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Harold R. Medina Papers regarding Service to Princeton University

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Harold Medina was a noted jurist, Princeton alumnus, and creator of a Bar preparation course. He was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 16, 1888, the son of Joaquin A. and Elizabeth M. Medina. He attended Princeton University, where he graduated in 1909 with highest honors in French. Medina continued to be an engaged alumnus for the rest of his life; he was Princeton's oldest living alumnus for many years.

Medina earned his law degree (LL.B.) from Columbia in 1912. After graduating Columbia, Medina was admitted to the New York bar in 1912 and was an associate with the firm Davies, Auerbach and Cornell from 1912-1918. He was a senior member of the firm Medina and Sherpick from 1918-1947, and taught law at Columbia from 1915-1940. Medina was appointed to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in 1947, and served until 1951, at which time he was appointed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Medina, Harold R. (Harold Raymond), 1888-1990

Harold Raymond Medina was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 16, 1888, the son of Joaquin A. and Elizabeth M. Medina. He attended Princeton University, where he graduated in 1909 with highest honors in French. Medina continued to be an engaged alumnus for the rest of his life; he was Princeton's oldest living alumnus for many years.

Medina earned his law degree (LL.B.) from Columbia in 1912, and was eventually awarded honorary degrees from Columbia, St. Johns, Dartmouth, Williams, Bates, Princeton, Northeastern, and many others.

After graduating Columbia, Medina was admitted to the New York bar in 1912 and was an associate with the firm Davies, Auerbach and Cornell from 1912-1918. He was a senior member of the firm Medina and Sherpick from 1918-1947, and taught law at Columbia from 1915-1940. Medina was appointed to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in 1947, and served until 1951, at which time he was appointed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Beginning in 1912, and throughout the course of his career as a lawyer, Medina led a New York Bar preparation course. At its peak, there were 1,600 students in the course.

Medina first gained widespread public attention (culminating with his face on the cover of Time Magazine in October 1949), when from January through October of that year, he presided over United States v. Foster (known, on appeal, as United States v. Dennis), the trial of eleven Communist Party, USA leaders under the Smith Act.

A second spike of public attention came in 1952, when he presided over United States v. Morgan et al., more commonly known as the Investment Bankers Case. In this case, the antitrust division of the Department of Justice charged 17 of the biggest U.S. investment banking firms -- and the Investment Bankers' Association of America -- with conspiracy to monopolize the securities business. The complaint said that the defendants had managed the sales of nearly 69% of some $20 billion worth of securities issued by the syndicate method (several houses working together) in the last ten years. They did so, the Government charged, by eliminating competition among themselves and preventing the use of competitive bidding for new issues. However, the Justice Department failed to make a compelling case. Medina sharply criticized Justice Department attorneys for failing to be clear in their explanation of how the defendants violated the Sherman antitrust act, and in the end, ruled in favor of the investment banking firms.

Medina was well-known for his passion for books, particularly classical languages and literatures. He was instrumental in the founding of a public library in Westhampton, New York, where he lived.

Medina died in 1990 at the age of 102.

These records document Judge Harold Medina's role as a trustee of Princeton University, a member of the Graduate Council, and a member of the advisory council for modern languages and literatures.

These records were donated by Harold R. Medina as part of the Harold R. Medina papers (MC174). They were separated and made their own collection in 2011.

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Publisher
University Archives
Finding Aid Date
2011
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The collection is open for research.

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Collection Inventory

Graduate Council, 1950-1965. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Trustee, 1955-1966. 2 boxes.
Physical Description

2 boxes

Advisory Council, Modern Languages and Literatures, 1942-1946. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

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