Nizer, Louis

Nizer, Louis

(1902–94) lawyer, author; born in London, England. He immigrated to the U.S.A. at age three. Noted for this oratorical skills as a youth, he graduated from Columbia University's law school (1924). He formed the law firm Phillips, Nizer, Benjamin & Krim in 1926 and remained with it throughout his career. He soon came to represent the New York association of movie companies and then represented many famous entertainers such as Charlie Chaplin and Mae West; he became the general counsel for the Motion Picture Association of America; he also became a recognized authority on contracts, copyright, and plagiarism law. Perhaps his best-known case was the successful libel suit by Quentin Reynolds against Westbrook Pegler (1954). A man of many talents, he was a caricaturist and painter, he wrote both words and music of songs, he was much in demand as a toastmaster, and he wrote many articles and books, including My Life in Court (1961) and The Jury Returns (1966).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.