Havelock, John E.
Address: 1029 West 3rd Avenue Suite 510, Anchorage, AK 99501
Lawyer Firm: Gruenstein, Hickey, Havelock & Duffy
|Areas of Practice|
John Havelock’s historic career situates him among the most senior lawyers in Alaska. His landmark work has been in public policy and constitutional law, while at the same time sharing with Mr. Duffy a concern for the problems and disputes of ordinary people and small businesses. His background in state affairs allowed him to forge a team to address complex problems that confront some larger organizations.
Educated at Harvard College and Law School, Mr. Havelock came to Alaska in the statehood year of 1959. After a four-year apprenticeship as an Assistant Attorney General, Chief of the Civil Division, and Deputy Attorney General, he became a founding partner in the Anchorage firm of Ely, Guess, Rudd & Havelock (now Guess & Rudd). In the same period, he was elected to the board of the state bar association, was the association’s representative on the American Bar Association, and appointed administrator of the then much smaller Alaska Bar Association.
After subsequent service as a White House Fellow and then as Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, he returned to Alaska becoming re-involved in the movement for settlement of the Alaska Native claims, and at the same time assisted in the organization of the Kenai Peninsula Borough, serving as its attorney before Governor Egan tapped him to serve as Alaska’s Attorney General.
These were turbulent years in which Havelock played a significant role in the enactment of the Settlement Act, the establishment of the tax regime for the oil companies, the TAPS pipeline authorization, and the enactment of the fisheries entry law, which transformed Alaskan fisheries setting a model for the world. Before leaving state service, Havelock drafted the language of the state’s Constitutional Privacy Amendment, the meaning of which he has since litigated.
Soon after, at the direction of the Regents and the Legislative Affairs Agency he conducted the study "Legal Education for a Frontier Society", resulting in the establishment of a Justice Center and a statewide major in Justice at the University of Alaska. The University hired Havelock to carry out the recommendations of the study, appointing him University Director of Legal Studies and Professor of Justice. While in this role, Havelock successfully directed a revision of the state’s criminal code, among other work.
Havelock returned to the practice of law a decade later, though continuing with occasional teaching at the University in Political Science. When the Exxon-Valdez spill occurred, Havelock was called to serve as counsel and staff director to Alaska’s Spill Commission.
Though best known as Governor Egan’s Attorney General, Havelock served on Governor Hammond’s Growth Policy Council, and for many years chaired the Post-Secondary Education Commission. He also served Governor Hickel on a special commission to address education vouchers, which resulted in the development of a shift to consideration of charter schools. For Governor Knowles, he served as the neutral member of a special commission on the shooting of wolves.
When not employed in public service, Havelock has written a regular column on public policy questions beginning in the 1960’s. He is also the author of a book, a study of the strengths and infirmities of the Alaska Constitution titled, Let’s Get It Right. Mr. Havelock is currently retired from the practice of law and serves as an emeritus attorney, providing the firm with invaluable advice gained from over 50 years of practice in the state.
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