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Register of the Richard Gladstein Papers, 1930-1969
MSS 001  
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Bibliography

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Richard Gladstein Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1930-1969
    Collection number: MSS 001
    Creator: Gladstein, Richard
    Extent: 10 document cases

    4 cubic feet
    Repository: Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research.
    Los Angeles, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    The collection is available for research only at the Library's facility in Los Angeles.  The Library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Researchers are encouraged to call or email the Library indicating the nature of their research query prior to making a visit.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. Researchers may make single copies of any portion of the collection, but publication from the collection will be allowed only with the express written permission of the Library's director. It is not necessary to obtain written permission to quote from a collection. When the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research gives permission for publication, it is as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Richard Gladstein Papers, MSS 001, Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research, Los Angeles.


    Richard Richie Gladstein was a labor lawyer whose office was based in San Francisco. He was also active in defending clients accused of being communists. One of his major clients was Harry Bridges, President of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union, who was accused of belonging to the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) and therefore subject to deportation of which Gladstein's office handled his deportation cases.
    The second deportation case Gladstein handled for Bridges was in 1941. The court found Bridges guilty and he was given deportation orders. The case reached the Supreme Court which ruled that Bridges was not a communist and was therefore entitled to remain in the United States and eligible for citizenship, which Bridges subsequently received. However in 1949, Bridges, Robertson and Schmidt were charged with conspiracy and found guilty. On June 15, 1953, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the lower courts. Richard Gladstein was not directly involved in the conspiracy case.
    Prior to the Bridges, Robertson and Schmidt case, Gladstein was officially asked by the CPUSA to defend some of the participants of the Foley Square Trial (1949-1950), in which Judge Harold R. Medina presided. Gladstein's colleagues were Harry Sacher, George W. Crockett, Jr., Louis F. McCabe and Abraham J. Isserman. Eugene Dennis, one of the defendants, acted as his own lawyer. In addition to Dennis, ten CPUSA leaders were indicted under the Smith Act and brought to trial; Henry Winston, Jacob (Jack) Stachel, Benjamin Davis, Carl Winter, John Gates, Irving Potash, Robert Thompson, Gil Green, Gus Hall and John Williamson. Originally there were twelve defendants, but William Z. Foster was exempt from appearing in court due to ill health. On October 14, 1949, the defense lawyers including Eugene Dennis were cited for contempt and sentenced from one to six months in jail. The Bar Committee to Defend Lawyers Right of Advocacy was established for the lawyers' defense. The defendants in the Foley Square Trial were found guilty and sentenced to five years and $10,000, except for Robert Thompson who was sentenced to three years.
    Gladstein also defended Dr. John E. Reinecke of Hawaii. On November 25, 1947, Dr. Reinecke was dismissed from his teaching position because of his political affiliations. However, his teaching certificate was not revoked. The school district charged that he was not eligible to teach under the Secret Association Statute (Exhibit A) claiming that a member of the CP ...is not possessed of the ideals of democracy as required by the Personnel of Public and Private School Statute.... (p. 4 Complaint for Injunction Redress Deprivation of Civil Right and Request of Three-Judge Court). Dr. Reinecke counter charged that the school district was in violation of the First, Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution and of the Civil Rights Act. Mrs. Reinecke was also dismissed from her teaching position because of political affiliations.
    During the time that Dr. and Mrs. Reinecke were suing for reinstatement of their teaching jobs, the Canwell Committee, a counterpart of the Dies and Thomas Committees on Un-American Activities, scheduled a hearing in the spring of 1948 on Washington's state Pension Union. John Caughlan successfully defended the Pension Union. After the hearing, John Caughlan was indicted by the United States under Title 8 USCA 746 (a) (1) for perjury from an earlier naturalization hearing in which Caughlan denied he was a communist. Richard Gladstein successfully defended John Caughlan (September 4, 1948 to September 24, 19849). Prior to John Caughlan's trial, the Canwell Committee was holding their second set of hearings on the University and Playhouse Group beginning in July of 1948.
    The Los Angeles Times on May 25, 1981 called Richard Gladstein ...one of the premier labor and constitutional trial lawyers in the land.... in an article commemorating his death of May 16, 1981.

    Scope and Content

    The Richard Gladstein Collection (1930, 1940-1950, 1961-1962, 1968-1969) contains papers, notes correspondence, pamphlets, transcripts and records of some of the trials and hearings with which he was either directly or indirectly involved. No particular trial or hearing is covered from beginning to end. The collection is arranged in seven series and the provenance has been changed slightly to give the GENERAL FILE continuity. The papers in the GENERAL FILE (1940-1948, 1950) are seemingly independent from the rest of the series. They consist of handwritten notes, copies of payroll records for defendant A. Felipe and the originals and copies of the dismissal of some of the employees at the U.S. Naval Drydocks in San Francisco. Several years later, these same employees were visited by the FBI in regards to Harold Dow, a fellow employee. There are also references to the law and the CPUSA.
    The papers referring to the REINECKE CASE (1930, 1947-1948) consist of transcripts, correspondence, pamphlets, and other case records to help Reinecke's defense. There is also copies of some of the correspondence of Louis Budenz and the cross examination of Budenz by Gladstein. However, it is incomplete. Louis Budenz had testified in behalf of the U.S. Government. The papers do not refer to the outcome of the Reinecke case.
    The CAUGHLAN HEARING papers (1946-1949) contain correspondence on the John Caughlan Defense Committee and transcripts of the perjury hearing. There are personal notes on John Caughlan including his testimony in the naturalization hearing in 1946.
    The CANWELL HEARING papers (1948) refer to correspondence and the testimony of out-of-town witnesses. At the request of Richard Gladstein, John Caughlan sent newspaper clippings of the hearings from July 19, 1948 to July 24, 1948 (see separation sheet).
    Most of the papers in the HARRY BRIDGES CASE (1947-1949, 1950, 1961-1962) refer to the Bridges, Robertson and Schmidt Case. At the time of the trial, Gladstein was involved with the Foley Square Trial. The series contain several statements on Marxist thought and theory. There is some correspondence, a private investigator's report on the members of the grand jury, June 1949, and statements of John E. Ferguson, who had previously lied that Harry Bridges was a communist and retracted that statement. Ferguson claimed he was blackmailed into lying about Bridges.
    The FOLEY SQUARE TRIAL and THE BAR COMMITTEE TO DEFEND LAWYERS' RIGHT TO ADVOCACY series (1949-1950) contain legal documents and transcripts including the contempt charges against the defense lawyers. The transcripts also refer to Richard Gladstein's closing remarks at the Foley Square Trial. There is the Bar Committee correspondence referring to fund raising and designing pamphlets. There are press releases, newspaper clippings and a photograph of the defense lawyers. This series also include a pamphlet on the McCarran Act prepared by Norman Leonard of Gladstein, Anderson and Leonard.
    The last series of the Richard Gladstein Collection (THE DRAFT DURING THE VIETNAM WAR) contains letters (1968-1969) referring to cases involving dissident draftees during the Vietnam War. None of the letters are addressed or refer to Richard Gladstein.


    Belfrage, Cedric. The American Inquisition: 1945-1960. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Co., Inc., 1973.
    Bekknap, Michael R. Cold War Political Justice: The Smith Act, The Communist Party, and American Civil Liberties. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1977.