US lawyer, law professor, judge, and author. He was famous for his ability to cross-examine witnesses and was also well known for his wit and theatrics in lectures and the courtroom.
Born in New York, New York, he attended the Bronx High School of Science, graduated from Harvard in 1953, and after two years in the army went on to take his degree from New York University Law School in 1958. After working with a private New York law firm (1958–60), he served as an assistant attorney in Manhattan (1960–62) before opening his own law firm. He served as a judge on the Civil Court in New York (1969–74) and taught law at New York University before joining the law faculty at Cornell (1974–81). He also held guest professorships at Columbia, Georgetown, and Harvard Universities. He joined the Washington, DC, law firm of Williams and Connelly (1981–84), and then became a professor at the law school of the University of Minnesota (1984–88). A leading scholar of evidence and an authority on trial techniques and civil procedure, he made many audio and video tapes on these topics, used by generations of law students in preparation for their exams. His tapes inspired the popular series of lectures by ‘star’ college professors. A man of broad learning, with a deep feeling for music, theatre, and literature, he published many articles and several books, including The Art of Cross-Examination (1976) and Principles of Evidence (with Michael Goldsmith, 1984), and he wrote a column on persuasive writing for the American Bar Association Journal.