June 2014 Bar Bulletin
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June 2014 Bar Bulletin

WILLIAM L. DWYER OUTSTANDING JURIST: Judge Thomas Zilly

By Judge Robert Lasnik

 

Judge Thomas Zilly

The time was the fall of 1972. The place was the venerable Hay Adams Hotel in Washington, D.C., a stone's throw from the White House where Richard M. Nixon - buoyed by the popular choice of Walter McGovern to be a new U.S. District Court judge in Seattle the year before - was headed to a landslide, re-election victory.

Inside the Hay Adams, the head of the Hiring Committee at the Lane Powell law firm was interviewing superstar law students from the D.C. law schools. One of them was a local Northwest boy who went east after graduating from Whitman College and would be getting his law degree from Georgetown in 1973.

The hiring partner was Tom Zilly. The law student was Jim Robart. And who would have predicted that 42 years later we would look back and see the following chronology of events:


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