U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox Names Prerak Shah as the Second in Command of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas
On January 10, 2021, Prerak Shah was named the new Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, six months after Former Chief Federal Law Enforcement Officer of the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox has appointed Prerak Shah as the new First Assistant United States Attorney of the Office on July 21, 2020.
Table of Contents
- Appointment and Transition in the Office
- U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox’s Regards
- Legal Career and Experience of First Assistant United States Attorney Prerak Shah
- Statements from Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Claire Murray and Assistant Attorney General Jeff Clark
- Educational Background of FAUSA Prerak Shah
Appointment and Transition in the Office
On July 21, 2020, Prerak Shah will begin serving as the Office’s second in command. He is to take over the position of being the First Assistant United States Attorney to U.S. Attorney Cox, following the resignation of the second in command to the incumbent, Tanya Pierce, who has served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas for about 18 years, and as the Chief of Staff and Division Counsel in the Drug Enforcement Administration for about 11 years. Tanya Pierce, the former First Assistant to U.S. Attorney Erin Cox, has retired at the end of 2019, ending her approximately 30 years of service to the federal government. Prerak Shah took over from the Northern District of Texas’ Criminal Chief, Steve Fahey, who previously served as the Acting First Assistant United States Attorney of the district from January to July of 2020.
U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox’s Regards
First Assistant Shah officially became a part of the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas on July 13, 2020. He is considered to be a great addition to the Office. He is expected to do a wonderful job working for the Northern District of Texas, in collaboration with its law enforcement partners and the judges, given his extraordinary depth of experience. Furthermore, U.S. Attorney Cox expressed her faith in Prerak Shah, whose vast knowledge in both the federal and state laws and experience in both the government and private sector will definitely aid the strategic approach of the Office to materialize the priorities of the Department of Justice.
“Prerak Shah is a great addition to the Northern District of Texas and I am confident he will do a wonderful job working with our team, our law enforcement partners, and our judges,” said United States Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. “We are glad that he has returned to Dallas and know his extraordinary depth of experience – inside both federal and state government as well as the private sector – will no doubt inform our strategic approach to Justice Department priorities moving forward.”
“Steve’s extraordinary contributions during this challenging time have made it possible to continue to advance a number of mission-critical objectives while facing the unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic,” United States Attorney Nealy Cox wrote in an office-wide email. “I have felt so lucky to be able to call upon his wise counsel.”
Legal Career and Experience of First Assistant United States Attorney Prerak Shah
Prerak Shah comes with exemplary training and experience. He was once an Assistant Solicitor General in the Texas Attorney General’s Office. First Assistant Shah began working in the Office in February of 2016, wherein he carried out tasks involving highly complex and advanced appellate work. In line with this, Prerak Shah stood before numerous federal and state courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States, the Texas Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, among other Court of Appeals. After three months of serving proficiently in the position, he was promoted and appointed as the Senior Counsel to the Attorney General. For approximately ten months, from May of 2016 to February of 2017, First Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah has actively responded to legal issues that involved conditions of confinement, which arose out of specialized housing units. Apart from that, he was also responsible for responding to official correspondences, handling administrative remedy responses, requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act, as well as managing litigations.
Throughout his less than a year of service as a Senior Counsel, Prerak Shah has carried out a number of duties in the Executive Leadership Team, has supervised litigation teams, and has also represented the States of Texas in extensive cases, including the defense of the “Campus Carry” law, which authorizes licensed firearm holders to obtain and carry a concealed handgun throughout university campuses in the state. In addition, First Assistant Shah has contributed to the defense of Texas’ Voter ID, which was a major legal victory that allows requirements for voter ID to remain in place, as it prevents fraud and ensures accurate reflection of election results and, therefore, essentially preserving the democratic process in the state. Aside from the aforementioned cases, Prerak Shah has also previously worked on allowing open meetings with student-led public prayers in defense of the right of Texas school boards, void of violations in the U.S. Constitution. Prerak Shah’s promotion was announced by Attorney General Ken Paxton and First Assistant Attorney General Jeff Mateer on May 18, 2016. The promotion of Prerak Shah was made along with other changes in the top ranks of the Office of the Attorney General, made necessary to strengthen the leadership core further and to advance the work that is served by the Office to the State of Texas and its citizens.
In February of 2017, First Assistant Prerak Shah joined the United States Senate as a Chief Counsel to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas. He served in the position for exactly a year, until February of 2018. The time he served as Chief Counsel to U.S. Senator Cruz partly coincided with his time of service as a Chief of Staff and Senator Ted Cruz. Prerak Shah was Chief of Staff from December of 2017 to April of 2019.
Prerak Shah has a wealth of experience. A month following his departure from the Office of the United States Senate, Prerak Shah became a part of the U.S. Department of Justice. He held various senior leadership roles. He initially came into the Office as an Associate Deputy Attorney General in May of 2019. For approximately eight months, until January of 2020, Prerak Shah served as a principal advisor to the Deputy Attorney General. At the time, he also oversaw the Antitrust, Civil, Civil Rights, Environment & Natural Resources, and Tax Division’s civil and criminal work of the United States Department of Justice. In the later parts of January, First Assistant Prerak Shah subsequently became a part of the Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) as an Assistant Deputy Attorney General and served in the position for approximately seven months, until July of 2020. In this capacity, First Assistant United States Attorney Prerak Shah was in charge of the managing and supervising of about 75 trial lawyers who worked on top-level investigations and prosecutions from throughout the country. Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, Prerak Shah served in the U.S. Department of Justice for a little less than two years and provided impeccable aid in the development progression of numerous mission-critical objectives. Furthermore, he demonstrated proficiency in handling controversial litigations.
Statements from Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Claire Murray and Assistant Attorney General Jeff Clark
Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Claire Murray has noted the extraordinary talent of First Assistant Prerak Shah, as he was an invaluable member of the Associate’s Office. Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division Jeff Clark has also expressed commendation for the tremendous efforts of First Assistant Prerak Shah during his time as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General, particularly in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment Division.
“Pre is an extraordinarily talented attorney and was an invaluable member of the Associate’s Office. The Department is grateful for his past work and looks forward to everything he will accomplish in the Northern District of Texas,” said Claire Murray – Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General.
“Pre was a tremendous Deputy Assistant Attorney General, ably overseeing some of the most controversial litigation in the Environment Division at Main Justice. My loss is definitely USA Nealy Cox’s and Dallas’s gain,” said Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division Jeff Clark.
Educational Background of FAUSA Prerak Shah
First Assistant Prerak Shah earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Drexel University. He subsequently received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School, graduating with Honors in 2010. Prerak Shah started in the legal field as a Law Clerk under the Honorable Jerry E. Smith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Later on, he entered the private sector and became an Associate at the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.