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Law360 | Judging A Book: Miles Lord

By U.S. District Judge John Tunheim
Law360

Miles Lord (Roberta Walburn)Years ago, before I attended law school, I was a young aide to Senator Hubert Humphrey in Minneapolis. Our offices were two floors below the chambers and courtroom of Judge Miles Lord, whom I saw frequently when he visited his good friend Hubert Humphrey. One day, my phone rang and it was Judge Lord, calling from his courtroom. He advised me in a low voice to “come on up” to the courtroom and I would learn something that day. I hastened upstairs and sat down in the galley. Miles had a grin on his face and soon he launched into a fascinating and somewhat shocking tirade against corporate hooligans and the lawyers who enable them. Twenty years later, when I took my seat on the federal bench in Minnesota, in one of my first hearings, sitting in the galley was none other than Miles Lord, by then retired, and he had that same grin on his face.

Roberta Walburn, journalist and outstanding litigator, has written a rollicking and spirited biography of her mentor and friend, Miles Lord. She served as Judge Lord’s law clerk during the incredible saga of the litigation brought by thousands of women injured by the Dalkon Shield, a birth control device sold by the A.H. Robins Company of Richmond, Virginia. In "Miles Lord: The Maverick Judge Who Brought Corporate America to Justice," Walburn skillfully weaves chapters on the incredible life of Miles Lord with the detailed story of the Dalkon Shield cases before Judge Lord, litigation in which Walburn had not only a ringside seat, but a formidable role.

***

Miles Lord retired and left our court more than 30 years ago, and died last year. His influence remains, and he made his mark on his state and his nation. His life story, and the story of the Dalkon Shield courtroom battle, is well worth the read.

This is an excerpt; read the full review at Law360.

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