Courthouse Is a Home
Away From Home
For a Father, Son and Daughter Who Are La,\ryers,
/\ Chance to Share in Fan1ily IsJusl Do,vn the tlall
fh (?!!1£it D L.1oss1c
U:??.ct • .r. Pt1;.r. 5J IM,J ‘J’ nm
.:teh d:rr. ? are ? tint Bill.
Amy :md Joo ? will be ??
ing tnm· ? t:l.nls jw;t J ?
doon down !ht- b::i.ll from o:h oth
er m t.ht ? stUdy office bwld
inl IX1ll” t.bt- u .s. u:pitol.
&t the?? :mid? .\ft’ not nod:·
tcf ap bib.bk boon 31 ll ? bmily
They :are ? b won; at the f_ B.Irten
? c? \?gtoo·s ?
On tlx ? f.oar. wher Willi:im H ?
k.. 61. <.me ol?·s most promiDent de
fi.’!O.Se ? b:u bee.n bw}· with pmrill
? Cl .i CL’II: th:ii bas rod:ied the \\°bite
?- Ht:’ ?1.5 I.? “Scooter· Libby,
,n ? ?s Cmmtt dDd ol iU.fi.
wbo rs? ot lying to? probing
the la.k of J CIA ?·s rm:ne.
On tht ·s.eoood fku. d.Juditer Amy, 41. ins
bieen cbcd.:mg on w.rrotic:s ? ? ?
for the US Atl«n£’y’s Otia – mdt:lding a
trw im’Uh.ing a ring that is ? of pc-ddling
And in a ma.gimltt coortroom do-ail the
mn. lomf!x:m 35. m been ?tmg pocr
? ilS a public ddtndef. Ltst m:rolh. be de
fmdtd :t \\Uil::ttl ? ol ? pbtmy
d:lier.b amt more lttmliy, a a:mricttd ldon
d:mfed with arrrmg a 9mm h.mdgtm .15 bt
drm-e thn-qh the city.
The family’s ?-s – and once in a
wbile? their hmd.1 ? – orerb.p m the
court’s lltl.Jbk ?
S« JEFFRESS. fr.. Cot I
-? … teft.–•• …………….. tJ’PUtfLlwatdlcl.t.wmi
Plett,- Cuwtl il’IIM, Al isaddem.e ? kift.1,-lc 6dendler, • Mty, •?-
Of Their Caners
■ .. H.. Wfrlu Jr.,. 61
? &J..n- &tu wfv’
Hlgh:-i WU repr?ting a
Britls.h so!idtor who w.»
it’lick:ted – they ldtffl”IJft el?t
offered him a? to?
?l?y to • ?. rw
s.aid flQ way. The tury
acqwtted him. HE! ·s ;.ttil a
QOOd friend. M
I.ow:? yc)U ? .l CM?
you thought )’OU? h.av,e
won. … Yau fH’ aw? ;n
night tNflking? –.Yhat could I
NW donl!I bettAl’tT
■ lltlf Jeffrea, 41
Dqutj duq of du ?i:itd
? U-S.?s ()J’Ju:1
? Al the wotenc:ing of a
?I drug QMWJ. •a
mothef’ whose ·s,on WU killed
by m? – a 17 •)”Ct,M-<»d
? off to.? who was
kMed in tho!!, mldch of a driJg
be-ef – was t1’Je fin.t to s?.
Shoe turned 1:0 the d&f?ts
M’ld said: ‘I want you a!I to
know I forgive you. I don·1
want to kttp hating you. rvt1
giwn this to Ced.· H? wo«’.ls
?re ?bty pow?ful • .md
I remember the-rn oftffi,·
Low: •1 interviewed .:inoth’Cf
mother of a homicide vktim.
who was shot wheo hew?
getting in and out of troub!e
Nd grwn up on Nm b.lcll.
then. H.en., l am I ryin.g to di.1
had stopped urlng. ft hrtt a
?tin my s.t?h,·
• Jouthaa le? 35
✓wut..ml ,? ?i,t
KJg:h: .. tn my fln.t ttrry tr1,1;J,
rtght hefon, IN }my C,ffl\(‘! In,
my d?t loki f™! NI’ t?ht I
too ? hlrn tut! ko :’
LOW1 ? ‘f’O\J c.m’t
CQOvtn(‘? Iii (:WC’flt 10 00
SOOW’lhtng – wtl«l’thcr to
?•?Y it you’vc! al.<Hdy
N)9011.11t(l M)nlt’lhtfiU ?)’
f avo, ?e f M U\.il!m …
THE WASHINGTON PosT WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, ?006 ??7′
Family Members Have ‘Covered the Bases’ of the Legal Professiol\}
JEFFRESS, Jrom B 1
“l don’t think you can go into the
courthouse now and not run into at
least one and usually two or three
of them,” !SBid A.J. Kramer, the fed- 1
eral public defender in Waahington
• and Jon’s boss.
“It’s really unusual for a family of
lawyers to be in the same cit}’,
much less the same court,” Kramer
said. “You’ve really covered.all the
bases when you have one on prosecution,.
one on ·defense and another
doing all kinds of private practice.”
It niakedor tender mOments in a
place that can be anything but.
One recent day, Amy, the federal
prosecutor, spotted Jon. the public
defender, while he was talking in a
conference room with a client. The
sister in Amy Wlturally walked over
to kiss ber brother on the cheek.
“Was that awkward for you?” she
later asked him.
Jon smiled.and shook his bead.
.. I like seeing a lot of my dad and
sister now,” he said, then joked
about his junior status in the family’s
legal lineup. ‘”Plus, some of my
clients appreciate that? know some
people in high places.”
In many ways, the U.S. Disbict
Cowt is a kind of family home.
Their personal stories are intertwined
with the court’s history.
Rach learned the power of the law
here and can trace career trajedories
to work they did in the building.
Some of their most profound
moments of victory and disappointmeat
unfolded .in the oak-paneled
All three are former law clerks
who returned to practice here. Bill
Jeffress, a partner in the firm of
Baker Botts, clerked for Judge Gerhard
A. Ges.e?, who prii:sided over
BIH Jeffress Jr.., left, Influenced son Joa and d?ughter Amy, wbo foDowed him into the law, teffi119 them that ■ lawyer
m111iit know the facts of a c11e “inside arid out” and that the law is about i’reasOl’lingjOUrwaf t? the coft’ect Me.”
many landmark cases, from W a tergate
t o Iran-contra. I n 1971, Jef•
fress was working in Gesell’s chamber,
wben the judge famously ruled
that The Washington Post could
print the Pentagon Papers, a historical
assessment of the Vietnam War
that embarrassed the U.S. government.
Wqen Amy was growing up, Ge-
sell was her da4’s mentor and “like
my second grandfather,” she recalled.
1\vo decades later, when she
graduated from Yale Law Schooljust
like her Cather – Amy, too,
went to clerk for Gesell.
After Gesell’s death in 1993,
Amy fuushed her year of clerking
with Judge ·Thomas F. Hogan, now
chief judge of the court. Jon followed
in Amy, footstep,, clerking
for Hogan· seven years later.
Jon spent several years as an usociate
for the Wil,liams & Gonnolly
law finn but decided after oon•
ulting with Hogan and Krainer
that he would work for the Office of
the Federal Public Defender. He
said it was a natural fit because as a
clerk, “l always found myseli rooting
Bill, who now typically charges
more than $600 an hour, has a rep
utation as a go-to lawyer for white-collar
defendants. He represented
President Richard M. Nixon in a
case blocking public access to Watergaie
tape recordings an.d bas
won acquittals fot such clients as
fonner T}’8on Foods executive Ar·
chibald R. Schaffer ill and former
Louisiana governor Edwin W. Edw.u-
ds (D). .
Although their j?b choices are
different, there defutltely is a certain
Jeffress way about them.
The three share the same Democratic
Party leaning? B!ll and hi,
wife have long been active in the
party. Amy worked In the Juslic,
Department during the Clinton a d ministration
with her future· husband.
An4 Jon was an advance
worker for Al Gore’s 2000 presideatial
They -are all )ast a little taller
than 5 feet’ – aot by much. They
share a self<l.eprecating manner
that tho kids attribute to their dad.
Amy’s more likely to talk aboat her
two sons than the fact thal’thi” fal
she· won the Attorrify General’s
John Marshall .Award fol exce?
lence-ip friarwork and Wii6 OD ‘a list
of. candidates suggested to the
White Hqu,se for D..C. · Superior
In a short break together in thi:
court cafeteria, B!ll patted hi• kids
on the back· for w’ork that makes
the city better: He . said he has no
: pretensions abOut bis job.
“As a defense ?wyer, you’ve got
. to be kiddlng·yourseff ii you think
you’re making the world a better
place,”: the father said.
Amy rel1>rted: “Oh Dad, what
you dO makes the-world better.”
“Well,• Bill said, “it’s ve,y impor•
tanttp’at leastoo:e person.” .
The.family Is cl080, although not
everyc;ine is a law!yer. Mother Judy
was a longtime· socia1 worker for
AdoptiOn Service Information
Agency, !n<t Amy joked ,that sbe’s
“pretty ljlUeh a full.time grandmbther
and ··dog walker now.”
Brother Jeff went to business
school so he “could make some real
money,” Jon deadpanned. But the
youngest brOther also has artistic
skills. Jon remembered when· they
made a big splash in a Louisiana
courtroom where their father was
“My brother did this amazing
sketch, of the entire courtroom
scene,” Jon recalled. “The only
problem was that it showed the
judge sleeping during trial, with all
of these ZZZZZs coming up and all.
But my dad showed it to the judge
e judge tholl!lhdt
was hilanous!’:: .: 1 I
They don’t t;iJJ\ about their CO.!”•
exc?pt in g?oe? ·?. and th?
make a-&Qncerted effort not to”je
One COuld say there’·s at
up: Amy’s ?
::,? \;?et? ii:??:.’.@..
pressive associate at Bill’s law iimi,
which was then Miller Cassidy Lat•
roci & Lewin: Then-Deputy A!-
friend of B!ll’s, hired Casey .ahd
AmY to work at the Justice Depar t ment,
, The younger two lawfen gotfo
lice. Now _Casey’works with Bill?
Baker Botts, sometimes sha,u’fg:
“Dad never interfered witht,my
low life; Amy insisle<j. Toenislie
added: “I think Dad Would have .
loved to have me or Jon, or Jef(,!or
that matter, work with him. S<tifs
really nice for him to have Cas?
Toe children have appreciated
their father’s counsel through ,llf?.
Amy most remembers him sayib,g!a
lawyer bas to know the facts i>f-a
case -m.Slde and out.” Jon said•lds
father helped him by explaining
that the law was about “reasonli!t
your way to the correct rule.” •·,•1:
But Jon couldn’t resist a ?ing
joke: “Dad prepared for the bat ih,
lila,, two days while in the middle of
working on the Pentagon. Papers
case for ,udge Gesell, so I tried not
to follow his example on that onef.’
Staff researcher Meg Smith
contributed to this report.
Courthouse Is a Home