- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Harold C. Petrowitz, 83, retired judge

Harold Clare Petrowitz, a retired administrative judge, whom the late Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas once cited as “our leading authority” on contract law, died on Sept. 30 in New York City after a fall at Penn Station. He was 83.

Judge Petrowitz, a longtime Georgetown resident, was born in Lansing, Mich. He graduated with honors from the University of Michigan in 1939 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. He received his law degree in 1950 and master’s in international law in 1954 from Georgetown University Law Center. He received a master’s in administrative law from Columbia University Law School in 1962.

He engaged in advanced studies in economics at the University of Miami, and during a sabbatical semester, served as visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution. He frequently acted as an arbitrator of commercial disputes for the American Arbitration Association and conducted law school seminars in alternative dispute resolution.

After his World War II service as a project officer with the Navy in the District, he spent two years as manager of contracts and marketing with White-Rodgers Electric Co. in St. Louis and then taught for fours years on the faculty of the Graduate School of Management at the University of California at Los Angeles. Later, he taught law at the University of Denver for two years.

Judge Petrowitz served as an administrative judge deciding major contract disputes for the Atomic Energy Commission from 1966 to 1975 and as an administrative judge for the Army Corps of Engineers Board of Contract Appeals in the District from 1990 until his retirement. He later served on the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals. He served as counsel to Landfield, Becker & Green from 1966 to 1986, where he oversaw government contracts, international antitrust and other litigation matters.

Judge Petrowitz served as a professor for 20 years at Washington College of Law at American University, specializing in administrative law, government expenditure, antitrust law and contracts. He also served as adviser to the law review and as director of the law school’s research institute.

He served as a consultant to the U.S. Senate for more than five years. He was an alumni member of the Prettyman-Leventhal American Inn of Court.

Judge Petrowitz loved music and the theater and collected Broadway musical programs dating back to the 1940s. As an accomplished photographer, he took pictures of the Tommy Dorsey and Artie Shaw orchestras and Frank Sinatra while at the University of Michigan.

Judge Petrowitz was knighted by the Order of Stanislas.

He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Carmen Bieberach Lasso-Valdes Petrowitz.

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