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Walter Edward Hoffman Edit Profile

judge , Lawyer

Walter Edward Hoffman, American judge. Bar: Virginia 1929, United States District Court (eastern district) Virginia 1930, United States Supreme Court 1945. Recipient Herbert Harley award, American Judicature Society, 1976, Devitt award, 1983. Member of American Bar Association, Virginia State Bar Association, Norfolk Yacht and Country Club, Cosmopolitan Club of Norfolk (president 1953), Shriners (past potentate)., Masons.

Background

Hoffman, Walter Edward was born on July 18, 1907 in Jersey City. Son of Walter and Ella Adele (Sharp) Hoffman.

Education

Bachelor of Science in Economics, University Pennsylvania, 1928. Postgraduate in law, College William and Mary, 1928—1929. Doctor of Laws, College William and Mary, 1985.

Bachelor of Laws, Washington and Lee University, 1931. Doctor of Laws, Washington and Lee University, 1970.

Career

He was in private practice in Norfolk, Virginia from 1931 to 1954, and taught at the College of William and Mary School of Law as an assistant professor from 1933 to 1942. From 1942 to 1944, in addition to his private practice as a trial lawyer, Hoffman served as a Referee in Bankruptcy for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. 8. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on July 14, 1954, and received his commission the following day.

Hoffman served as chief judge from 1961 to 1973, and assumed senior status on September 3, 1974. During his judicial career, Hoffman drew considerable praise as well as criticism (including a cross being burned on his lawn) for his handling of cases involving Massive resistance and desegregation of schools in Norfolk and Hampton Roads. Judge Hoffman also directed the Federal Judicial Center from 1974 to 1977, handled several cases involving boundary disputes between states at the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court, and presided over the trial of fellow judge Harry E. Claiborne, as well as sentenced Vice-President Spiro Agnew after his plea of nolo contendere.

A firm believer in litigants' rights to a speedy trial, Hoffman introduced the "rocket docket" in his district, which continues today. A federal judge for 42 years, until his death in Norfolk, the Walter E. Hoffman United States Courthouse in Norfolk is named in his honor.

Achievements

  • Bar: Virginia 1929, United States District Court (eastern district) Virginia 1930, United States Supreme Court 1945.

Religion

On June 29, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower nominated Hoffman to a new seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia created by 68 Stat.

Politics

The state should not attempt to control the church, nor should the church seek to dominate the state. The separation of church and state should not be misconstrued as the abolition of all religious expression from public life.

Views

The family is encompassing a wider range of options than that of the two-generational unit of parents and children.

Membership

Member of American Bar Association, Virginia State Bar Association, Norfolk Yacht and Country Club, Cosmopolitan Club of Norfolk (president 1953), Shriners (past potentate)., Masons.

Connections

Married Evelyn Virginia Watkins, April 6, 1939 (deceased). Married Helen Caulfield, November 6, 1971. Children: Carole Hoffman Hancock, Walter Edward.

father:
Walter Hoffman

mother:
Ella Adele (Sharp) Hoffman

spouse:
Evelyn Virginia Watkins

spouse:
Helen Caulfield

child:
Carole Hoffman Hancock Hoffman

child:
Walter Edward Hoffman