Judith Vladeck


Judith Vladeck

Infobox Person
name = Judith Pomarlen Vladeck
birth_date = birth date|1923|8|1|mf=y
birth_place = flagicon|USA Norfolk, Virginia
death_date = death date and age|2007|1|8|1923|8|1|mf=y
death_place = flagicon|USA New York City

Judith Pomarlen Vladeck (August 1, 1923 - January 8, 2007) was a prominent labor lawyer and civil rights advocate, particularly on behalf of women. She helped set new legal precedents against sex discrimination and age discrimination.

Born in Norfolk, Virginia, the daughter of a newspaper distributor and a business manager for a labor union, Vladeck graduated from Hunter College in 1945 and received a law degree from Columbia University in 1947. After having three children, in 1957 she joined the New York City law firm of Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, which her husband Stephen (the son of politician Baruch Charney Vladeck) had helped found in 1948. She described the firm as "the last socialist law firm in America."

As a trial lawyer, Vladeck had a reputation for combining courtroom flair and detailed analysis of salary histories and job performance to her cases. She took on powerful entities such as major Wall Street investment firms, Union Carbide, and large universities, and usually won or achieved a favorable settlement.

Vladeck turned her attention to workplace discrimination with the advent of new civil rights laws and rise of the women's movement. In a suit against the City University of New York filed in 1973, Ms. Vladeck traced salary histories for more than 5,000 female faculty members. The judge ruled the university had been discriminating against them for 15 years. In 1975, she represented a professor at Pace University who had been denied tenure. When the university’s lawyers tried to paint the plaintiff as a troublemaker who devoted too much time to challenging the system, Vladeck responded, “The only way women are tolerated is if they are supine, silent and submissive.” The New York State Court of Appeals decision reflected Vladeck's words when it wrote, “Those who fight for rights are often perceived as troublesome, but the law does not require people to be supine.”

As a legal scholar, she served as director of the American Arbitration Association and the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee. She also taught employment and labor law at Fordham Law School and Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations. In later life, she was the recipient of various awards from the American Bar Association, the New York County Lawyers Association, Columbia Law School, and Hunter College. Vladeck had two sons, one of whom, Bruce C. Vladeck is a health administrator, and one daughter, Anne, who is currently a partner in the Vladeck law firm.

She died on January 8, 2007 of an infection in New York City. [http://www.nysun.com/article/46495]

References

* [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/11/nyregion/11vladeck.html New York Times article]
* [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB116865426193075930-search.html?KEYWORDS=judith+vladeck&COLLECTION=wsjie/6month Wall Street Journal article]
* [http://www.nysun.com/article/46495 New York Sun article]
* [http://www.forward.com/articles/judith-vladeck-83-formidable-labor-lawyer/ Forward article]
* [http://www.abanet.org/women/bios/vladeck.html ABA bio]
* [http://www.nycbar.org/Diversity/WomenLawyers.htm NYC Bar Documentary Film]


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