Legal History

1043 ABA Journal Legal History articles.

Afternoon Briefs: New win for flag burner in SCOTUS case; Johnson & Johnson seeks mistrial for stricken closing

News Roundup

A trusts and estates lawyer unearths his family’s past

Terrence Franklin, a partner in the Los Angeles trusts and estates litigation firm Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise, set out on a journey of discovery and on a path to pursue justice. He discovered documents that revealed his family’s history.

ABA Medal recipient Dale Minami built a career around inclusion and civil rights for Asian Americans

Dale Minami—known as one of the lawyers who helped overturn the conviction of Fred Korematsu, the Japanese American man whose name is on a notorious and widely repudiated U.S. Supreme Court case—has been awarded the ABA Medal, the association’s highest honor.

Oct. 2, 1780: John Andre executed

John Andre, a British army major during the American Revolution, was held in esteem as an officer and a gentleman, though he would be sentenced to death—with great regret—as a spy.

7 reasons why the legal profession often gets no sympathy

The legal profession is a noble one. But is that the impression that the public has of attorneys? Lawyer Marcel Strigberger shares his thoughts on why the profession is generally viewed unsympathetically.

Justice John Paul Stevens: Remembering a man of modesty, remarkable intellect

Respect for precedent and judicial economy were just two of the ideals that epitomized Stevens’ nearly 35-year tenure on the Supreme Court, from his nomination by President Gerald R. Ford in 1975 until his retirement in 2010, under President Barack Obama.

Stevens also embodied personal and judicial modesty, pragmatism, intellectual rigor and independence.

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens dies at 99
Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens died Tuesday from complications from a stroke. He was 99 years old.
Who’s your favorite SCOTUS justice and why?

Justice Clarence Thomas is known for rarely speaking during oral arguments. But a chatty and jovial Thomas appeared in the courtroom last month in an interview before members of…

After nearly 30 years on the court, Justice Thomas’ supporters and detractors are still debating who he really is

After Clarence Thomas’ nearly 30 years on the court, his critics and supporters are still debating who Thomas is. But at a June conversation in the courtroom before the historical society, Thomas mostly seemed at peace with himself and his role on the court.

Aug. 6, 1890: First execution by electric chair

As an opponent of capital punishment, Thomas Edison had no interest in pursuing capital electrocution. Still, Edison found a way to benefit.

Lawyers, songs and money: Music that changed the law

Some songs or albums move the law. A band or artist will be involved in a lawsuit so groundbreaking and important that it will set a precedent, either enshrined in law or otherwise binding future generations.

What’s one thing you wish the public understood about the US legal system?

What did the Declaration of Independence do? Nonresidents who want to become U.S. citizens are expected to know. When the ABA recently posed the same question to a sample of…

New tool by Harvard Law lets people explore language usage in caselaw

Parsing 6.7 million federal and state cases and 12 billion words, a new tool allows the public to explore the use of language over 360 years of caselaw.

Released Wednesday,…

June 18, 1923: Marcus Garvey convicted of mail fraud

Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr. was certainly a radical—but one of his own peculiar brand. Neither anarchist nor Bolshevik, Garvey was drawn to Booker T. Washington’s self-reliance philosophy, which he sought to merge with Pan-Africanism and the “Back to Africa” movement.

Play about Hamlet puts Chicago judges and attorneys center stage

Please, Continue (Hamlet), a play starring actual trial judges, public defenders and prosecutors in the roles of the court officials, was performed April 25-28 in Chicago at the Museum of Contemporary Art. It’s been showcased hundreds of times in countries around the world “with wildly varying verdicts, drawing attention to the theatrical nature of justice systems,” according to the MCA’s website.

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