Tribute to John Pickering

John Pickering was a grand human whose life is just cause for celebration. He taught constantly, through his own work and deeds, how lawyers in private practice can contribute hugely to the public good. John’s dear friend, my revered D.C. Circuit colleague, Carl McGowan, spoke of the lawyer of technical competence content to be a working mason. The best of lawyers, Judge McGowan said, serve as architects, planners, builders in law. Along with high technical competence, the best of lawyers have a deep understanding of the nature and purposes of the law, which makes them wise and reliable counselors, broad-gauged advocates and planners, sensitive to the requirements of a just and orderly society and to currents of change. John Pickering fit that description to a T.