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Remembering Gerald Ford

On Dec. 26, 2006, the 38th president of the United States, Gerald Ford, died at the age of 93. Though Ford held office for little more than two years, he'll be remembered for at least two law-related legacies. First, in his inaugural address, Ford forcefully reminded our broken nation that after nearly two centuries, "Our constitution still works." And Ford's other legacy, Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, whom Ford nominated to the Court on Nov. 28, 1975, still remains on the Court today.

But Ford had many other little legacies as well, including the impact that he left on a newbie attorney, as May It Please the Court's Craig Williams describes in this post.

Williams met Ford as a young attorney, assigned to represent the Bighorn Institute, a research institute dedicated to bighorn sheep created in large part through Ford's efforts. From Williams' post:

At that first presentation [at the Institute], I had been in practice less than five years, but President Ford, a lawyer himself, treated me like an equal, and engaged me in discussions like any fellow lawyer would have. He was articulate, insightful, and very analytical. Frequently, what I had been asked to provide (a five-minute presentation) turned into a half-hour or forty-five minute discussion, with President Ford helping develop strategies for the lawsuit. He helped turn the case from one where the Institute initially found itself on the defense to one where the Institute not only recovered its fees and costs, but also furthered its already-established endowment fund. I had been lucky enough to glimpse for a brief moment what I imagine the experience of the give-and-take between a president and his attorney general.

Many of Ford's colleagues and friends extolled how he restored a sense of decency to the presidency. And from Williams' post,  Ford apparently treated many others -- even insignificant, young attorneys -- with that same decency as well.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on December 27, 2006 at 04:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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