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Remembering Sandra Day O’Connor


Sandra D. O’Connor

Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman mourns the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.  Justice O’Connor was the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court and served on the Court for nearly a quarter of a century.  She was involved in major decisions on numerous important issues, including civil rights, abortion, affirmative action, and intellectual property.  In 2009 she received the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the U.S.  Justice O’Connor was known for her intelligence, warmth, sense of humor, and thoughtfulness.  One example of her kindness is the letter she sent to the wife of Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman founding partner Alan Latman on May 23, 1985, a year after his untimely death, commending his work and writings in the field of copyright and mentioning how they influenced the Court’s decision in the case of Harper & Row v. Nation Enterprises, et al., a seminal case concerning the fair use doctrine.  This is what she said:

                           Dear Mrs. Latman,

I authored the opinion for the Supreme Court in the case of Harper & Row v. Nation Enterprises, et al., No. 83-1632.  It occurred to me you might like to receive a copy of it because the opinion cites your late husband’s writing on various points.  His work in the area of copyright will continue to help succeeding generations of scholars in that field.  Certainly his work was a help to me.


                           Sandra D. O’Connor

Letter from Sandra D. O'Connor

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