Hyderabad native nominated for judgeship in New Jersey

An Indian-American lawyer who has tried to promote understanding between Muslims and law-enforcement officials is set to be nominated as a judge by Governor Chris Christie of neighbouring New Jersey.

A statement from the governor's office said Mr Christie intends to nominate Sohail Mohammed, a Clifton-based attorney, for the judgeship in Passaic County.

Mr Mohammed was born in Hyderabad and immigrated to the United States as a teenager. As an attorney, Mr Mohammed has pursued 70 per cent of his cases in immigration, 20 per cent corporate and the rest crime related.

Following the terrorist attacks in 2001, he defended several people rounded up on suspicion by police.

"He worked in the aftermath of the attacks to try to foster trust between American Muslims and law enforcement, particularly federal officials," The New York Times reported.

In 1993, he earned his degree from the Seton Hall University School of Law.

Mr Mohammed was selected as a "per lawyer" for five years beginning 2006 and in 2009, the New Jersey Monthly named him as one of the "Most Influential People in NJ".

A spokesman for the Council on American Islamic Relations, Ibrahim Hooper, hailed the nomination announcement.

"It is just evidence of the growth and maturity of the American Muslim community and our contributions to American society," The Daily Reporter said, citing Mr Hooper.

After the governor formally nominates him, Mr Mohammed will have to be confirmed by the New Jersey Senate in order to assume the judgeship.


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