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Frank C. Newman; Ex-State Supreme Court Justice

February 23, 1996|MYRNA OLIVER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Frank C. Newman, who was an associate justice of the California Supreme Court from 1977 to 1982, has died in San Francisco after a brief illness. He was 78.

Newman, who spent most of his career teaching at the UC School of Law at Boalt Hall, died Sunday, the state Judicial Council announced Wednesday.

"Justice Newman's dedication to the betterment of the law and of society benefited not only our judicial system and the people of California, but the international community as well," Chief Justice Malcolm M. Lucas said in a statement Wednesday. "His energy, intelligence and warmth will be greatly missed."

During his tenure as a Supreme Court justice, Newman authored the landmark opinion Robins vs. Pruneyard Shopping Center, which guaranteed free speech rights, including political leafleting, in privately owned shopping centers. He compared the centers to town squares.

Although generally a liberal, Newman did vote to uphold the state's death penalty and a 1982 anti-crime initiative.

An internationally recognized authority on human rights law, Newman introduced that discipline to the UC curriculum.

Born in Eureka, Newman grew up in South Pasadena and attended Dartmouth College. He earned his law degree at Boalt Hall, served in the Office of Price Administration and the Navy's Office of General Counsel during World War II, and obtained a doctorate in law at Columbia University.

He taught at Boalt Hall and served as its dean for five years. In 1964 he was appointed to head the drafting and executive committees of the California Constitution Revision Commission.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Frances, of Orinda, Calif.; a daughter, Holly Daniels, and a sister, Dorothy Clements.

Memorial donations can be made to the Frank C. Newman Memorial Fund at P.O. Box 3479, Walnut Creek, Calif. 94598, for use in promoting international human rights.

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