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The Champion

September-October 2017 , Page 52 

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Compassion and a Steely Resolve - Heeney Award Winner - George H. Newman



When asked why he joined NACDL, Philadelphia defense lawyer George H. Newman had a ready answer: “It feels as if I was born into it. I joined because I wanted to be the best criminal defense lawyer that I could possibly be.” After winning the 2017 Heeney Award, NACDL’s highest honor, Newman talked to NACDL Past President Ephraim Margolin about the award and what set him on a path to become one of liberty’s last champions.

Ephraim Margolin Mr. Margolin served as NACDL President from 1988 to 1989. He practiced in San Francisco, California.

Ephraim Margolin (EM): What influenced your career choice?

George Newman (GN): I started my involvement with the law by being a draft counselor during the Vietnam War. The Selective Service law was complicated like the tax code, and I actually found it intellectually stimulating. More importantly, there were some local legal giants who were representing draft resisters and military veterans who had been in ’Nam and who said “no more.” Those l

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