Alan Dershowitz Biography
Alan Dershowitz born Alan Morton Dershowitz is an American lawyer, author, political commentator, professor, legal analyst and an overall academic.
Dershowitz is a scholar of United States constitutional law and criminal law and a noted civil libertarian. He became the youngest full professor of law in the history of Harvard Law School in 1967, when he began teaching at the age of 28 retiring in December 2013. During his legal tenure, Alan has been involved in a number of high-profile legal cases.
As a criminal appellate lawyer, he won 13 of the 15 murder and attempted murder cases which he had handled, and has represented a series of celebrity clients, including O. J. Simpson, Boxer Mike Tyson, Patty Hearst, and Jim Bakker. His most notable cases included the successful appeal of Claus von Bülow’s 1982 conviction for the attempted murder of his wife, Sunny, and the 1995 O. J. Simpson murder trial, in which he served on the legal “Dream Team”. He is also a prominent voice on the Arab–Israeli conflict and has written a number of books on the subject.
Alan Dershowitz Age
The lawyer was born on September 1, 1938 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn U.S.
Alan Dershowitz Parents| Father
The lawyer was born to Mrs. Claire and Mr. Harry Dershowitz, an Orthodox Jewish couple and was raised in Borough Park. Mr. Harry -his father-was the founder and president of the Young Israel Synagogue in the 1960s. Mr. Harry served on the board of directors of the Etz Chaim School in Borough Park, and in retirement was co-owner of the Manhattan-based Merit Sales Company. He describes his father as having a strong sense of justice who would influence him later in his professional career.
Alan Dershowitz Young
Alan’s first job was while he was at the age of 14 working at a deli factory on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1952. He recalls tying the strings that separated the hot dogs and once getting locked in the freezer compartment.
Alan Dershowitz Education
Dershowitz enrolled for classes at The Yeshiva University High School, in Manhattan, New York City. He played for the school’s basketball team. During his tenure at the school, he was described as a rebellious student, often criticized by his teachers. In an interview,he confessed that his teachers told him to do something that “requires a big mouth and no brain … so I became a lawyer”. Upon graduating , Alan would attend Brooklyn College and received his Bachelor of Arts in 1959, majoring in Political Science. The lawyer attended Yale Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal, and graduated first in his class with a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) in 1962.
Alan Dershowitz Relationships | Wife
Mr. Dershowiz first wife was Sue Barlach. The couple however had masive differences leading to a divorce. The lawyer is presently married to Carolyn Cohen and the couple has sired three children over the years. His elder son Jamin tird the knot with Barbara, a Roman Catholic, which was one prompting for Dershowitz’s book titled The Vanishing American Jew, dedicated to them and their children, whom he still recognizes as Jews.
Alan Dershowitz & Judge David L. Bazelon
Alan Dershowitz Clientele
Much of his legal career has focused on criminal law. His clients have included high-profile figures Patty Hearst, Harry Reems, Leona Helmsley, Jim Bakker, Mike Tyson, Michael Milken, O.J. Simpson and Kirtanananda Swami. Dershowitz reportedly was one of Nelson Mandela’s lawyers.He sees himself as a “lawyer of last resort”—someone to turn to when the defendant has few other legal options—and takes those cases that are what he calls “the most challenging, the most difficult and precedent-setting cases”. As of 2011 he was advising Julian Assange’s legal team.
Alan Dershowitz on Trump
The lawyer campaigned against the election of Donald Trump during the United States presidential election of 2016 and has been critical of many of his actions, including his travel ban, his rescission of protections for “Dreamers” and Donald Trump’s failure to single out white nationalists for their provocations during protests in Charlottesville.
Despite his support for the Democratic Party, Dershowitz has been a defender for President Trump in some cases. In January 2018 he said that Democrats attacking the president’s ‘mental fitness’ was a “very dangerous” line of attack. He has been adamant that there is “no case” for obstruction of justice against President Trump regarding the firing of FBI Director James Comey and has said that “collusion” as it is defined by Democrats and the media in reference to Russian meddling in the 2016 election is not a crime. He published a book in 2018, The Case Against Impeaching Trump, where he argues against impeaching Trump.
Alan Dershowitz Notable Cases
Harry Reems | Deep Throat
In 1976, the lawyer successfully handled the appeal of adult movie star Harry Reems, who had been convicted of distribution of obscenity resulting from his acting in the pornographic movie titled Deep Throat. The practicing lawyer argued against censorship of pornography on First Amendment grounds, and maintains that consumption of pornography is not necessarily harmful.
Claus von Bülow
The case with british socialite is one of his first high-profile cases. Dershowitz represented a British socialite by the name of Claus von Bülow. at his appeal for the attempted murder of his wife, Sunny von Bülow, who went into a coma in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1980 (and later died in 2008). He ultimately succeeded in having the conviction overturned, and von Bülow was acquitted in a retrial.
1989 Defamation suit against Cardinal Józef Glemp
In 1989, the laywer filed a defamation suit against Cardinal on behalf of Rabbi Avi Weis. Cardinal Józef Glemp was the then Archbishop of Warsaw. Glemp had previously accused Rabbi Weiss and six other New York Jews of attacking nuns at a much-disputed convent on the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Glemp’s statement about Weiss, made in July 1989, was coupled with suggestions that Jews control the world’s news media.
Reporter Mike Barnicle | The Boston Globe
Mr. Dershowitz sued The Boston Globe in 1990 over a remark reporter Mike Barnicle attributed which was directed to him, in which the lawyer allegedly said he preferred Asian women because they are deferential to men. He reportedly received a $75,000 out-of-court settlement that dissolved the case.
Sportsman O. J. Simpson
The lawyer was involved in the sportsman case as an appellate adviser to O. J. Simpson’s defense team during the trial, and later wrote a book about it titled Reasonable Doubts: The Criminal Justice System and the O. J. Simpson Case (1996).
Jeffrey Epstein (2008)
Mr. Dershowitz was involved in the philanthropist’s case a member of his legal defense team who was investigated following accusations that he had repeatedly solicited sex from minors. Epstein’s legal team investigated some of his accusers and provided both the police and the State attorney’s office with a dossier containing information about plaintiffs’ behavior, which had been obtained from their personal MySpace pages, including allegations of alcohol and drug use which they would use to support their case.
Harvey Weinstein (2018)
In May 2018, it was reported that Dershowitz had joined film producer Harvey Weinstein’s legal team as a consultant for Weinstein’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman. Dershowitz advised the team on obtaining documents from The Weinstein Company related to the sexual abuse allegations against te film producer an co- owner of Miramax Entertainment company.
Alan Dershowitz on 2nd Amendment and gun control
Alan has strongly supported the notion on gun control. He has criticized the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, saying that it has “no place in modern society”. The lawyer supports repealing the amendment, but he vigorously opposes using the judicial system to read it out of the Constitution because it would open the way for further revisions to the Bill of Rights and Constitution by the courts. “Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming it’s not an individual right or that it’s too much of a public safety hazard don’t see the danger in the big picture. They’re courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don’t like.” He is quoted saying.
Alan Dershowitz Torture Bill
Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, the lawyer published an article in the publication The San Francisco Chronicle entitled “Want to Torture? Get a Warrant”, in which he advocated the issuance of warrants permitting the torture of terrorism suspects. He defended his argument saying that “if there were an absolute need to obtain immediate information in order to save lives coupled with probable cause that the suspect had such information and is unwilling to reveal it”. He argued that authorities should be permitted to use non-lethal torture in a “ticking time bomb scenario”, and that it would be less destructive to the rule of law to regulate the process than to leave it to the discretion of individual law-enforcement agents. .
William F. Schulz, Executive Director of the U.S. section of Amnesty International, found Dershowitz’s ticking-bomb scenario unrealistic because, he argued, it would require that “the authorities know that a bomb has been planted somewhere; know it is about to go off; know that the suspect in their custody has the information they need to stop it; know that the suspect will yield that information accurately in a matter of minutes if subjected to torture; and know that there is no other way to obtain it”.
Alan Dershowitz Animal rights Supporter
The lawyer has expressed his support for limited animal rights. In his excerpt titled ‘Rights from Wrongs: A Secular Theory of the Origins of Rights’ (2004), he argues that, in order to avoid human beings treating each other the way we treat animals, we have made what he calls the “somewhat arbitrary decision” to single out our own species for different and better treatment. “Does this subject us to the charge of speciesism? Of course it does, and we cannot justify it, except by the fact that in the world in which we live, humans make the rules. That reality imposes on us a special responsibility to be fair and compassionate to those on whom we impose our rules. Hence the argument for animal rights.”
Alan Dershowitz & Norman Finkelstein
Alan Dershowitz &Virginia Roberts lawsuit
On December 30, 2014, lawyers Bradley J. Edwards and Paul G. Cassell filled a case at a Florida court alleging that the lawyer was one of several prominent figures involved in sexual activities with a minor later identified as Virginia Roberts, who was held as a sex slave by financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Dershowitz had associated with Epstein and represented him in his 2008 criminal conviction. Dershowitz vehemently denied the allegations and sought disbarment of the lawyers filing the suit. The two parties settled in 2016 for an undisclosed amount of money.
Alan Dershowitz & Virginia Guiffre Roberts
Alan Dershowitz Awards and recognitions
The lawyer has been described by Newsweek as America’s “most peripatetic civil liberties lawyer and one of its most distinguished defenders of individual rights”. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of NGO Monitor.
He was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 1979, and in 1983 received the William O. Douglas First Amendment Award from the Anti-Defamation League for his work on civil rights.
In November 2007, he was awarded the Soviet Jewry Freedom Award by the Russian Jewish Community Foundation.
In December 2011, he was awarded the Menachem Begin Award of Honor by the Menachem Begin Heritage Center at an event co-sponsored by NGO Monitor.
He has been awarded honorary doctorates in law from Yeshiva University, the Hebrew Union College, Monmouth University, University of Haifa, Syracuse University, Fitchburg State College, Bar-Ilan University, and Brooklyn College.
Alan Dershowitz Film Appearances
The lawyer has made several film appearances. He has appeared as himself in a number of fictional television series, including Picket Fences, Spin City, and First Monday.
Alan Dershowitz Author| Books
A self-described political liberal, Dershowitz is the author of a number of books about politics and the law, including Reversal of Fortune: Inside the von Bülow Case (1985), the basis of the 1990 film; Chutzpah (1991); Reasonable Doubts: The Criminal Justice System and the O.J. Simpson Case (1996); The Case for Israel (2003); Rights From Wrongs: A Secular Theory of the Origins of Rights (2004); and The Case for Peace (2005). His two most recent works were both published in 2018: The Case Against Impeaching Trump and The Case Against BDS: Why Singling Out Israel for Boycott is Anti-Semitic.
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