SOFAER, ABRAHAM

SOFAER, ABRAHAM
SOFAER, ABRAHAM (1939– ), U.S. scholar and jurist. After serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1956 to 1959, Sofaer attended Yeshiva University, receiving his bachelor's degree in 1962. He graduated in 1965 from New York University School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the Law Review and a Root-Tilden scholar. He clerked with Judge Skelly Wright of the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1965 and 1966, then with the Honorable William J. Brennan, Jr., an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, in 1966 and 1967. Sofaer served as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1967 to 1969. From 1969 to 1976 Sofaer was professor of law at Columbia University School of Law. In 1975 and 1976 he served as a New York State administrative judge, and was hearing officer for the first major environmental action involving PCBs, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation v. General Electric Company, concerning the discharge of PCBs into the Hudson River. Sofaer was appointed U.S. district judge for the Southern District of New York in 1979. He presided over several high-profile cases, including the libel action against Time magazine by Israeli general Ariel Sharon, in which Sharon prevailed. In 1985 Sofaer became legal adviser to the U.S. Department of State. He was the principal negotiator in various international matters, including the dispute between Egypt and Israel over Taba; the U.S. claim against Iraq for its attack on the USS Stark; claims against Chile for the assassination of diplomat Orlando Letelier; sovereign immunity in Soviet-U.S. relations; the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal; and extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties. In 1989 he received the Distinguished Service Award, the highest State Department award for a non-civil servant. After leaving the Department of State in 1990, Sofaer entered private practice as a partner in the firm of Hughes, Hubbard, and Reed in Washington, D.C. Two years later he was retained to represent Libya in matters pertaining to the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Though Sofaer maintained that his role was to seek "consensual resolutions" and that during his tenure at the State Department the investigation of the bombing was focused on Iran, not Libya, he was nevertheless charged with violating Rule 1.11 of the Rules of Professional Conduct by the District of Columbia Bar. Rule 1.11 prohibits a lawyer formerly employed by the federal government from working on a matter in which the lawyer participated while in government employ. Sofaer and his firm subsequently dropped the case. In an appeal of the charges, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled in the bar's favor. In 1994 Sofaer was named the first George P. Shultz Distinguished Scholar and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. The focus of his work as a legal scholar has included the separation of powers in the American system of government, international law, terrorism, national security, and conflicts in the Middle East. He was a member of the American Bar Association, the American Law Institute, the American Arbitration Association, and the Council on Foreign Relations. (Dorothy Bauhoff (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Abraham Sofaer — (* 1. Oktober 1896 in Rangun, Birma; † 21. Januar 1988 in Los Angeles, Kalifornien) war ein britischer Film und Theaterschauspieler birmanischer Herkunft. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Filmografie …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Christopher Columbus (Film) — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel: Christopher Columbus Originaltitel: Christopher Columbus Produktionsland: USA Erscheinungsjahr: 1949 Länge: 94 Minuten Originalsprache: Englisch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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