Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 59, Issue 5, pp 517–535 | Cite as

Progressive lawyers under siege: Moral panic during the McCarthy era

  • Colin WarkEmail author
  • John F. Galliher


Our goal is to analyze the culture within the San Francisco law firm of Gladstein, Andersen and Leonard (circa 1945–1965). For this we utilize archival documents, FBI files, oral histories, and personal interviews. The law firm represented alleged subversives, including Harry Bridges the longtime president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Thus, the law firm partners were stigmatized by the clients they represented and they all had lengthy FBI files. The partners all had working class backgrounds, one was an immigrant and two were Jewish. Clearly, religion and ethnicity were not litmus tests for participation in the firm, nor was educational pedigree. Gladstein and Leonard graduated from elite law schools while Andersen did his legal training at a night school. During the dark days of the Cold War various partners were threatened, shot and jailed for merely engaging in their legal practice. Ironically, as the FBI blacklisted alleged subversives, these attorneys had more clients to defend.


Communist Party Attorney General Moral Panic Legal Practice Defense Counsel 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and SociologyTexas A&M University-KingsvilleKingsvilleUSA
  2. 2.University of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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