Senior judge in the District of Columbia Superior Court, Paul Rainey Webber, III was born on January 24, 1934 in Gadsden, South Carolina to Paul Rainey Webber, Jr. and Clemmie Embley Webber. His parents, both educators, met at South Carolina State University. Webber’s mother is the author of My Treadwell Street Saga and The College Soda Shop – An Education for Life, chronicling the business. Webber attended Felton Elementary School, the South Carolina State College Lab School and graduated from Wilkinson High School in 1951. He earned his B.A. degree in political science in 1955 from South Carolina State College and his J.D. degree from South Carolina State College’s School of Law in 1957.
Webber practiced law in Columbia, South Carolina for nineteen months and taught at Allen University. He was married in 1958 before leaving for UCLA where he was employed as assistant law librarian in 1959. In 1960, he joined Golden State Mutual Insurance Company as associate legal counsel. Webber was appointed trial attorney for the Antitrust Division of the United States Justice Department in 1964. In 1967, he becomes managing attorney for the Neighborhood Legal Services Program, serving during the 1968 riots. Webber became a partner with Thompson Evans Dolphin and Webber in 1969, which later became Dolphin Branton Stafford and Webber. In Washington, Webber taught at Howard University School of Communications and later at George Washington University School of Law. Webber was appointed Washington, D.C. Superior Court Judge in 1977. In 1985, he was named “Outstanding Trial Judge of the Year” and was rated “One of the Best Trial Justices in the Washington Metropolitan Area” by Washington Magazine in 1996. Webber ascended to Senior Judge of the D.C. Superior Court in 1998 and was inducted into the National Bar Association Hall of Fame that same year.
Webber is a member of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies Think Tank, the Council for Court Excellence, and the Guardsmen. He serves as board member and general counsel for the Boule, Sigma Pi Phi and is also the author of Enjoy the Journey, One Lawyer’s Memoir.
Webber is married to Fay DeShields Webber and has three grown children.
Webber passed away on October 24, 2019.
Webber was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 6, 2007.