William E. Miller, 92, a lawyer for Steptoe & Johnson LLP from 1930 to 1985 who helped open the firm's Washington office in 1945, died of congestive heart failure Nov. 20 at Suburban Hospital.

He lived in Bethesda.

Known as "Smoky," Mr. Miller was a former chief of the firm's Washington office and in 1981 wrote a company history. He worked in the Clarksburg, W.Va., office before coming to Washington.

Mr. Miller, a native of Hardin, Ky., graduated with a bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University in 1927 and received a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1930.

His specialty was energy and transportation law, and he was former chairman of the American Bar Association's public utility section.

Mr. Miller was on the board of Children's Hospital and was a member of Christ Church Georgetown and the President's Commission for a National Agenda for the Eighties.

During World War II, he served in the Army.

An avid tennis player, Mr. Miller participated in several area tournaments until this decade.

His wife of 58 years, Buena Mason Miller, died in 1994. His daughter, Buena "Boots" Marstellar, died in 1984.

Survivors include his son, William T., of Bethesda; and four grandchildren.