Mark Lane is a lawyer admitted to practice in both New York State and the District of Columbia, who has tried cases throughout the United States in both Federal and State courts. He has written nine books about contemporary legal matters and has helped to write law as a member of the New York State Legislature and as an executive assistant to a United States Congressman. Mr. Lane has taught law at the law school at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and has lectured at numerous law schools, universities and at bar association conferences.
Mr. Lane represented the American Indian Movement at the historic Wounded Knee trial, which he won. Following the trial the federal judge who had tried the case said, "Mark Lane is the finest investigative lawyer in America." He has tried numerous important cases establishing the rights of minorities to serve on juries and grand juries (in New York State) and to utilize public facilities (in Jackson, Mississippi).
Mr. Lane represented two Black graphic artists who were the victims of employment discrimination by a major television network. He discovered substantial misconduct by the network and its powerful law firm, which he documented and brought to the attention of the Federal Court. The trial judge, a United States District Court judge, stated that he extended his “commendation to Mr. Lane for obtaining exceptional results for his clients in this case against a powerful opponent.” The judge added that Mr. Lane had “contributed to the law of sanctions in this Circuit and served the Court in the highest tradition of the bar.”
Mr. Lane, as counsel for Liberty Lobby and its newspaper, The Spotlight, defeated in a trial in the Federal Court in Florida, CIA officer and Watergate figure E. Howard Hunt; he also won a significant victory against columnist William F. Buckley, Jr., for Libety Lobby in the United States District Court in Washington, D.C. His arguments before the United States Supreme Court in the case Jack Anderson v Liberty Lobby helped to establish the law of defamation in the United States and the standard for summary judgment in civil cases.
In an important federal case against a television network, Mr. Lane helped to establish the law against sexual harassment a decade before the United States Senate considered the Anita Hill allegations.
Mr. Lane drafted the legislation that resulted in the establishment of the House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations, which investigated the murders of President Kennedy and Dr. King.
Mr. Lane's book Arcadia which demonstrates that James Richardson, a man convicted by the State of Florida for the murder of his seven children and then on death row, was innocent. While Mr. Lane had not represented Mr. Richardson at the trial, subsequently, at Mr. Lane's request and based upon Mr. Lane’s intensive investigation of the facts, the State of Florida re-examined the case. The governor appointed Janet Reno, then a Florida State prosecutor, to conduct an inquiry. She joined in Mr. Lane's successful petition to free James Richardson. Mr. Lane has also written a screenplay based upon that case and his investigation.
Mr. Lane was active in the Civil Rights movement beginning in the 1950's. He successfully challenged New York University when that institution insisted upon requiring its prospective students to list their race and religion. As an attorney he successfully challenged the special jury system in New York City, a system which systematically excluded Blacks and Puerto Ricans from serving as jurors.
While representing a child incarcerated at
a state “school,” he discovered that New York institutions for retarded
persons were being utilized to torture, starve and imprison children. His
campaign as counsel for the falsely imprisoned inmates, later joined by the
New York press, led to the discharge of numerous guards, the prosecution of
some, the establishment of decent standards and the release of many hundreds
Author, Playwright and Screenwriter
Mark Lane has written nine books on contemporary legal questions. His first book, Rush to Judgment, a critique of the Warren Commission Report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, was the number one best-selling book in the United States in hardcover in 1966 and the number one best-selling book in paperback in the following year. It was a best-seller in 23 other countries at that time as well. A decade later it was again released in the United States and again became a best-seller. Due to continuing demand, it was republished during 1992. The book, an overwhelming popular success, changed the way people in the United States and elsewhere viewed the facts surrounding the death of President Kennedy. The book is used as a text at various police academies as the classic approach to the examination of a crime.
Among Mr. Lane's other books are an analysis of the facts surrounding the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., written with Dick Gregory, (Code Name Zorro, republished in 1992 as Murder in Memphis); an evaluation of the inner workings of the news media (A Citizen's Dissent); and a presentation of the facts surrounding the Jonestown massacre (The Strongest Poison).
Plausible Denial, Mr. Lane's latest book, was also a New York Times best-seller for three months during 1992. It focused upon the trial of E. Howard Hunt against a newspaper that had implicated the CIA in the assassination of President Kennedy. Mr. Lane represented the publication and won the case.
Together with Donald Freed, Mr. Lane wrote the screenplay for the film Executive Action, which starred Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan and Will Geer. Mr. Lane produced and appeared in the award-winning documentary film Rush to Judgment, hailed by a leading French cinematic magazine as "America's finest film of the decade." Mr. Lane directed, appeared in and produced the documentary film Two Men in Dallas.
Mr. Lane's book, Conversations with Americans, a work critical of the U.S. military excesses in Vietnam, published in 1970, was adapted for a film which was awarded first prize at the Leipzig International Documentary Film Festival.
Mr. Lane is the author of the plays
The Trial of James Earl Ray and The Winds of Doctrine.
He is the screenwriter of Plausible Denial, and, with Donald
Freed, Slay the Dreamer.
His work has been praised by contemporary figures from Norman Mailer: "An heroic and historic contribution;" to Bertrand Russell: "Lane's work (Rush to Judgment) is greater than Zola in the Dreyfus case;" to historian Arnold Toynbee, who said, "Lane's work is an unchallengeable and significant contribution to history."
Mr. Lane was arrested along with Percy Sutton as a Freedom Rider. At the time Mr. Lane was a member of the New York State Legislature and became the only public official arrested as a Freedom Rider.
Mr. Lane was an active leader in opposition to America's involvement in Viet Nam. He organized anti-war groups at U.S. Air Force and Army bases in the United States and successfully represented scores of G.I.'s who were prosecuted for expressing their political views.
Mr. Lane wrote the legislation that formed the Select Committee on Assassinations of the House of Representatives, a committee that investigated the murders of President Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.
While a member of the New York State Legislature, he successfully exposed Governor Nelson Rockefeller's "fall-out shelter program" as a hoax, discovered that members of the assembly were profiting from the bill and succeeded in creating a Code of Ethics for members of the legislature.
During 1960 Mark Lane was chosen by the Reform Movement within the Democratic Party, headed by Eleanor Roosevelt and Former Governor Herbert H. Lehman, to be a candidate for the New York State Legislature. At that same time, Senator John F. Kennedy had secured the Democratic nomination for president. Senator Kennedy strongly endorsed Mark Lane, campaigned for him and Mr. Lane became one of Senator Kennedy's two campaign managers for the crucial New York City area. Both Senator Kennedy and Mark Lane were elected that year. Senator Kennedy later stated that Mr. Lane's work in the New York State Legislature in opposition to Governor Rockefeller's exaggerated, $100 million fall-out shelter program led him to reject that notion on a national basis.
Legislator, Teacher, Lecturer
Mr. Lane served in the New York State Legislature, was an executive assistant to a United States Congressman, and functioned as a campaign manager for New York City for Senator John F. Kennedy when he ran for president in 1960.
Mr. Lane has lectured widely throughout the
United States and Europe. He has appeared at hundreds of law schools,
universities and colleges and often to the largest attendance for a lecture
at the educational institution. Time magazine called him "One
of the three most popular lecturers in the U.S."
Reference works which provide further information about Mark Lane include:
Who's Who in the World
Who's Who in America
Who's Who in the East
Who's Who in the Law
Encyclopedia Britannica Year Book
Who's Who in U.S. Writers, Editors and Poets
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