Runnin’: how a junior associate became a congressional candidate

By Pete Eikenberry © 2010

Just over 40 years ago on June 23, 1970, New York City primary election day, someone drove Sue and I around to the various polling places of the U.S. 14th Congressional District where we dropped off pastries to the poll workers as was the custom for candidates in those days. I felt pretty good about the campaign we had run in the Democratic primary against 28-year incumbent U.S. Congressman John Rooney until I saw long lines of voters outside the polling places in Greenpoint.

In 1970, the district stretched out 12 miles along the Brooklyn waterfront (facing Manhattan) from the



Iwrite as a work-a-day civil trial lawyer. As I understand the current mortgage crisis, in the next five years there are projected to be 6.5 mil- lion foreclosure actions that possibly will result in millions of homeown-

ers losing their homes, and mortgage holders becoming owners of millions of properties, most of which will have to be sold on a distress basis. Although Congress has passed significant legislation to give relief, it is only expected to reduce the scale of the problem.

Historically, bank officers have performed workouts with homeowners in default, and the banks have, thus, restructured poorly performing mort- gages.

From the editor: The “idea of a lawyer;” what is a lawyer?

© Pete Eikenberry


For some years, I have been interested in the subject of ―how to be a lawyer.‖

The first person I was able to get to write on the subject – Tom Leary, a mentor of mine at White & Case and later a FTC Commissioner – changed the subject to ―how to be a good lawyer.‖ I loved Tom‘s article, but for me being a lawyer is more than being a good lawyer, it is being a larger person licensed to do justice and protect liberty.

Most of us define a lawyer in the context of experience. Lowell Wadmond, a senior

Mississippi PostScript

By Pete Eikenberry © 2010

When I wrote my previous article on my experiences in Mississippi in 1966, I did it from memory. About a month ago, as I unpacked a box left over from Sue’s and my last move in 1996, I discovered the transcript of my first jury trial which occurred in Mississippi Circuit Court on August 1, 1966. The discovery of the transcript of that trial led me to a) discovery on the internet of a chronology of the civil rights movement in Grenada, Mississippi in 1966, b) a United States Supreme Court case involving Marshall Perry, the judge that I tried the case before

From the editor: how I became a civil rights lawyer in Mississippi – © Pete Eikenberry 10/31/09


In June 1966, after I had worked on the Texas Gulf trial that spring with Orison Marden (by June President of the ABA) he took me to lunch at the Downtown Association at 80 Pine. At lunch, he asked me if I would like to go to Mississippi as a civil rights lawyer for the month of July at White & Case expense. I was thrilled to accept, except that I would leave the remaining burden of the initial draft of the Texas Gulf post trial briefing to my colleagues Tom McGanney and P.B. Konnad Knake. I traveled to Jackson on a 4th of July weekend. I rode

From the Editor: How I Became a Wall Street Lawyer

©Pete Eikenberry

Some very important mentoring is done in the recruiting process - - even with applicants whom we do not hire. Bob Giuffra’s article on mentoring brings to mind mentoring I received from two of his firm’s partners over forty-five years ago. The day after Labor Day 1963, I took the train from Connecticut, where my in-laws lived--copies of my resume in hand-- to interview Wall Street law firms. I was an “accelerator” at Ohio State law school, scheduled to graduate in December after attending year-round to graduate early. I had two young children and needed a job. An Ohio State buddy, John Broadbent, with

From the editor: on losing: the case of former NY State Supreme Court Justice Vincent Keogh

© Pete Eikenberry 12-1-08

John McCain gave a gracious concession speech, but neither he nor any of us trial lawyers probably take losing very well. Judge Ed Korman once said something like, “It’s easy to forget your wins, but the cases that stick with you are the ones you lost.” Judge Korman was trained in part by the late Simon Rifkind who taught that you had to bring passion to your advocacy. Since most of us do bring passion, we don’t walk away from a loss with 100 percent peace of mind- however good a job we might have done.

In my first three years as a

The Ant’s Eye View : Delegate to the 1972 Democratic Convention

Pete Eikenberry ©2008

Recently, it being the political season, I read Hunter Thompson’s, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail -1972. Thompson, a heavy drinker and admitted drug-abusing reporter and self styled “hostile [to Nixon] Peace Freak,” covered the 1972 presidential campaign for Rolling Stone. One memorable vignette was his flashback of the day in the 1968 campaign that Nixon’s managers asked Thompson to ride with Nixon in a limousine between stops for an hour to talk pro football on the promise that no political issue could be raised. Everyone else in the press core was “dying” for a few minutes of “face time” with the candidate,

A Talk with David Levine – © 2007 Pete Eikenberry

by Pete Eikenberry 8/2/07

In the picking up a new issue of the New Yorker many first turn to the cartoons, and in receiving a new issue of the New York Review of Books others turn to David Levine’s caricatures. There is no prominent U.S. author, artist or political celebrity that does not secretly wish David Levine to have captured him or her in one of David’s caricatures – no matter how unflattering the sketch. David has been with the Review for approximately forty years. He has also done sketches for the New Yorker, Esquire and Life.

In the Review, David merely attempts to

Rule of Law II: The Great Debate over Harry Truman’s National Security State

©Pete Eikenberry 2007

Rule of law controversies, of course, are not just played out in the Courts. Just after World War II, there was a fervent national debate over Harry Truman’s efforts to layer a “national security state” on to FDR’s “welfare state.” My first rule of law article was a macro summary encompassing over 2000 years. This article examines rule of law development with regard to certain issues in the brief period of US history 1945 into 1952.

At the end of World War II, Truman had no choice but to demobilize the armed forces and to disassemble the regulatory apparatus that had gathered the