Longtime Madison trial lawyer Richard Cates, who advised the U.S. House committee that voted to impeach President Richard Nixon in 1974, died Wednesday in Madison of natural causes. He was 85.
Born in New York City, Cates served in the Marine Corps and earned a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College before attending law school at UW-Madison.
According to an obituary in the Wisconsin State Journal, Cates began his law career in Madison in 1953. In 1958, he co-founded the Lawton Cates law firm, where he worked until his retirement in 1990.
In 1973 and 1974, Cates served as an associate special general counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, which investigated evidence from the Watergate scandal that led to Nixon's resignation.
Cates also taught law at UW-Madison from 1956 to 1980, served one term as a legislator in the state Assembly and on the Madison School Board, and served two terms on the UW-Madison Board of Visitors.
Survivors include his wife, Marnie, five children, and 18 grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Aug. 20 at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Road.