BN.com Gift Guide

Henry Friendly, Greatest Judge of His Era

Overview

Henry Friendly is frequently grouped with Oliver Wendell Holmes, Louis Brandeis, Benjamin Cardozo, and Learned Hand as the best American jurists of the twentieth century. In this first, comprehensive biography of Friendly, David M. Dorsen opens a unique window onto how a judge of this caliber thinks and decides cases, and how Friendly lived his life.

During his time on the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (1959–1986), Judge Friendly was revered as a conservative who ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$33.29
BN.com price
(Save 4%)$35.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (14) from $13.52   
  • New (7) from $21.47   
  • Used (7) from $13.51   
Henry Friendly, Greatest Judge of His Era

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$19.99
BN.com price
(Save 42%)$35.00 List Price

Overview

Henry Friendly is frequently grouped with Oliver Wendell Holmes, Louis Brandeis, Benjamin Cardozo, and Learned Hand as the best American jurists of the twentieth century. In this first, comprehensive biography of Friendly, David M. Dorsen opens a unique window onto how a judge of this caliber thinks and decides cases, and how Friendly lived his life.

During his time on the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (1959–1986), Judge Friendly was revered as a conservative who exemplified the tradition of judicial restraint. But he demonstrated remarkable creativity in circumventing precedent and formulating new rules in multiple areas of the law. Henry Friendly, Greatest Judge of His Era describes the inner workings of Friendly’s chambers and his craftsmanship in writing opinions. His articles on habeas corpus, the Fourth Amendment, self-incrimination, and the reach of the state are still cited by the Supreme Court.

Dorsen draws on extensive research, employing private memoranda between the judges and interviews with all fifty-one of Friendly’s law clerks—a veritable Who’s Who that includes Chief Justice John R. Roberts, Jr., six other federal judges, and seventeen professors at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and elsewhere. In his Foreword, Judge Richard Posner writes: “David Dorsen has produced the most illuminating, the most useful, judicial biography that I have ever read . . . We learn more about the American judiciary at its best than we can learn from any other . . . Some of what I’ve learned has already induced me to make certain changes in my judicial practice.”

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Wall Street Journal

[Dorsen] constructs an intricate account of how Friendly diligently shaped the landscape of American law.
— Adam White

The Deal

Dorsen's biographical sketch offers some fascinating pieces of American legal history, and Posner's introduction is a valuable evaluation of Friendly by a fellow judge...Friendly merits study not as a model for other judges but as a rare example of legal genius.
— David Marcus

Wall Street Journal - Adam White
[Dorsen] constructs an intricate account of how Friendly diligently shaped the landscape of American law.
The Deal - David Marcus
Dorsen's biographical sketch offers some fascinating pieces of American legal history, and Posner's introduction is a valuable evaluation of Friendly by a fellow judge...Friendly merits study not as a model for other judges but as a rare example of legal genius.
Library Journal
Dorsen, of counsel at the DC office of Sedgwick LLP, has written a first-rate biography of a judge whose opinions had great influence on the law and legal scholarship. Henry Friendly (1902–;86) served on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan from 1959 until his death. Schooled at Harvard, he clerked at the Supreme Court with Justice Brandeis. He was a successful corporate lawyer; Pan Am was his biggest client. A number of Friendly's clerks rose to prominence—in particular the incumbent chief justice, John Roberts. To illuminate his subject, Dorsen interviewed every surviving clerk and read everything Friendly wrote—his papers, every case he judged, his articles. The text is divided into two parts, a biography and then thematic chapters explaining Friendly's cases. VERDICT Scholarly, readable, and very accessible—particularly its coverage of the legal material—this offers an impressive portrait of a workaholic who seemed to have had few passions outside his profession. Friendly's life had none of the color of, say, Justice Douglas and his four wives, which limits the audience for this volume.—Michael O. Eshleman, Attorney-at-Law, Kings Mills, OH
Kirkus Reviews
The improbable making of a brilliant jurist. Hailing from a German-Jewish family in Elmira, N.Y., Friendly (1903–1986) became a top student at Harvard, editor of the Harvard Law Review, a clerk for Louis Brandeis and one of the few Jews in corporate-law practices on Wall Street. After three decades in private practice, Friendly resolved to change careers. With friends such as Felix Frankfurter and Learned Hand bringing his name to President Eisenhower's attention, he was nominated and confirmed for the Second Circuit, based in Manhattan, in 1959. Dorsen, counsel to Sedgwick LLP, skates over Friendly's early years as being solid but undistinguished, and organizes his meticulous biography around the judicial themes that Friendly and his fellow appellate judges took up over the decades: administrative law, securities law, federal court jurisdiction and grand jury procedure. Friendly exploded with writings during his tenure, not only in opinions but speeches and articles, and made an indelible mark on cases involving the Fifth Amendment self-incrimination and double jeopardy clauses, intellectual property and copyright, common law and railroad reorganization. He was highly respected by his fellow judges, and Dorsen writes that Friendly was cited in opinions only second as often as Hand. Fairly conservative, cautious and occasionally creative, Friendly would likely have been a "swing vote" on the Supreme Court today, writes Dorsen, as well as a champion of the Legal Process School. Depressive and prone to eye ailments, he committed suicide at age 82. A dense and lawyerly but sometimes illuminating biography.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674064393
  • Publisher: Harvard
  • Publication date: 3/27/2012
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 327,729
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

David M. Dorsen is Of Counsel to Sedgwick LLP, based in Washington, D.C.

Richard A. Posner is Circuit Judge, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 9:First Amendment



Friendly was given virtually no instruction at Harvard Law School regarding the constitutional-law issues prominent in the past half century. Instead, the focus was on the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which is reflected in his only surviving Harvard Law School examination. During his year with Brandeis, he worked on a few important Bill of Rights cases, including wiretapping in Olmstead v. United States. His private practice was virtually bereft of constitutional questions.

Although he wrote a number of opinions, most of Friendly’s contribution to constitutional law was in his extrajudicial writings. His guide on what to write about was simple: “It was because I got annoyed with something.” Whether it was a lecture or an opinion, he paid careful attention to the language and history of the Bill of Rights and the Civil War Amendments, infused with McIlwain’s lesson to read documents as did the people at the time they were written. His approach was highly textual, at times exhibiting strains of originalism, although also demonstrating concern for individuals’ fundamental rights. While he employed the Constitution cautiously, he was prepared to recognize a private area in both civil and criminal cases, albeit at times narrow, from which the government was barred. If pressed to affix a label, one would say he was most of all a conservative in the traditional mold, judicially restrained and reserved, but not always agreeing with either the judicial or political right. Indeed, the number of times he eschewed the conservative position will surprise those who have based their appraisals on his meticulous reading of the Fifth Amendment and his parsimonious view of the scope of habeas corpus. In today’s parlance he would be a moderate or centrist on most constitutional issues, identified with John Marshall Harlan, Lewis Powell, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Anthony Kennedy rather than William Rehnquist, John G. Roberts Jr., Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas.

Friendly was less interested in the First Amendment than in several other constitutional provisions. He gave one lecture on the First Amendment sponsored by the Connecticut Law Review on April 18, 1969, three months after President Richard Nixon had taken office. Despite possible harm to his prospects for nomination to the Supreme Court, Friendly boldly chastised those who claimed that it was inappropriate to criticize the Court’s decisions, even sharply. His judicial opinions revealed that he was willing to let important institutions, such as the government, a university, or the bar, make judgments in areas duly assigned to them by the Constitution, statutes, or policy. Pornography and libel cases did not involve the same institutional interests, and here he tended to favor freer expression of ideas. His view of the Establishment of Religion Clause of the First Amendment was cut from a different cloth, and he opposed most governmental attempts to accommodate religious observance. In fact, he had nothing good to say about organized religion.

During the tumultuous time of protests against the Vietnam War, prospective lawyers, relying on the First Amendment’s guaranty of freedom of speech, challenged in Law Students Civil Rights Research Council, Inc. v. Wadmond a number of questions New York State asked applicants to the bar that were designed to ensure that they possessed the knowledge, skill, and character to become lawyers. A decade earlier the Supreme Court had limited the qualifications a state could require of bar applicants to those having a rational connection with the applicant’s fitness and capacity to practice law. Civil liberties organizations sought to limit further the scope of the inquiry. Although the decision by a lower federal court was not important to them when the Supreme Court was governed by a liberal majority, during the course of the case Chief Justice Warren Burger was substituted for Earl Warren and then-conservative Harry Blackmun for Abe Fortas. Plaintiffs’ chances of prevailing dropped, and a victory before Friendly became important.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)