Thursday, May 10, 2012

Louis Pollak, federal judge, dies at 89

Louis Pollak, a federal judge, has died. One of the great lawyers of the civil rights movement, Judge Louis Pollak has died.  - GWC

Louis Pollak, federal judge, dies at 89: Philadelphia Inquirer
"U.S. District Court Judge Louis Pollak, a former dean of both the Yale and the University of Pennsylvania law schools and a seminal figure in the litigation emerging from the early civil rights movement, passed away Tuesday at his home in West Mount Airy after a long illness.
He was 89 years old.
Pollak, who began his legal career as a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Wiley Rutledge, played a critical role in the legal battles over racial segregation. He forged a close friendship with former U.S. Transportation Secretary William Coleman while the two served as Supreme Court clerks from 1949 to 1951, and then later when they went to work at the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.
There, they practiced commercial law during the day, but spent evenings in Harlem, hashing out legal strategies at the offices of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The two assisted then civil rights lawyer Thurgood Marshall in writing the briefs in the Brown vs. Board of Education school desegregation case, and worked late into the night helping Marshall prepare for oral arguments before the Supreme Court. Marshall would later go on to serve on the Supreme Court."

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