keep our com­mu­ni­ties safe.”

In con­trast to the de­bates on Capi­tol Hill con­cern­ing the role of the De­part­ment of Jus­tice in to­day’s news, McSwain has said that he would hew him­self to a sim­ple stan­dard. “The thing that uni­fies us is that this is a job where pol­i­tics and po­lit­i­cal con­sid­er­a­tions do not drive what we do,” he told a Daily Lo­cal News re­porter ear­lier this week. “The peo­ple in the De­part­ment of Jus­tice are com­mit­ted to the rule of law, and are com­mit­ted to the fair ap­pli­ca­tion of the law.

McSwain was nom­i­nated as 39th U.S. At­tor­ney for the East­ern Dis­trict of Penn­syl­va­nia by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Dec. 20, and unan­i­mously con­firmed by the U.S. Se­nate on March 20. He as­sumed of­fice on April 6.

“Bill McSwain will make an out­stand­ing U.S. at­tor­ney,” said Toomey, who guided McSwain’s nom­i­na­tion through the U.S. Se­nate with the con­sid­er­a­tion of his col­league Casey. “In ad­di­tion to his vast ex­pe­ri­ence in both the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tors, he is com­mit­ted to the rule of law and ded­i­cated to en­sur­ing ev­ery­one is treated fairly un­der it.”

“I con­grat­u­late Mr. McSwain and his fam­ily on his in­vesti­ture, and I com­mend him for his will­ing­ness to serve,” re­marked Casey. “U.S. at­tor­neys play a vi­tal role in the fair, in­de­pen­dent ad­min­is­tra­tion of jus­tice in this coun­try, and Penn­syl­va­nia will ben­e­fit from Mr. McSwain’s ex­ten­sive le­gal and pros­e­cu­to­rial ex­pe­ri­ence.”

As Soroko, who McSwain has called a men­tor, re­marked, “How for­tu­nate for the cause of jus­tice and the rule of law that the arc of Bill McSwain’s ca­reer has now brought him back to the of­fice.”

Ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from the U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice, over the last 18 years, McSwain has built a di­verse trial prac­tice. Most re­cently, he served as a part­ner at the law firm of Drinker Bid­dle & Reath in its Philadel­phia of­fice, spe­cial­iz­ing in white col­lar crim­i­nal mat­ters and com­plex busi­ness lit­i­ga­tion. In 2016, he rep­re­sented for­mer Mag­is­te­rial Dis­trict Judge Mark Bruno in a ticket-re­lated scan­dal in Philadel­phia, help­ing to se­cure an ac­quit­tal for the long-serv­ing dis­trict jus­tice.

In ad­di­tion to his other work, McSwain led the de­fense of Ch­ester County’s 10 Com­mand­ments plaque on the en­trance to the His­toric Courthouse.

He pre­vi­ously served as an as­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­ney in the crim­i­nal divi­sion in the of­fice he now leads. While there, he was spe­cially as­signed to the U.S. De­part­ment of De­fense in 2004 to be the lead staff in­ves­ti­ga­tor and ex­ec­u­tive ed­i­tor of the “Church Re­port,” a world­wide ex­am­i­na­tion of mil­i­tary in­ter­ro­ga­tion tech­niques in the war on ter­ror.

Hav­ing worked with McSwain at the out­set of his le­gal ca­reer, Ren­dell of­fered a unique per­spec­tive on his ca­pa­bil­i­ties to lead the of­fice.

“I know Bill McSwain will lead the U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice with the same bril­liance, bal­ance, and pro­fes­sion­al­ism that he has shown in his le­gal ca­reer to date. Once a ter­rific law clerk for me, he will surely be a ter­rific United States At­tor­ney for the peo­ple of our re­gion,” she said dur­ing the cer­e­mony.

Prior to be­com­ing an at­tor­ney, McSwain served as an in­fantry of­fi­cer and scout/sniper pla­toon com­man­der in the U.S. Ma­rine Corps. In 1996, he de­ployed to the Per­sian Gulf re­gion with the 13th Ma­rine Ex­pe­di­tionary Unit, and while in that po­si­tion he re­ceived the Navy Achieve­ment Medal for joint op­er­a­tions with snipers from the Royal Jor­da­nian Army.

McSwain was the 1987 class vale­dic­to­rian of West Ch­ester’s B. Reed Hen­der­son High School and grad­u­ated with hon­ors from Yale Univer­sity in 1991. He earned his law de­gree from the Har­vard Law School in 2000, where he served as an ed­i­tor of the Har­vard Law Re­view. While at Har­vard, he was a mem­ber of the win­ning team in the Ames

Moot Court com­pe­ti­tion and re­ceived the Ge­orge S. Leisure award as the Best Oral­ist in the Ames com­pe­ti­tion.

McSwain was raised in West Ch­ester and re­sides here to­day with his wife and chil­dren. Speak­ing with the Daily Lo­cal News ear­lier this week, he com­mented that, “at my core, I’m just a reg­u­lar per­son, a reg­u­lar guy, hope­fully with the kind of com­mu­nity val­ues that peo­ple in West Ch­ester and Ch­ester County share and can be proud of.”

To con­tact staff writer Michael P. Rel­la­han call 610-696-1544.

Wil­liam McSwain

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