Arlin M. Adams

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Arlin Marvin Adams
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
In office
October 2, 1969 – January 2, 1987
Appointed by Richard Nixon
Preceded by Harry Kalodner
Succeeded by William Hutchinson
Personal details
Born (1921-04-16) April 16, 1921 (age 94)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma mater Temple University
University of Pennsylvania

Arlin Marvin Adams (born April 16, 1921) is a retired federal judge formerly of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. As of 2013 he is of counsel to Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, and was listed as a NAFTA adjudicator.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Philadelphia, Adams earned a bachelor's degree in 1941 from Temple University, a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1947, and a master's degree from Temple in 1950. While at Penn, he served as editor-in-chief of the law review.[1]

Early career[edit]

Adams worked in private legal practice in Philadelphia from 1947 until 1969. He also was a member of the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania from 1952 until 1956.[1] He was a secretary of public welfare for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from 1963 to 1966.[2]

Federal judicial service[edit]

On September 22, 1969, President Richard Nixon nominated Adams to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that had been vacated by the decision by Judge Harry Ellis Kalodner to take senior status. The United States Senate confirmed Adams on October 1, 1969.[1]

In 1975, Adams was considered by President Gerald Ford as a nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States. Adams was one of two finalists; Ford ultimately wound up successfully nominating the other finalist, John Paul Stevens.[3]

Retirement from the bench and later career[edit]

Adams retired outright from the bench (rather than taking senior status) on January 2, 1987. He returned to private practice, joining the firm Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP. Adams is well known for his post-judiciary roles in significant legal cases. In 1994, he conducted an investigation of the Pennsylvania attorney general for alleged criminal activity, and investigated allegations of improper medical research at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Soon after in 1995, he was appointed to serve as a trustee in the New Era bankruptcy case, at that time the largest nonprofit bankruptcy in history. He also served as the Chapter 11 Trustee in the successful reorganization of the Coram Healthcare Corporation in the Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1996.[4] From 1998 to 2002, Adams served as independent counsel in an investigation of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that uncovered widespread corruption.[1][5]

Board positions, appointments and honors[edit]

Adams is a member of the Board of the Pennsylvania, and has previously served as a member of the board and Chairman of Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, trustee for the William Penn Foundation, the National Constitution Center, and Bryn Mawr College. He is a former chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association and past president of both the American Judicature Society and American Philosophical Society. He also is the former chair of the U.S. Supreme Court Judicial Fellows Commission.

In 2001, Susquehanna University created the Arlin M. Adams Center for Law and Society, and in 2005, with the support of the Annenberg Foundation, the University of Pennsylvania Law School established the Arlin M. Adams Professorship in Constitutional Law. The Drexel University School of Law established the Arlin M. Adams Professor of Legal Writing position in 2007 to recognize Adams' long career as a lawyer and judge.

Books Authored[edit]

Nation Dedicated to Religious Liberty: The Constitutional Heritage of the Religion Clauses, Arlin M. Adams, Charles J. Emmerich, Warren E. Burger (University of Pennsylvania Press, August 1990)

Religion and the Public Good: A Bicentennial Forum , William Lee Miller, Martin E. Marty, Arlin M. Adams (Mercer University Press, March 1989)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Adams, Arlin Marvin, Federal Judicial Center Profile
  2. ^ "Adams, Arlin Marvin". Federal Judicial Center. Archived from the original on 18 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  3. ^ Ford, Gerald (1979). A Time to Heal. HarperCollins. ISBN : 978-0-060-11297-4. 
  4. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter A" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 May 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  5. ^


External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Harry Kalodner
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Succeeded by
William Hutchinson