June I, 1925, Washington D. C.
St. Albans School, Washington, D. C.
(graduated 1943)
84th Division, 9th Anny (combat in Gennany)
Yale University (B.A., 1949)
Reporter on the Providence Journal (Rhode
• University of Virginia Law School (LLB.,
1953). Decisions Editor, Virginia Law
Review; Winner of the 1953 Moot Court
competition; Winner of the prize for best
Note in Volume 38, Virginia Law Review.
Law Clerk, successively, to Hon. Robert H.
Jackson, Hon. Felix Frankfurter and Hon.
John M. Harlan, Justices of the Supreme
Court of the United States
Co-editor of Mr. Justice Jackson’s posthumous
volume, “The Supreme Court in the
American System of Government”.
Associate, law firm of Hogan & Hartson,
Washington, D. C.
In charge of transportation for the exchange
of$53 million worth of goods for 1,113 Bay of
Pigs prisoners, including negotiations
with Castro in Cuba.
Special Assistant to the Attorney General
of the United States.
Special Assistant to the White House and
the President’s representative on the
Interagency Committee on Transport Mergers.
Partner, Hogan & Hartson
Counsel to Committee on Standards of Official Conduct of
the United States House of Representatives
(“Ethics Committee”) in connection with the
so-called “ABSCAM” investigation, February
1980 to July 1981.
Outside Counsel to Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
of the House Committee on Interstate and
Foreign Commerce, in United States v. ?
Special Consultant to Subcommittee to Investigate Problems
Connected with Refugees and Escapees, of the
Senate Judiciary Committee, on fact-finding
trip to Vietnam, December 1967 – January
1968 (five weeks in Vietnam).
\\’.OC • 71!02ll!?SSS • 01)49797 01
– Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
Member, former President,
American Academy of Appellate Lawyers
Life Member, American Bar Foundation
Vice President, Member of Executive Committee,
Trustee, and Chairman of Publications Committee,
Supreme Court Historical Society
Member, Judicial Conference of the District
of Columbia Circuit (since 1958)
Member, CPR – selected panel of ADR neutrals
for Washington, D.C.
Trustee emeritus, American University,
Washington, D. C.
Member, Metropolitan Washington Board of
Member, Judicial Evaluation Committee, D.C. Bar
Member, Advisory Board of the Media Law
Reporter, published by BNA
r:.m:. 7002:,-;sss. OC4V797 01
Member of Board, former President, PEN/Faulkner Foundation
Member, International Visiting Committee, Muhlenberg College
Member, Board of Governors, and former President, the Lawyers Club
of Washington
Commissioner (appointed by the Chief Justice),
Judicial Fellows Commission
Member, District of Columbia and Supreme Court
Bars. Also admitted to practice in the United
States Courts of Appeal for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th,
5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 11th and District of
Columbia Circuits.
Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law,
Best Lawyers in America
Faculty Member (for five years), Appellate Practice
• Institute, sponsored by the ABA Appellate Judges
Member, Board of Directors of the Historical Society
for the District of Columbia Circuit
Member, The Alfalfa Club, The Barristers,
Chevy Chase Club, Metropolitan Club
First President, District of Columbia
(Unified) Bar (l 972-73)
President, Vice President and Treasurer, The
District of Columbia Bar Foundation
Member, Board of Governors, District of
Columbia Bar (1973-74)
Member, Special Committee on Amicus Curiae
Briefs of the American Bar Association
Member, Board of Directors, District of
Columbia Bar Association (voluntary)
Member, International Advisory Group, Toshiba Corporation
Consultant, “Separate But Equal,” TV movie produced
and directed by George Stevens, 1992
District of Columbia Delegate to the
American Bar Association
DC • 7002l!MSSS • 0049797 01
Member, National Campaign Committee, Graduate
Program for Judges, University of Virginia
School of Law
Chairman, appointed by the United States Court
of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Circuit, to write the Bicentennial history of
that Court ( 1976)
Member, Court of Appeals Subcommittee, Court
System Standing Committee of the D.C. Bar,
see Report, S. Prt. 9?-34, 98th Cong., 1st
Sess. (April 1983)
Member, Long Range Planning Committee,
District of Columbia Bar
Member, Executive Committee and Board of
Trustees; Chainnan, Committee on Educational
Policy; Chairman Ad Hoc Compensation
Chairman, Committee on Finance and
Member, Gift Review Committee of American
University, Washington, D. C.
Member, National Advisory Committee, National
Institute for Citizen Education in the Law
Member, Board of Governors, St. Albans
School, Washington, D. C. (1957-63,
1965-71), Chairman (1965-67)
Vice-President, Member of Executive Committee,
Board of Trustees, American Judicature Society
Member, Advisory Board, Institute for
Communications Law Studies, Columbus School
of Law, Catholic University
Member, Board of Trustees, Georgetown
University’s Institute for Public
Interest Representation
Member, Board of Trustees, Center for
Law and Social Policy
Member, Washington Institute of
Foreign Affairs
Corporate member, Children’s Hospital
of the District of Columbia
Member, Advisory Board, the Salvation Army
Member, Editorial Advisory Board,
Shepard’s, Inc.
Member, Board of Directors, National
Council on Crime and Delinquency
President, The Washington Children’s
Fund, Inc.
Executive Vice President, District
Association of Approved Youth Clubs
Member, Board of Directors, Channel 26
(WET A) ( educational television),
Washington, D. C.
Member, Board of Chevy Chase Methodist
Member, Board of House of Mercy
Secretary, The Barristers
Member, Executive Committee and of Board of
Trustees, The Washington Journalism Center
“DEATH AND THE SUPREME COURT” (Harcourt, Brace & World 1961). Winner
of the Mystery Writers of America Award for the best fact crime book of the year. Winner of the
Scribes Award for the book best expressing to the lay reader the aims and purposes of the legal
profession. One chapter reprinted in “The Third Branch of Government -Eight Cases in
Constitutional Politics” (1963); a second chapter televised on “The Bob Hope Chrysler Theatre”
(1964). Portions of book quoted in Bellow and Moulton, The Lawyering Process: Materials for
Clinical Instruction jn Advocacv (The Foundation Press 1978 at 286-292).
NEOPHYTES”, 51 Va.L.Rev. 582 (1965) (referenced in Stem & G?ssman, Supreme Court
Practice (6th ed. l 986) at 358 n.69, and in Wright, Law of the Federal “courts ( l 976) at 551 n.23).
“WISER IN HIS OWN CONCEIT”, 51 ABA Journal 450 (1965).
Journal 441 ( l 970).
Rev. 7 (l 972). Reprinted in “Justice As Fairness” (ed. by Fogel & Hudson, Anderson Pub. Co.
61 Va.L.Rev. 197 (1975) (referenced in Stem & Gressman, 5.l!.l2m, at 388 n.l 12, and in Wright,
S!U2Il!, at 551 n.23).
\:.’.DC· 7002::?1SSS. OO<ffl7.0I
“THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL CONVICTION OF ‘BABY”‘ , Yearbook 1978 of the Supreme Court
Historical Society at 68.
RESTRlCTIONS”, 4 Litigation Magazine (no. 2, 1978) 16 (referenced in Stem & Gressman, supra,
at 577 n. l, 596 n.29, 598 n.34, and throughout Stem, Appellate Practice in the United States (BNA
1981) , and reprinted in The Litigation Manual (Sect. of Litig., ABA 1983, at 224).
“BUILDlNG WALLS WITH GANNETT”, October/November 1979 District Lawyer, Vol. 4, No. 2-,
p. 36.
Spring 1984, Catholic University Law Review Vol. 33, No. 3.
“PUNITIVE DAMAGES”, A Plan to Improve America’s System of Civil Justice from the
President’s Council on Competitiveness (National Legal Center for the Public Interest, November
1992, at 7 5).
“ROBERT H. JACKSON: ‘SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR LIFE”‘ , Yearbook 1992 of the Supreme
Court Historical Society at 75.
(March l, 1993, at 30).
“DIFFERENCES OF OPINION”, The American Lawyer May 1995
Rev., Vol. 20, No. 4, 1976, p. 654.
“PUNITIVE DAMAGES,” in A Plan to Improve America’s System of Civil Justice, from the
President’s Council on Competitiveness, 1992, p. 75.
Author or co-author with Allen Snyder of the following articles in
the Legal Times of Washin!!ton:
“Breaching Secrecy at The Supreme Court – An
Institutional or Individual Decision?” (June 12, 1978, p. 6).
“Are Specific Guidelines Needed to Protect
Justices’ Confidentiality at Supreme Court?” (June 19, 1978, p. 24).
“Perishing Oral Arguments — Would Q & A Be
Better?” (July 31, 1978, p. 12).
“Short Oral Arguments Problem: A Possible
Solution from Germany.” (Aug. 21, 1978, p. 10).
“Unpublished Opinions Raise Questions.”
(Sept. 18, 1978, p. 11 ).
“Federal Bar Admissions Tangle Raises Questions”
(Feb. 5, 1979, p. l l ).
\\\OC • 700!C/9SSS • 00497’l7 01
.· :
“‘Herbert’ Heightens Libel, Discovery
Dangers” (May 7, 1979, p. 34).
Co-Author with Elliot M. Mincberg:
“Corporate Speech: Extending the Evolving
Doctrine” (Aug. 11, 1980, Legal Times of Washington, p. I 0).
Co-Author with James G. Middlebrooks:
“Court Grants New Power to Limit Adult Theaters”
(Mar. 17, 1986, Legal Times of Washington, p. 8).
Co-Author with George W. Mayo, Jr.:
“New Route Entry Provisions of the I 982 Bus Act
Given First Appellate Consideration in Recent D.C. Circuit Decision” (Transportation Law Journal,
Vol. 53, No. 2, Winter 1986) .
Co-Author with Lisa A. Hook:
“The Control of Media-Related Imitative Violence”
(Federal Communications Law Journal, Vol. 38, No. 3, January 1987).
Co-Author with John G. Roberts, Jr.:
“New Rules and Old Pose Stumbling Blocks In High Court Cases”
(Feb. 26, 1990, Legal Times of Washington, p. 22)
\\?. roo211asH. ao:ilm 01
___ · _OB_I_TU_ARI_E_S ___ ?
D.C. lawyer played a role
in many celebrated cases
‘ ‘E’.. Barrett Prettyman Jr., a
Wll5,pingtop lawyer who had an
aMis”<;>ry role in the Supreme
Codrt’s landmark 1954 decision
in $rown v. Board, of Education,
which outlawed segregated
schools; and who decades later
inve,stigated congressional corruption
in the Abscam case, died
Nov. 4 at a hospital in th? District.
He was 91.
The cause was a respiratory
ailment, said his son, E. Barrett
Pr.ettrman III.
:&,ii;. Prettyman, whose father
wM’a.prominent D.C.jurist, was a
law clerk to three Supreme Court
ju?tices in’ the 1950s, an assistant ·
to Attorney General Robert F.
Kennedy and, in later years, a
meptor to current U.S. Chief Justice
John G. Roberts Jr.
. In 1962, Mr. Prettyman ?egotiated
with Cuban leader Fidel Castro
for the release of prisoners
taken in the ill-fated Bay of Pigs
operation, and his clients later
included General Motors, a<;?
claimed writers such as Truman.
Capo? and former Beatle John
?r. Prettyman’s contribution
to the Supreme Court’s 1954
Brown v. Board decision was unknown
until author Richard
Klug?r described it in his 1976
book about the case, “Simple Justice.”
· At the time, Mr. Prettyman was
a cletk to Justice Robert H. Jackson;
who had drafted a separate
opinion in support of the court’s
unanimous decision regarding
segrtgated schools. After reading
JackSon’s concurring opinion, Mr.
Prehyman realized that it could
be een as, at best, a lukewarm
eri?orsement of the full court’s
Mr. Pretty.man, shown in 1999,
was a clerk to three Supreme
Court justices in the 1950s.
could use his office;’ Mr. Prettyman
told the House committee,
adding that Myers made “a mockery
of the seat in which his constituents
placed him.”
Myers was the first member·of
Congress to be expelled since the
Civil War.
Elijah Barrett Prettyman Jr.
was born June 1, 1925, in Washington.
His father was a chief
judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the D.C. Circuit. The U.S.
Courthouse in ·the District is
named in his honor.
After graduating in 1943 from
the private St. Albans School in
Washington, the younger Barrett
Prettyman served in the Army in
Europe during World War II. He
graduated from Yale University in
. 149.
.He composed a sharply worded
memorandum in which he urged
JatU{Son not to publish his separai
? opinion.
• ‘IJ: told him quite candidly;’ he
said in a 1996 interview with the
Hi torical Society of the D.C. Circuit
Court, “that I didn’t think
muph of the opinion, ‘that it
so.U]lded ?ore like a dissent than
‘il, cQncurring opinion.”
,Be argued that Jackson’s separat;
qpinion would only undercut
th·a force of the court’s unified
ru1ing. Jackson ultimately
agteed, and the opinion was never.
•’!l:t is doubtful:’ Kluger wrote in
“Shnple Justice;’ “if any of the
?Y excellent young men who
ha; e come fresh out of the law
scltools … to serve the justices of,
the Supreme Court ever served
mti,re faithfully or usefully than
Barrett Prettyman served Robert
Jackson died soon after the
Brqwn decision, and Mr. Prettyman
.continued at the Supreme
Court as a clerk to Felix Frankfurter
and later to John M. Harlan.
He is believed to have been
the only person to serve as a law
clerk to three justices in succession.
In 1955, Mr. Prettyman joined
the Washington law firm of Hogan
& Hartson (now Hogan
Lovells); where he took on First
Amendment and death-penalty
cases and established the firm’s
I appellate practice. He argued before
the Supreme Court 19 times .
Among the dozens of lawyers he
mentored at Hogan Lovells was
Roberts, who was named chief
justice in 2005.
In 1961, Mr. Prettyman published
“Death and the Supreme
Court:’ a nonfiction study of legal
cases involving the death penalty.
It won the Edgar Allan Poe Award
for best factual crime book. He
later accompanied one of his clients,
Capote, across the country
for a series of interviews with
death-row inmates.
In the early 1980s, Mr. Prettyman
was special counsel to the
Hbuse Ethics Committee during
the Abscam investigation, in
which several members of Congress
were convicted of accepting
bribes from a would-be Arab
sl1eik in an undercover FBI sting.
Mr. Prettyman recommended
that Michael Myers · (D-Pa.) be
expelled from the House of Representatives
after he was caught
tatQng $50,000 in cash.
?He used his influence as bait
and barter to wring huge sums of
money from those he thought
He spent two years as ·a newspaper
reporter in Providence,
R.I., before attending law school
at the University of Virginia,
where he became friends with a
fellow student, Robert F. Kennedy.
He received his law degree
in 1953 .
In 1998 and 1999, Mr. Prettyman
worked pro bono as inspector
general of the District of Columbia,
rooting out CQrruption in
city agencies.
“It’s the best job I ever had:’ he
said at the time. “Every time you
think you’ve seen every scam and
scoundrel that could possibly
come down the pike, you’re surprised
by a new one:’
His marriages to Evelyn Savage
and Victoria Keesecker ended in
divorce. His third wife, Noreen
McGuire, died in 2011. Survivors
include two children from his
first marriage, E. Barrett “‘fy”
Prettyman III of Oakton, Va., and
Jill Prettyman Lukosche? of
Houston; and three grandsons.
Mr. Prettyman was a collector
of rare books and served as president
of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation,
which presents awards to
writers, from 1990 to 1993. He
had a wall of photographs taken
with mq11y illustrious figures, including
one with Castro.
In 1961, more than 1,000 Cuban
exiles were taken prisoner after
they attempted to invade their
homeland with U.S. help. The
next year, the administration of
President John F. Kennedy asked
Mr. Prettyman to arrange the
release of the prisoners in exchange
for more than $50 million
in food and me.dical supplies.
During negotiations with Castro,
Mr. Prettyman asked to see
novelist Ernest Hemingway’s former
home in Havana. Castro gave
him a private tour.
Afterward, Castro agreed to
allow many of the prisoners’ family
members to leave as well. Mr.
Prettyman joined many of them
on thejr flight out of Cuba.
“As soon as those wheels W(;!re
up;’ he told The Washington Post
in 2000, “they went berserk. Yelling,
crying, singing. It was very,
very e_motional. Best Christmas
Eve I ever had.”