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Remembering Earl J. Silbert (1936-2022)

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Earl J. Silbert, a titan of the D.C. legal community and longtime Council for Court Excellence leader. Earl passed away on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 peacefully and surrounded by family.

Earl served as our President from 2009 to 2015. He had a distinguished life and professional career that included serving in the Tax Division of the Department of Justice and in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, where he was the U.S. Attorney from 1974 to 1979. During his time in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he played a leading role in the investigation and prosecution of the Watergate scandal. After leaving government service, Earl became a principal at Schwalb, Donnenfeld, Bray & Silbert, and was later a partner at DLA Piper.

It is a source of great pride that Earl had such a long and close relationship with the Council for Court Excellence. In 2009, we honored him with the Justice Potter Stewart Award for his work to improve the judicial system, both as a U.S. Attorney and in private practice. Soon thereafter, Earl became CCE’s Board President and served in that role until 2015. You can read a short interview of Earl, conducted by fellow Board leader and former AUSA, Cary Feldman, after he assumed the presidency. Earl remained a close friend to many members of CCE’s Board and staff, and was a steadfast supporter of this organization throughout his life.

In the words of our current President, Patrick McGlone, “Earl Silbert was a thoughtful and dedicated president of CCE. It was a real boon to the Council to have a lawyer of Earl’s stature and experience leading our work. Earl was a vigorous proponent of the importance of CCE as an independent, non-partisan evaluator of our justice system. He was unafraid to be critical when it was called for, but always in an effort to be constructive. Earl will be missed by CCE and by the legal profession, but always remembered with great fondness.”

In addition to his service to CCE, Earl was generous with his time and leadership for a variety of other organizations. He was a past president of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a chair of the Federal District Court Committee on Grievances for the District of Columbia, a president of the National Association of Former US Attorneys, and a member of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia’s Advisory Commission on Sentencing.

Details on funeral arrangements or a memorial service are not yet available.On behalf of all of CCE, we send our deepest condolences to his beloved wife Pat, his daughters Leslie and Sarah, and his entire family.



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