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Hon. Jack B. Weinstein Receives 2012 Fordham-Stein Prize


Jack B. Weinstein, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, was born in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas. He attended Brooklyn College at night while working for a trucking firm during the day, receiving a bachelor's degree in 1943. After serving as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he earned a law degree from Columbia University in 1948. He was a law clerk to Judge Stanley H. Fuld of the New York Court of Appeals. He then opened his own law office, through which he advised various state legislative committees and conducted a litigation practice. He assisted in writing briefs for the NAACP in the Brown v. Board of Education case of the 1950s and in the "one man, one vote" litigation of the 1960s. He was the reporter for the committee to revise New York civil practice. For many years, he was a faculty member of Columbia Law School, and lectured at other law schools. From 1955 to 1957 he served as county attorney for Nassau County. In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated him to the bench in the Eastern District of New York on the reccomendation of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Formerly chief judge of the district, he conducts a full docket as a senior judge.

Managing each case with equality and efficiency in mind, Judge Weinstein appears in business suits instead of judicial robes and often meets with parties and litigants around a conference table in open court. A pioneer in the area of mass torts, he has handled and streamlined complex class actions and multi-district litigations related to Agent Orange, asbestos, DES, and most recently, Zyprexa. He has presided over numerous organized crime trials, including the prosecutions of Vincent Gigante, Louis Eppolito, and Stephen Caracappa (known as the "mafia cops"), and the recent trial of Charles Carneglia. He has sought to humanize and reform federal sentencing practices and procedures. In 2003, Judge Weinstein volunteered to consider and decide 500 habeus corpus cases on a backlog in the Eastern District. He has authored many teaching casebooks, multi-volume treatises, and numerous articles, books, and legislative reports. Most recently, he published The Role of Judges in a Government Of, By and For the People: Notes for the Fifty-Eigth Cardozo Lecture (2008).

The Fordham Stein Prize is formally presented every autumn. For more information: fordhamsteinprize@law.fordham.edu