The Honorable John Michael Vazquez, a former United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey, is a Member with the firm’s Litigation and White Collar Defense & Investigations Groups. Judge Vazquez served as a United States District Judge from 2016, upon his appointment by President Barack Obama, to 2023.
Judge Vazquez brings his unique ability and decades of diverse experiences, including those from the federal judiciary to his practice at the firm, where he focuses on complex civil litigation, “bet-the-company” litigation, internal investigations, and criminal defense. He is also available as a special master and mediator in matters involving a broad range of industries.
Whether in litigation, risk avoidance, or alternative dispute resolution, Judge Vazquez’s unique background at both the state and federal levels offers the firm’s clients a strategic approach to an array of complex matters, which include the following:
- Healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, including qui tam and fraud matters;
- Intellectual property litigation involving patents (including ANDA matters), copyright, and trademark/trade dress issues;
- Securities litigation, including those arising under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act;
- Class actions;
- Antitrust and RICO matters;
- Products liability claims; and
- Employment disputes, including the defense of trade secrets and/or confidential information and non-solicitation disputes.
Much of Judge Vazquez’s strategic approach draws upon his seven years of experience as a federal district judge, where he oversaw a docket including significant and complicated civil and criminal matters.
Prior to his appointment to the federal bench, he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey from 2001 to 2006. During his time at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Judge Vazquez oversaw the Office’s health care fraud matters as the Health Care Fraud Coordinator from 2004 to 2006.
In 2006, Judge Vazquez left the U.S. Attorney’s Office to serve in the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General, first as Special Assistant Attorney General and then as First Assistant Attorney General. As First Assistant Attorney General, he was responsible for the daily operations of all divisions of the New Jersey Department of Law & Safety.
Notably, after leaving the Attorney General’s Office, Judge Vazquez joined a North Jersey-law firm, where he represented, among others, Anthony R. Suarez, the then-Mayor of Ridgefield, in a 2010 trial regarding corruption charges. Ultimately, Judge Vazquez helped win an acquittal for his client, which broke a government streak of more than 200 public corruption convictions. In addition, shortly before the joining the federal bench, Judge Vazquez was co-counsel in a federal civil trial in which he helped secure a jury verdict of more than $100 million for his client in a breach of contract case stemming from a settlement in patent litigation.
Judge Vazquez earned his J.D., summa cum laude, from Seton Hall University School of Law, and his B.A. from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Herman D. Michels of the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, before joining a North Jersey-based law firm as an associate until 2001.
*Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
- Seton Hall University School of Law (J.D., summa cum laude, 1996)
- Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (B.A., 1992)
- New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court