Minnesota Lawyer: New book remembers Miles Lord as a maverick judge

An unabashed populist, Lord presided over some of the biggest cases of his day and, with his bold rulings and even bolder comments, courted controversy all the way.

Miles Lord (Roberta Walburn)Minnesota Lawyer: Why did you write this book?

Roberta Walburn: I always wanted to write a book. About five years ago, I decided, If not now, when? I didn’t know what I wanted to write about. But I kept coming back to Miles. I had kept a couple of boxes of Dalkon Shield pleadings and transcripts from my clerkship. Reading them, I would be either laughing out loud or screaming or shaking my fists. That kind of indicated, yeah, there’s something here.

I contacted the judge and his daughters and told them what I was thinking. I made it clear from the start that this was an independent writing venture, that it was not going to be a puff piece, and that they would not have the right to edit the book. They still gave me the keys to the storage unit in Chanhassen where there were dozens of boxes of his private and public papers.

ML: That sounds like a biographer’s dream. What did you discover that most surprised you?

RW: When I clerked for him, I heard so many of his great stories. But I couldn’t put them all in context or even know if they were all true. Some of them seemed pretty fantastic — like the story about getting spit on in the courthouse by [Teamsters boss] Jimmy Hoffa. One of the pleasant surprises was that so many of his stories were true.

Read the full article.

Published in: Minnesota Lawyer
By: Mike Mosedale