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Samuel Joshua Silverman Edit Profile


Samuel Joshua Silverman, American Lawyer. Bar: New York. Board of directors University Settlement, New York City, 1960-1974. Fellow American College Trial Lawyers; member American Bar Association, Association Bar City New York, American Law Institute.


Silverman, Samuel Joshua was born on September 25, 1908 in Odessa, Russia. Son of Benjamin and Ida (Kagarlitzky) Silverman. came to the United States, 1913.


Silverman graduated from with distinction from Columbia College in 1928, and earned his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1930.


Soon he became an assistant corporation counsel for New York City's government. Shortly thereafter he became a partner at a firm that would become Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. During his tenure Silverman represented Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, the nuclear physicist, at a 1954 loyalty hearing conducted by a panel of the Atomic Energy Commission.

Later, Silverman represented Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank, in a lawsuit over a proposed stage adaptation of the famous Diary of Anne Frank. A Democrat, Silverman was elected to state supreme court in 1962. He served there for four years before in 1966 becoming involved in a highly-public campaign with then-Senator Robert F. Kennedy, egged on by Liberal Party leader Alex Rose, to end patronage corruption in New York's Surrogate Court.

In a 1967 constitutional convention Silverman's core proposal to abolish the surrogate court and reassign its jurisdiction to a rotation group of state supreme court justices was defeated. Silverman was promoted to the Appellate Division in 1976. He remained at the state supreme court until he retired in 1984, when he returned as senior counsel for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.


  • ("Don't die in the city of New York, don't die--if you want to leave anything to your wife and children," Kennedy exhorted) Silverman won in a landslide, but his efforts at reform were hindered.


Silverman died at aged 92 at the Weill Cornell Medical Center of New York-Presbyterian Hospital.


Specifically, members of the Democratic and Republican parties were cross endorsing each other's candidates for the court in order to promote individuals who would skim commission from inheritance cases and introduce some of these funds back into the political machine.


Son of; married Claire Gfroerer, August 21, 1941.

Benjamin Silverman

Ida (Kagarlitzky) Silverman

Claire Gfroerer