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Goldman, Mayer Clarence


GOLDMAN, MAYER CLARENCE (1874–1939), U.S. lawyer, born in New Orleans. Goldman became convinced that achievement of the American ideal of equality before the law required the state to provide qualified legal counsel for poor defendants. He vigorously advocated establishment of the office of public defender by state and local governments. He gave speeches and wrote for legal periodicals in support of this cause. He wrote a book, The Public Defender (1917), and was coauthor of a movie script on the subject. Goldman chaired the public defender committees of the American Lawyers Guild, the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology, and the New York State Bar Association. He initiated the public defender movement in New York and drafted public defender bills introduced in the state legislature from 1915 to 1931.

[Barton G. Lee]

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