DOJ SealDepartment of Justice

United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
MONDAY, MAY 21, 2007                                                                         PHONE: (409) 839-2538
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe                                                                  CELL: (409) 553-9881

 

EASTERN DISTRICT WELCOMES NEW U.S. ATTORNEY
Ratcliffe assumes role as Lead Law Enforcement Officer for East Texas

(Beaumont, TX) -         John L. Ratcliffe assumed the duties of United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas on Saturday, May 19, 2007.  Ratcliffe has previously served as both First Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of Anti-Terrorism for the Eastern District. As United States Attorney, Ratcliffe now directs thousands of federal prosecutions and civil cases in a 43 county area stretching from the Oklahoma border to the Gulf of Mexico. He oversees a budget of more than $8 million and actively manages a staff of more than 100, including 50 lawyers in six fully staffed offices located in Beaumont, Plano, Tyler, Sherman, Texarkana and Lufkin.

Ratcliffe follows Matthew D. Orwig, who announced his departure from the Department of Justice on April 9.  Orwig left the post on May 18 to join a national law practice, Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal L.L.P., as Dallas managing partner and national chair of Sonnenschein’s Government Litigation and Investigations Group.

 “Serving as United States Attorney has been an incredible honor, privilege and blessing,” said Orwig. “I have always felt that it would take a very unique and special opportunity for me to leave this position even one day early. I am delighted to now have that opportunity with Sonnenschein.”      

During Orwig’s tenure as United States Attorney, the Eastern District of Texas increased criminal prosecutions by a staggering 76 percent.  Orwig remained committed throughout his term to pursuing Department priorities and successfully implemented programs that led to an overwhelming increase in the prosecution of cases involving the sexual exploitation of children, internet crimes, methamphetamine cases, health care fraud, and gang related activities.    

As Anti-Terrorism Chief, Ratcliffe served as the district's lead prosecutor in both international and domestic terrorism matters. As United States Attorney, Ratcliffe continues to focus on the prevention of terrorism, as well as the Department of Justice's other priority areas of violent crime, including gun and gang prosecutions, drug trafficking, crimes against children, corporate fraud and public corruption.

Ratcliffe is an AV rated attorney and is board certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. In addition to his roles as federal prosecutor and civil litigator, Ratcliffe has served as an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in Dallas and at Texas Wesleyan School of Law in Fort Worth.

Ratcliffe grew up in Chicago, Illinois and graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1986 and from Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1989. Ratcliffe and his wife Michele have been married for 17 years and have two daughters, Riley, 8, and Darby, 5.

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