America at Night Files


FILE #58
Jerris Leonard, Attorney for Bush, Hirschfeld, and Sensi

After leaving the Justice Department during the Nixon administration, Jerris Leonard became a prominent Washington attorney representing clients including George H.W. Bush, the Republican National Committee, Richard M. Hirschfeld, and Robert M. Sensi. In 2004 and 2005, during my investigation of Hirschfeld and Sensi, Leonard was of counsel to the Washington, D.C., office of the law firm Foley & Lardner. During 2006, Leonard sought to prevent publication of my book America at Night. The Foley & Lardner bio of Leonard is shown below.

Of Counsel

Jerris Leonard is of counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of Foley & Lardner and a member of the firm's Regulatory Department. He has nearly 50 years of experience in legislative and lobbying activities and has been actively involved in trial practice for over 49 years. He has represented former President George Bush, Muhammad Ali, Governor Vernon Thomson of Wisconsin, Governor Evan Meacham of Arizona, members of Congress, and prominent business leaders. Mr. Leonard has significant experience in the areas of government administration, finance, tort reform, and general civil and criminal law.
Most recently, Mr. Leonard served on the Bush-Cheney Transition Department of Justice Advisory Committee. In 1969, he was appointed by President Nixon and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights of the United States and served until 1971. In that year, President Nixon appointed him Administrator of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration. Prior to his tenure at the Department of Justice, Mr. Leonard served for 12 years in the Wisconsin State Legislature. From 1959 to 1967, he was Assistant Majority Leader and in 1967 became the Majority Leader of the Senate. In 1968, he was the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate from Wisconsin.
In 1969, Mr. Leonard received the Belle Case LaFollette Outstanding Professional Award from the Wisconsin Law Foundation. He was also the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquette University Law School in 2000. Mr. Leonard received his law and undergraduate degrees from Marquette University (J.D., 1955; B.A. 1952). He was president of Marquette student body and then elected to Alpha Sigma Nu, National Jesuit Honor Society. He is the author of numerous legislation that became law in Wisconsin. Mr. Leonard has authored articles and given speeches throughout the United States, including his speech titled, “A Catholic Conservative's Experience With Civil Rights in America,” delivered at Creighton University's William F. Kelley, S.J. Annual Alpha Sigma Nu Lecture Series in 2000.
Mr. Leonard has made five appearances before the Supreme Court of the United States. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Wisconsin.