US Attorney for the District of Columbia

Meet the U.S. Attorney

USADC Matthew Graves

Matthew M. Graves

Matthew Graves was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 28, 2021, and sworn in on November 5, 2021, as the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia.

Mr. Graves first joined the United States Attorney’s Office in 2007 as a line Assistant United States Attorney, serving with distinction in both the Superior Court and Criminal Divisions of the Office, investigating and prosecuting a wide range of criminal matters, including violent crime, drug trafficking, illegal firearms possession, and fraud cases.  In 2010, he was named a senior Assistant United States Attorney within the Fraud and Public Corruption Section.

While serving in the Fraud and Public Corruption Section of the Criminal Division of the Office, Mr. Graves prosecuted financial crimes and serious breaches of the public trust, handling some of the Section’s most significant cases.  In 2015, Mr. Graves assumed a leadership role in the Office, taking the helm of the Fraud and Public Corruption Section as an Acting Deputy Chief and ultimately as an Acting Chief.

Mr. Graves began his legal career serving, in 2001, as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Richard W. Roberts, then United States District Court Judge for the District of Columbia.  Thereafter, he joined the Washington, D.C., office of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now Wilmer Hale) where he conducted internal investigations of Fortune 500 companies; represented clients before the SEC and other regulators; and handled a variety of litigation matters, including lawsuits involving allegations of securities fraud.  Prior to his nomination and commission as United States Attorney, Mr. Graves was a litigation and compliance partner in the Washington, D.C., office of DLA Piper, representing corporations and individuals in government investigations; criminal and regulatory proceedings; and civil litigation.

Mr. Graves was awarded the Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Washington & Lee University in 1998, and the Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School in 2001.

Dates of Service: 

2021 – Present – Present

U.S. Attorneys » District of Columbia


The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia is the largest among its 93 counterparts across the country, with over 330 Assistant United States Attorneys and over 350 support personnel. The size of the Office is due to the breadth of our responsibility for criminal law enforcement and our location in the Nation’s capital.

The Office is made up of divisions and sections. Select each for more iinformation:

Front Office

Criminal Division

Cyber Crime Section
Fraud and Public Corruption
National Security
Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking

Superior Court Division

Homicide Section
Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section
Major Crimes Section
General Crimes Section
Early Case Assessment Section

Civil Division

Special Proceedings Division

Appellate Division

Information Technology Division

Administrative Division

Victim Witness Assistance Unit

Front Office

Bridget Fitzpatrick, Principal Assistant United States Attorney
Doris Coles-Huff, Executive Assistant United States Attorney for Management
Renata Cooper, Executive Assistant United States Attorney for External Affairs
Elana Suttenberg, Special Counsel for Policy and Legislative Affairs
Wendy Pohlhaus, Director of Community Outreach
Jean Sexton, Director of Professional Development and Training
Esther You, Special Counsel for Ethics and Professional Responsibility
Lisa Kreeger-Norman, Special Counsel for DNA and Forensic Evidence Litigation

Updated June 27, 2022

Criminal Division

John Crabb, Chief
Denise Cheung, Acting Deputy Chief

The Criminal Division represents the United States government in criminal matters before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Cases are handled by approximately 75 Assistant U.S. Attorneys, including Supervisory AUSAs, Senior line AUSAs and AUSAs who are assigned for short “rotations” in the division. The Criminal Division is divided into five litigating sections.

The Cyber Crime Section is a specialized unit that investigates and prosecutes a wide variety of cybercrimes; advises and assists other Sections and Divisions of the Office with issues involving electronic, computer, and internet-related evidence and legal processes; and works closely with the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs (“OIA”) on an initiative to expedite the processing of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (“MLAT”) requests from foreign countries that seek electronic evidence in the United States in support of foreign criminal investigations and proceedings.

The Fraud and Public Corruption Section handles white collar crime and public corruption offenses, major consumer fraud and identity theft, health care fraud, tax violations, corporate and securities fraud, mail and wire fraud, computer hacking, and intellectual property crimes.

The National Security Section is responsible for investigating and prosecuting international and domestic terrorism, export control violations, espionage, unlawful disclosure of classified information, threats against high-ranking public officials, non-terrorist extraterritorial violent crimes against American citizens, immigration violations, and other sensitive matters that implicate national security. We also have primary responsibility in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for crisis response and management.

The Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section handles long-term investigations, initiatives, and prosecutions of gang-related violence and complex narcotics conspiracies, working with both our federal and local law enforcement partners.

Sections in the Criminal Division include:

Superior Court Division

Julianne Johnston, Chief
Jodi Lazarus, Deputy Chief
The Superior Court Division is responsible for prosecuting most local (non-federal) crimes occurring within the District of Columbia. The mission of the Superior Court Division is to promote public safety and vindicate the rights of victims by fairly, impartially, and consistently enforcing the criminal laws of the United States and the District of Columbia in accord with our ethical and constitutional duties. To accomplish this mission, the Superior Court Division is divided into five sections: Homicide, Sex Offense and Domestic Violence, Major Crimes, General Crimes, and Early Case Assessment.
The Homicide Section, which is staffed with senior trial attorneys, investigates and prosecutes homicides committed in the District of Columbia.
The Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section is divided into three units: felony sex offense, felony domestic violence, and misdemeanor sex offense and domestic violence. The felony sex offense unit, which is staffed with senior trial attorneys, handles both adult and child sexual abuse cases. The felony domestic violence unit handles felony intrafamily offenses and the misdemeanor sex offense and domestic violence unit handles all non-felony intrafamily and sexual assault crimes.
The Major Crimes Section prosecutes all felony violent crimes, except homicide, sexual abuse, and domestic violence offenses.
The General Crimes section is divided into four units: the Misdemeanor Unit, the Felony Trial Unit, the Grand Jury Unit, and the Case Initiation Unit. Information about each unit can be found through the General Crimes Section link below.
The Early Case Assessment Section is responsible for all case initiation (with the exception of sex offense and homicide).
Sections in the Superior Court Division include:
Major Crimes Section
General Crimes Section
Homicide Section
Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section
Early Case Assessment Section
Additional Resources:
Diversion Programs
Organizational Chart

Civil Division

Brian P. Hudak, Chief

Heather Graham-Oliver, Deputy Chief
Peter C. Pfaffenroth, Deputy Chief
John C. Truong, Deputy Chief
Diana V. Valdivia, Deputy Chief

Craig Lawrence, Appellate Counsel
Jane M. Lyons, Assistant Appellate Counsel

Darrell C. Valdez, ACE Coordinator

Civil litigation involving the Federal government in the District of Columbia is divided among the United States Attorney’s Office, other litigating components of the Department of Justice, and federal agencies that have some degree of independent litigating authority.  The civil litigation assigned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office includes both defensive (U.S. as defendant) and affirmative (U.S. as plaintiff) cases and matters, which are handled by the Civil Division at both the trial and appellate levels.  Most of the Civil Division’s cases are in Federal District Court and the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, but the Civil Division does have some cases in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, and does occasionally appear in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

The overwhelming majority of the Civil Division’s defensive cases involve claims made pursuant to either the Freedom of Information Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the Federal employment discrimination laws, or the Federal Tort Claims Act.  Other defensive cases include constitutional tort claims, actions involving property on which the United States has a lien, claims involving the immigration laws, cases challenging Social Security benefits determinations, claims by health care providers for additional payments from the Medicare and Medicaid programs, Privacy Act claims, third-party subpoenas directed to Federal agencies and employees, and bankruptcy cases in which the Federal government is a creditor.

The Civil Division has a large and productive affirmative practice that principally involves procurement and health care fraud matters.  The District of Columbia ranks among the highest in the Nation in the number of qui tam whistleblower cases brought under the False Claims Act, reflecting the strong working relationships that the Civil Division has established with client agencies and private counsel who regularly represent qui tam relators.  In addition, the Civil Division has developed a specialized fraud practice involving the General Service Administration’s multiple award schedule.

The Civil Division plays an important role in the enforcement of the Lobbying Disclosure Act, which imposes registration and reporting requirements on persons engaged in lobbying activities.  If a lobbyist does not comply with those requirements, and fails to remedy the violation after notification from Congress, the Act provides that Congress shall notify the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  Upon receiving such notification, the Civil Division first attempts to secure compliance through informal outreach and follow-up efforts and then, if those efforts are unsuccessful, through civil actions seeking monetary penalties.

The Financial Litigation Unit (FLU) of the U.S. Attorney’s Office is part of the Civil Division.  The FLU collects special assessments, fines, and restitution debts imposed in criminal cases, and civil debts owed to the United States and Federal agencies such as civil judgments and settlements in affirmative cases, and student loan debts owed to the Department of Education.

Service of Process in Civil Actions


Hand Delivery or Email Service as outlined below are the preferred means for service of process on the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia because, due to safety and security procedures, all mail sent to the U.S. Attorney’s Office is initially routed through a central mail room at the Department of Justice, which can occasionally result in the delay or mis-delivery of that mail.  Service will not be deemed perfected until actual receipt by a Civil Process Clerk at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

Litigants who sue federal defendants should note that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(d)(1) and the corresponding Superior Court Civil Rule 4(c)(4)—which impose a duty to avoid unnecessary expenses of serving the summons on certain individuals, corporations, and associations—do not apply to service on the United States and its agencies, corporations, officers, and employees.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is not authorized to accept service on behalf of the Attorney General or other federal agencies, corporations, officers, or employees.  Thus, if an applicable rule requires any such entities and persons to be served, they must be served separately and in addition to service upon the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Hand Delivery and Certified / Registered Mail Service

Service of process on the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia of civil summonses and complaints under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(i)(1)(A) may be made by (i) hand delivery or (ii) registered or certified mail at the following:

Civil Process Clerk
U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C.
601 D Street, NW
Washington, DC 20530

For hand delivery, the entrance to the U.S. Attorney’s Office is on D Street, NW, between Sixth and Seventh Streets, NW. 

Email Service

In addition to the means of service provided under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(i)(1)(A), the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia may also be served by email according to the following terms and conditions, which must be strictly adhered to if email service is attempted.  If service on the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia is performed consistent with the following provisions, the Government will not argue under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(5) that service on the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has not been accomplished.

  • Service may be made at and no other email address. 
  • The subject of the email must contain the caption of the suit with the court assigned docket number—e.g., “John v. Doe, 20-9999”.  
  • The summons, complaint, and all exhibits or other documents must be combined into a single PDF, with the summons coming first in the PDF, unless the file size of the combined PDF exceeds 20 megabytes.
  • Service packages exceeding 20 megabytes must be broken into PDF files of no more than 20 megabytes and sent using separate emails with a notation in the subject that it is multi-part service—e.g., “John v. Doe, 20-9999 (Email 1 of 2)”. 
  • If you are serving a copy of a motion for provisional relief with your summons and complaint (i.e., a motion for a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order), you must also email the Civil Chief indicating as much.  Click here to send the Civil Chief an email.

If your service under this procedure is received and accepted, you will receive a responsive email indicating as much.

Serving the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia via email under these procedures does not relieve a litigant from delivering or serving the other copies as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(i)—e.g., to the Attorney General or relevant agencies.  Further, the U.S. Attorney’s Office does not waive other requirements for effective service under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4—e.g., the requirements of Rule 4(c)(2).  Lastly, this procedure for email service applies only for service on the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and not for U.S. Attorney’s Offices for other federal judicial districts or any other component of the Department of Justice.

Please note that the email address should not be used for any other communications with the U.S. Attorney’s Office aside from civil service of process under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(i)(1)(A).  Other communications sent to that address will be deleted and no response will be forthcoming. 

Contacting the Civil Division

The Civil Division can be contacted during normal business hours at (202) 252-2500.

The FLU can be contacted during normal business hours at (202) 252-2600.

If you have questions about a notice of non-compliance with the Lobbying Disclosure Act that you received from the Civil Division, please call (202) 252-2616.

The Office welcomes information from the public regarding possible environmental, health, and climate impacts on individuals and communities in the district.  You may submit information or concerns regarding environmental justice by email to the Office’s Environmental Justice Coordinator at:

In an emergency outside normal business hours when no one can be reached at the Civil Division’s general telephone number, contact the Department of Justice Command Center at (202) 514-5000.

Attorney’s Fees

To assist with determining reasonable attorney’s fees for complex federal litigation in the District of Columbia, the Civil Division uses the following matrix:  Fitzpatrick Matrix, 2013-2022

Supporting Materials

Declaration of Brian T. Fitzpatrick

Declaration Exhibit A

Declaration Exhibit B

Declaration Exhibit C

Former Attorney’s Fees Matrices

Special Proceedings

Margaret J. Chriss, Chief
Peter Smith, Deputy Chief

The Special Proceedings Division handles all post-conviction litigation in both U.S. District Court and Superior Court. Most commonly, the Division responds to motions alleging ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, and newly discovered evidence, and we often present the testimony of defense counsel or other Assistants at hearings on these motions. The Division also responds to motions for post-conviction DNA testing under the Innocence Protection Act, motions for release filed by defendants found not guilty by reason of insanity, habeas petitions challenging the actions of the U.S. Parole Commission or the Bureau of Prisons, motions to seal arrest records, and post-sentence motions filed under the Sex Offender Registration Act. The Division provides Assistants with extensive writing experience and with numerous opportunities for evidentiary hearings, and also allows Assistants to gain valuable experience in examining and cross-examining expert witnesses, defense attorneys, prosecutors, and defendants.

Conviction Integrity Unit


Download Conviction Integrity Unit