Alumnus Tristram Coffin ’89 Nominated as U.S. Attorney for District of Vermont


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New York, May 18, 2009
— President Barack Obama has nominated Tristram J. Coffin ’89 to serve as United States Attorney for the District of Vermont, pending confirmation by the Senate. Coffin, 45, would be the 36th United States Attorney in Vermont’s history, running the U.S. Attorney’s offices in Burlington and Rutland, which include approximately 20 attorneys who represent the U.S. in civil and criminal cases in Vermont.

Coffin is a director of the law firm of
Paul Frank + Collins, whose Burlington office he joined in 2006. A member of the litigation team, Coffin is involved in white collar criminal defense, civil litigation, government enforcement, and medical malpractice defense. He devotes a large part of his practice to representing physicians and hospitals in malpractice suits and other complex litigation.

From 1994 to 2006, Coffin was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Vermont, most recently with the Criminal Division, where he represented the U.S. in diverse criminal matters, including investigations into fraud and criminal matters, international narcotics trafficking, and prosecutions. During his four-year tenure in the Civil Division, Coffin represented federal agencies in a variety of civil actions including health care and defense contracting fraud investigations, tort and medical malpractice actions, constitutional claims, employment discrimination lawsuits, and environmental actions.

While serving as legal counsel to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on the Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Technology and the Law from 1991 to 1994, Coffin worked on numerous pieces of legislation and other pressing legal matters.

Previously, Coffin spent a year as a litigation associate at Hale and Dorr in Boston, and served as a law clerk for the late Judge Albert Coffrin in the District of Vermont from 1989 to 1990.

He graduated from Columbia Law School in 1989 and was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, awarded in recognition of his superior academic achievement. During Law School, he was a researcher and writer for the Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems.  He received his B.A. from Wesleyan University.

Coffin lives in Vermont with his family, where he is active in the community.

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