Skip to Main Content

Mortimer Caplin Recognized As Historic Member of American Bar Association

August 11, 2014, ABA Journal

While accepting his position as the new president of the American Bar Association (ABA), William Hubbard highlighted four long-term ABA members who courageously battled for freedom, equality, and civil rights. These inspiring leaders included Caplin & Drysdale's founding member Mortimer M. Caplin, William T. Coleman, Vernon Jordan, and Marcia Greenberger. For the complete story, please visit the ABA Journal's website.

Excerpt taken from the article.

On the heels of Chief Justice John Roberts' speech earlier Monday about Magna Carta's influence on our justice system, Hubbard picked up the theme and said: "As we reflect on our democracy, we do not need to limit ourselves to the inspiring words and bold deeds of centuries ago."

Hubbard provided details about four ABA members who showed courage and provide more recent inspiration:

  • Mortimer Caplin, 98, who joined the association in 1951. Caplin was a Navy lieutenant leading a landing party at Omaha Beach in World War II. He ordered a ship captain to run aground to unload much-needed ammunition, but that effort was unavailing. Caplin invoked the name of a fictitious general and got the ammo. Caplin founded the law firm Caplin & Drysdale.
  • William T. Coleman, an ABA member since 1948, was counsel to Thurgood Marshall in the Brown v. Board of Education case 60 years ago and was under enormous pressure when they appeared at the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Vernon Jordan, an ABA member for 50 years, was six months out of law school in 1961 when he was on the legal team that got two African-American students admitted to the University of Georgia and escorted one of them past a screaming mob to enter school.
  • Marcia Greenberger gave up a [strong] position in Caplin's law firm 40 years ago to become the first woman lawyer working full-time on women's legal issues, which led to the creation of in the National Women's Law Center.

"These are just a few of the lawyer-leaders who took bold action when faced with the biggest challenges of their time," Hubbard said.


About Caplin & Drysdale
Having celebrated our 50th Anniversary in 2014, Caplin & Drysdale continues to be a leading provider of legal services to corporations, individuals, and nonprofits throughout the United States and around the world. We are also privileged to serve as legal advisors to accounting firms, financial institutions, law firms, and other professional services organizations.

The firm's reputation over the years has earned us the trust and respect of clients, industry peers, and government agencies. Moreover, clients rely on our broad knowledge of the law and our keen insights into their business concerns and personal interests. Our lawyers' strong tactical and problem-solving skills -- combined with substantial experience handling a variety of complex, high stakes, matters in a boutique environment -- make us one the nation's most distinctive law firms.

With offices in New York City and Washington, D.C., Caplin & Drysdale's core practice areas include:
For more information, please visit us at
Washington, DC Office:
One Thomas Circle NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
New York, NY Office:
600 Lexington Avenue
21st Floor
New York, NY 10022


This communication does not provide legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship with you or any other reader. If you require legal guidance in any specific situation, you should engage a qualified lawyer for that purpose. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Attorney Advertising
It is possible that under the laws, rules, or regulations of certain jurisdictions, this may be construed as an advertisement or solicitation.
©2020 Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered
All Rights Reserved.

Related Professionals