Samuel H. Kaufman

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Samuel Hamilton Kaufman (October 26, 1893, New York City - May 5, 1960) was a federal judge in New York City.

Kaufman graduated from the New York University School of Law and practiced privately as a lawyer in New York from 1918 to 1948. He also served as a special assistant to the Attorney General in 1935-36, as a special counsel at the Federal Communications Commission in 1937-38, and as an attorney for a congressional committee investigating the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1946.

In 1948, President Harry S. Truman appointed Kaufman as a judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Kaufman served until 1955, when he became medically disabled and took senior status. He died in 1960.

Kaufman was best known as the judge who presided over the first trial of Alger Hiss for perjury before a federal grand jury. That trial ended in a hung jury. The case was reassigned and the second trial, which resulted in a conviction, was presided over by Judge Henry W. Goddard.

Samuel Kaufman was not related to Judge Irving R. Kaufman, who was appointed to the Southern District of New York at about the same time and later served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Prominent New York attorney Milton S. Gould recounted several tales of his work for Kaufman's firm in articles for the New York Law Journal, which were reprinted in Gould's memoir The Witness Who Spoke to God and Other Tales from the Courthouse (Viking Press 1979).


Legal offices
Preceded by
John Bright
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Succeeded by
John M. Cashin