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Felix Frankfurter

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“ . . . your extremely lucid lecture . . . was infused . . .

with your learning, wide experience and good sense”

Felix Frankfurter, 1882–1965.  Associate Justice, United States Supreme Court, 1939–1962.  Typed Letter Signed, Felix Frankfurter, one page, 5” x 8”, on stationery of the Law School of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, February 20, 1935. 

Frankfurter writes to New York Judge Bernard L. Shientag to thank him for a copy of his lecture on trial procedure.  He writes, in full:  “Many thanks for sending me a copy of your extremely lucid lecture on The Trial of a Civil Jury Action in New York.  It was infused, as your things usually are, with your learning, wide experience and good sense.” 

Shientag (1887–1952) was a progressive New York state trial and appellate court judge.  In addition to his judicial service, Shientag served as a member of the American ORT executive committee, as a member of the American Jewish Congress, and as a director of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association, the Consumers&rsqo; League, and the American Association for Labor Legislation.  He also served as a member of, and counsel to, the New York State Housing Commission, Child Welfare Commission, and Cloak and Suit Mediation Commission.  At his death in 1952, the New York Times said that Shientag “combined a legal career with a fervent interest in social welfare work and made a lasting impression in both fields.”

A prolific writer, Shientag counted among his works The Opinions and writings of Judge Benjamin J. Cardozo (1930), Trial of a Civil Jury Action in New York (1938), Summary Judgment (1941), The Personality of the Judge (1944), The Stream of Progress in the Law: The Second Annual Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Lecture (1951), and Moulders of Legal Thought (1968).

Frankfurter graduated first in his Harvard Law School class in 1906. He practiced law briefly before serving for three years as an Assistant United States Attorney in New York under Henry L. Stimson.  When President William Howard Taft appointed Stimson Secretary of War, Frankfurter joined the War Department as a legal counsel. In 1914, Frankfurter joined the Harvard Law School faculty, where he remained until President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him to the Supreme Court in 1939.

Frankfurter has boldly signed this letter in jet black fountain pen.  The letter has normal mailing folds, a couple of diagonal creases, one of which affects the “u” in “Frankfurter,” and staple holes in two places in the blank left margin.  It is in fine condition.

Unframed.  Click here for information about custom framing this piece.

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