Walter Beer

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This article was considered for deletion at Wikipedia on September 23 2017. This is a backup of Wikipedia:Walter_Beer. All of its AfDs can be found at Wikipedia:Special:PrefixIndex/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Walter_Beer, the first at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Walter_Beer. Purge

Walter Beer (1904-1999) was a 20th-century American lawyer, best known as a co-founder of the law firm Beer, Richards, Lane, Haller & Buttenwieser; he and many of his associated lawyers defended Alger Hiss in criminal, corporate, and personal matters.[1][2][3]


Walter Eugene Beer, Jr., was born on November 17, 1904, in New York City, the youngest of three children (two sisters). His parents were Walter Eugene Beer, Sr. (born December 15, 1870), a graduate of Harvard University, and Bella Rosalie Nathan (born June 4, 1895). In 1922, he completed high school at Choate School. In 1926, he received a BA from Harvard University, followed by an LLB from Harvard Law School in 1929.[1][2][4][5]


In 1929, Beer passed the New York Bar and joined the law firm Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, where he remained until 1941.[2][6]

In 1941 during World War II, Beer joined the legal staff of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and War Production Board, where he served until 1944.[2]

In 1945, Beer became one of the founders of Beer, Richards, Lane, Haller & Buttenwieser.[3] Partners included: Stewart W. Richards, Chester T. Lane, Helen Lehman Buttenwieser, H. Kenneth Haller, and Gertrude Schwartz. After Buttenwieser left the firm in 1959, the firm's named changed toBeer, Richards, Haller & O'Niel[3]. The firm dissolved in 1973.[1][2][7][8]).

In 1974, he worked with Lankenau, Kovner, Bickford & Beer (later Lankenau Kovner & Kurtz,[9]). In 1975, he became counsel at Bleakley, Platt, Schmidt & Fritz until 1981. In 1976, he was serving as "counsel to the travel program" at the U.S. Department of State.[10] In 1981, he joined Miller, Montgomery, Sogi & Brady. In 1983, he joined Kelley Drye & Warren.[1][2][3]

Alger Hiss attorneys

In 1929, Beer graduated from Harvard Law School in the same class as Alger Hiss.[2]

At least three lawyers from Beer's firm helped defend Alger Hiss either during Hiss's two perjury trials in 1949 or after his conviction in January 1950:

In 1959, Hiss hired Beer as "general counsel" for Feathercombs, a company that had employed Hiss, to review contracts and legal issues. Beer found evidence of a patent infringement against a comb made by Feathercombs and recommended that the company file a suit against its manufacturer. Confident of a win, Feathercombs turned down a buyout offer from Gilette. Without an accompanying injunction to halt manufacture and competition, however, Feathercombs lost sales, and Hiss left the company.[12]

In 1970, Beer's name appears as a donor to Mount Sinai Hospital (Manhattan) just before that of Dr. Carl Binger, family friend of Carol Weiss King and in 1949 psychiatric expert during the second trial of Alger Hiss.[23]

Personal and death

Beer's appear in a biography about passengers on the RMS Titanic called A Titanic Love Story.[24] He was a cousin of Margaret G. Arnstein, dean of Yale University's School of Nursing. Before he was ten years old, Beer had grown up in France and spoke and wrote only in French.[25]

In 1930, Beer married Florence Louise Fay; they had two sons.[1][2][3]

He was a trustee of Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx and active in Long Island College Hospital.[1]

Beer died age 95 on August 21, 1999, in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, New York.[1]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "Beer, Walter E.". New York Times. 27 August 1999. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 "Walter Eugene Beer". PRA Book. Retrieved 19 September 2017. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Walter Eugene Beer, Jr.". Harvard Magazine, Volume 102 (Harvard University): 110. 1999. Retrieved 2 October 2017. 
  4. "Walter Eugene Beer". Secretary's Report, Issue 7, of Harvard University Class of 1880 (Rumford Press): 11, 29 (bio) 181 (children),. 1921. Retrieved 2 October 2017. 
  5. Harvard Law School Bulletin, Volumes 18-20. Harvard Law School. 1966. pp. 17 (1929). Retrieved 2 October 2017. 
  6. "18 F. Supp. 131 (1937) SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. ELECTRIC BOND & SHARE CO. et al. (POWER SECURITIES CORPORATION et al., Interveners) District Court, S. D. New York.". Justia. 29 January 1937. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  7. "SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. ELECTRIC BOND & SHARE CO. et al. (POWER SECURITIES CORPORATION et al., Interveners)". Harvard University Library. 2004. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  8. "United States of America, Plaintiff-respondent, v. Eve B. Pahmer, Defendant-appellee, Eva Pahmer, Defendant-appellant, 238 F.2d 431 (2d Cir. 1956)". Justia. 1 November 1956. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  9. "LANKENAU KOVNER & KURTZ v. MARTIN". Leagle. 1997. Retrieved 19 September 2017. 
  10. Travel Program for Foreign Diplomats, Inc: Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Ninety-fourth Congress, Second Session. US GPO. 22 March 1976. pp. 9, 11 (counselor). Retrieved 2 October 2017. 
  11. Howe, Irving (9 April 1979). "Alger Hiss Retried: Perjury". New York Times. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 White, G. Edward (2004). Alger Hiss's Looking-Glass War: The Covert Life of a Soviet Spy. Oxford University Press. pp. ix (role), 57 (Rosenwald), 58 (Lane, Buttenwieser) 127 (Feathercombs), 175 (psychological). ISBN 0190288418. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  13. "Alger Hiss Denies Ever Turning Over Any State Papers: Statement Is Second Disavowal of Any Illicit Trafficking With Whittaker Chambers". New York Times. 13 December 1948. 
  14. "United States v Alger Hiss". US Government Printing Office. 7 December 1950. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  15. "Hiss Jury Is Picked for Perjury Trial; He Asks for Dismissal: Stryker Holds Testimony Given Last Day Grand Jurors Sat Could Not Delay Justice". New York Times. 1 June 1949. 
  16. "Ex-Wife of Eisler Barred as Witness in the Trial of Hiss". New York Times. 2 July 1949. 
  17. "Jury Is Selected for 2d Hiss Trial: Eight Women, One of Whom Is Foreman, and Four Men to Hear Perjury Charges". New York Times. 18 November 1949. 
  18. "Weekend at the Movies: The Trials of Alger Hiss". Washington Post. 5 December 1980. 
  19. "Lane, Chester T. Briefs, 1937-1942: Finding Aid". Harvard University Library. 1 October 1980. Retrieved 19 September 2017. 
  20. "Zeligs, Meyer Aaron. Papers, 1923-1978: Finding Aid". Harvard University Library. 1 October 1980. Retrieved 19 September 2017. 
  21. Anderson, Susan Heller (23 November 1989). "Helen Buttenwieser, 84, Lawyer and Civic Leader". New York Times. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  22. "Buttenwieser, Helen L.. Papers of Helen L. Buttenwieser, 1909-1990". Harvard Law School. February 1994. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  23. Annual Report (1970). Mount Sinai Hospital (New York, NY). 1970. pp. 45. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  24. {cite book | first = June Hall | last = McCash | title = A Titanic Love Story: Ida and Isidor Straus | publisher = Mercer University Press | url = | pages = 101–102 | date = 2012 | accessdate = 2 October 2017}}
  25. "Yale University School of Nursing Alumnae Association Newsletter, Winter 1973 [Arnstein Memorial Issue"]. Yale University. 1973. Retrieved 17 September 2017.