Julian Tepper

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  • "Brilliant and formidable! Miss him! sincerely, Neal (H...."
  • "Brilliant guy and attorney. He will be missed."
    - Jay Bernstein
  • "...I will miss you Julian and our secret goes on forever!"
    - Jerry Rhome
  • "Julian had a wonderful wife Myrna Statland a childhood..."
    - Alan Levy
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Tepper, Julian

Julian Tepper, 76, well-known attorney, passed away on June 26, 2017 as a result of complications following a car accident in Florida. He was living at the time in West Palm Beach, Florida, and was laid to rest on June 28, 2017 in Ofakim, Israel. He is survived by five children from two marriages, Aryeh (John), Gregory, Robert, Taylor and Callie; five grandchildren, Micha'el, Dani'el, Miriam, Yael and Luke. Tepper's two other children daughter, Jayne, died in 1973 and his son, James, died in 1975. The deaths of these two children impacted Julian greatly throughout his life, as he tried to always better conditions of others as reflected in his legal work.

Julian worked in his later years with the Albuquerque law firm Walz and Associates before retiring. Julian practiced in the field of civil rights and railway accidents, and other significant cases that impacted the State of New Mexico as well as many public entities and public employees.

"Working with an attorney with Julian's experience was a real pleasure. He was a consummate professional" said Jerry Walz on behalf of the firm. "We will all miss him greatly," he added.

Tepper was born in Washington, D.C. attended Woodrow Wilson High School and received a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Maryland.

He graduated from Columbia Law School in 1965. Later, Tepper attended Cambridge University in England and received an advanced degree in Criminology, Prisons & Deviant Behavior. He returned to the United States in 1968.

Form '68 - 71, Julian was a noted trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice where he litigated School Desegregation and Employment and Union Discrimination cases. Major cases included the Indianapolis school desegregation case, the Roadway trucking employment discrimination case, and statewide school desegregation cases in Florida and Texas.

In the early 1970s, Tepper was the Executive Director for DC Neighborhood Legal Services Program and the Director of the NLADA National Law Office. He handled law reform issues in the areas of prisons and mental retardation; served as negotiator at the Attica prison and DC Jail takeovers; ended sordid practices at the "Clockwork Orange" prison (the Patuxent Institution for Defective Delinquents); achieved a contested constitutional right to an education suited to the needs of disabled and otherwise handicapped children; and brought a successful practices & conditions case against Willowbrook on Staten Island. Form 1974-2008 he worked as an attorney in the private sector.

Tepper received national notoriety by serving as lead counsel in the groundbreaking case of Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia decided at the appellate level in 1972. There, Tepper through his litigation skills opened the schoolhouse doors to children who had been precluded based on being "exceptional" pursuant to various disabilities. The federal appellate decision served as a forerunner to many federal laws and court opinions that protected the rights of disabled children in the public schools.

From 2004-2007 Tepper hosted his own radio program, The Tepper Show (Talk Back to the News), on WTNT -AM Radio. The program provided a platform for Tepper's independent mind, witty conversational style and abundant sense of humor.

Tepper was an avid reader, a lover of music, a sports enthusiast, especially for his Washington, D.C. teams, and he was particularly proud of having coached all of his children's soccer teams.

Prior to his retirement from the practice of law in New Mexico, Julian lived in Placitas, NM, where he made many friends. Following retirement he moved to New York and subsequently moved to West Palm Beach, Florida.

Funeral arrangements handled by Eden Funeral Services in Miami, FL.

Published in Albuquerque Journal on July 20, 2017
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