Steven Grimberg – Nominee to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

A former prosecutor focused on economic crimes, Steven Grimberg currently serves in an unusual capacity for a judicial nominee, as General Counsel for a global investigations firm.

Background

Steven Daniel Grimberg was born in New York City in 1974.[1]  After getting an B.A. from the University of Florida in 1995, Grimberg attended Emory University Law School, graduating in 1998.  Following his graduation, Grimberg spent a year at Vial, Hamilton, Koch & Knox LLP in Dallas, three years at Muller Mintz P.A. in Miami, and three years at Hunton & Williams in Atlanta.[2]

In 2005, Grimberg joined the Department of Justice in Washington D.C. as a trial attorney in the Tax Division.  In 2010, he moved to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia to be Deputy Chief of the Economic Crimes Division under then U.S. Attorney Sally Yates.[3]

In 2018, Grimberg became General Counsel at Nardello & Co, a global investigations firm.

History of the Seat

Grimberg has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.  This seat was vacated on December 1, 2018, when Judge Richard Story moved to senior status.  Grimberg had applied with the Georgia senators for the vacancy that opened with Judge William Duffey’s move to senior status, but was not selected for that seat.[4]  However, in October 2018, when Story announced his intention to take senior status, the White House began vetting Grimberg.[5]  Grimberg was nominated on April 2, 2019.

Legal Experience

While Grimberg began his legal career in private practice, he has spent the most critical portion of his career as a prosecutor.  As a federal prosecutor, Grimberg prosecuted Becky McCord, a Georgia Superior Court clerk, of stealing $134,000 in fees and funds.[6]  He also prosecuted Annamalai Annamalai, a self-proclaimed spiritual leader who defrauded much of the Georgian Hindu community through fraudulent credit card transactions, which he used to finance a lavish lifestyle.[7]

Since 2018, Grimberg has served as General Counsel for the Americas at Nardello & Co, a global investigations firm.  In this role, Grimberg serves as the primary legal guide for the firm, which conducts investigations on behalf of law firms and financial institutions.

Political Activity

Grimberg is a member of the Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy.[8]  He has also donated to the Presidential campaign of Sen. Marco Rubio.[9]

Writings

In 2018, Grimberg co-authored a paper with former FBI Agent Mark Ray discussing cybersecurity measures that should be taken by corporations.[10]  The article suggested that corporations should conduct a cybersecurity assessment to determine their level of vulnerability to a data breach and then implement and test incident response plans to respond to such data breaches.[11]

Overall Assessment

While Grimberg’s current position in house with an investigations firm is unusual for a judicial nominee, his background as a prosecutor is not.  Grimberg is now the third (of four) Trump nominee to the Northern District with prosecutorial experience.  If confirmed, Grimberg is expected to add another conservative voice to that court.


[1] Sen. Comm. on the Judiciary, 115th Cong., Steven Grimberg: Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees 1.

[2] Id. at 2.

[3] Id.

[4] That nomination went to State Judge J.P. Boulee.

[5] Id. at 37.

[6] Andria Simmons, Crime and Punishment; Court Clerk Accused of Fraud, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Apr. 27, 2011.

[7] United States v. Annamalai Annamalai, et al., No. 1:13-CR-00437-TCB-CMS (N.D. Ga.).

[8] See Grimberg, supra n. 1 at 7.

[9] Center for Responsive Politics, https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=steven+grimberg&cycle=&state=&zip=&employ=&cand= (last visited Apr. 29, 2019).  

[10] Steven Grimberg and Mark Ray, A Call to Action: Cybersecurity Due Diligence in Today’s Business Climate, 5 Emory Corp. Accountability Rev. 73 (2018).

[11] Id. at 75.

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