The Law: The Sanctity of Robes

Martin Erdmann looks like anything but a rebel lawyer. His hair is close-cut, his collar white and button-down, his tie narrow, his suit oldfashioned. Handling documents with nicotine-stained fingers and chain-smoking Lucky Strikes, Erdmann, 57, could pass for a run-of-the-mill judicial factotum behind his small, cluttered desk in Manhattan's Criminal Courts Building. Actually, Erdmann is an independently wealthy bachelor who has devoted his career to New York City's Legal Aid Society. He directly supervised 50 lawyers and did trial work before a recent switch to administrative duties. After being involved in the...

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