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Former U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr.

James P. Kennedy, Jr.


James P. Kennedy, Jr. became the United States Attorney for the Western District of New York on November 17, 2017, having been designated and appointed to such position by United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In this position, Mr. Kennedy is responsible for overseeing the prosecution of any federal criminal case brought within the 17 counties of Western New York. The Office also represents the United States in all civil matters brought within this territory.

A Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude graduate of Hamilton College, Mr. Kennedy attended the Buffalo Law School where he graduated cum laude in 1988, having served as editor of the Buffalo Law Review.

Following law school, Kennedy worked as the Confidential Law Assistant to the late Honorable Michael F. Dillon and Honorable M. Dolores Denman, Presiding Justices, New York States Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department. In 1992, he was hired by then United States Attorney Dennis Vacco to serve as an Assistant United States Attorney. Starting first in the civil division, AUSA Kennedy, in 1993, became an OCDETF (Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force) Attorney where he prosecuted a number of high profile narcotics, violent crime, and police corruption cases. In 2004, AUSA Kennedy was selected by then United States Attorney Michael Battle to serve as the District’s first full-time Appellate Chief. In that capacity, he briefed and argued a number of cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City. In 2006, he became the Chief of the White Collar General Crimes unit, and in 2007, he was promoted to Criminal Chief for the Western District of New York. In April of 2010, he was selected by the United States Attorney William Hochul to be First Assistant U.S. Attorney.  On October 29, 2016, he was designated to serve as Acting United States Attorney.  During his tenure in the United States Attorney’s Office, Kennedy has received numerous awards and honors including the Attorney’s General’s John Marshall Award, one of the Department of Justice’s highest awards. Kennedy is on the faculty of the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina, and has previously traveled to the Republic of Georgia to teach as part of the Department of Justice’s Overseas Prosecutorial Development and Training Program.

Updated October 11, 2021