John H. Pickering

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John H. Pickering is one of the founding partners of Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering.

"Mr. Pickering is a graduate of the University of Michigan (A.B. 1938; J.D. 1940). He started in private practice in New York City in 1940 with the firm of Cravath, de Gersdorff, Swaine & Wood (now Cravath, Swaine & Moore), and served as law clerk to Justice Frank Murphy of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1941 to 1943.

"Mr. Pickering specializes in federal administrative law and appellate practice. An expert in Supreme Court practice and procedure, he has participated in a number of high-profile cases, including: Steel Seizure Case (Youngstown v. Sawyer), the ouster of Congressman Adam Clayton Powell (Powell v. McCormack), civil rights (NAACP v. Claiborne County, Mississippi), and the matter of physician-assisted suicide (Washington v. Glucksberg and Vacco v. Quill).

"For his work to advance the cause of civil rights, to encourage pro bono legal services for the poor and disadvantaged, to improve the administration of justice, and to protect the rights of the elderly, he has received numerous awards from organizations such as the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Women's Law Center, the Council for Court Excellence, the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, the National Counsel on Aging, the Maryland Gerontological Association, the National Legal Aid and Defense Association, the Pro Bono Institute, and the American Bar Association. On February 6, 1993, he was given the Fifty Year Award by The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, an award given to a lawyer who, during more than fifty years of active practice of law, has adhered to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession and of service to the public. In 1996, he was honored as "Lawyer of the Year" by the Bar Association of the District of Columbia. In 1998 he received the William J. Brennan, Jr., Award from the District of Columbia Bar. He has received honorary LL.D. degrees from his alma mater, the University of Michigan, and from the District of Columbia School of Law. In 1999 he received the highest award of the American Bar Association, the ABA Medal, for "conspicuous service in the cause of American jurisprudence," and in 2002 he was given the Robert F. Drinan Distinguished Service Award by the ABA's Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities for his work for civil rights, social justice, and the legal needs of the elderly.

"Mr. Pickering has been active in a number of civic and professional organizations, and has served on numerous court and bar committees concerned with the administration of justice. He is a past president of the District of Columbia Bar, and has been active in the American Bar Association where, among other things, he has served as a member of the Committee on Lawyers' Public Service Responsibility, chaired the ABA Commission on Legal Problems of the Elderly (where he is now Chairman Emeritus), chaired the Senior Lawyers Division, and is a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Legal aid and Indigent Defense. He served as State Delegate from the District of Columbia to the ABA House of Delegates and as a delegate from the District of Columbia Bar; he is currently a delegate from the Senior Lawyers Division. Mr. Pickering served on the Board of the National Center for State Courts from 1987 to 1993, and chaired the Lawyers' Support Committee for the Center prior to and during his service on the Board. For his service to the Center, he was awarded its Distinguished Service Award in 1985, and the Paul C. Reardon Award in 1994. He was a member of the Coordinating Council of the Project of the Center and the State Justice Institute on Guidelines for State Court Decision Making in Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment Cases. Mr. Pickering is a life member of the American Law Institute, Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and former State Chair of the Fellows for D. C.

"Mr. Pickering has spoken at various events, including the University of Michigan Law School's Commencement in 1992, and in 1989 he gave the University's Winkelman Lecture on the topic of Death and the Law, based on his work on the bio-ethical and legal issues involved in the right to refuse unwanted medical treatment."