Tessa M. Gorman
A 24-year veteran of the Department of Justice has been appointed to be the replacement of the outgoing U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. First Assistant U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman will be taking over in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington on March 1, 2021, pursuant to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. She is expected to serve as the Office’s Acting U.S. Attorney upon the resignation of U.S. Attorney Moran, who has recently been instructed to step down from his post at the request of President-elect Joe Biden. Moran, along with the rest of the 55 Trump-appointed U.S. Attorneys, has been given the orders to vacate the highest position in the Office on or before February 28, 2021, by Acting U.S. Attorney General Monty Wilkinson during an all-U.S. Attorney call last February 9. Giving such commands are deemed as a tradition in the process of transitioning from one administration to another. Tessa G. Moran will remain as Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington for a period of 300 days, or until a new Top Federal Prosecutor has been nominated by President Joe Biden and subsequently confirmed by the Senate.
Table of Contents
- Educational Background and Bar Admission
- Legal Career – Clerkship and Honors Program
- Legal Career – U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington
- Areas of Practice, and Honors and Awards
- More on Acting U.S. Attorney Gorman’s Legal Career
- Teaching Background
- Nomination for Becoming a Federal Judge at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
- Office Jurisdiction
- Contact Details
- Seattle Main Office
- Tacoma Branch Office
- Press and Public Information
- Social Media Profiles of Tessa Gorman
Long-time leader of the Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman, has bxeen tapped to be the Office’s interim Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official, replacing the outgoing U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. The 24-year veteran prosecutor, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Gorman, has been assigned to take over in the highest position in the Office as U.S. Attorney Moran resigns at the request of President-elect Joe Biden. On February 9, 2021, an all-U.S. Attorney call was initiated by Acting U.S. Attorney General Robert M.” Monty” Wilkinson to instruct the remaining 55 Trump-appointed Top Federal Prosecutors to step down from their positions and allow the new administration to put forth nominations for new Chief Federal Law Enforcement across the United States. By virtue of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman will temporarily fill the role that departing U.S. Attorney Moran has left vacant. Her appointment as Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington will be made effective on March 1, 2021, which shall last for a maximum of 300 days, or until a permanent Top Federal Prosecutor has been named under the Biden Administration.
Educational Background and Bar Admission
Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman is an alumna of Yale College, where she was a member of the Varsity Track & Field Team for four consecutive years. She later attended law school at the University of California – Berkeley School of Law, becoming the Editor of the California Law Review and eventually receiving her Juris Doctorate. Growing up in Olympia, Washington, U.S. Attorney Gorman was granted admission in the Washington State Bar Association in 2004, where she maintained an active membership.
Legal Career – Clerkship and Honors Program
In pursuit of being a Federal government employee and an attorney in the Department of Justice, Acting U.S. Attorney Gorman served as a Judicial Law Clerk under the Honorable Douglas P. Woodlock of the Office of the United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts straight upon graduation from law school. In fact, U.S. Attorney Gorman has long been involved with the Department of Justice, having been chosen as one of the very few scholars under the prestigious Washington, D.C.-based Honors Program in 1998. Subsequent to her clerkship years, Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman served as an Honors Trial Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice, where she has been assigned to the Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Section.
Legal Career – U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington
First coming into the Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington in the Seattle Main Office in 2001, U.S. Attorney Gorman was initially appointed as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Office’s Criminal Division. For the several years following her employment in the Office, U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman handled an array of complex fraud cases, including the 2013 case involving a $30 million Ponzi scheme; the bank fraud case that grew out of the failure of a south sound bank; and the 2011 case against an ID theft kingpin who recruited addicts and homeless individuals. U.S. Attorney Gorman was also previously involved in supervising and managing several other cases, including the ongoing Seattle Police Department Consent Decree, among other civil rights litigation. On top of that, she has handled a number of high profile cases in the Office, such as the 2020 prosecution of Huawei Technologies Co after being charged with conspiring to steal trade secrets from six U.S. technology companies; the 2019 cyber-hacking case of Capital One’s database, which led to a Seattle-based engineer gaining access to approximately 140,000 Social Security numbers and 80,000 bank account numbers; the $10.8 million civil settlement with Bradken, Inc. over False Claims Act allegations; another False Claims Act allegations, this time against a Seattle physician who specializes in pain management; and the criminal prosecution of an environmental disposal firm which was linked to committing fraud.
Areas of Practice, and Honors and Awards
In the earlier years of her career, Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman focused on the prosecution of criminal cases covering an extensive area, from violent crimes to complex frauds. More than that, she has been involved in the full spectrum of cases handled by the Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington, such as cases involving civil rights enforcement, cybercrimes, drug cartels, financial fraud litigation, hate crimes, human trafficking cases, public corruption, and violent gangs, with special reference to the homicide and sexual assault cases she handled in the Indian Country, which then became the highlights of her career. In 2008, U.S. Attorney Gorman, along with her trial team, was honored with a Director’s Award citing their excellent and successful prosecution of the Washington Nomads chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, which happened to be the first racketeering-influenced criminal organization (RICO) jury verdicts against the Hells Angels in the past 25 years.
More on Acting U.S. Attorney Gorman’s Legal Career
A 24-year veteran of the Department of Justice with approximately two decades of service in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, Acting U.S. Attorney Gorman has served in high-profile leadership roles for both the Office and the Federal Bar Association. Within her 20 years of career in the Office of the U.S. Attorney, Gorman has been named Chief of the Office’s Criminal Division, as well as the Office’s second-in-command. As First Assistant U.S. Attorney to former U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran, Gorman has efficiently and effectively provided guidance to the Office’s Civil, Criminal, and Appellate Divisions. Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman has had a deep involvement in the Office of the U.S. Attorney’s crime prevention and reentry efforts and has also been an exceptional asset in the Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington, where she served as its former President, from 2015 to 2016. In addition to her active participation in the Office and the Federal Bar Association, U.S. Attorney Gorman has also been chosen by the District Court Judges in Western Washington to be a District Court Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit for a three-year term beginning in 2015.
Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman is a member of the William L. Dwyer Inn of Court. Besides working as a prosecutor in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington, U.S. Attorney Gorman occasionally serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Washington School of Law, where she has previously taught Trial Advocacy. Every so often, she serves as a professional mentor to law students at both the University of Washington and Seattle University Schools of Law.
Nomination for Becoming a Federal Judge at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
Interim Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official Tessa Gorman is dedicated and talented personnel of the Department of Justice. On July 13, 2018, former President Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate U.S. Attorney Gorman to fill in as Federal Judge in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, which had been vacated by Judge Robert S. Lasnik, who took senior status on January 27, 2016. Unfortunately, Gorman’s nomination was never submitted to the Senate due to a dispute over a separate nomination.
The Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington is currently under the leadership of interim Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official Tessa M. Gorman. In the role of Acting U.S. Attorney, Gorman is responsible for overseeing and managing a staff of approximately 143 employees, consisting of 76 talented Assistant U.S. Attorneys and 67 support personnel. Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman, along with the rest of the Office, is in charge of serving and protecting the citizens of the Western District of Washington, mainly focusing on prosecuting crimes that are threats to the community, including cases of complex crimes, cybercrimes, drug trafficking, financial fraud, gang violence, organized crime, and terrorism. Moreover, the Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington collects debts owed to the United States and handles most of the civil claims and affirmative civil cases that are made against the United States government.
Full Name: Tessa M. Gorman
District/State: Western District of Washington
Public email ID: [email protected]
Seattle Main Office
United States Attorney’s Office
700 Stewart Street
Seattle, WA 98101-1271
Tacoma Branch Office
United States Attorney’s Office
1201 Pacific Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98402-4305
Press and Public Information
Social Media Profiles of Tessa Gorman
Username: U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington
Username: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington
Updated: August 24, 2021
Nicholas W. Brown is the next State’s Attorney for the Western District of Washington. His biography can be found here.
Updated: March 16, 2022