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E. Barrett Prettyman, Jr.

Of Counsel
Washington, D.C.

E. Barrett Prettyman, Jr.

Barrett Prettyman's experience in litigation and arbitration includes some of the most significant and complex cases of the last three decades. He has been counsel in more than 150 matters and has personally argued 19 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He has also argued cases in most of the circuit courts of appeals.

Barrett has conducted important trials and handled matters before a number of U.S. agencies and departments, including the Interstate Commerce Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Federal Trade Commission, and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.

His cases include Hughes Tool Co. v. TWA, Hunt v. SEC, In Re Plywood Litigation, Pillsbury Co. v. FTC, Nebraska Press Ass'n v. Stuart, and the Rock Island and Santa Fe/Southern Pacific merger, as well as cases involving public figures such as John Lennon and Truman Capote.

Having joined the firm in 1955, his tenure was only interrupted by approximately three and a half years in government as Special Assistant to the Attorney General, as Special Assistant to the White House, and as the president's representative on the Interagency Committee on Transport Mergers. He also acted as outside Special Counsel to three separate Congressional Committees, including the House Ethics Committee during the Abdul Scam FBI investigation in the 1980s (ABSCAM).

Barrett is a Vice President and Trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society and has written a book and several articles on Supreme Court practice, which has been cited in major treatises on the subject. He is also co-editor of a book by Justice Robert H. Jackson on the Supreme Court.

Education and admissions


  • LL.B., University of Virginia School of Law, 1953
  • B.A., Yale University, 1949


  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Trustee Emeritus, American University

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • District of Columbia


Lawyer of the Year

D.C. Bar Association


Who's Who in the World


Who’s Who in the United States


Distinguished Public Service Award

District of Columbia


Common Cause Public Service Achievement Award

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