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Good Lawyering

Nancy Hoppock ’94,
Featured in the Star Ledger

Nancy Hoppock, ’94, Assistant U.S. Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, Newark, was featured in an article in the Star Ledger which focused on the benefits effective counsel can bring to a case.

Ms. Hoppock is prosecuting a human trafficking case at the Federal Courthouse here in Newark.

About Ms. Hoppock, the Ledger notes that:

She worked as a paralegal at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark while taking night classes at Seton Hall Law School. She spent seven years as a prosecutor for Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, then returned to New Jersey in 2001 and climbed the ranks at the U.S. Attorney’s Office to become deputy chief of its criminal division.

Dogged, meticulously organized and unfailingly polite, the composed Hoppock provides a counterbalance to Adetula’s courtroom emotion.

“She can go toe to toe with the best of them,” said Deborah Gramiccioni, who is criminal justice director for state Attorney General Anne Milgram and met Hoppock while working as a federal prosecutor.

“She is relentless,” said Jeffrey S. Chiesa, a former executive assistant to acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra.

About the case, the Ledger reports:

Then the lawyers took center stage, and the show began.

In a sweeping opening argument, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Hoppock painted the woman on trial, Akouavi Kpade Afolabi, as a villain plucked from the pages of Charles Dickens, saying Afolabi took girls from poor families in West Africa and mercilessly forced them to toil without pay in New Jersey hair-braiding salons.

Asked for comment by the Star Ledger, Director of the Skills Curriculum at Seton Hall Law, Professor Maya Grosz noted that “There is a real pleasure when you get to watch a good lawyer. And the really skilled ones -- those who know how to connect with a jury or a judge -- are the ones who can tell stories.”