Hundreds packed Graham Chapel at Washington University Thursday to remember Missouri Supreme Court judge Richard Teitelman.
Teitelman died overnight Monday at his home in St. Louis at the age of 69. A native of Philadelphia, he moved to St. Louis to attend Washington University Law School and never left the state. After two years in private practice, he joined Legal Services of Eastern Missouri in 1975 and became its executive director in 1980.
Democratic Gov. Mel Carnahan appointed him to the state Court of Appeals in 1998. Another Democrat, Bob Holden, elevated Judge Teitelman to the state high court in 2002.
"Yes, we gather in a moment of sadness, but in gratitude. The gratitude for just knowing Rick Teitelman. Being inspired by his optimism, his genuine concern for others who came from every corner of society and every place in the community. Gratitude for Rick's ability to make everyone to came in contact with feel special. And for many of us here today, and gratitude for his devotion to the law.” — Maurice Graham, president, Gray, Ritter and Graham and a close friend of Judge Teitelman's
"He was my compass on the left. I think he was a mensch. I can say for certain that brother was solid. He accepted accolades and honors graciously but referred several for others. He was the first Jewish [state] Supreme Court judge and served with the first African-American judge, Ronnie White." — Missouri Supreme Court Judge George Draper
"It’s worth noting that without Missouri's strong, independent, nonpartisan court plan, it is interesting to imagine a humble, unprepossessing blind Jewish legal aid attorney, no matter how brilliant, would get in today’s high polarized political climate." — Gov. Nay Jixon, drawing a round of applause for his defense of the Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan
"He may have had deficiencies in his eyesight, but no one had better or truer vision than Rick Teitelman," — Maurice Graham
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