United States District Judge Stanley S. Brotman
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AGE: 89 • Voorhees
United States District Judge Stanley S. Brotman died on February 21, 2014, at the age of 89. He is survived by his wife, Suzanne, his son, Richard, and his daughter, Alison.
Judge Brotman was born and lived in Vineland, New Jersey, until he moved to Voorhees, NJ about six years ago. Vineland is adjacent to Brotmanville, which is where his father's family settled after immigrating to the United States in the late 1800s. He felt a deep kinship to the area and returned there to start his career and family after serving in World War II and subsequently earning an undergraduate degree from Yale and a law degree from Harvard. His favorite Uncle, Aaron, died young but inspired him to become a lawyer. A photograph of Aaron always hung in the Judge's office.
When the U.S. entered World War II, Judge Brotman enlisted in the army. His intelligence must have been apparent even at an early age of 18. He was placed in the Specialized Training Program for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS, now the CIA). He studied the Burmese language and was stationed in Burma during the war. Stanley received an honorable discharge in 1945 but was recalled to active duty during the Korean campaign in 1951 and was assigned to the Army Forces Security Agency in Washington, DC because of his skills.
Upon his final retirement from military service in 1952, Judge Brotman opened his own law office in Vineland, NJ. Stanley and his former preceptor, Samuel L. Shapiro, formed a firm which eventually grew to the largest firm in Vineland. He was extremely active in his practice, the community and the Bar. Just as a few examples, he was on the State Board of Bar Examiners, President of the State Bar Association, and a Delegate from the New Jersey State Bar to the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association. He also received numerous awards throughout his career, including for example, the American Judicature Society Herbert Harley Award in 1994 in recognition of his services promoting the effective administration of justice, the William J. Brennan Jr. award from the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey and the Special Recognition Award from the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey, both in 1975 and the John Gerry Award from the Camden County bar Association in 2001.
In 1975, he was appointed by President Gerald Ford to be federal judge for the District of New Jersey. He also periodically sat on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
In 1979, Judge Brotman began "sitting by designation" in the Virgin Islands to address backlogs, vacancies and prolonged illnesses of the resident federal judges. He was the Acting Chief Judge of the district court of the Virgin Islands from December 1989 to August 1992. This led to a very close, deep, mutual respect and bond with the Virgin Islands and its people. In April, 2005, the Governor of the Virgin Islands declared a Judge Brotman day. While serving in the Virgin Islands, in 1989, Judge Brotman was caught in Hurricane Hugo. The hurricane devastated 80 percent of the island and the local prison was damaged - over 200 prisoners escaped. Since Judge Brotman had sentenced many of these escaped prisoners, the US Marshall evacuated Judge Brotman from the islands. Within 36 hours he voluntarily returned to the islands and began to rebuild the federal courts. He felt that the people needed assurance that they were protected and not forgotten. He also led the charge to revise and improve the current judicial system on the islands.
In 1997, Chief Justice William Rehnquist of the United States Supreme Court appointed Judge Brotman to a seven-year term on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (the "FISA" court). The Court is charged by statute to hear applications for and to authorize, where appropriate, clandestine surveillance operations.
Judge Brotman retired from the federal bench in late September of 2013. One of his final actions was to approve a settlement on a lawsuit alleging unconstitutional conditions in the Virgin Island prisons.
The Funeral will be held on Tuesday, February 25, 2014. Funeral Services will be held at Beth Israel Synagogue at 1015 Park Avenue, Vineland, NJ, 856-691-0852. Visitation will begin at 1 pm. Services will begin at 2 pm. A graveside service will follow at the Alliance Cemetery, 970 Gershall Ave., Norma, NJ 08347. Donations in memory of Stanley may be made to: Beth Israel Congregation, 1015 East Park Avenue, Vineland, NJ 08360. Arrangements are under the supervision of Rone Funeral Service, 1110 East Chestnut Avenue, Vineland, NJ 08360. To send online condolences please visit our website at WWW.RONEFUNERALSERVICE.COM
Rone Funeral Service
1110 East Chestnut Avenue
Vineland, NJ 08360
Published in The Daily Journal from Feb. 24 to Feb. 25, 2014