|U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul A. Zoss took the bench on January 27, 1997. He is the son of Abraham and Mildred Zoss of South Bend, Indiana. He attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, in 1969. He graduated with honors from the University of Texas School of Law in 1972, earning The Order of the Coif.|
Judge Zoss entered the U.S. Justice Department honors program in May 1972, and for three years was a trial attorney in the Court of Claims section of the Civil Division. He was appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Iowa in September 1974, and in 1977, he served as Acting U.S. Attorney in Des Moines. In 1977, he entered the private practice of law, and in 1984, he was a founding partner of Adams, Howe and Zoss. While in private practice, Judge Zoss handled mostly litigation matters, representing a wide range of clients, including indigent and non-indigent criminal defendants in state and federal courts; individuals with tort, contract, and employment claims; corporations and transportation companies, both large and small; several major banks; a large pension and health and welfare trust; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and the Resolution Trust Corporation.
In 1993, Judge Zoss became the first Federal Public Defender in Iowa, and he established offices in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Sioux City. As the Federal Defender, he served on several committees at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, and was an officer with the Federal Public Defender Organization.
Judge Zoss is married to Darci Zoss, and they have triplets who were born June 10, 1998, and a son who was born August 8, 1999. Judge Zoss also has four grown children.