A supreme experience.
Being one of Berney’s raiders was a special start to my life as a lawyer. In the summer of 1966, I worked on Loving v. VirginiaÂ where the Supreme Court declared laws prohibiting marriage between whites and non-whites are unconstitutional. At the time, 16 states had laws prohibiting interracial marriage.
The first pleading I ever filed was the jurisdictional statement in the Loving case. When I delivered it to the clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court, he said â€œWe have been waiting for this one.â€ I have often said that this was the pinnacle of my career. My particular contribution was research at the Library of Congress into the origins of the statute. Virginia argued that the law was based on biology rather than race. In the handwritten records of the colonial Virginia legislature I found the first time the statute appeared entitled â€œAn Act for the Suppression of Outlying Slaves.
A career well served.
The following summer I worked for the Boston law firm of Goodwin, Procter and Hoar. Upon graduation I joined Goodwin and worked there for 40 years.
After spending time in labor and litigation, I specialized in commercial finance representing lenders in commercial loans. I developed an expertise in working out troubled loans and became a bankruptcy expert. I was admitted as a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy in 1997.
During my years at Goodwin, I was active in the pro bono program. As a young associate. I helped staff a legal services office in Roxbury. Later, I assisted a number of non-profits including Dress for Success Boston which was co-founded by my wife. None of these activities had the notoriety or impact of the Lovingcase, but they were important for the people involved.
Since my retirement in 2008, I volunteered in the Suffolk County probate court and have taken on the Chairmanship of the Zoning Board of Appeals in Needham, Mass., where I have lived since attending law school. I have also served as a Town Meeting member, Chairman of the Finance Committee and on various other Town committees. My retirement is filled with golf, bridge, travel, taking some classes, and sending time with my five granddaughters, three children, and wife of 50 years.