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Theodore V. Wells, Jr.

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Information about Theodore V. Wells, Jr.

Profile image of Theodore V. Wells, Jr.

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Litigator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Aqua Green
Favorite Food:
French Fries
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Boy, Boy, Boy.

Birthplace

Born:
4/28/1950
Birth Location:
Washington, District of Columbia

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Litigator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Aqua Green
Favorite Food:
French Fries
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Boy, Boy, Boy.

Birthplace

Born:
4/28/1950
Birth Location:
Washington
See how Theodore V. Wells, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Attorney Theodore V. Wells, Jr. has made a mark on the legal world as one of the most sought-after white collar criminal lawyers. Ted Wells was born Theodore Von Wells, Jr. on April 28, 1950 in Washington, D.C. to Phyllis and Theodore V. Wells, Sr., and grew up in a small rowhouse in Northwest, Washington, D.C. Wells was raised by his mother, who worked in the U.S. Navy’s mailroom. Wells became known for his academic focus, and by the time he attended Calvin Coolidge High School was known for his grades as well as his prowess on the football field.

In 1968, Wells graduated from Calvin Coolidge High School and attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. While attending Holy Cross, Wells was mentored by Reverend John E. Brooks and Edward Bennett Williams and became head of the black student union. One classmate, also a member of the union, was current U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, with whom Wells participated in a walkout because of the school’s racially motivated unfair practices. In 1971, Wells married his high school girlfriend, Nina Mitchell, in Washington, D.C. The following year, he returned to school and received his B.A. degree.

After graduation, Wells attended Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School simultaneously, receiving both his J.D. and M.B.A. degrees in 1976. Wells was one of only forty-three black students then enrolled in Harvard Law School. He then worked as a law clerk for Judge John J. Gibbons, a Third Circuit judge, where he worked alongside another current Supreme Court Justice, Samuel Alito. The following year, after a very brief clerkship at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker in Los Angeles, Wells joined the Lowenstein Sandler law firm in New Jersey and worked doing pro bono criminal defense work under mentor Matthew Boylan. There, he would hone his trial room technique.

In 1982, Wells became partner at Lowenstein Sandler. The following year, he won his case for Hudson County Prosecutor Harold Ruvoldt, then on trial for bribery and extortion and in 1987 successfully defended Raymond Donovan, the U.S. Secretary of Labor, his first high profile case. In 1993, Wells was elected Fellow for the American College of Trial Lawyers, and, in 1994, he was chosen as one of the most influential lawyers in America by the National Law Journal, a title he earned again in 1997 and 2000.

In 1998, Wells won a case for U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Michael Espy in U.S. v. Espy, and the following year, Wells effectively defended Franklin L. Haney, a Tennessee financier who had become involved in a campaign finance controversy for the 1996 presidential elections. In 2000, Wells became Bill Bradley’s National Campaign Treasurer during his unsuccessful presidential run. That year, he also joined Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, becoming partner and litigation department co-chair. Since then, Wells has defended a number of major corporations in a variety of cases, and his clients have included Johnson & Johnson, Mitsubishi Corporation, Philip Morris, ExxonMobil and the Carnival Corporation, as well as the first RICO case on Wall Street. Most recently, Wells defended Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff “Scooter” Libby in the Valerie Plame CIA leak scandal.

Wells was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 15, 2007.

See how Theodore V. Wells, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Theodore V. Wells, Jr.'s interview, session 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the Northwest neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his early pastimes
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers his early interest in literature
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers his best friend from childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers his relationship with his mother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers his father's shooting
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his father's personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his early interests
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes segregation in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the Civil Rights Movement in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his civil rights activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about the severity of segregation in the South
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the influence of his best friend's father
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers Kent B. Amos and A. Barry Rand
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers successful individuals from his neighborhood in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his high school football career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his college recruitment as a football player
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls his decision to attend College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about the athletic recruitment process
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers his athletic scholarship offers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls his arrival at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about his first semester at the College of the Holy Cross
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes the political climate at the College of the Holy Cross
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers dating his wife
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about his wife
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his African American peers at the College of the Holy Cross'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers Clarence Thomas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his decision to quit the football team
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes the platform of his Black Student Union
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes Clarence Thomas' involvement with the Black Student Union
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes the protest movements of the early 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his academic interest in economics
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his employment during college
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. narrates his photographs
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Slating of Theodore V. Wells, Jr.'s interview, session 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the walkout at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the walkout at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers the aftermath of the walkout at the College of the Holy Cross
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his sophomore year at College of the Holy Cross
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers John E. Brooks
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. reflects upon the success of his peers from the College of the Holy Cross
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his decision to pursue a graduate degree
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about his law school applications
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers his wedding and honeymoon
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls moving to Somerville, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his enrollment at the Harvard Law School
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes the J.D./M.B.A. degree program at Harvard University
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his first year at the Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his classmates at the Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls his professors at the Harvard Law School
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his work on the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the African American faculty of the Harvard Law School
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his summer internships while at the Harvard Law School
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about the integration of corporate law firms
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about his judicial clerkship
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls obtaining a clerkship under Judge John Joseph Gibbons
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes Judge John Joseph Gibbons' former law clerks
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers his clerkship under Judge John Joseph Gibbons
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the state of minorities in the courts in the 1970s
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his duties as a judicial clerk
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. reflects upon his clerkship at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers Raymond A. Brown
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his decision to join Lowenstein Sandler LLP, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his decision to join Lowenstein Sandler LLP, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls working on a Soviet Union espionage case
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his casework at Lowenstein Sandler LLP
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers defending Al Dickens
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls his position under Matthew P. Boylan at Lowenstein Sandler LLP
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers defending Harold J. Ruvoldt, Jr., pt. 1
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers defending Harold J. Ruvoldt, Jr., pt. 2
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls defending Raymond J. Donovan
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his political involvement in New Jersey
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers the U.S. Senate campaigns in New Jersey
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers meeting Bill Bradley
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls Bill Bradley's presidential campaign
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about his professional aspirations
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. reflects upon his decision to turn down judicial appointments
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers Judge Herbert Jay Stern
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his political activities in New Jersey
  • Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers becoming a partner at Lowenstein Sandler LLP
  • Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about his compensation as a trial lawyer
  • Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his relationship with Bill Bradley
  • Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his roles in the Democratic Party
  • Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls being offered a position as a U.S. attorney
  • Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes how he came to represent Mike Espy
  • Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers the case of United States v. Espy
  • Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his defense strategy for the case of United States v. Espy
  • Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about his federal casework
  • Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his defense of Calvin Grigsby
  • Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes the chronology of his federal casework
  • Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the case of United States v. Lauersen
  • Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his decision to join Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP, pt. 1
  • Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the mentorship of Arthur L. Liman and Edward Bennett Williams
  • Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his decision to join Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP, pt. 2
  • Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about his preference to work solo
  • Tape: 13 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. recalls the case of United States v. Flake
  • Tape: 13 Story: 8 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about the importance of research for trial lawyers
  • Tape: 14 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. remembers his defense of Merck and Co., Inc.
  • Tape: 14 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes the process of deferred prosecution
  • Tape: 14 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about the case of Arthur Andersen LLP v. United States
  • Tape: 14 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. reflects upon his legal casework
  • Tape: 14 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about the case of United States v. Libby
  • Tape: 14 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. reflects upon his most influential legal casework
  • Tape: 14 Story: 7 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 15 Story: 1 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. reflects upon his political ideologies, pt. 1
  • Tape: 15 Story: 2 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes the role of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
  • Tape: 15 Story: 3 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. reflects upon his political ideologies, pt. 2
  • Tape: 15 Story: 4 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. talks about the role of African Americans in politics
  • Tape: 15 Story: 5 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes his hopes for the African American community
  • Tape: 15 Story: 6 - Theodore V. Wells, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered