Tribute to John Pickering

John Pickering was so much involved with both the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and with the bar of this city. It would take too long to recite all of the ways in which John supported and helped our Court and the Court of Appeals, but I will note that, in every one of the ten years since I have been on this bench, John has been invited to speak at the Law Clerks Luncheon Series. That is a big deal. The law clerks of both courts invite the very most important leaders of government and the bar and the NGO (nongovernmental organization) community to share their wisdom at brown bag lunches. John was a favorite. He was, in fact, scheduled as a luncheon speaker this year, but the scheduled date was just a few days after his death. It was my enormous privilege to know John and to work with him and learn from him. I wish every young lawyer could have known him, or at least heard him speak. I have thought for some time that we need a Plutarch’s “Lives of Lawyers” that law students could study by candlelight in front of the fireplace. If such a volume existed, John would certainly be the subject of a prominent chapter. He is one of very few permanent occupants of my own private pantheon of heroes in the law, and I will miss him.