August 24, 2007
Remembering Max Kravitz
Max died last week leaving behind a gash in the legal community. In his 34 years of practice and over 30 years of teaching law, he fixed in place a standard of proficiency, fervency and credibility not soon to be bested. He was a consummate advocate, a passionate professor, a wily negotiator, a champion of worthy causes (including the seemingly lost ones) and a trusted friend to his clients, his colleagues, his students – in short, to almost all who met him. He was, in turns, pugnacious, persistent, proud, protective, personable and always, always professional.
His accomplishments, even in the most abbreviated form (to see a sampling, click here), are as diverse as they are extensive. To cite but one example, in 1978, while still a young lawyer, Max stood in the well of the United States Supreme Court to argue Lockett v. Ohio, 438 U. S. 541, challenging the constitutional deficiencies of Ohio’s existing death penalty process. He won that case, resulting in over 450 individuals on death rows as a result of convictions under constitutionally-flawed laws had the threat of execution lifted.
Max will live on as an emblem of our profession’s best qualities and highest aspirations.