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Vipal J. Patel

Adjunct Professor of Law


School of Law


Email: Vipal Patel


Vipal J. Patel is the Acting United States Attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio, which includes Dayton, Columbus, Cincinnati and rest of the southern half of the state. He previously served as the Office’s First Assistant U.S. Attorney, as its Criminal Chief, and as a Deputy Criminal Chief. Patel has taught as an Adjunct Professor at UD Law since 2008.

Patel received his law degree in 1991 from the George Washington University Law School, after which he joined a civil litigation firm in Los Angeles. He made partner in 1999, with the law firm of Hancock Rothert & Bunshoft LLP (which subsequently merged into Duane Morris LLP), handling commercial and insurance litigation. While with the firm, Patel volunteered periodically as a smalls claims and traffic judge and took a one-month leave of absence to serve as a volunteer city criminal prosecutor. In 2000, Patel joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles as an Assistant United States Attorney, prosecuting both civil fraud and criminal matters. In 2005, he returned to his hometown, transferring to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dayton, where he has prosecuted a wide variety of criminal and appellate matters. Recent cases of interest in which Patel was the lead prosecutor include:

  • United States v. Laith Waleed Alebbini, 979 F.3d 537 (6th Cir. 2020) (Jordanian national residing in Dayton convicted of attempting to join ISIS following first ever international terrorism trial in the Southern District of Ohio; defendant sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment; affirmed on appeal);
  • United States v. Ethan Kollie, United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Case No. 3:19-cr-169 (only criminal charges--gun charges against a friend of the shooter--to arise from the August 4, 2019 Dayton shooting; defendant convicted and sentenced to 32 months’ imprisonment);
  • United States v. Robert Jones, No. 18-3743, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 19503 (6th Cir. June 27, 2019) (child exploitation case involving sexual acts against an infant and toddler and exploitation of teen girls; defendant convicted and sentenced as a discretionary matter to life plus 10 years’ imprisonment, one of few discretionary life sentences handed down in the Southern District of Ohio; use of high tech "network investigative technique" to identify defendant on "dark web" and life+10 sentence upheld on appeal);

Patel has been called upon by the Department of Justice to serve as an evaluator of other United States Attorney’s Offices throughout the country, and to serve on certain Department committees. In 2011, Patel took a leave of absence from UD Law to serve a one-year anti-corruption and counter-narcotics Rule of Law assignment in Afghanistan, working as a civilian United States Department of Justice advisor to the Afghan Ministry of Justice, Judiciary and other governmental and educational institutions. In March 2015, Patel taught a one-week anti-money laundering course in the Republic of Georgia, as part of the Department of Justice’s Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training program.  In addition to UD Law, Patel teaches periodically at the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center, in Columbia, SC.

Locally, Patel is member of the Board of Directors of the Dayton Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, previously serving as its President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Patel has also been involved with the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery in Dayton, serving on its Board of Trustees and on its Associate Board, including as President. He enjoys coaching youth soccer in his spare time, having coached for a decade with the Oakwood United Soccer Club. He is currently the Head Coach of the Kroc Center Soccer Club’s boys U11 team, part of a new club soccer program Patel helped found in partnership with the Dayton Salvation Army, in an effort to bring competitive club soccer to, and serve the needs of, inner-city Dayton.

Patel immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1970 and became a naturalized citizen in 1981. He and his wife reside in downtown Dayton and enjoy (ever slowing) walks along the river with their 15 year old rescue dog, “Frankie.”

Courses Taught

Criminal Procedure-Investigation
Criminal Procedure-Adjudication
Cybercrime Capstone
International LawVipal Patel and his Cybercrime Class


J.D., George Washington University Law School, 1991
B.S., Integrated Life Sciences (Pre-Med), Kent State University