Washington College of Law Mourns the Loss of Two Outstanding Alumni

WASHINGTON, DC, May 1, 2009 – American University Washington College of Law mourns the loss of two distinguished alumni, criminal defense attorney William B. Moffitt ‘75 and personal injury lawyer Charles H. Schulze ‘65, who both passed away last week.

“On behalf of the faculty and staff at Washington College of Law, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the families of William Moffitt and Charles Schulze, two outstanding alumni of the law school,” said Dean Claudio Grossman. “Bill and Charles both made considerable contributions to the legal community and will be greatly missed.”

William Moffitt graduated from Washington College of Law in 1975 and went on to become an innovative criminal defense attorney. He was past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, named to this list of Washington's Top Lawyers by Washingtonian magazine, and named one of America's “Top Black Lawyers” by Black Enterprise magazine.Moffitt, who represented many defendants in high profile cases,often served as a criminal law expert to the media on shows such as CBS’s “60 Minutes” and MSNBC’s “Hardball.” Moffitt, 60, passed away April 24 at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C.

“As a trial lawyer, Bill was courageous, competitive, and when necessary "in your face," but more often thoughtful, tactical, and unwavering," said Judge Gerald Bruce Lee ’76, a classmate of Moffitt's who now serves on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia."I learned from Bill that you must think before you stand, fully focus on the other side of the case, anticipate your opponent, predict the opponent’s move, and battle.”

Charles Schulze graduated from American University Washington College of Law in 1965. He was an assistant D.C. corporation counsel before turning to personal injury law. In the early 1970s, he helped start the Washington firm that is now Schulze and Pederson, where he was the managing partner. Schulze, 73, passed away April 25 after helping two young boys, ages 9 and 12, caught in the surf in Pompano Beach, Fla. Upon seeing two boys who needed help in the ocean, Schulze never hesitated, immediately heading into the water to ensure their safety. He suffered a heart attack immediately after successfully bringing the second boy to shore. Schulze was known in his community for his generous spirit and volunteerism. At one time, he was a member of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad. His final act of heroism characterized the life he lived.

Washington College of Law plans to honor the memory of both of these cherished alumni over the coming year.