Military Wiki
Lloyd Cutler
White House Counsel

In office
March 8, 1994 – October 1, 1994
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Bernard Nussbaum
Succeeded by Abner Mikva

In office
October 1, 1979 – January 20, 1981
President Jimmy Carter
Preceded by Robert Lipshutz
Succeeded by Fred Fielding
Personal details
Born Lloyd Norton Cutler
(1917-11-10)November 10, 1917
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died May 8, 2005(2005-05-08) (aged 87)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party Democratic

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 Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

Early life and education

Cutler was born in New York City. His father was a trial lawyer. He graduated from Yale University in 1936 at age 18, with a bachelor's degree in history and economics. In college, he was 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 Edward 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

Cutler served as the White House Counsel to President Jimmy Carter, whom he had met first while both were serving on the Trilateral Commission. Cutler served as a special counsel and consultant to the president on the ratification of SALT II and other international matters.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton was looking for a new lawyer, as Bernard Nussbaum had resigned, so Clinton decided to hire Cutler under unusual terms. Cutler was able to remain as counsel at his firm and to 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 Clinton's administration.

Cutler came into national news as a result of the Whitewater investigations and Lewinsky scandal. He went on PBS's News Hour on February 6, 1998, and defended President Clinton as the Lewinsky investigation started by denying that Lewinsky had visited 37 times.

On his work in Washington, Cutler said, "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."[citation needed]

Intelligence Commission

On February 6, 2004, 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.

Personal life

On May 8, 2005, he died at his home in Washington, D.C., due to complications of a broken hip. He was survived by his wife, Polly Kraft, and four children. Two of his children are practicing lawyers and one, Bev Cutler, is a retired Alaska state superior court judge.[1]


  1. Judge Cutler to leave courtroom behind her, Alaska Dispatch News, Zaz Hollander, May 12, 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2014.

External links

  • Cutler Appearances on C-SPAN
  • 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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