- Judges' Photograph, 2009
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- Special Masters
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Born: Iowa Falls, Iowa
Judge Lettow was appointed a judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims on July 14, 2003, and
entered on duty on July 22, 2003. He previously spent more than 30 years as a litigator with Cleary,
Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, first as an associate from 1973-1976, and then as a partner from 1976-
2003. During that time, he argued three cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and more than 40 cases in
the federal courts of appeals, and handled numerous cases in federal trial courts.
Prior to joining Cleary, Gottlieb, Judge Lettow served as Counsel, Council on the Environmental Quality
in the Executive Office of the President, from 1970 to 1973. He was a law clerk to Chief Justice Warren
E. Burger, Supreme Court of the United States, during 1969-1970, and was a law clerk to Judge Ben C.
Duniway, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, during 1968-1969. Judge Lettow received an
LL.B. degree from Stanford University in 1968, where he was Note Editor of the Stanford Law Review
and a member of Order of the Coif. He also received a B.S.Ch.E. from Iowa State University in 1962,
and a M.A. in history from Brown University in 2001. From 1963 to 1965, Judge Lettow served in the
U.S. Army with the Third Infantry Division.
While at Cleary, Gottlieb, Judge Lettow was active with educational institutions and bar organizations.
He served as chairman of the board of trustees of The Potomac School from 1985-1988, and as a
member of the board from 1983-1990. He also was chairman of the Environmental Controls
Committee of the Section of Business Law, American Bar Association, from 1983-1987. He has been a
member of the American Law Institute since 1994.
In January 1992, Judge Lettow received an award from the National Association of Attorneys General
"for sustained assistance to the States in their preparation for appearances before the Supreme Court of
the United States." In 1997 and 1998, he received awards from the National State and Local Legal
Center for amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court
Judge Lettow maintains an interest in academic research on historical topics, particularly in the Tudor-
Stuart period in England and the corresponding colonial period in the United States. He also sustains an
interest in agriculture and farming. He is married and resides in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan
areas. He and his wife have four children.