Renegade Lawyer

Renegade Lawyer

The Life of J.L. Cohen

eBook - 2001
Rate this:
Univ of Toronto Pr

Though Cohen rose to the top of his profession, he had a difficult, complex private life that contributed to his personal disgrace and professional downfall.


J.L. Cohen, one of the first specialists in labour law and an architect of the Canadian industrial relations system, was a formidable advocate in the 1930s and 1940s on behalf of working people. A 'radical lawyer' in the tradition of the great American counsel Clarence Darrow or contemporary advocate Thomas Berger who represent the less powerful and seek to reform society and to protect civil liberties, Cohen was also a 'labour intellectual' in Canada, similar to those supporting Roosevelt's New Deal in the United States. He wrote Collective Bargaining in Canada, served on the National War Labour Board during the war, and advised the Ontario government about policy issues such as mothers' allowances, unemployment insurance legislation, and labour law.

As a Marxist and a Jewish immigrant, his commitment to the labour movement resulted in part from his background and was deepened by his experience of the 1930s Depression. His was an unusual perspective for a middle class professional, and his ethnic origins and his political views subjected him to discrimination. Though respected professionally, he made enemies. At the end of the war, Cohen was convicted of a criminal charge, was disbarred and later reinstated, and died suddenly in 1950 at the age of fifty-three. Though he rose to the top of his profession, he had a difficult, complex private life that contributed to his personal disgrace and professional downfall. His obituary in the Globe and Mail described him as a dynamic, sharp-witted man who rose from humble beginnings to become the most influential labour lawyer in Canada, and it concluded with what may be a fitting epitaph, 'He championed all the wrong people in all the right things.'



Book News
It has been said of Canadian labor law pioneer Cohn (d. 1950) that: "He championed all the wrong people in all the right ways." MacDowell (history, U. of Toronto) covers his Jewish immigrant background and controversial career defending unions and Communist and liberal politicians alike in the 1920s-40s; service as a wartime government policy advisor; and thwarted political career and disbarment. The book includes photos, substantial reference material, a glossary of legal terms, and a list of other publications for the Osgood Society for Canadian Legal History, whose purpose is explained in the preface. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

University of Toronto Press

J.L. Cohen, one of the first specialists in labour law and an architect of the Canadian industrial relations system, was a formidable advocate in the 1930s and 1940s on behalf of working people. A 'radical lawyer' in the tradition of the great American counsel Clarence Darrow or contemporary advocate Thomas Berger who represent the less powerful and seek to reform society and to protect civil liberties, Cohen was also a 'labour intellectual' in Canada, similar to those supporting Roosevelt's New Deal in the United States. He wrote Collective Bargaining in Canada, served on the National War Labour Board during the war, and advised the Ontario government about policy issues such as mothers' allowances, unemployment insurance legislation, and labour law.

As a Marxist and a Jewish immigrant, his commitment to the labour movement resulted in part from his background and was deepened by his experience of the 1930s Depression. His was an unusual perspective for a middle class professional, and his ethnic origins and his political views subjected him to discrimination. Though respected professionally, he made enemies. At the end of the war, Cohen was convicted of a criminal charge, was disbarred and later reinstated, and died suddenly in 1950 at the age of fifty-three. Though he rose to the top of his profession, he had a difficult, complex private life that contributed to his personal disgrace and professional downfall. His obituary in the Globe and Mail described him as a dynamic, sharp-witted man who rose from humble beginnings to become the most influential labour lawyer in Canada, and it concluded with what may be a fitting epitaph, 'He championed all the wrong people in all the right things.'



Publisher: Toronto, Ont. : Published for the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History by University of Toronto Press, Ă2001
ISBN: 9780802035134
0802035132
9781442679214
1442679212
9780802085603
0802085601
0802035132
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xvi, 385 pages, 8 leaves of plates) : illustrations, facsimiles, portraits

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at NPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top