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Lloyd Norton Cutler (November 10, 1917–May 8, 2005) was an American attorney who served as White House Counsel during the Democratic administrations of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

Cutler was born in New York City. His father was a trial lawyer. Cutler graduated from Yale University in 1936 at the age of 18, with a bachelor's degree in history and economics, and where he was a member of Elihu. Three years later, he graduated magna cum laude from Yale Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal. Following his graduation, Cutler clerked for Judge Charles Clark for a year before entering private practice at Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

During World War II, he worked briefly for the Lend-Lease Administration, later enlisting in the U.S. Army and becoming an intelligence analyst. In 1962, he co-founded the Washington, D.C. based law firm Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, specializing in international law and public policy. Later, he co-chaired the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, formed at the request of President John F. Kennedy.

Cutler was White House Counsel to Jimmy Carter, whom he met first while both served on the Trilateral Commission. He served as a special counsel and consultant to the president on the ratification of SALT II and other international matters.

In 1994, Bill Clinton was looking for a new lawyer as Bernard Nussbaum had resigned. Clinton hired Cutler under unusual terms: Cutler got to remain as counsel at his firm and counsel private clients as long as their interests did not conflict with those of the government, a first for a White House Counsel. Thus, Cutler also served as counsel in Bill Clinton's administration. He came into National news as a result of the Whitewater investigations and Lewinsky scandal. He went on PBS's News Hour on Feb. 6, 1998 and defended Clinton as the Lewinsky investigation started, saying, "the 37 visits that Monica Lewinsky was supposed to have made, according to waive records. I understand that's a gross exaggeration of the number that show up on the waive records," along with other complaints about the investigations.

On his work in Washington: "This is an excitement to us, a feeling of being in on it, and whichever part of the Washington milieu we come from, we want to play a part. That's why we're here."

On February 6, 2004, Cutler was appointed to the Iraq Intelligence Commission, an independent panel tasked with investigating U.S. intelligence surrounding the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the allegations that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

On May 8, 2005, Cutler died of complications of a broken hip in Washington, D.C. at his home. He is survived by his wife, Polly Kraft; four children, two of whom are practicing lawyers and one of whom is an Alaska state judge; and his sister, Laurel Cutler.

References

  • Soylent Communications Bio (With Photo) [1]
  • Lloyd Norton Cutler, 2006 Encyclopædia Britannica, [2]
  • Lloyd Norton Cutler, Encyclopedia Farlex, 2004, [3] (subscription required)
  • Man in the News; A Rescuer Steeped in Washington's Ways: Lloyd Norton Cutler, NY Times, March 9, 1994, [4]
  • WHITE HOUSE AIDE BECOMES SUBJECT OF NEW INQUIRIES, NY Times, March 27, 1994 [5]
  • Norton Cutler obituary, NY Times, May 13, 2005, Friday: [6]
  • PBS News Hour, FEB. 6, 1998 [7]
  • Cutler, Business Week, Nov. 11 1996 [8]
  • Quotes by Lloyd Norton Cutler [9]
  • PRESIDENT CHOOSES ANOTHER COUNSEL; OPENNESS IS VOWED, NY Times, March 9, 1994 [10]
Legal offices
Preceded by
Robert Lipshutz
White House Counsel
1979-1981
Succeeded by
Fred Fielding
Preceded by
Bernard Nussbaum
White House Counsel
1994
Succeeded by
Abner Mikva
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