McGregor Scott, father of Mac, ‘17, sophomore Spencer and seventh grader Mitchell, has been chosen by the President of the United States to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California for the second time.
Q: What is the job of the U.S. Attorney?
A: The 50 states and 40 territories are divided into 94 judicial districts, and each judicial district has a U.S. Attorney.
(There are) four (headquarters) in California: in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and here in Sacramento.
The U.S. Attorney serves as the principal federal lawyer representing the U.S. government for that judicial district.
The office of the U.S. Attorney will have a number of assistants – the office here in Sacramento has a total of 90 assistant U.S. Attorneys.
Any federal crime (case) in the (Eastern) District is brought by the U.S. Attorney’s office. If the government is sued in a civil manner, the U.S. Attorney’s office will defend the government.
Q: Did you always want to be a U.S. Attorney?
A: No, it was never on my radar until 2002. I was the district attorney of Shasta County, and I was asked to apply to be the U.S. Attorney. Until I got that phone call, it (had) never crossed my mind.
Q: Why did you want to work as a U.S. Attorney again?
A: I really enjoyed (that I had) the ability to identify a problem and then bring people together to try to figure out how (to) solve this problem (as well as) providing that leadership role to help make life better for people who live in this part of the world.
During my last tenure as U.S. Attorney, in 2006. we began to prosecute (many) mortgage fraud cases to the point where I noticed a discernible trend. We called together all the law enforcement agencies with a role in investigating those crimes (the FBI, IRS, etc.) and formed a mortgage fraud task force, which was the first in the country. The office then led the nation in mortgage fraud prosecutions for multiple years in a row.
Q: Where do you work?
A: The headquarters office for the Eastern District is in the federal courthouse building (501 I St.), which is in downtown Sacramento. And about two-thirds of the U.S. Attorney staff (is) located there. The office has a branch office in Fresno, (where the rest) of the lawyers work.
Q: Do you ever appear in court with a judge and an audience?
A: I (do) not appear in court on cases; the assistant U.S. Attorneys handle the cases in the courtroom. My job (is) to run the office: to be responsible for hiring people, getting the resources, providing training.
Q: What do you do now?
A: I joined a law firm here in Sacramento called (Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe).
Q: Have you always worked in California?
A: Yes, all my legal careers have been here in California.
Q: Is there something you’ve always wanted to do as U.S. Attorney?
A: Be respected within the community of U.S. Attorneys, be recognized as a leader and be known as an ethical prosecutor who tries hard every day to do the right thing for the right reasons.
—By Elise Sommerhaug