Judge Everett was a giant in the military justice system, an influential teacher, and one of the most gracious gentlemen on the planet.  His death on 12 June at the age of 81 was especially startling because he was scheduled to sit on two CAAF cases as a senior judge on 24 June.

Judge Everett served as the Court of Military Appeals’ Chief Judge from 1980 through 1990.  At CAAF’s memorial proceeding, Judge Cox provided a wonderful recap of the political environment of that time and a very credible threat to CMA’s existence.  Chief Judge Everett successfully shepherded the court away from the precipice and restored its institutional credibility. 

But Judge Everett was so much more than just a revered Chief Judge.  He was also an Air Force officer, rising to the rank of colonel in the Reserve.  He was the youngest faculty member in the history of Duke Law, teaching his first course when he was 22, and he taught there for literally half a century. 

Judge Everett also influenced the military justice system through his service as counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, chaired by Senator Sam Ervin, from 1961 to 1964 and an advisor to the subcommittee from 1964 to 1966. Hearings during which Judge Everett participated as the subcommittee’s counsel ultimately led to the Military Justice Act of 1968.  In 1993, he founded Duke Law’s Center on Law, Ethics, and National Security.

Judge Everett also argued and won the Supreme Court cases of Shaw v. Reno, 509 U.S. 630 (1993), and Shaw v. Hunt, 517 U.S. 899 (U.S. 1996), which dealt with racial gerrymandering.

He was involved in and led myriad professional organizations, including chairing the ABA’s Standing Committee on Military Law and serving on the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and Evidence.

To reminisce further, you can watch a 17-minute video about Judge Everett here. The video was prepared by his son Greg in 2000.  (Scroll down to the black-and-white picture of him and hit the play icon.)

4 Responses to “Top 10 military justice stories of 2009–#7: The passing of Judge Everett”

  1. Phil Cave says:


  2. Some Army Guy says:

    I had the privilege of having two classes under Judge Everett. A great man — one I’ll never forget and didn’t appreciate when I was younger.

  3. Dew_Process says:

    Thanks Dwight. I had the privilege of being his “escort officer” during one of his visits to Europe shortly after he became CJ. About 4 years later, after a CAAF argument, he again thanked me for “helping” him out on the trip. If ever there was someone who deserved the moniker of “Gentleman,” it was Judge Everett.

  4. Some Army Gal says:

    An excellent professor and a true gentleman, I will always be grateful for having him as my small section professor as a 1L. His guidance allowed me to explore military law and he was supportive even when I decided to keep my legal work strictly in the civilian sector.