July 2, 2022

Maria Marcus, Public Interest Lawyer and Mentor, Dies at 88

Maria Marcus, a law professor who as a public fascination law firm defended civil legal rights in the South and properly argued six conditions right before the United States Supreme Courtroom symbolizing New York Point out, in one occasion profitable unemployment advantages for striking personnel, died on April 27 at her residence in Manhattan. She was 88.

Her demise was confirmed by her daughter Valerie Marcus.

Professor Marcus argued the situations in advance of the Supreme Court docket representing the New York attorney general. She was an assistant attorney standard from 1967 to 1978 and chief of the office’s litigation bureau from 1976 to 1978.

In early 1979, the court agreed, 6-to-3, in New York Phone v. New York Point out Division of Labor, that the state was empowered to call for businesses to pay out unemployment rewards to putting personnel. (Professor Marcus argued the situation in 1978.)

The justices turned down the argument by the cellphone firm that mainly because the legislation implicitly favored labor in excess of administration, it had to generate to federal labor laws calling for governmental neutrality. In its ruling, the court affirmed an appellate court’s selection that held that even while the law positioned the point out on the side of labor throughout a strike, Congress experienced not imposed a uniform nationwide plan on jobless positive aspects for strikers, leaving it to the states to decide.

According to the Supreme Court docket Historic Modern society, of the 160 women of all ages who have argued right before the court docket considering the fact that 1880, only eight appeared more than Professor Marcus. She was tied for ninth area with 5 legal professionals, together with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for the most arguments by a girl just before the court docket from 1880 to 1980.

She taught at the Fordham College University of Legislation from 1978 until her retirement in 2011. She was only the 2nd girl to become a tenured complete professor there.

Professor Marcus moderated Fordham’s award-profitable moot court docket method for 42 years. In 1995, a group of hers won the Nationwide Moot Court Competitors sponsored by the New York City Bar Affiliation and the American University of Trial Attorneys.

She was credited with creating one of the earliest law evaluation articles on domestic violence, “Conjugal Violence: The Law of Force and the Force of Legislation,” in 1981.

Decide Nicholas Garaufis of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, who was a co-counsel on the unemployment added benefits scenario before the Supreme Court, described Professor Marcus in a telephone job interview as a “rigorous litigator who was a perfectionist, but a greatly affected individual mentor.”

Matthew Diller, the dean of Fordham’s law school, wrote in an electronic mail that her “main legacy is in the generations of students whom she taught — stressing the values of integrity, clarity and precision and a feeling of pleasure in the mental back again and forth of reasoned argument that is authorized advocacy at its ideal.”

Maria Eleanor Erica Lenhoff was born on June 23, 1933, in Vienna. Her father, Arthur Lenhoff, was a judge on the Austrian Constitutional Court docket, the nation’s highest tribunal. Her mother, Clara (Gruber) Lenhoff, was a homemaker.

On the working day that Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938, the relatives fled, 1st to Switzerland, then to England and ultimately to the United States. Her father, a Jew, was on the Gestapo’s wanted list for his authorized rulings necessitating religious equality in universities — decisions that Professor Marcus afterwards likened, in an report, to America’s civil legal rights circumstance regulation as “Austria’s Pre-War Brown v. Board of Training.”

“Drawing on this knowledge, she experienced a profound sense of the worth of justice and the rule of legislation,” said William M. Treanor, the dean and govt vice president of Georgetown College Legislation Heart. “I figured out a excellent deal from her work, which combined amazing erudition with a motivation to law as a drive for great.”

Professor Marcus attained a bachelor’s degree in English from Oberlin Faculty in Ohio in 1954 and graduated in 1957 from Yale Regulation School. There she achieved and married Norman Marcus, who grew to become common counsel to the New York Town Planning Commission. He died in 2008.

In addition to her daughter Valerie, who is the vice president of authorized affairs at RCA Data, she is survived by two other small children, Nicole and Eric Marcus, and six grandchildren.

Professor Marcus served as associate counsel for the N.A.A.C.P.’s countrywide office environment from 1961 to 1967 and litigated considerable civil rights instances in the South. She collaborated with Robert L. Carter, the standard counsel, and Medgar Evers, the N.A.A.C.P. leader in Mississippi.

She was vice president of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York from 1995 to 1996 and in 1973 headed an association committee that suggested that the City Council go laws to bar discrimination on the foundation of sexual orientation.

Professor Marcus, colleagues reported, had an uncanny knack for memorizing the names and faces of her students on the very first day of class. Right after she retired, she continued to reasonable Fordham Law’s Moot Court docket Board for an additional decade.

Professor James Kainen recalled in a Fordham obituary that her efficiency would prompt a frequent lament by the Rev. Joseph A. O’Hare, the previous president of Fordham.

“Every calendar year in the course of his tenure,” Professor Kainen explained, “President O’Hare would come to one particular of our college conferences and in no way unsuccessful to bemoan his inability to employ a soccer coach who would compile a history approaching that of Maria’s moot court groups.”