Albert E. Jenner, Jr.
|Albert E. Jenner, Jr.|
Albert Ernest Jenner, Jr.|
June 20, 1907
September 18, 1988 81) (aged|
Albert Ernest Jenner, Jr. (June 20, 1907 – September 18, 1988) was an American lawyer and one of the name partners at the law firm of Jenner & Block. He served as assistant counsel to the Warren Commission; as a member of the U.S. National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence; and as special counsel to the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate Scandal.
Jenner was born in Chicago—his father was a police officer with the Chicago Police Department. Jenner attended the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (B.A. 1929). To help pay his way through college, Jenner earned money by competing as a professional boxer. He was also the circulation editor at the Daily Illini. It was while working on the Daily Illini that Jenner met his future wife, Nadine Newbill.
After college, he studied at the University of Illinois College of Law, receiving his LL.B. in 1930. Following law school, he served as the reporter for the Illinois Civil Practice Act. He joined the firm of Poppenheusen, Johnston, Thompson and Cole (the precursor of Jenner & Block) in 1933 and became a partner of the firm in 1939. Jenner thrived at the firm and, in 1947, at age 40, he became the president of the Illinois State Bar Association. He would later go on to serve as the eighth president of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Years as prominent attorney
In his practice at Poppenheusen, Johnston, Thompson and Cole, Jenner would develop relationships with several prominent clients. Already by the 1940s, Jenner had become the top earner at the firm. In 1955, he was rewarded by becoming a name partner at the firm. (The firm eventually became known as "Jenner & Block" in 1964.) As a lawyer, Jenner was dedicated to pro bono work and, in the 1960s, he supported partner Prentice Marshall's efforts to found Jenner & Block's pro bono program, one of the first in the country.
Following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Jenner was named as assistant counsel to the Warren Commission. Along with Wesley J. Liebeler, Jenner was appointed and performed the "Area III" assignment, "Lee Harvey Oswald's Background."
In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court named Jenner chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Federal Rules of Evidence—he would continue in this post until 1975.
In 1968, Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Jenner to the U.S. National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, which Johnson established in the wake of the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy to study the causes of violence in the U.S.
1968 also saw Jenner argue his first major case at the U.S. Supreme Court, Witherspoon v. Illinois. In the following years, he would argue Mills v. Electric Auto-Lite (1970); Reliance Electric Co. v. Emerson Electric Co. (1972); Gonzales v. Automatic Employees Credit Union (1974); and Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese for the United States of America and Canada v. Milivojevich (1976). Jenner himself was mentioned as a preferred candidate for the Supreme Court by Johnson's Secretary of Defense, Clark Clifford, over Johnson's choice, Homer Thornberry. With the impending retirement of Chief Justice Earl Warren, Johnson hoped to elevate Associate Justice Abe Fortas to that post and Thornberry to Fortas' seat. Clifford thought Jenner would be a more acceptable candidate for Senate Republicans than Thornberry and help make them more amenable to Fortas as Chief Justice. Fortas' nomination was derailed by various scandals and withdrawn, which also ended Thornberry's nomination.
Jenner served on the board of General Dynamics. He was a friend of an attorney for the family of Henry Crown. Jenner represented Lester Crown, president of Material Service Corporation, in a 1972 bribery scandal and obtained for his client immunity from prosecution in exchange for cooperating with the grand jury.
In 1973, the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee named Jenner as the Committee's Chief Minority Counsel. During this time, Jenner fought (successfully) against Senator Ted Kennedy's attempt to appoint a Boston Municipal Court judge whom Jenner thought was unqualified, as a federal judge. However, the most notable thing that happened while Jenner was at the House Judiciary Committee was the Committee's investigations into the Watergate allegations against Richard Nixon. Jenner was ultimately forced to resign as special counsel when he recommended the impeachment of Nixon, which is somewhat ironic since the Republicans on the Committee ultimately voted in favor of impeachment.
A longtime opponent of the House Un-American Activities Committee, Jenner played a role in its 1975 abolition after he filed a First Amendment challenge to HUAC in response to its investigation of Dr. Jeremiah Stamler, a prominent Chicago heart researcher.
Jenner represented convicted labor racketeer Allen Dorfman.
In the course of his career, Jenner also served as: a director of General Dynamics; as a permanent member of the editorial board of the Uniform Commercial Code; and as the chairman of the Committee on the Federal Judiciary of the American Bar Association. He also served on the Board of Governors of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; as the president of the American Judicature Society; and as president of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.
The University of Illinois College of Law bestowed an honorary doctorate on Jenner in 1981. In 1982, Jenner endowed a professorship at the University of Illinois College of Law. The University of Illinois College of Law's library is also named in his honor.
|“||When the soul of our nation was torn by the assassination of a president, our nation reached out to Bert Jenner. And when the fabric of our Constitution was threatened by the actions of a president, our nation reached out to Bert Jenner. When the wounds were deep and grievous for all Americans, when some impoverished soul was threatened, when some unpopular cause would have been extinguished but for the bravery and perseverance of that man, they all reached out for Bert Jenner.||”|
Jenner's most prominent client was Henry Crown, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice and former U.S. Attorney General, Tom C. Clark and Dean Acheson were the two men Earl Warren named as supporting the selection of Jenner as a Senior Assistant Investigative Counsel of the Warren Commission investigation. Jenner was appointed and performed the "Area III" assignment, "Lee Harvey Oswald's Background."
The appointment of Jenner to investigate whether Oswald, and by extension, also Oswald's murderer, Jack Ruby, acted alone or conspired with others remains controversial.
It is commonly known that Albert E. Jenner, Jr., in the late 1960's, was the criminal defense attorney for Allen Dorfman, a close associate of longtime IBT President Jimmy Hoffa. Dorfman was convicted on several felony counts, and was violently murdered in 1983.
However, in 1953 Congressional Committee Hearings on Labor Racketeering, Jenner also represented Chicago Electrical Workers Local 1031 business manager, M. Frank Darling, while he was under investigation for paying the inexperienced, newly opened insurance brokerage owned by Allen Dorfman, his father Paul Dorfman, and his mother Rose, millions of dollars of funds paid to Local 1031 by employers per union contract agreements, in exchange for health insurance coverage of Local 1031's union members. Stanford Clinton was counsel for the Dorfmans. Jenner explained to the Committee and its counsel that Mr. Darling did not understand the concept of a retention rate related to excess health insurance premiums paid to the Dorfmans. During that same hearing, Jimmy Hoffa challenged Jenner's client, Darling's claim of inability to understand retention percentage. Darling had permitted the Dorfmans a 100 percent retention of excess premiums paid, while the Committee was critical of Jimmy Hoffa allowing the Dorfmans to retain just 17-1/2 percent of excess Teamsters Union paid premiums.
Minutes of a 1982 State of New Jersey Casino Control Commission hearing (From page 471) related to an application by a Pritzker family affiliated business, to obtain a hotel-casino license, revealed that Stanford Clinton was, for a long period, attorney for the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund. Also disclosed was that Clinton was a law partner of the Pritzker family law firm, that Jimmy Hoffa praised Stanford Clinton's legal work, and that, to avoid conflict of interests when the Pritzker family applied for hotel development loans from the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund, Jenner's law firm, Thompson, Raymond, Mayer, Jenner was representing the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund when the Pritzker family requested loans from that Teamsters Pension Fund.(From page 471)
Although the FBI questioned Paul Dorfman and confirmed Dorfman's association with Jack Ruby, (see Warren Commission exhibit CE 1279) there is nothing in the Warren Commission Report about Jenner's legal representation of Dorfman insurance brokerage client, M. Frank Darling, or about Jenner's law firm's cooperation with Stanford Clinton in representing the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund, linked in the above cited, 1982 New Jersey report, to Allen Dorfman.
In 1946, fearing for his life, Chicago organized crime leader James M. Ragen contacted Clark through newspaper columnist Drew Pearson to obtain the protection of federal agents in exchange for information. A dozen FBI agents were sent to Chicago to interrogate Ragen. After checking and confirming the details of mob activity provided by Ragen, Tom Clark withdrew Ragen's FBI protection for lack of federal jurisdiction to prosecute the suspects Ragen named. Almost immediately, Ragen was seriously wounded by gunfire. Several suspects were arrested but no one was prosecuted due to the disappearance of some witnesses and the lack of cooperation of others. Ragen's condition was improving after the shooting, but he died suddenly in the hospital of mercury poisoning. Drew Pearson hinted in his syndicated column in October 1963 that Clark had told him that the FBI confirmed Ragen's accusations of Chicago mob control by leading businessmen and politicians. This was confirmed in the posthumous publication, eleven years later, of Drew Pearson's Diaries, 1949–1959; Tom Clark had told Pearson that Ragen stated that Henry Crown, the Hilton Hotels chain, and Walter Annenberg controlled the mob.
Despite the disturbing information about Henry Crown, et al., Drew Pearson claimed was provided to him by Clark in 1946, Justice Tom Clark appointed Crown's son, John, as one of two of his 1956 Supreme Court session law clerks. In December 1963, when Chief Justice Earl Warren, acting as head of the newly formed Presidential Commission investigating the death of President Kennedy, suggested the appointment to the Warren Commission of Henry Crown's attorney, Albert E. Jenner, Jr., at that time, Jenner's law firm employed Crown's son, John Crown, as a law associate, and later as a law partner.
Henry Crown and his close friend, Sam Nanini, were reported in March 1977 to have had relationships with organized crime.
As Attorney General, Tom Clark was accused of impropriety in the early parole of convicted Chicago crime boss, Louis Campagna and three others. Sam Nanini wrote a letter in 1947 to the federal bureau of prisons advocating parole for Campagna.
- Kenneth A. Manaster, Illinois Justice: The Scandal of 1969 and the Rise of John Paul Stevens (University of Chicago Press, 2001) (for Jenner's role in the Solfisburg-Klingbiel hearings)
- John C. Tucker, Trial and Error: The Education of a Courtroom Lawyer (Carroll & Graf Publishers 2003) (memoir includes stories of Jenner from 1950s and 1960s)
- Bugliosi, Vincent (2007). Reclaiming history: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. p. 343. ISBN 0-393-04525-0.
- Laura Kalman (1990). Abe Fortas. Yale University Press. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
- Tamarkin, Bob (December 7, 1986). "The Ordeal of Lester Crown". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved 2014-12-08.
- John C. Tucker, Trial and Error. The Education of a Courtroom Lawyer, Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2009 ISBN 0-7867-1457-3 (p. 138)
- Jacobs, John (November 2, 1977). "Kleindienst Says He Helped Man Get Teamsters' Contract" (PDF). The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. Retrieved 2014-12-08.
- Gibson, Donald (2000). The Kennedy assassination cover-up Page 96. Kroshka Books Div. of Nova Science Publishers.
- JONATHAN MARSHALL (1996-11-18). "ON ECONOMICS: – How Kennedy Assassination Affected Some Stock Prices". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Evica, George Michael (1978). And we are all mortal: new evidence and analysis in the John F. Kennedy Page 387. Not Listed.
- Pearson, Drew; Abell, Tyler (1974). Drew Pearson Diaries Volume I, 1949–1959. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. ISBN 0030014263.
- Drew Pearson (1963-10-26). "'Songbird' Was Murdered". The Palm Beach Post.
- Scott, Peter Dale (1996). Deep Politics and the Death of JFK pg 155. University of California Press.
- Gentry, Curt (2001). J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 332.
- Summers, Anthony (1993). Official and confidential: the secret life of J. Edgar Hoover. G.P. Putnam's Sons. p. Page 227.
- https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&tbs=bks%3A1&q=high+places+%22henry+crown%22+annenberg&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=. Missing or empty
- Evica, George Michael (1978). And we are all mortal:. University of Hartford Press. p. Page 387.
- Item notes: nos. 51–90 –. Washington observer newsletter Issues 51–90. 1968.
- Chris Heidenrich (August 3, 1997). "Ex-farmer, judge Crown remembered as 'wise,...". Daily Herald.
- Demaris, Ovid (1969). Captive city – Page 230. Lyle Stuart Inc. NY.
- Investigative Reporters and Editors aka IRE (1977-03-19). "According To Investigative Reporters Webb Corp. Linked To Crime". The Indiana Gazette Page 31.
- JAMES DOHERTY (April 11, 1947). "PAROLE PROBERS TO ASK QUIZ OF TEXAS LAWYER". The Chicago Tribune.
- Demaris, Ovid (1969). Captive city – Page 219. Lyle Stuart Inc. NY.
- Westbrook Pegler (June 8, 1958). "More To Sam Nanini Than You Read Page 9". The Milwaukee Journal Page 5.
- Biography from GMU School of Law
- History of Jenner & Block at the firm's website
- Obituary from the New York Times
- University of Illinois College of Law Newsletter, February 2007 at the Wayback Machine (archived May 4, 2007)