Resume of James Hamilton
Jim Hamilton is a retired partner from the Morgan Lewis law firm.
Jim Hamilton focused his practice on civil and criminal litigation, congressional and other
investigations, trade association representation, appellate litigation, and advising clients on
government and professional ethics. He represented various corporations, government and
corporate officials, political figures, professional athletes, accountants, and lawyers.
Among Jim’s prominent cases are the representation of Sens. DeConcini, Durenberger, and
Talmadge before the Senate Ethics Committee. He also successfully argued in separate cases to
the US Supreme Court that the attorney-client privilege survives the death of client and that
survivors have a right of privacy under the Freedom of Information Act. Jim has been involved,
e.g., in the Fannie Mae investigations and litigations, the Major League Baseball steroids
investigations, litigation involving law firms and legal ethics, litigation regarding Indian gaming,
copyright litigation, False Claims Act litigation and the well-publicized investigation into the
leak of a CIA operative’s name, in which he represented the late columnist, Bob Novak. He also
conducted a number of confidential internal investigation for major institutions. Jim was
additionally general counsel of a prominent Washington-based trade association.
Jim was assistant chief counsel of the Senate Watergate Committee. He served as deputy chief
counsel in the Alaska Senate Impeachment in 1985, and during 1983-1984 was special counsel
to the Human Resources Subcommittee, Post Office and Civil Service Committee, US House of
Representatives, for its investigation of the 1980 Ronald Reagan campaign. Jim was chief
counsel of the Special Joint Committee on Referendum Review for the Congress of Micronesia
in 1978. He also served as the Clinton-Gore transition counsel for nominations and
confirmations and as the principal Clinton White House vetter for Supreme Court nominations.
Jim was in charge of vetting vice-presidential candidates in 2000 for Al Gore and in 2004 for
John Kerry, and served in a similar role for Sen. Obama in 2008. He also vetted candidates for
Cabinet, the Department of Justice, White House, and Supreme Court for the Obama
administration. And he headed Hillary Clinton’s vice-presidential vetting operation.
Jim is a past member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. In 2011, President
Obama appointed Jim to the Board of the USO, and he now chairs the Board’s Governance
Committee and serves on its Executive Committee. Jim wrote The Power to Probe: A Study of
Congressional Investigations, published by Random and supported by a Ford Foundation grant,
as well as numerous articles in national newspapers, magazines, books and professional journals.
He recently published his second book, Advocate: On History’s Front Lines from Watergate to
the Keating Five, Clinton Impeachment, and Benghazi.
Recognized, Criminal Defense White-Collar, The Best Lawyers in America
Recognized, Washington DC Super Lawyers
Recognized, Civil Litigation Defense Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition
Best Lawyers, Washington Magazine
One of Washington’s Top Lawyers (Criminal Defense, Investigation) Washingtonian
Davidson College Distinguished Alumnus Award (2006)
Board of Governors of the United Service Organizations, Inc. (USO)
Executive Committee of the Yale Law School Alumni Association
Life member, Davidson College Board of Visitors
Former chairman, Legal Ethics Committee of the District of Columbia Bar
Former member, President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board
Former Board member, Ethics Resource Center
Chairman of the District of Columbia Bar special committee to educate the bar on new ethics
rules that received the bar’s highest award for public service
Army Commendation Medal while serving as a first lieutenant in the United Army in Germany
Ford Foundation Travel and Study Grant to write book on congressional investigations
District of Columbia
US Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
US Court of Federal Claims
US Court of International Trade
US District Court for the District of Columbia
US Supreme Court of the United States
Davidson College, 1960, Art Baccalaureate
Yale Law School, 1963 Bachelor of Laws
The London School of Economics and Political Science, 1966, Master of Laws