Richard Dickson Cudahy

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Richard Dickson Cudahy
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
In office
September 26, 1979 – August 15, 1994
Appointed by Jimmy Carter
Preceded by Seat established
Succeeded by Terence Evans
Personal details
Born (1926-02-02)February 2, 1926
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Died September 22, 2015(2015-09-22) (aged 89)
Winnetka, Illinois, U.S.
Spouse(s) Ann Featherston (m. 1956), Janet Stuart (m. 1976)
Children 7
Alma mater United States Military Academy
Yale University

Richard Dickson Cudahy (February 2, 1926 – September 22, 2015) was an American business executive, law professor and United States federal judge.[1]


Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Cudahy was educated at the Canterbury School and received a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1948, and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1955.[2] He was a Lieutenant in the United States Air Force from 1948 to 1951. He was a law clerk, Hon. Charles Edward Clark, Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals from 1955 to 1956. He was an Assistant to legal advisor, U.S. Department of State from 1956 to 1957.[3] He was in private practice in Chicago, Illinois from 1957 to 1960. He was a President and C.E.O., Patrick Cudahy, Inc., Cudahy and Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 1961 to 1971.[4] He returned to private practice in Milwaukee in 1972, serving also as a member and chairman of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission from 1972 to 1975, then continuing his private practice in Washington, DC from 1976 to 1979.

He also taught, as a lecturer at Marquette University Law School from 1961 to 1966, as a visiting professor of law at the University of Wisconsin Law School from 1966 to 1967, and as a lecturer at the George Washington University Law School from 1976 to 1979.

On May 22, 1979, Cudahy was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to a new seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, created by 92 Stat. 1629, 1632. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 25, 1979, and received his commission on September 26, 1979. He assumed senior status on August 15, 1994.

In 2000, two members of Congress complained that Cudahy leaked confidential information prior to the presidential nomination of Al Gore.[5][6]

Personal life[edit]

In 1956, Cudahy married Ann Featherston, who died in 1974.[2] In 1976, he married Janet Stuart.[2] He had seven children.[4] He died on September 22, 2015 at his home in Winnetka, Illinois.[7]

Notable decisions[edit]

  • Leibovitz v. Paramount Pictures Corp., 137 F.3d 109 (2d Cir. 1998)
  • MCI Communications Corp. v. American Tel. and Tel. Co. 708 F.2d 1081 (7th Cir. 1983)[8]
  • Brownmark Films, LLC v. Comedy Partners, 682 F.3d 687 (7th Cir. 2012)[9][10]
  • World Outreach Conference Center and Pamela Blossom v. City of Chicago, Nos. 13-3669, 13-3728 (2d Cir. June 1, 2015)[11][12][13]


  1. ^ Judicial Conference of the United States, ed. (1983). Judges of the United States (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: USGPO. Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Memoriam: Richard D. Cudahy 1948". West Point Association of Graduates. September 22, 2015. Retrieved May 6, 2017. 
  3. ^ Laird, Lorelai (September 24, 2015). "7th Circuit Judge Richard Cudahy dies at 89". ABA Journal. Retrieved May 6, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Dole, Kate Marshall (October 2, 2015). "Richard Dickson Cudahy, judge for U.S. court in Illinois, dies at 89". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 6, 2017. 
  5. ^ Lane, Charles (September 20, 2006). "Judges Alter Rules for Sponsored Trips". Washington Post. Retrieved May 7, 2017. Among the mishandled cases cited in the Breyer report were...complaints by two members of Congress that a circuit judge, Richard D. Cudahy, leaked news of a coming grand jury investigation of President Bill Clinton on the eve of Vice President Al Gore's presidential nomination in 2000. 
  6. ^ Breyer Committee (2006). Judicial Conduct and Judicial Disability Study Committee, Implementation of the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980: Report to the Chief Justice.
  7. ^ Vielmatti, Bruce (September 23, 2015). "Richard Cudahy Sr.: Cudahy, 'a real gentleman,' ran meatpacker, built law career". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved May 7, 2017. 
  8. ^ MCI Communications Corp. v. American Tel. and Tel. Co., 708 F.2d 1081 (7th Cir. 1983).
  9. ^ "Brownmark Films, LLC v. Comedy Partners". Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Center. Retrieved 2015-09-23. 
  10. ^ Danzig, Christopher (June 13, 2012). "Quote of the Day: What What (In the Court’s Butt)". Above the Law. Retrieved 2015-09-23. 
  11. ^ Lat, David (June 2, 2015). "The Greatest Concurrence Ever? Maybe….". Above the Law. Retrieved 2015-09-23. 
  12. ^ Weiss, Debra Cassens (June 3, 2015). "7th Circuit judge writes one-sentence 'maybe' concurrence; was it a 'dubitante' opinion?". ABA Journal. Retrieved 2015-09-23. 
  13. ^ "World Outreach Conference Center and Pamela Blossom v. City of Chicago".  Nos. 13-3669, 13-3728 (2d Cir. June 1, 2015).

External links[edit]

Legal offices
New seat Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Succeeded by
Terence Evans