Ralph Lancaster, attorney for government interests, dies

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A genteel, bowtie-wearing attorney who was appointed special master by the U.S. Supreme Court an unprecedented four times has died. Ralph Lancaster was 88.

He most recently served as a special master overseeing a clash between Florida and Georgia over water rights. In 1988, he was appointed special counsel to investigate President Bill Clinton’s labor secretary. He also represented the United States before the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

Federal Judge William Kayatta tells the Portland Press Herald that “no Maine trial lawyer has ever risen to such heights.”

Lancaster died Tuesday at home and had written an obituary that didn’t mention professional achievements. He said he wanted to emphasize that “material matters pale into insignificance when compared to the love of family and friends.”

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