About the Author
James C. McKay is currently signed with Eio Books for two of his novels (The KUSURI Case and Billy's War). We are pleased to publish the work of this talented writer and prominent citizen.
A highly regarded litigator who served as the special prosecutor investigating Edwin Meese III, Attorney General under the Reagan Administration, James McKay is also an author.
He describes himself as a binge reader who periodically re-reads all of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and Shakespeare. He is also a Civil War buff.
Mr. McKay's credentials as an attorney and in the courtroom are unassailable ( see here ).
But, can a successful attorney write a good novel?
Well, no doubt about it in the case of Scott Turow who has churned out a number of highly successful novels while continuing to practice law (currently a partner of the Chicago law firm of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal ).
As with Turow, so with Jim McKay. Jim is both a fine writer and an excellent storyteller. And with his in-depth knowledge of Washington, the law, and the courtroom, who better than he to write The KUSURI Case a tale of bureaucratic corruption, desperation, and corporate greed.
Ki Longfellow, a fellow Eio Books author has said of The KUSURI Case — "...it's a page turner."*
Born in South Pasadena, Calif., McKay, who can still reel off the lineup of the 1924 Washington Senators baseball team, grew up in the District, where his father worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. After graduating in 1938 from Cornell University, where he majored in agriculture, McKay almost followed in his father's footsteps. He worked briefly for the California Fruit Exchange and then as a marketing specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But the bureaucracy was not for him.
"I was bored stiff," McKay says. "I had only about two hours of work a day, and then they hired someone to help me."
McKay took a friend's advice and decided to attend Georgetown University's law school at night. He also enlisted in the Naval Reserve, and World War II interrupted his law school studies.
After gunnery and navigation training, McKay was first assigned as the executive officer aboard a submarine chaser. Later in the war, he became captain of his own ship, a patrol craft with 67 men and five officers, which he commanded until the end of the war.
"I've never had so much power and responsibility before or since," McKay jokes.
After the war, McKay got a job clerking at what was then Covington, Burling, Rublee, Acheson and Shorb as he continued his legal education at Georgetown night school. He had been first in his class during his first year and graduated with honors in 1947, when he joined Covington & Burling full time. From the start, he specialized in litigation.
"I always said, 'If I am going to be in the Navy I wanted to go to sea, and if I am going to be a lawyer I wanted to be in court,' " recounts McKay.
Fresh out of law school, McKay was assigned by his boss, Howard Westwood, to argue a series of cases before the Civil Aeronautics Board.
"We found that he was a very mature chap," says Westwood, now retired from Covington. "He was a very responsible person. He's one of the best trial lawyers in this city."
Westwood and Dunkelberger both stress McKay's love of pro bono work and of helping young attorneys. For several years, he headed the firm's continuing legal education program, as well as the pro bono program that places associates on public interest cases.
"He has a wonderful way of putting you at ease," says one Covington associate.
Covington partner Tagliabue adds. "Everyone wants to work with McKay because he gives you a lot of responsibility, he takes a genuine interest in you, and he's genuinely appreciative."
James C. McKay is a partner with the firm Covington & Burling LLP and a senior counsel whose practice specialties are general litigation, trial and appellate, antitrust and trade regulation, criminal, and civil. He was assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, 1948-49; and was appointed Independent Counsel in the investigations of Lyn Nofziger and Edwin Meese, III, February 1987 to September 1, 1988.
He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He was a member of the Board of Professional Responsibility of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals from 1991 to 1997.
Honors and RankingsMr. McKay received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The American Lawyer on October 29, 2008.
United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, Hart T. Mankin Distinguished Service Award (2008)
In July of 2007, Mr. McKay received a Certificate of Merit from President George W. Bush at a special session of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims relating to his work on behalf of veterans.
Received NVLSP Senator Daniel Inouye Award November 18, 2011
LINKS:James C. McKay
James C. McKay in the NEWS.
Covington & Burling LLP
* Ki Longfellow is a partner in Eio Books, her unbiased opinion notwithstanding.