Historical Society of the District of Columbia Circuit

Available Histories

Oral History Program

The Society's Oral History Program consists of recorded interviews and transcriptions from judges and lawyers who tell stories of the Circuit and its legal community. Learn more.

Articles Using the Oral Histories

"John D. Aldock, a Master of Reinvention" by Judith S. Feigin. Read the oral history of John D. Aldock, Esq.

"Jodie Bernstein: The Efficient Leader" by Genevieve Beske. Read the oral history of Joan (Jodie) Z. Bernstein, Esq.

The Oral History of the Outspoken Joseph diGenova by Carl Stern. Read the oral history of Joseph E. diGenova, Esq.

"Warner Gardner and the Court-Packing Plan" by Genevieve Beske. Read the oral history of Warner W. Gardner, Esq.

"Judge Gerhard Gesell and Pearl Harbor's Wake" by Genevieve Beske. Read the oral history of Judge Gerhard A. Gesell

"The Gentleman Lawyer: David Isbell" by William N. Sinclair. Read the oral history of David B. Isbell, Esq.

"From Tyler TX to the White House: Harry C. McPherson" by John Vanderstar. Read the oral history of Harry C. McPherson, Esq.

"Selma and the Voting Rights Act in Oral History, The Civil Rights Division" by James H. Johnston. Read the oral history of Society President, Stephen J. Pollak.

"Alan S. Rosenthal Recalls Brown v. Bd. of Ed. and Some Notable Solicitors General" by Judy Feigin. Read the oral history of Alan S. Rosenthal, Esq.

"Paul Warnke on the Ideological Divide of the Vietnam Era" by Genevieve Beske. Read the oral history of Paul C. Warnke, Esq.

"Curtailing Presidential Power, as Observed by Howard C. Westwood"

"Robert L. Wilkins: Public Defender -- Visionary - Strategist"

Conducted by volunteer attorneys trained by the Program, oral history interviews provide anecdotal information about family relationships and backgrounds, personal observations about career histories and interactions with colleagues, reflections on the times, comments on law practice and significant court decisions, the administration of justice, life in the courts of the D.C. Circuit, and lessons learned from lifetimes in the law.

An invaluable resource for historians and students of legal process and the administration of justice, the completed oral histories are maintained in the Judges' Library at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse, the Manuscript Reading Room of the Library of Congress, and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. In addition to the oral histories that are available on this site, oral histories of the following judges and attorneys are available for review in the repositories: Dean Judith Areen, Robert S. Bennett, Irwin Goldbloom, Hon. Alan Kay, A. J. Kramer, Hon. Laurence H. Silberman, and Hon. Patricia M. Wald. The following oral histories are under seal: Benjamin Civiletti, Hon. Harry T. Edwards, Hon. John M. Ferren, Hon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Hon. Gladys Kessler, Hon. Inez Smith Reid, Hon. Charles R. Richey, Hon. Stanley Sporkin, and Hon. Ricardo Urbina.