Louis Nizer

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Louis Nizer

Louis Nizer (February 6, 1902 in London - November 10, 1994 in New York City) was a noted Jewish trial lawyer and senior partner of the law firm Phillips Nizer Benjamin Krim & Ballon in the United States. He published the Germanophobic hate booklet What to do with Germany? 1944. He represented many celebrities in a variety of cases, among them Quentin Reynolds in his successful libel suit against columnist Westbrook Pegler, and the broadcaster John Henry Faulk against AWARE, a national organization that had labeled him a communist.

A graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School, he wrote several books, among them the best-selling "My Life In Court" in 1962, about many of his famous cases, which spent many weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. He also wrote "The Implosion Conspiracy" in 1972, a study of the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg espionage case. He died at the age 92 in New York City, having continued to work at his firm until 10 days before his death.

His representation of Reynolds served as the basis for the Broadway play A Case of Libel, which starred Van Heflin.

With Jack Valenti, Nizer helped created the motion picture ratings system of the Motion Picture Association of America, which he served as general counsel.

After the assassination of John F. Kennedy, he authored the foreword to the Warren Commission report that investigated JFK's murder and the conspiracy theories that still surround it.

In addition to his legal work, Louis Nizer was an author, artist, lecturer, and advisor to some of the most powerful people in the worlds of politics, business, and entertainment. For a number of years, Nizer was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the "highest-paid lawyer in the world". In addition to his success in the legal world, he was married to his wife Mildred for over 50 years. Over his life, Nizer granted significant grants and charity to many Jewish causes.

Film, television, and stage portrayals

Nizer was portrayed by George C. Scott in the 1975 CBS made-for-television film, Fear on Trial, co-starring William Devane as the blacklisted radio personality John Henry Faulk.

Both on stage and on television, Van Heflin portrayed Robert Sloane, a fictionalized version of Nizer, in the play A Case of Libel, which dramatized the Quentin Reynolds - Westbrook Pegler trial.

The play was first televised on commercial television, but a new production shown on cable television in the 1980's, and later PBS, starred Edward Asner as Sloane and Daniel J. Travanti as Boyd Bendix, who was based on conservative columnist Westbrook Pegler.


  • "My Life in Court," 1962
  • "The Jury Returns," 1966
  • "The Implosion Conspiracy," 1972
  • "Reflections Without Mirrors," 1978
  • "Catspaw," (Carroll & Graf 1992)
  • "New Courts of Industry: Self-Regulation Under the Motion Picture Code, with an Analysis of the Code" (1935, Longacre Press)
  • "Thinking on Your Feet" (1940)
  • "What to Do With Germany" (1944, US Army) PDF [1]
  • "Between You and Me" (1948)

External links

  • Louis Nizer, Lawyer to the Famous, Dies at 92 - By ERIC PACE, Published: Friday, November 11, 1994 NYTimes.com
Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.