The Clarence Darrow Digital Collection
Written letter from Clarence Darrow collection
Collage of Clarence Darrow at different ages Postcard from Clarence Darrow Collection

Clarence Darrow Signature

The Clarence Darrow Letters

Philip Leibsohn to Clarence Darrow, June 28, 1935

Click on the image to view as a PDF. A transcription of the letter is on the right.

Mr. Clarence Darrow,
Attorney at Law,
1537 E. 60th St..
Chicago, Ill.
My Dear Mr. Darrow:
In reply to your letter of June 24th, relative to my failure to write you re-
garding the Messner boy, please be advised that it was not any intent on my part not to acknowledge your letter, but the reason I did not write was the fact that I turned the letter to Mr. Carl Ettinger, the people with whom you stayed when you made your lecture for the Temple here in Cedar Rapids. I was under the imp-ression that he was the party with whom you intended to take up the matter in behalf of the Messner boy.

I know Mrs. Messner, as she comes to my store occasionally and also feel that
the boy has paid for his crime to society and should now be given an opportunity to rehabilitate himself. However, I am not inclined to think that Ex-Senator Clark would be the proper person to represent the boy in his amplification for parole before the board for the reason that Mr. Clark is not on the best of terms with our local editor, who is personally interested in the case and feels that the boy should be permitted to leave the institution.

It is my thought that the gentlemen that I recommended to Mrs. Messner is the proper person to represent the boy in his application for parole, as he is a good friend of the local editor and also has written a letter to the Warden whom he knows very well and whom in my opinion can [ help ] obtain the perole for the boy. I also think that if you retain the gentlemen whom I recommended to Mrs. Messner that it would save you considerable time and expense in coming to Iowa.

Therefore, it would be my suggestion that you advise Mrs. Mesener to pursue this course and leave Ex-Senator Clark out of the picture. Of course, the man I have reference to will not do this on a contingent bases, and must be sure of his payment. I know his fees will be reasonable but this matter will necessitate considerable work and probably several trips to Des Moines, Iowa and Fort Madison, and of course he must be paid for his time.

May I assure you of my earnest cooperation at any time and I thank you again for your kindness in this matter.
Yours very truly,
PL: em
P.S. May this brief find you in a much improved state of health.