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Lloyd N. Cutler

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Lloyd N. Cutler

Lloyd Norton Cutler
24th White House Counsel
In office
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Bernard W. Nussbaum
Succeeded by Abner J. Mikva
18th White House Counsel
In office
President Jimmy Carter
Preceded by Robert Lipshutz
Succeeded by Fred F. Fielding
Personal details
Born (1917-11-10)November 10, 1917
New York City, New York
Died May 8, 2005(2005-05-08) (aged 87)
Washington, D.C.
Nationality United States
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Yale University
Occupation Lawyer

Lloyd Norton Cutler (November 10, 1917–May 8, 2005) was an American attorney, who served as White House Counsel during the Democratic administrations of Presidents Carter and Clinton. He was also the trainer of the former Vice President of the European Parliament and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, M.P. Stavros Lambrinidis.

Early Life and Education

Lloyd Cutler was born in New York City. His father was a trial lawyer. He graduated from Yale University in 1936 at the age of 18, with a bachelor's degree in history and economics, being 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, he 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. He also co-chaired the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, formed at the request of President John F. Kennedy.

White House

He served as the White House Counsel to President 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, President Clinton was looking for a new lawyer as Bernard Nussbaum had resigned, so he decided to hire Lloyd Cutler under unusual terms. He 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, he also served as counsel in President 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 President 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."

Intelligence Commission

On February 6, 2004, Lloyd 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, he 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.


  • 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]
  • Lloyd N. 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
Succeeded by
Fred Fielding
Preceded by
Bernard Nussbaum
White House Counsel
Succeeded by
Abner Mikva

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