James St. Clair ’47, Nixon’s special counsel

James St. Clair ’47, Richard Nixon’s special counsel during Watergate, died on March 10, 2001. Before representing the president in United States v Nixon, St. Clair defended Yale University Chaplain Reverend William Coffin when he was accused of helping students to avoid the draft. In 1954, St. Clair was praised by many liberals for his role in ending McCarthyism when he served as chief assistant to the counsel to the United States Army during the Congressional investigation into communism in America. In addition, St. Clair represented the Boston School Committee in a lawsuit that attempted to desegregate public schools in the city. St. Clair, who made senior partner at Hale and Dorr after only five years, responded to critics of his handling of the Nixon case by saying that he represented the office of the presidency and not Nixon as an individual. According to the Times of London, St. Clair disliked being referred to by his first name.

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