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Lehman, Irving


LEHMAN, IRVING (1876–1945), U.S. jurist. Born in New York City, Lehman qualified as a lawyer in 1898 and worked in private practice in New York City until 1908, when he was elected to the state Supreme Court. He served as Supreme Court justice until 1924, and as judge on the New York State Court of Appeals (1924–45). From 1940 to 1945 he was chief judge of that court. Lehman's judgments reflected his belief in the flexibility of the common law to deal with new social and economic conditions and the duty of the judge to support remedial legislation to meet economic social evil. Thus in a dissenting opinion in New York State Court of Appeals Lehman upheld legislation establishing minimum wage standards, even though the Supreme Court had previously declared similar legislation unconstitutional. Lehman was a member of the well-known *Lehman family, and a brother of Herbert H. *Lehman. He supported numerous philanthropic enterprises and was active in Jewish affairs as president of the Jewish Welfare Board (1921–40), honorary vice president of the American Jewish Committee (1942), and a supporter of projects for the development of Ereẓ Israel.

[Michael Hart Cardozo]

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