Attorney General Keynotes at Seton Hall Law's Diversity Speaks
On October 22, 2018, Seton Hall University School of Law and Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C. hosted the 2018 Diversity Speaks Lecture Series featuring New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. Introduced by Dean Kathleen Boozang as a “man of integrity,” General Grewal spoke of his Office’s pursuit of justice across a range of social issues, including strengthening community relations with the state’s 35,000 law enforcement officers and a multi-pronged effort to combat the opioid epidemic.
Speaking candidly to an auditorium filled with students, faculty, and alumni, the General recalled a turning point in his life after the September 11 attacks. As a Sikh-American living in Washington, D.C., “I felt wrongly judged and wanted to promote understanding and acceptance.” It was a transformative moment, leading General Grewal to his career in public service. Unfortunately, he related, even today there are those who continue to denigrate those they view as outsiders because of their faith, their race, or their national origin.
Tying together his remarks, he summarized, “How we choose to respond to those in need, those are acts of justice.”
Concluding his remarks, General Grewal is hopeful for New Jersey and committed to see justice through because of the many strides already made and the talents of Seton Hall lawyers in the making.
Before becoming New Jersey Attorney General, Grewal served as Bergen County Prosecutor, the chief law enforcement officer of the most populous county in New Jersey and home to nearly 1 million residents living in 70 municipalities. As Bergen County Prosecutor, Grewal supervised a staff of 265 personnel and had supervisory authority over approximately 2,700 sworn law enforcement officers across 74 law enforcement agencies. Among other accomplishments during his tenure, he developed and implemented several creative approaches designed to tackle the heroin and opioid crisis, including “Operation Helping Hand,” a program that offers low-level drug offenders treatment options upon arrest. He also established a Community Affairs Unit, which is dedicated to assisting local departments improve police/community relations.
From 2010 to 2016, Grewal worked as an Assistant United States Attorney (“AUSA”) in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, where he served as Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit from 2014 to 2016 and oversaw the investigation and prosecution of all major white collar and cybercrimes in the District of New Jersey. He was the lead prosecutor in United States v. Drinkman, et al., the largest known data breach prosecution in which the conspirators participated in a worldwide scheme that targeted major corporate networks and stole more than 160 million credit card numbers, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. He was also the lead prosecutor in United States v. Weinstein, et al., a $200 million Ponzi scheme in which the lead defendant was sentenced to 24 years imprisonment.
Before becoming a federal prosecutor in New Jersey, Grewal also served as an AUSA in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York from 2004 to 2007, where he was ultimately assigned to the Business and Securities Fraud Unit. As an AUSA in the Eastern District of New York, he investigated and prosecuted a wide range of narcotics offenses, white collar crimes, and terrorism cases. His significant matters included the successful prosecution of 12 men charged with providing material support to the Tamil Tigers terrorist organization.
In addition to his work as a federal prosecutor, Grewal has also worked in private practice, including at Howrey LLP (from 1999 to 2004 in Washington, D.C., and from 2008 to 2010 in New York, NY). While at Howrey LLP, he counseled clients on a range of matters including securities, trademark, antitrust and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act issues; represented individuals and companies in government investigations and criminal proceedings; conducted internal investigations for public corporations; and conducted civil trials.
Attorney General Grewal graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1995. He obtained his law degree from the College of William & Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law in 1999.
Past keynote speakers of the Diversity Speaks Distinguished Speaker Series, include former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey; former Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez; and U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, among others.