James B. Vargason, Esq.


Assistant Counsel, Office of Professional Responsibility, U.S. Department of Justice, Adjunct Professor of Law

B.S., Rochester Institute of Technology; J.D., Syracuse

Professor Vargason is an Assistant Counsel in the Office of Professional Responsibility at the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. In early 2011,...

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Professor Vargason is an Assistant Counsel in the Office of Professional Responsibility at the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. In early 2011, Professor Vargason volunteered to serve one year in a warzone in Iraq as the Department of Justice's Criminal Division's Resident Legal Advisor and Rule of Law Section Chief in Basrah. Professor Vargason first served at a Civilian/Military Provincial Reconstruction Team on a U.S. Military Base, and then at the first U.S. Consulate General in Basrah since 1968. Professor Vargason led a team of legal professionals implementing counter-insurgency rule of law projects during which he provided technical assistance, training, and advice to Iraqi judges, prosecutors, judicial investigators, attorneys, and intelligence officials, among others. Professor Vargason has received multiple Sustained Superior Performance Awards from the Department of Justice. Prior to joining the Department of Justice in 2008, Professor Vargason served 16 years as an elected New York State District Attorney. In that position, Professor Vargason served as his county's chief law enforcement official and top prosecutor. He mentored and supervised assistant prosecutors in the prosecution of thousands of felony cases.  He was widely recognized as an outstanding trial attorney who never lost a murder trial. Prior to being elected District Attorney, Professor Vargason was a trial attorney in a law firm in New York where he handled cases in personal injury, wrongful death, contract, bankruptcy and criminal law. In his 30-year legal career, Professor Vargason served in many professional leadership roles, including President of the statewide New York District Attorneys Association. He also served four years on the Board of Directors of the New York Prosecutors Training Institute, and as an adjunct faculty member at the National College of District Attorneys in Columbia, S.C. Professor Vargason was a visiting lecturer in Constitutional and Criminal Procedure Law at the Central New York Police Academy, and he also served 19 years as an Adjunct Professor of Laws of Evidence and American Government at Cayuga College, a State University of New York affiliated college.