Hubert Irving Teitelbaum
Hubert Irving Teitelbaum (July 2, 1915 – January 5, 1995) was a United States federal judge.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Teitelbaum received an A.B. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1937 and an LL.B. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1940. He was a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1940 to 1943. He was a captain in the United States Army during World War II and in its immediate aftermath, from 1944 to 1947. He was a division chief for the U.S. Department of the Army in the Federal Republic of Germany from 1947 to 1949. He was in private practice in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1949 to 1955. He was a first assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania from 1955 to 1958. He was the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania from 1958 to 1961. He was in private practice in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1961 to 1971. He was an adjunct professor of law at Duquesne University School of Law from 1977 to 1995.
Teitelbaum was a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Teitelbaum was nominated by President Richard Nixon on November 24, 1970, to a seat vacated by Wallace S. Gourley. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 11, 1970, and received his commission on December 12, 1970. He served as chief judge from 1982-1985. He assumed senior status on July 2, 1985. Teitelbaum served in that capacity until January 5, 1995, when he died of pneumonia at his home at the age of 79.
Specifically, in a court proceeding on Friday, July 8, 1988, Judge Teitelbaum ordered Wolvovitz, who used her maiden name as her surname, to use instead her husband's surname as her surname. Judge Teitelbaum told Wolvovitz that, if she did not comply with his order, she would "sleep in the county jail" that night. He then held Wolvovitz's co-counsel, Jon Pushinsky, in contempt of court for objecting to his order, sentencing Pushinsky to 30 days in jail, with the sentence to begin after the conclusion of the trial. During the same proceeding, Judge Teitelbaum also barred Pushinsky from using the title "Ms." when referring to a particular woman who had testified, saying later in the proceeding, "I ordinarily do not allow anyone to use that 'Ms.' in this courtroom."
When the trial reconvened on Monday, July 11, 1988, Wolvovitz moved for a mistrial. Judge Teitelbaum responded, "What if I call you sweetie?" He then said that he would address her as "counselor." He also vacated his contempt citation of Pushinsky.
On Wednesday, July 13, 1988, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a front-page article about the court proceeding that had occurred the previous Friday. The following day, the Associated Press published an article about Judge Teitelbaum's conduct during the trial. Also on July 14, 1988, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published an editorial denouncing Judge Teitelbaum's behavior, calling it "blatant verbal bullying" and "shockingly sexist treatment."
On Friday, July 15, 1988, while the trial's jury was deliberating, Judge Teitelbaum apologized to Wolvovitz, saying, "I have always referred to married women by their married name. This is the way my generation was taught. I recognize your right to be addressed in any manner in which you see fit, and I apologize for my comments and the resulting situation."
On November 10, 1988, Judge Teitelbaum said that, three weeks earlier, he had told Maurice Cohill, the chief judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, that he would transfer most of his cases to other judges. He stated that he would keep his courtroom and would hear appeals in Social Security cases and appeals in criminal cases involving routine constitutional issues. Judge Teitelbaum said that he had taken this step "on [his] own volition and not because of anything connected with Ms. Wolvovitz." He stated, "I'm 73 years old and I think it's about time I ease up my trial schedule. There's no other reason."
- Hubert Teitelbaum, former chief judge, dies, Associated Press, reprinted in The Beaver County Times (January 8, 1995), page A12. Retrieved on April 10, 2012.
- Joyce Gannon, Legal pioneer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (March 15, 2009). Retrieved on April 10, 2012.
- Ed Phillips, Lawyer misses with Ms., Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (July 13, 1988), pages 1 and 9. Retrieved on April 10, 2012.
- Id. at 9.
- Id. at 1, 9.
- Tara Bradley-Steck, Judge who won't say Ms.: 'What if I call you sweetie?', Associated Press, reprinted in the Nashua Telegraph (July 14, 1988), page 1. Retrieved on April 10, 2012.
- Id.; Associated Press, U.S. Judge Won't Allow Lawyer 'to Use That Ms.' (July 14, 1988). Retrieved on April 10, 2012.
- Ed Phillips, Lawyer misses with Ms., Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (July 13, 1988), page 9. Retrieved on April 10, 2012.
- Id. at 1.
- U.S. Judge Won't Allow Lawyer 'to Use That Ms.', Associated Press (July 14, 1988). Retrieved on April 10, 2012.
- Sexism on the bench, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (July 14, 1988), page 8. Retrieved on April 10, 2012.
- Tara Bradley-Steck, Federal Judge Apologizes In Fight Over Use of 'Ms.', Associated Press (July 15, 1988). Retrieved on April 10, 2012.
- Tara Bradley-Steck, Controversial Judge Transfers Cases, Associated Press (November 10, 1988). Retrieved on April 10, 2012.
- Hubert Irving Teitelbaum at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
Wallace Samuel Gourley
|Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
| Succeeded by|
Donald J. Lee