Ketcham, Orman W(eston) 1918-2004

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KETCHAM, Orman W(eston) 1918-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born October 1, 1918, in New York, NY; died of cancer December 14, 2004, in Chevy Chase, MD. Attorney, judge, and author. Ketcham was a former Washington, D.C., juvenile court judge who strove to improve the court system, especially as it pertained to juvenile cases. Graduating from Princeton University in 1940, he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He then studied law at Yale University, graduating in 1947. For the next five years, he was an attorney in Washington, D.C. A year spent as an executive assistant for the Fund for the Republic was followed by two years as general counsel for the Foreign Operations Administration. During the mid-1950s, Ketcham was a trial attorney for the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. He was elected to the Juvenile Court bench for Washington, D.C., in 1957, becoming an associate judge in 1970, and later serving as senior judge on the Superior Court until he stepped down in 1977. While serving as a judge, Ketcham was shocked by the steep increase in juvenile cases. He worked to improve the system by advocating for the appointment of more juvenile court judges and ensuring that all minors received adequate legal representation. Still concerned about the state of the justice system after he left the bench, Ketcham joined the National Center for State Courts as senior staff attorney. This organization's mission was to improve the court system at the state and local levels. Also a member of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency from 1959 until 1983, Ketcham was on its board of directors from 1973 until 1983. From 1981 until 1983, he was senior fellow at the Washington College Law Institute. Ketcham also spent many years as an adjunct professor at such universities as the American University, Georgetown University, the University of Virginia, and William and Mary College. He was the coauthor of Cases and Materials relating to Juvenile Courts (1967) and The Changing Faces of Juvenile Justice (1978).



Washington Post, December 17, 2004, p. B6.