John W. Sansing, 48, a brilliant criminal defense lawyer who became a journalist and the executive editor of Washingtonian magazine, died Friday of infectious colitis at his Washington home. Mr. Sansing was involved in some of Washington's most notorious criminal trials in the 1970s and won some notable acquittals. As a reporter, he wrote about his experiences at the bar in a way that illuminated the workings of the court system and how it affected the life of the city. Mr. Sansing's last article appeared in 1990. It was headlined, "First, Kill All the Lawyers," and suggested that Washington would be better off with only half as many lawyers as it had.
The Duchess Dowager Edmee de La Rochefoucauld, a literary critic and member of one of France's most well-known families, has died at the age of 96, her family said yesterday. The duchess had a literary upbringing. She married the Duke of La Rochefoucauld in 1917 and cultivated friendships with Paris' literary set in the 1920s, especially with the writer Paul Valery. Her most notable works were her series of essays and analyses of Valery's writings, and three volumes of his notebooks that she published in the late 1960s.