August 3rd, 1932 – October 19, 2011
Timothy J. May, Esq. a long-time civic leader and senior partner in the Washington DC office of Patton Boggs passed away October 19th, 2011, at Suburban Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland, from complications after a long illness. He was 79 years old.
In 1969, Mr. May joined Patton Boggs and served as its Managing Partner from 1984 to 1996. His law practice focused on regulatory, legislative and judicial matters involving the Postal Service and his clients (the Parcel Shippers Association, the National Association of Postal Supervisors, Readers Digest, Blair Corporation, and Netflix, among others). During his tenure as Managing Partner of the firm he expanded the number of attorneys from 76 to 231. The hallmark of his tenure was his emphasis on pro bono work. Through his leadership as Managing Partner of Patton Boggs, his firm became a major actor in the pro bono community, providing both legal manpower and funding to numerous organizations and individuals. He believed strongly in the power of education to overcome disadvantages and launched the firm’s partnership with Francis Jr. High School, located close to the Firm’s DC office.
Thomas Hale Boggs, Jr., Chairman of Patton Boggs said:
My good friend of over 50 years and partner Tim May represented the best of Patton Boggs and of the legal profession. He was a large-scale thinker, compassionate and rigorous, loved to laugh and work hard, a consummate amused observer of the human condition, a brilliant lawyer, fine pianist and a great leader. He devoted himself to a wide range of public interest activities for the firm, the City, Catholic University and countless other non profit organizations, and accomplished so much for them.
The Firm’s Managing Partner, Ed Newberry, said:
He was a giant in our law firm and in the legal community. His contributions touched and made better generations of lawyers.
Mr. May was born in Denver, Colorado in 1932. He was a recipient of the John K. Mullen scholarship (awarded to Denver students) to attend the Catholic University of America from which he graduated in 1954. He received his J.D. (1957) and LL.M (1960) degrees from Georgetown University, where he was Managing Editor of the Georgetown Law Review. After receiving his law degree from Georgetown University, Mr. May clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for the Honorable John Danaher (1957-1958). After clerking he joined Covington & Burling as an associate (1958-1961).
Mr. May played a significant role in the Presidential campaign of John F. Kennedy, as advance man for Senator Kennedy’s presentation to the Protestant ministers in Houston about the independence of his political and religious beliefs. The agreement to meet with the ministers had two conditions: no other politician could attend and neither could any other campaign staff person. It fell to Mr. May to cause Senator Lyndon Johnson and Theodore Sorenson to comply with these conditions. He did and Senator Kennedy’s meeting was a turning point in the campaign.
He then served in several capacities during the administrations of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson: a White House consultant to President Kennedy; Acting Chief Counsel of a Senate Investigation Committee; Managing Director of the Federal Maritime Commission (1963-1966); and General Counsel of the United States Post Office Department (1966-1969). As General Counsel, he led a study that resulted in the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970.
Mr. May devoted his entire career to civic and public interest activities. As Vice Chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Presidential Vote, he played an integral role in the passage of the Constitution’s 23rd Amendment which granted D.C. residents the right to vote in the nation’s presidential elections.
Mr. May received many awards for his civic leadership, most notably he served as President of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia which named him “Lawyer of the Year” in 1999; was President of the Council for Court Excellence; a Trustee of the Washington D.C. Legal Aid Society, which awarded him its annual “Servant of Justice Award” in 1997; Trustee of the Bar Association of D.C. Foundation; member of the Advisory Committee of the D.C. Bar Foundation; Life Fellow, American Bar Foundation; and served in the House of Delegates of The American Bar Association. He also received the Presidential Award for Public Administration from President Lyndon Johnson.
Mr. May contributed to and generated significant financial resources for pro bono representation on behalf of the Council for Court Excellence, the Legal Aid Society, the National Women’s Law Center; The National Partnership for Women and Families; and The Catholic Charities Legal Network. He chaired the Annual Legal Aid Dinner several times.
Mr. May has been extensively involved with the Catholic University of America and the Catholic Church. He served as Chairman of the Board of Regents of the Catholic University, where he was a Trustee and where he endowed the May Gallery (in honor of his uncle Timothy Crofton May, the first recipient of the John K. Mullen scholarship) to house the rare books collection of the University’s Library. He long supported Catholic Charities; chaired its Annual Gala; and received the Caritas Award from the Archdiocese of Washington (1998). He chaired the Annual Dinner of SOAR!, an organization supporting destitute elderly members of religious orders; and received the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award from that Organization (1998). He chaired a Foundation to support The Holy Family Maternity Hospital of Bethlehem in Israel, and was a member of the Executive Committee of The National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel. Mr. May is a Knight of Malta, and a Knight of The Constantinian Order of St. George.
He was a member of the Federal City Council; served on the Board of the Economic Club of Washington, and on several Mayoral Committees. Mr. May was a Vice-Chairman of the Patton Boggs Foundation board; a member of the Metropolitan Club; Congressional Country Club; and Indian Creek Country Club, where he served as President.
Mr. May is survived by Monica, his wife of 54 years, and his five children, Stephanie J. May, of Washington, DC; Maureen E. May of Bethesda, Maryland; Cynthia M. May of Washington, D.C.; Timothy J. May, Jr. (Jodie) of Bethesda, Maryland; and Dr. Anthony C. May (Chrissa) of York, PA; and his brother Thomas H. May (Sally), of Denver, Colorado; and five grandchildren.