Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University
This Month @ Moritz

Marty Glick '64: Getting it Right From Mississippi to California

Marty GlickMarty Glick '64 grew up in Portsmouth, Ohio sure of two things: he wanted to be a lawyer and he wanted to live in California -- although he'd never been there. Even then, he knew how to dream big.

Armed with a B.A. in philosophy from Ohio State, Marty entered Moritz in the fall of 1961. It was a tumultuous time to be a law student. President Kennedy was assassinated, as was civil rights activist Medgar Evers. Cesar Chavez was organizing farmworkers in California. Against this backdrop, Marty studied criminal law with Professor Larry Herman and Constitutional Law with Professor Bill Van Alstyn.

Marty made the most of law school, participating in moot court and serving as chief justice of the student court. He made it to California his second summer where he clerked for the Los Angeles I.R.S. office.

Marty knew he wanted to litigate, so when classmate Niki Schwartz '64 suggested he interview with the Department of Justice, Marty agreed. Just before graduating first in his class, Marty received a call from the legendary John Doar, inviting him to join the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. Assigned in Washington, DC, Marty spent three months every summer in the South, primarily Mississippi, litigating civil rights, voting rights, and other federal cases.It was during this period Marty worked on
U. S. v. Cecil Price et al
involving the deaths of three civil rights workers chronicled in the movie Mississippi Burning. Marty will return to campus October 22 at noon to share his experiences from this period with students and alumni.

Working for John Doar meant attention to detail and thorough preparation. "Given the hostile climate in Mississippi," says Marty, "we learned to be the best trial lawyers we could become. No detail was too small and we really worked those cases proving every fact two or three ways."

In time, California came calling when Bob Ganizda, whom Marty had met clerking for the I.R.S., called to tell Marty he had accepted an offer to join the newly formed California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) program on the condition that Marty be hired as well -- and Marty would need to relocate within two weeks. It took a little longer for Marty, who had no prior knowledge of the offer or the organization, to be sold on the idea. Marty joined CRLA in 1966. At that time, it was the largest legal services corporation in the country. Its mission is to provide legal services to individual migrant farmworkers and to do impact work that benefits all farmworkers.

Marty and others developed four priority impact areas: education, housing, public benefits, and employment. Marty concentrated on education and brought Diana v. California, a successful state court class action suit to remove more than 35,000 California Spanish-speaking students from classes for the mentally retarded. The students had been misplaced in these classes through use of culturally biased IQ tests administered in English only. Marty stayed with CRLA for eight years, rising to statewide director of litigation and, ultimately, director.

Marty may have had the greatest impact on California farmworkers through Carmona v. Division of Industrial Safety. Working closely with Maurice "Mo" Jourdane, Marty worked to ban the use of the short-handled hoe used to thin and weed crops. Laborers, who had to stoop continuously to use the tool, strained their backs, creating pain and long-term suffering. Marty says, "Although the short-handled hoe was not unsafe in the short term, it gave a 45-year old farm worker the back of a 75-year old."

Marty and Mo had to show that the use of the short-handled hoe met the California Industrial Safety Commission's definition of "unsafe hand tool" and that a "not cost prohibitive alternative" was available. Growers argued the tool was the most precise way to thin and weed and without it, crop losses would mount and some growers would go under. Agribusiness had hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake, according to Mo Jourdane in a November 2001 article in La Presna San Diego, "What were they going to do with all of these short-handled hoes they had already bought?"

Marty and Mo collected evidence from physicians, surveyed and found that the tool had never been used in 48 states, and worked with a farmers' cooperative to set up a study that ultimately found long-handled hoes to be more efficient than their short-handled counterpart. Evidence was presented at a series of hearings.

The Industrial Commission ruled that it had no jurisdiction over "long-term" injuries. In response to an appeal, the California Supreme Court ruled that the Commission did have jurisdiction. The case was sent back to the Commission for reconsideration. By that time, a new group of Industrial Commissioners had been appointed by a new governor and they sided with CRLA. Six months later, the owner of the large agribusiness entity that fought the hardest to keep the short-handled hoe in use wrote to Marty and went on record saying that the long-handled hoe was more efficient. CRLA reports that farmworker back injuries have dropped a dramatic 34 percent since the short-hoe was banned. Several books and documentaries have since recounted this fight for workers' rights in the fields of California.

During Marty's tenure as director of CRLA, the Governor vetoed the Office of Economic Opportunity grant that funded CRLA. The firm of Howard Rice represented CRLA at the hearing. Marty says, "Just as the veto of funds was about to be overridden, an agreement was struck and the veto was rescinded." Marty was impressed with the professionalism and effectiveness of the law firm he would ultimately join.

Following a short stint teaching trial practice at Stanford University, Marty was appointed California's Director of Employment Development Department in 1975. Managing 18,000 employees and an annual budget of $3.5 billion, Marty was able to set up job training programs to help a wide range of workers. "It was fun," says Marty. "State administrators under Governor Jerry Brown made decisions in a remarkably non-political way and decisions were merit-based." Marty served for four years before relocating to his wife Beverly's hometown, San Francisco, after the birth of their first son, Alexander.

He chose to join Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin when it was a firm of 25 attorneys. Today, the firm has 150 lawyers. Marty continues the litigation work he enjoys and serves as the firm's director of litigation and chair of the intellectual property group. He served as the firm's managing partner from 1982 to 1985. Does he miss his days at CRLA? Not really, as he continues to represent the organization as outside counsel.

Does an alumnus living his California dream miss Ohio State? Again, not really; an active alumnus, he serves on Moritz Law's National Alumni Council and returns to campus these days to visit his son Jonathan, a junior -- who has dreams of his own.