The Associated Press’s annual compendium of notables who died in 2017 includes a mix of folks who worked both in and outside the courtroom on a range of issues. Every name on the selected list below should ring a bell to those continuing their work in the industry.
Feb. 18, age 69. McCorvey’s legal challenge under the pseudonym “Jane Roe” led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision that legalized abortion but she later became an outspoken opponent of the procedure.
Feb. 26, age 97. The retired Los Angeles “Judge Wapner” presided over “The People’s Court” with steady force during the heyday of the reality courtroom show.
Lynne F. Stewart
March 7, age 77. Stewart was a rebellious civil rights lawyer who was sentenced to a decade behind bars for helping a notorious Egyptian terrorist communicate with followers from his U.S. jail cell.
Richard ‘Racehorse’ Haynes
April 28, age 90. A Houston lawyer famed for his flamboyant but successful trial defenses of millionaire and billionaire clients in some of Texas’ most notorious murder cases.
July 10, age 67. Dukes was the Walmart greeter who took the retail giant all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in the largest gender bias class-action lawsuit in U.S. history.
Sept. 12, age 88. A gay rights pioneer, Windsor won a landmark Supreme Court case striking down parts of a federal anti-gay-marriage law and paved a path toward legalizing same-sex nuptials nationwide.