U.S. District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein, 90, best known for settling mass claims that totalled $330 million for Vietnam War veterans injured by the Army's use of Agent Orange from Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW) and Monsanto (NYSE: MON) to defoliate forests, was honored as grand marshal of the Memorial Day parade in his home community of Great Neck, N.Y.
Weinstein, who has presided in federal court in Brooklyn since 1967, is one of the longest-serving judges as well as one of the oldest not to have taken on senior status, which allows a smaller caseload. The Wichita, Kan.-born judge served as a lieutenant in in the Navy in World War II on a submarine. He said he was proud to be honored.
Known for not donning his judicial robes, Weinstein has often handled class action cases dealing with controversial issues such as contaminants, handguns and drugs and managing to bring both sides to compromises that were permanent and had national impact.
We have to all be kind of humbled by people who gave their lives or their health, the judge said over the weekend.
Weinstein, appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, has been an unabashed liberal on the bench and is among the most respected judges for his ability to consolidate and manage lengthy and complex cases. Previously, he was Nassau County Attorney and had worked on cases for the NAACP and other advocacy groups.