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Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers

During the week of November 4-8 the State Law Library will host a traveling display entitled "Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany Under the Third Reich". (See attached poster.) The exhibition is presented by the German Federal Bar, in cooperation with the American Bar Association and its Section of International Law. The exhibition's visit to Minnesota is being hosted by the Minnesota Federal District Court, the Minnesota Federal Bar Association and the Minnesota Supreme Court. In addition, on Tuesday, November 5 a luncheon CLE entitled "A Minnesota Judge at Nuremberg" will be presented from 12:00pm to 1:30pm. Several Minnesota lawyers played key roles in the Nuremberg Trials that took place after World War II. Among those Minnesotans was Justice William Christianson. Justice Christianson was appointed to the Nuremberg tribunal after losing a 1946 bid for election to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

He was recommended for appointment by the Chief U. S. prosecutor and sitting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson. Jackson made the recommendation upon the suggestion of Minnesota Chief Justice Charles Loring. Justice Christianson served at Nuremberg from 1947 to 1949 and sat and presided over trials of several Nazi war criminals. There are several parallels between the service of Justice Christianson and that of the judge portrayed by Spencer Tracy in the 1961 movie--Judgment at Nuremberg. Christianson sat on the panel for "The Flick" case and presided during "The Ministries Case," in which he wrote a principled dissent that has stood the test of time, even though at the time Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy called Christianson a "moron" for writing the dissent. There are several legal, moral, and ethical lessons to be learned from revisiting the Nuremberg Trials and the service and jurisprudence of Justice Christianson. These issues will be addressed in the program. Retired Justice Paul Anderson will present the program and Justice David Stras will act as moderator. The CLE is being sponsored by the Minnesota State Law Library, Minnesota State Bar Association, the Hennepin County Bar Association and the Ramsey County Bar Association.

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Last updated on November 4, 2013.

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