Mortimer Caplin Receives Two Prestigious Awards

Wednesday, August 5, 2009 - 01:00

Mortimer Caplin, age 92, a founding partner of the firm of Caplin & Drysdale, was made a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor (France's highest civilian award). On March 2, 2009, the award was presented to Mr. Caplin at the French Embassy in Washington, DC by French Minister of Defense Hervé Morin. It recognizes Mr. Caplin's service as a U.S. Navy Beach Master during the World War II D-Day Invasion on June 6, 1944, at Omaha Beach. On June 6, Mr. Caplin, then a Navy lieutenant, was offshore on a U.S. Navy vessel supporting the landing forces. The following day, Mr. Caplin came ashore to help fulfill his unit's responsibilities, which included taking care of the wounded and dead, opening lanes for landing craft, repairing damaged boats, engaging in all ship-to-shore communications, and clearing the beaches of battle debris in preparation for the following invasion forces. Chevalier is the highest rank among Legion of Honor awardees. Napoleon created The Legion of Honor in 1802 to acknowledge services rendered to France by persons of great merit. The French Ambassador to the United States, Francois Rivasseau, wrote to Mr. Caplin, "The French people will never forget your courage and your devotion to the cause of freedom."

Also, Mr. Caplin was named as a 2009 Brennan Award recipient by the University of Virginia's National Trial Advocacy College. The award was established in 1987 in Honor of United States Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Mr. Caplin was recognized for his invaluable contributions to trial advocacy and the legal profession.

Mr. Caplin is well known for his years of professional and public service and philanthropy. From 1961 to 1964, he served as commissioner of the IRS. He has served as a professor of tax law at the University of Virginia Law School, where he also has served on its Board of Visitors, Law Foundation and Virginia Miller Center for Public Affairs.

He is a recipient of the University of Virginia's Thomas Jefferson Medal in Law, one of the University's highest honors.

"These awards reflect values I've always held dear, such as an unwavering commitment to excellence and public service," Mr. Caplin said.

He has certainly set high standards for the profession.