For Release: December 11, 2001
To honor the commitment, talent, and contributions of individuals who throughout their public and private careers have made lasting and significant contributions to the Federal Trade Commission, Chairman Timothy J. Muris today established the Miles W. Kirkpatrick Award for Lifetime FTC Achievement. Basil J. Mezines, a partner in the law firm of Stein, Mitchell & Mezines, whose service to the Commission and on behalf of the public interest spanned his two decades of FTC service as well as the ensuing 30 years, was honored as the first recipient and presented the award by Caspar Weinberger. Mr. Weinberger served as Chairman of the FTC under President Nixon.
"The creation of this award honors two of the individuals most intimately involved in the evolution of the FTC we know today, the nation's premiere agency for protecting consumers," Chairman Muris said. "Both Miles Kirkpatrick and Basil Mezines devoted their lives to being steadfast FTC defenders and advocates. While with the FTC, they both worked tirelessly to achieve the reform and revitalization of the Commission, and I am proud to have the opportunity to memorialize Miles and honor Basil with this award."
The award's namesake, Miles Kirkpatrick, is a legendary figure among the antitrust community because of his dynamic leadership of the American Bar Association's 1969 Commission to study the FTC. President Nixon commissioned the study following a report by "Nader's Raiders," concluding that the FTC was so riddled with antiquated procedures and weakness in leadership, management, and performance that it failed to perform its statutory role in policing the rapidly growing consumer problems in America. The Kirkpatrick report resulted in a mandate for substantial reform and reorganization of the agency. Subsequently, President Nixon drafted Mr. Weinberger to become the agency's chairman and design the blueprint for the ensuing reorganization. Within six months, the plan was completed and Mr. Kirkpatrick was asked to succeed Mr. Weinberger as chairman and implement the revitalization and reform. With Mr. Mezines as his executive director, the two succeeded in accomplishing the recruitment of highly qualified and motivated new talent to replace personnel who left through retirement, transfer, or resignation.
Having spent a total of 23 years with the FTC, as a trial attorney, director of the Bureau of Competition, and Executive Director, Mr. Mezines retired from the Commission in 1973 to become a partner in the law firm of Stein, Mitchell and Mezines. From his position in private practice, he continued to be a public supporter of the FTC. Mr. Mezines is a specialist in antitrust and trade regulation and practices before administrative agencies and the courts.
Mr. Mezines is a graduate of George Washington University where he received his A.B. and LL.B. degrees.