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Practice Areas
Education & Honors
  • Harvard Law School, LL.B., magna cum laude, 1963; President, Harvard Law Review
  • Université d'Aix-Marseille, France, 1959-1960
  • University of Wisconsin, B.A., 1959
  • Director, Historical Society of the District of Columbia Circuit
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Department of Army Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service
  • Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service
  • "AV-Rated" by Martindale-Hubbell®
Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • All United States Courts of Appeals
  • United States Court of International Trade
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • United States District Courts for the Northern District of New York, Northern District of California, Northern District of Ohio, Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas, Southern District of Texas, and District of Maryland
  John G. Kester
Of Counsel
TEL: 202-434-5069
FAX: 202-434-5060
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Williams & Connolly LLP
725 Twelfth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005


Identified as one of "Washington's Top Lawyers" by Washingtonian magazine (December 2004), Mr. Kester's practice is in general litigation, both civil and criminal, with a heavy emphasis on appellate matters. He has argued before the Supreme Court of the United States on several occasions, including in important constitutional cases. He also has successfully focused on the difficult process of obtaining grants of review from the Supreme Court, and also has presented amicus curiae briefs to the Court in major cases.

Mr. Kester has briefed and argued dozens of cases in federal courts of appeals throughout the country, as well as in many state supreme courts and appellate courts. He has been recognized by the National Association of Attorneys General for counseling lawyers in improving their advocacy before the Supreme Court.

Mr. Kester also has particular experience in federal administrative law, including significant cases interpreting major federal regulatory statutes such as the Environmental Protection Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act. In federal affairs he draws on experience in government service at high levels of the Department of Defense, and has been counsel in cases involving legal regulation of political activity. He also has handled a number of cases involving international extradition, and is author of a widely-cited article on the subject.

  • Soldiers Who Insult the President: An Uneasy Look at Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Harvard Law Review, 1968
  • Constitutional Restrictions on Political Parties, Virginia Law Review, 1974
  • The Law Clerk Explosion, Litigation, 1983
  • Faculty Participation in the Student-Edited Law Review, Journal of Legal Education, 1986
  • The Brighter Side of Clerkships, Journal of Legal Education, 1986
  • State Governors and the Federal National Guard, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, 1988
  • Some Myths of United States Extradition Law, Georgetown Law Journal, 1988
  • State Term-Limits Laws and the Constitution, in Crane & Pilon, The Politics and Law of Term Limits
  • Also many columns and articles on legal subjects in various publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, Wall Street Journal and Washingtonian.