As many of you may know, Monroe H. Freedman died on February 26, 2015. His funeral was held yesterday, March 1, 2015 and his obituary is available at this link.
Criminal practitioners of all stripes owe a tremendous debt to Prof. Freedman. He was a dean, a scholar, a writer, an outspoken defender of civil rights and liberties. But for our community, what he really did was to provide intellectual and moral legitimacy to ethical criminal advocacy. Without his integrity, intelligence, and courage, criminal defense lawyers would still be accused of being no better than hired guns, having no moral compass. He legitimized zealous criminal advocacy by grounding it in law, ethics, and morality; and by his own intelligence and integrity. By doing so, he improved the quality of criminal litigation on both sides of the aisle. He inspired generations of law students and lawyers to do better with pride. His generous and open assistance to students, other professors, lawyers – to anyone who sought his help – was absolutely unique. He made us all better and he made the system better.