NIZER, LOUIS (1902–1994), U.S. lawyer and author. Nizer, who was born in London, England, was taken to the United States in 1903. He graduated from the Columbia School of Law in 1924. He was an expert on contract, libel, divorce, and antitrust law. His expertise in the areas of law related to the arts, including copyright and plagiarism, attracted clients from the theatrical and motion picture fields. He rapidly gained the confidence of the movie industry, and in 1928 was appointed attorney and executive secretary of the industry's trade association. He became well known as a magnetic courtroom lawyer, and a play about his career, A Case of Libel, written by Henry Denker, was produced in New York in 1963. Reputed to be a spellbinding speaker both in and out of the courtroom, Nizer represented such celebrities as Charlie Chaplin, Mae West, Salvador Dali, and Johnny Carson. Nizer was active in the United Jewish Appeal and the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies. His books include New Courts of Industry (1935); Thinking on Your Feet: Adventures in Speaking (1940); What to Do with Germany (1944), in which he advocated war crimes trials for Nazis, reversion of Nazi-appropriated property to the owners, a new educational system for Germany, and the temporary loss of German sovereignty; two widely read autobiographical volumes, My Life in Court (1961); The Jury Returns (1966); Between You and Me (1964); The Implosion Conspiracy, which examined the Rosenberg trial and execution (1973); Reflections without Mirrors: An Autobiography of the Mind (1978); The Uncensored John Henry Faulk (with J.H. Faulk, 1985); and Catspaw: One Man's Ordeal by Trials (1992). The Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs established the Nizer Lectures on Public Policy in 1994. (Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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