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Peter Megargee Brown papers

Call Number: MS 1782

Scope and Contents

The collection contains bound volumes of material relating to the professional and personal activities of Peter Megargee Brown, a lawyer and author.


  • 1952-1988


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by Peter Megargee Brown has been transferred to Yale University. These materials may be used for non-commercial purposes without seeking permission from Yale University as the copyright holder. For other uses of these materials, please contact

Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Peter Megargee Brown, 2007.


Arranged generally by the activities in the creator's life: legal activities in rough chronological order, personal activities, and the collected writings of others.


60 Linear Feet (102 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The collection contains bound volumes of material relating to the professional and personal activities of Peter Megargee Brown, a lawyer and author.

Biographical / Historical

Peter Megargee Brown was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 15, 1922. Brown attended Yale from 1940 to 1943 and was active in the Yale Record, Yale Political Union, and athletic activities. After his induction into the Army in 1943, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1944. In 1946, Brown entered Yale Law School and earned his Juris Doctorate degree in 1948. He was a special assistant to the New York State Attorney General and senior counsel to the New York State Crime Commission from 1952 to 1953 under John Marshall Harlan. Brown then served as assistant United States attorney in charge of the Federal Waterfront Prosecution from 1953 to 1956 under Judge J. Edward Lumbard.

In 1956, he began his twenty-six year career at the firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and quickly rose to become the head of the litigation and ethics committee. Brown and his law partner, Whitney North Seymour, left in 1982 to form Brown & Seymour. The firm continued until the retirement of North in 1996; thereafter, Brown maintained a solo practice until his retirement in 2004.

Brown is the author of The Art of Questioning, Thirty Maxims of Cross-Examination, and Rascals: The Selling of the American Legal Profession, as well as several other non-legal titles.

Processing Information

The folder titles were adopted from the volume spine titles assigned by the creator.

Guide to the Peter Megargee Brown Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Barbara Heck and Sheilah Robinson
December 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Yale University Library
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Sterling Memorial Library
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