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Finding Aid for the Hugh R. Manes papers, 1940-2009
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Hugh R. Manes papers
    Date (inclusive): 1940-2009
    Collection number: 1854
    Creator: Manes, Hugh R.
    Extent: 46 boxes (23 linear ft.)
    Abstract: Hugh R. Manes (1924-2009) was a civil rights attorney most well-known for representing victims of police misconduct in the Los Angeles area. Manes practiced law for more than forty years and also advocated for disenfranchised groups during peak civil rights moments in US history. Manes was an early member of several legal advocacy organizations, including the ACLU, and helped to found the State Bar certified Police Watch. Before his retirement, Manes was in private practice with partner Carol Watson. The collection contains the case files of many of the more than 400 cases that Manes tried during his prolific career. Documents include published and unpublished manuscripts, legal briefs, correspondences, photos, clippings, financial records, receipts, and handwritten legal notes. Other materials include cassette recordings, reel-to-reel audio recordings, and travel memorabilia.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library of Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Carol W. Watson, 2010.

    Processing Note

    Processed by Stacy Macias in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Kelley Wolfe Bachli, 2010.
    The processing of this collection was generously supported by Arcadia   funds.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Hugh R. Manes papers (Collection 1854). Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 6652064 


    Hugh R. Manes was a civil rights attorney, senior partner, legal advocate, published author, lecturer, and consultant who practiced law in Los Angeles for the majority of his career. As an attorney, Manes specialized in criminal and constitutional law, and since the 1960s represented victims of police misconduct, brutality, and abuse. Manes tried more than 400 cases throughout his professional career, and served as a civil rights legal advocate during critical social justice struggles in both the Los Angeles area and in the South. He lectured extensively and authored journal articles, reports, and seminar syllabi on topics related to police misconduct practices, civil rights litigation, legal activism, and populations socially, economically, and politically disenfranchised from the legal sphere. Manes worked with legal advocacy organizations including the National Lawyers Guild and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and helped to establish the State Bar certified Police Watch (formerly Police Misconduct Lawyers Referral Service). He was also a member of the Board of Directors of National Coalition of Concerned Legal Professionals, Southern California Coalition of Concerned Legal Professionals, and California Attorneys for Criminal Justice.
    Born on July 7, 1924 in Chicago, Manes was raised in a middle-class Jewish family. While in high school and college, Manes wrote creatively. After graduating from high school, Manes joined the Army and served in Europe during World War II until he was injured and awarded a Purple Heart and Silver Star. In 1949 he earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and in 1952 a Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern University Law School. He began practicing law under the auspices of A.L. Wirin, who was chief counsel of the ACLU in Los Angeles. During this span of his career, Manes served as part of a legal team representing disenfranchised African-Americans in Mississippi, Japanese-Americans who had been interned during WWII, and resisters of the draft during the Vietnam War. Manes practiced solo beginning in 1955, and from 1968 to 1970 was a partner in Finkel, Manes & Stewart. In the 1970s, Manes prevailed in two landmark police misconduct cases upholding civil rights claims: Sullivan v. County of Los Angeles (1974) and Williams v. Horvath (1976). In 1983, he and partner Carol Watson established the firm of Manes & Watson, and thereafter Manes litigated mostly police misconduct cases against Los Angeles law enforcement agencies. In 1995, Manes, along with two other attorneys, won for the plaintiffs the largest sum of money recorded at the time for a police misconduct case in Talamaivao v. County of Los Angeles.
    Manes passed away on June 13, 2009, at the age of 84.

    Scope and Content

    The Hugh R. Manes Papers document the professional life of the pioneering Los Angeles-based civil rights attorney whose career mainly focused on pursuing justice for victims of police misconduct and brutality. The papers date from 1940 to 2009, with the majority from the 1960s to the 1990s. The collection is mostly comprised of Manes's case files while he was an attorney in practice with Wirin, Rissman & Okrand; a partner with Finkel, Manes & Stewart; and as a partner in Manes & Watson. Included are legal briefs, pre-trial motions, trial proceedings, exhibit files, depositions, summons, interview transcripts, newspaper clippings, correspondences, legal invoices, court receipts, handwritten legal notes, evidentiary photos, and other legal documents.
    The case files series features landmark cases relating to civil rights claims in the 1960s and 1970s in Canton, Mississippi and in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, and police abuse cases occurring at the hands of local Los Angeles law enforcement agencies. Other materials in these series include unlabeled reel-to-reel audio recordings; audio-cassette recordings of witness statements in a few of Manes's larger cases; printed copies of historic cases Manes likely reviewed in preparation for trial; and criminal case files in which Manes acted as legal counsel for the defendant. Some material such as medical and psychiatric evaluations, receipts, and official hospital records, as well as some photos are restricted and unavailable to researchers.
    The collection also houses Manes's published and unpublished manuscripts, which include seminar and course syllabi; speeches and essays; law journal articles, briefs and reports; and creative fiction and radio scripts written while in high school and college. Manes's personal and political activities series contains the fewest boxes and prominently features the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) "Secret File" maintained on Manes as a result of his representation of individuals targeted by the House Un-American Activities Committee and conscientious objectors to the Vietnam War draft. A few details on Manes's personal life are reflected in the files related to the estate and guardianship of his son, Macabee Manes, and in the small amount of correspondence between him and his ex-wife, Sheila Goldring.

    Organization and Arrangement

    The collection has been arranged into the following series:
    1. Case Files, 1976-2006
    2. Case Files, 1953-1979
    3. Personal and Political Activities, ca. 1950-2009
    4. Unpublished and Published Writing, Speaking, and Teaching Materials, ca. 1940-1998

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Hugh R. Manes---Archives.
    Lawyers --California --Los Angeles --Archival resources.
    Civil rights workers --California --Los Angeles --Archival resources.
    Trials (Police misconduct) --Archival resources.