Albany (Jul. 22)
Jewish Daily Bulletin
The Appellate Division, First Department, is to pass upon the question of whether S. Walter Kaufmann and Norwin R. Lindheim, disbarred New York attorneys, shall be reinstated, the Court of Appeals decided today. Their applications together with the record of their trial will be submitted to the court.
Chief Judge Benjarnin N. Cordozo wrote the Court’s opinion, in which he points out that the highest Court has opened wide the door to the Court below to make such scrutiny of the case as it deems proper, declaring that the highest Court is a court of review only.
While members of the bar of this State Kaufmann and Lindheim were convicted in the United States Court of conspiracy, the charge being that they had conspired with one Rumley and others to make a false report to the Alien Property Custodian.
The Appellate Division, having power to vacate an order of disbarment, listened to the attorneys, again protesting innocence, and received a petition that they be restored to membership in the bar.
Chief Judge Benjamin N. Cardozo in his opinion points out that the case was very much entangled and that the jury stood in need of unusual poise of mind and power of analysis if it was to weight the case dispassionately and separately and that the petition submitted to the Appellate Division that Mr. Lindheim and Mr. Kaufmann be restored to membership in the bar was reinforced by lawyers and judges of distinction who asseried a continued faith in them and an abiding and reasoned distrust of the justice of the verdict. Also the Bar Association by its Executive Committee resolution concurred in the petition of reinstatement and authorized the designation of an attorney to make representation to the court accordingly.
“The honor of the profession.” Judge Cardozo says in his opinion, “does not demand the sacrifice of the innocent. The record makes it plain that the pardon was granted because the President of the United States was advised by his Attorney-General that the petitioners were innocent. At no time has the Circuit Court of Appeals expressed an opinion to the contrary.
“There is grave doubt whether there is any evidence of the guilt of these petitioners, and doubt still graver whether the evidence, if any, is strong enough to bring persuasion that justice has been done. That much as certained, we must leave it to the Appellate Division to reach in the first instance a definite conclusion.
“The petitions, when returned to the Appellate Division, will go back to a court empowered by force of this decision to probe until it reaches truth. They are thus assured of that considerate scrutiny which is the due of misfortune crying out to its judges that it has been the victim of oppression.”
Mr. Lindheim was elected at the recent convention of the Zionist Organization of America in Atlantic City, a member of the Administrative Committee of the organization. He is the husband of the President of the Hadassah, Mrs. Norwin Linheim.
He was represented in the case by William D. Guthrie and Abraham Tulin.