The RNLA is pleased to announce that Fred Fielding will be the 2013 Ed Meese Award Winner. The Ed Meese Award is the RNLA’s highest award presented annual to a leader who has upheld the rule of law in the face of adverse political challenges.Fred F. Fielding is a partner in Morgan Lewis’s Litigation Practice. He has spent his distinguished legal career in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Mr. Fielding served as White House Counsel to President George W. Bush from February 2007 to January 2009. Mr. Fielding also served as White House Counsel to President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1986, and served in the Nixon White House as Deputy Counsel from 1972 to 1974 and as Associate Counsel from 1970 to 1972.
Mr. Fielding’s long record of leadership in public service includes being a member of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (commonly referred to as the 9/11 Commission), clearance counsel for the 2000 Bush-Cheney Presidential Transition, a member of the Secretary of Transportation’s Task Force on Aviation Disasters (1997–1998), a member of the Tribunal on the U.S.–U.K. Air Treaty Dispute (1989–1994), and a member of the President’s Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform (1989).
Mr. Fielding brings a unique background and experience to the representation of his clients. In his years of professional activity, and as Deputy Counsel to President Nixon and then Counsel to Presidents Reagan and Bush, he gained a reputation as a skilled negotiator and handler of complex and sensitive issues, who brings to bear not only his broad legal experience but also his ability to understand and resolve the political, public relations, and practical dimensions of significant problems.Mr. Fielding served for years as a member of the RNLA Board of Governors prior to resigning to join the Bush White House. He has been a very popular speaker and guest at RNLA events and receptions over the years as well.
Mr. Fielding received a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1964, where he served on the editorial board of the Virginia Law Review. He received an A.B., cum laude, in political science from Gettysburg College in 1961. He has also been awarded honorary doctorates from Detroit College of Law and Pepperdine University School of Law.Mr. Fielding has received numerous awards and accolades during his career. When Mr. Fielding was appointed White House Counsel in 2007, TIME magazine described him as “the ultimate Washington lawyer-insider . . . he’s the guy who helps you defend your position, stick to your principles, but tries to work out a reasonable compromise . . . he is highly regarded by everyone.” His numerous honors include selection as a “Legend in the Law” by the Washington Lawyer magazine, as a “Legal Visionary” by the Legal Times, as the District of Columbia Bar Association’s “Lawyer of the Year 2004,” and as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” for business litigation by Corporate Counsel magazine. His additional activities include board memberships in numerous charitable and public corporations, as well as bar association activities.
Last year’s winner Ed Meese Award winner was former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and past winners include Rudy Giuliani, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and Ambassador John Bolton. The award will be formally presented at the RNLA National Policy Conference on April 26 and a reception will be held in Mr. Fielding's honor immediately following the conference.