In response to the Springfield Uprising, a group of black and white activists, both Jewish and non-Jewish, met in New York City to discuss the deteriorating status of African Americans. Among them were veterans of the Niagara Movement (a civil rights group), suffragettes, social workers, union reformers, philanthropists, socialists, anti-imperialists, educators, clergy, and journalists, some of whom had abolitionist roots. In the abolitionist tradition, they proposed to fight the new colorbox system with a “new abolitionist movement” – the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The NAACP is committed to “promoting equality and eliminating caste or racial prejudice among citizens of the United States; promote the interests of Black citizens; ensure that they have the right to vote impartially; and to increase their capacity to ensure justice before the courts, the education of their children, employment according to their abilities and full equality before the law. The NAACP pursued this mission through a variety of tactics, including lawsuits, lobbying, peaceful protests, and public relations. A series of early lawsuits, including a victory against a discriminatory law in Oklahoma that regulated voting by a grandfather clause (Guinn v. States, 1910), helped establish the importance of the NAACP as a lawyer. The fledgling organization also learned to use public power through its fight against D.W. in 1915. The Rebellious Birth of a Nation by Griffith, a film that perpetuated humiliating stereotypes about African Americans and glorified the Ku Klux Klan.
For examples of the continuing influence of the image of a “gentleman-lawyer” on the ideas of legal ethicists, see, for example, Shaffer, Thomas L. and Shaffer, Mary M., American Lawyers and Their Communities (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1991), 30–126Google Scholar; Kronman, Anthony T., The Lost Lawyers: Failing Ideals of the Legal Profession (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993), 11-17.Google Scholar The NAACP held its first major lawsuit in 1910 defending Pink Franklin, a black tenant from South Carolina accused of murder. When Franklin left his employer after receiving an advance on his salary, an arrest warrant was issued against him under an invalid state law. Armed police arrived at Frankiln`s cabin before sunrise to execute the warrant without specifying its purpose, and a gunfight broke out in which one policeman was killed. Franklin was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The NAACP appealed to South Carolina Governor Martin F. Ansel, and Frankiln`s sentence was commuted to life in prison. He was finally released in 1919. 165. The basic article is Wilkins, David, “Who Should Regulated Lawyers?” Harvard Law Review 105 (1992): 801–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar The application of new methods of legal process to legal ethics research is discussed in more detail in “Special Issue: Legal Process Scholarship and the Regulation of Lawyers,” Fordham Law Review 65 (1996): 33-492. The general approach to the new analysis of the legal process is described in Rubin, Edward L., “The New Legal Process, the Synthesis of Discourse, and the Microanalysis of Institutions,” Harvard Law Review 109 (1996): 1393–1438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar In another example that anticipated the tactics the Southern states would use against the NAACP after Brown subpoenaed the NAACP records from Austin to the state of Texas in 1919 and threatened, Close the organization. apparently because government officials had found NAACP material calling for an end to segregation on public transportation.
John Shillady, the white social worker who served as the NAACP`s second national secretary, traveled to the state to meet with state officials to avoid such moves. There he was attacked and knocked out by a group of men, including a judge and a police officer, who openly admitted their involvement. The NAACP was unable to find a reputable local lawyer to file a lawsuit seeking reparations for the attack, and Shillady resigned shortly thereafter, writing, “I am less confident than before of the rapid success of the association`s entire program.” Kellogg, NAACP, 239–1 and No. 130 (cited “Opinion,” The Crisis 20 [June 1920]: 72). White led the most productive period of NAACP legal advocacy. In 1930, the association commissioned the Margold Report, which became the basis for the successful reversal of the distinct but identical doctrine that had governed public institutions since Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). In 1935, White recruited Charles H. Houston as chief consultant to the NAACP. Houston was the dean of Howard University Law School, whose strategy in cases of school segregation paved the way for his protégé, Thurgood Marshall, to settle in Brown v. in 1954. Board of Education, the decision that overturned Plessy.
122. White also reviewed all applications for legal aid and prepared lengthy detailed briefs to the Legal Affairs Committee analysing these applications and making preliminary recommendations. It wasn`t long before White began to deal with the day-to-day affairs of the Legal Committee and to negotiate with local lawyers. Although White never posed as a lawyer or represented a client in court, the level of discretion and independence he exercised in the organization`s legal affairs led him to act under Spingarn`s supervision as a junior lawyer, a delegation of legal authority to a non-lawyer who, Given the legal ethical restrictions that prohibit unauthorized practices, could have caused problems. Anyone would have wanted to make it a problem. The true story of the nation`s oldest and largest civil rights organization lies in the hearts and minds of all those who refused to stand idly by amid racial prejudice tainting our nation. From bold investigations into mob brutality and mass murder to congressional committee testimony about the vicious tactics used to exclude African Americans from the ballot box, it is the talent and tenacity of NAACP members that have saved lives and laid the foundation on which our fight for racial justice and equality is built. 52. An avid collector of literature and art, Arthur Spingarn maintained close literary friendships with James Weldon Johnson and Walter White. He has generously provided free legal assistance to a number of Harlem Renaissance artists, theaters, and NAACP national staff. See various points in A. Spingarn Papers-HU, Box 94–2.
The NAACP has been endorsed by many well-known celebrities and leaders over the years, including Sammy Davis Jr., Lena Horne, Jackie Robinson, and Harry Belafonte. As NAACP chapter chief, Ella Baker emphasized the importance of youth and women in the organization by recruiting members, fundraising, and organizing local campaigns. Daisy Bates was a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors in Arkansas Little Rock Nine. Kivie Kaplan, a Boston NAACP veteran, served as NAACP president from 1966 to 1975, personally leading the NAACP`s national lifelong membership efforts and fighting to keep African Americans away from illegal drugs. 36. Thus, this article does not examine the legal and extrajudicial challenges faced by civil lawyers working in local communities across the country, although this issue also requires more attention. It is clear that in some parts of the country, lawyers and others who campaigned for civil rights in the 1910s suffered brutal attacks, both through the law and physical violence. The Facts of a Case Supported by the NAACP, Moore v. Dempsey, 261 U.S. 86 (1923), provides an example. In that case, lawyers advising African-American tenants on their legal rights attended a meeting that was stormed by whites, leading to a shooting and national rampage against African-American citizens.
These lawyers were charged with the crime of “Barratry” and narrowly escaped lynching by a white mob. When Walter White went to the crime scene to investigate the situation for the NAACP, he also narrowly escaped life after his identity as an NAACP employee was discovered. See in general Conner, Richard C., A Mob Intent on Death: The NAACP and the Arkansas Riot Cases (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1988). Google Scholar 61. Several other lawyers on the New York Committee`s advisory board, some African Americans and some whites, were also not transferred. These included African-American lawyer John William Smith, about whom I found very little information, and Melville Cane, a well-known white lawyer and poet who was a graduate of Columbia University Law School and a member of ABCNY. See Who Was Who in America, vol. 7, 1977–1981 (1981), s.v. “Cane, Melville H.”; “Melville H. Cane, 100, a lawyer who wrote poetry and essays,” New York Times, March 11, 1980, D19 (obituary).
39. Ibid. When he was appointed U.S. Commissioner of Patents by Woodrow Wilson in 1913, Ewing left New York and resigned from the Judiciary Committee. 158. Boston`s involvement in legal ethics issues in the later years of the 1920s provides an interesting coda to the story just presented. In 1925, Boston became chairman of a special committee of the ABA charged with reviewing changes to the 1908 canon. This committee added several new restrictions to the canons, including rules restricting the legal practice of “secular mediation organizations,” with the exception of charitable societies that “provide assistance to the needy”; prohibits lawyers from bearing court costs on behalf of a client; and stated that lawyers` professional cards “can only contain with decency a statement of his name.
Profession, address, telephone number and particular branch of the profession exercised. American Bar Association, Canons 35, 42, 43, reproduced in Opinions of the Committee on Professional Ethics and Complaints, 25.