Counsel to the President
Office of Council to the President


Material on crime, privacy, the Nixon/Ford transition, the work of the Interagency Classification Review Committee, and miscellaneous issues requiring legal opinion. The collection represents a fragment of Casselman's work in the Legal Counsel's office.

1.6 linear feet (ca. 3200 pages)

Gerald R. Ford (accession number 70-NLF-109)

Advance consultation is required so that archivists may complete routine review of requested folders for restricted information.

Gerald R. Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections. The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them. Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain.

Prepared by Jennifer Sternaman, November 1994
[s:\bin\findaid\casselman, william - files.doc]


William E. Casselman, II

1963 - B.A., Government, Claremont Men's College

1965-69 - Legislative Assistant to Congressman Robert McClory, Illinois

1968 - J.D., George Washington University Law School

1969-71 - Deputy Special Assistant to the President for Congressional Relations

1971-73 - General Counsel, General Services Administration

1973-1974 - Legal Counsel to the Vice President

1974-75 - Counsel to the President

1975-79 - Partner, Ambrose & Casselman P.C.

1979-82 - Private law practice, Washington, D.C.

1982-84 - Partner, Dorsey & Whitney

1985-- Popham, Haik, Schnobrich & Kaufman, Ltd.


William E. Casselman developed a good working relationship with Congressman Gerald Ford and his staff during his tenure as Special Assistant to the President for Congressional Relations in the Nixon White House. On the strength of this relationship, Casselman was invited to work on the Ford Vice Presidential staff. When Ford became President, Casselman moved with him to the White House, as a Counsel to the President associated with Philip Buchen and Philip Areeda.

Early in the administration, Casselman's primary responsibility was to arrange for the disposition of the Nixon papers and tapes, particularly their release to the Watergate Special Prosecutor.[1] As this issue resolved itself, his focus shifted to other responsibilities; the most time-consuming were his duties as legal liaison with the National Security Council. Other responsibilities included coordinating non-first family protective functions with United States Secret Service and the Executive Protective Service, the Department of State, and the Department of Treasury. He assisted in work concerning the Interagency Classification Review Committee, the Freedom of Information Act, privacy matters, and general litigation.

Casselman left the White House in September 1975 to practice law in a private firm. At the time of this writing, it is unclear whether all of Casselman's functions were carried to the end of the administration, or who, precisely, took over his duties. Prior to his departure he prepared a memo outlining his recommendations for re-assigning his duties (Attachment 1). At least initially, Barry Roth and Dudley Chapman, staff assistants in the Counsel's Office, assumed the workload for many of Casselman's routine assignments, with more senior staff members (James Wilderotter and Kenneth Lazarus) taking on an oversight role.[2] James Wilderotter, who was to have assumed Casselman's duties with the National Security Council, departed the White House in April 1976, necessitating further re-assignments.

Casselman and other Counsel's Office staff shared a common filing system that now forms part of the Kenneth Lazarus Files. Casselman's successors, moreover, apparently removed files from his collection for their own use. The Casselman Files, therefore, are only a fragmentary collection of material that required no further action, such as Casselman's committee work, one-time requests for legal advice, and special projects. Researchers will need to consult the files of other White House counsel to recover the full range of material Casselman handled.

Related Materials (November 1994)
The files of the entire Counsel's Office are closely related to the Casselman files, in particular the Kenneth Lazarus Files. The unprocessed files of Barry Roth are of particular importance to researchers seeking to study the disposition of the Nixon presidential materials.

The Ford Vice Presidential Papers include a large series (11 linear feet) from Casselman's work, 1973-74.

[1] Interview transcript, "Nixon White House, Casselman, William," Reichley Interviews, Box 1, Gerald R. Ford Library.
[2] Memo, Lazarus to Buchen and Hills, Tab E, ca. September 1975, folder "Office Organization and Functions (3)" Box 100, Buchen Files, Gerald R. Ford Library.


Subject File, 1974-77.  (Boxes 1-4, 1.6 linear feet)
Memoranda, correspondence, reports, legal briefs, and personnel forms. Material relating to Casselman's work on the Nixon to Ford transition, the Interagency Classification Review Committee, White House Standards of Conduct, privacy issues, urban development, and special requests for legal advice.

Arranged alphabetically.

View container list for this series


Box 1 - Subject File

  • Chesire, Maxine
  • Crime Information
  • Criminal Code Revision Conference (1)-(4)
  • Economic Report, Washington (Walker, Charls E.)
  • Fraud and Conspiracy (Rules in Federal Court Civil Pleadings)
  • Gambling Commission
  • Interagency Classification Review Committee (1)-(2)

Box 2 - Subject File

  • Interagency Classification Review Committee (3)-(6)
  • Mandatory Classification Review Requests (1)-(2)
  • Meeting with President - Phil Cohen (12/17/74)
  • Meeting with President - Dan Santarelli (12/17/74)
  • Military Selective Service
  • National Growth Policy (meeting with the President, 9/20/74) (1)-(2)

Box 3 - Subject File

  • National Growth Policy (meeting with the President, 9/20/74) (3)-(4)
  • National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws
  • Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corp.
  • Pocket Veto
  • Preservation of the White House
  • Press - News articles (general)
  • Press - TOPIC request (to publish V.P. Ford's article "My View of Sport")
  • Privacy (1)-(3)
  • Rockefeller (re: allegations against the Rockefellers by J. Garonzik) (1)

Box 4 - Subject File

  • Rockefeller (re: allegations against the Rockefellers by J. Garonzik) (2)-(4)
  • Supreme Court Opinion - U.S. v. Nixon (73-1766)
  • Tax Disclosure (draft bill to amend IRS code of 1954)
  • Telephone Calls (received by the office of President Ford)
  • Transition - Nixon/Ford (1)-(3)
  • Vice Presidential Nominees