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Jim Neal - 1951

Former chief counsel, U.S. Senate Select Committee on Undercover Operations

Jim Neal came to UW to play football under Coach Bowden Wyatt, a Tennessee native who brought the Tennessee style of football with him. After attending UW, Neal served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1952 to 1954. He returned to school to earn his law degree from Vanderbilt University in 1957 and a master's degree in taxation from Georgetown University in 1960.

He was appointed and served as U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee from 1964 to 1966. From 1965 to 1974, he lectured about law at Vanderbilt University and was also the special assistant to the U.S. attorney general under Bobby Kennedy. He served as the associate special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force from 1973 to 1974. In 1978 he declined nomination for FBI chief. The Tennessee Democratic Party urged him to run for governor in 1982. He considered but ultimately rejected the offer. Instead, he was appointed chief counsel on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Undercover Operations.

During his career Neal worked on such cases as the indictment of Jimmy Hoffa in 1964, the prosecution of H.R. Haldeman and John Erlichman during the Watergate trial, the defense of Elvis Presley's personal physician in the 1980s, and the defense of Exxon in its trial related to the Valdez oil spill in 1994.

Neal is currently a member of the American Bar Association, the Nashville Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, the National College of District Attorneys, and the Board of Regents. He has been partner in the law firm of Neal & Harwell in Nashville, Tennessee, since 1971.

Photo courtesy of UW Photo Service

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Jim Neal

Jim Neal
James Neal finished his education at UW with a B.S. in physical education. After obtaining a law degree and master's degree in taxation he went on to work on various high profile cases including Watergate and the trial of Exxon after the Valdez oil spill.

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