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Richard North Patterson graduated in 1968 from Ohio Wesleyan University, where he now serves on the Board of Trustees. He is a 1971 graduate of Case Western Reserve University's School of Law, and is a Recipient of that university's President's Award for Distinguished Alumni. He has served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Ohio, a trial attorney for the Securities & Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, and was the SEC's liaison to the Watergate Special Prosecutor. Mr. Patterson was a partner in the Birmingham, Alabama law firm of Berkowitz, Lefkovits and Patrick and, more recently, a partner in the San Francisco office of McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen. In 1993, he retired from the practice of law to devote himself to writing. He is a member of the Board of Common Cause, the Family Violence Prevention Fund, and PEN Center West, the international writer?s group. He has also served on the San Francisco Regional Panel for the Selection of White House Fellows and is a member of the Cosmos Club of Washington, D.C.

Mr. Patterson studied fiction writing with Jesse Hill Ford at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His first short story was published in The Atlantic Monthly, and his first novel, The Lasko Tangent, won an Edgar Allen Poe Award in 1979. Between 1981 and 1985, he published The Outside Man, Escape The Night, and Private Screening. His first novel in eight years, Degree of Guilt, published in 1993, and Eyes of a Child, published in 1995, were combined into a mini-series by NBC-TV. Both were international bestsellers, and Degree of Guilt was awarded the French Grand Prix de Litterateur Policiere in 1995. The Final Judgement (1995), Silent Witness (1997), No Safe Place (1998), and Dark Lady (1999) all became immediate international bestsellers. Silent Witness is now being developed as a feature film.

Mr. Patterson's eleventh novel, Protect and Defend , is a novel of presidential politics involving the controversial nomination of the first woman to be Chief Justice and her entanglement in an incendiary lawsuit regarding late-term abortion and parental consent. He has appeared on such shows as "Rivera Live" and "Hardball", and his articles on politics, literature, and law have been published in such journals as the London Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washingotn Post, the Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the San Jose Mercury News. His papers are collected by Boston University.

Mr. Patterson and his wife, Laurie, live with their family in San Francisco and on Martha's Vineyard.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Judges Selection and appointment Fiction, Abortion Law and legislation Fiction, Presidents United States Fiction, Women judges Fiction