Founded in 1922 by George B. Leonard, Arthur L.H. Street, and Amos S. and Benedict S. Deinard, our firm still bears the stamp of these memorable personalities. In those early years, they established standards of excellence, scholarship and community involvement that continue to be hallmarks of Leonard, Street and Deinard.
George B. Leonard, a Russian immigrant, arrived in Minneapolis in 1894. He worked his way through law school by collecting industrial insurance premiums part-time. After 25 years of solo practice, he was introduced to Amos and Benedict Deinard, who were home visiting from Harvard Law School. Mr. Leonard invited the Deinard brothers to join his practice when they completed their law doctorates the following spring. Before the Deinards returned, Mr. Leonard also arranged for Arthur L.H. Street, a noted legal writer and scholar, to join his practice. On the Monday after the Deinards returned home from graduation, they walked to Mr. Leonard's law offices at 512 Nicollet Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. Leonard, Street and Deinard was established.
George B. Leonard was a prominent intellectual and active figure in Minnesota liberal politics throughout his career. An architect of the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party, Mr. Leonard is believed to have held the first membership card in the new party. Twice he was offered a seat on the Minnesota Supreme Court. He turned down both offers. Despite an interest in politics, Mr. Leonard held public office only two times. From 1937 to 1939, he served as a Regent of the University of Minnesota. In the 1950s he served on the Regional Wage Stabilization Board — a post for which he refused his government paycheck. Mr. Leonard practiced at Leonard, Street and Deinard until the day he died at age 84.
Arthur L.H. Street joined Leonard, Street and Deinard from West Publishing Company, the world's largest producer of law books. A legal scholar, writer and researcher, Mr. Street was the legal editor of several trade journals and papers.
The Deinard brothers moved to Minneapolis as youngsters and later attended the University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Law School, and Harvard Law School, always graduating with distinction. Because Amos' sight was impaired, Benedict read all their lessons and cases aloud. During World War II, Benedict served as Associate General Counsel for the Board of Economic Warfare (later known as the Foreign Economic Administration) and as Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney General. During those years, he was associated with several well-publicized cases.
After the war, Benedict was one of four civilians asked by the government to participate in the Nuremberg war crimes trials. As lead lawyer in the Economic Section, he was responsible for cases against German businesses that had participated in the war or committed economic crimes in German-occupied countries. He was most famous for his role in the prosecution and conviction of Alfred Krupp, head of the powerful German munitions family that armed Germany for war. After the Nuremberg trials, Benedict returned to Minneapolis and his practice. In addition, he taught at the University of Minnesota Law School and was Vice President of the Minnesota Orchestral Association.
Amos S. Deinard was widely known for his years of persistent work to eliminate hiring discrimination. Appointed to the Minneapolis Fair Employment Practices Commission in 1945 by Mayor Hubert H. Humphrey, he served on the Commission for seventeen years, fifteen of them as chairman. Despite an active law practice, Amos was involved in a wide range of civic, community and charitable works. He was a founder of the Minneapolis Federation for Jewish Service and a member of its board for forty-seven years.
Much has changed since 1922 when George Leonard, Arthur Street, and the Deinard brothers set up practice. But the professional and humanitarian principles that guided Leonard, Street and Deinard's founders endure. The firm's pride in legal excellence, its dedication to personal client service, its commitment to providing comprehensive and innovative legal counsel, and its standards of community and civic involvement remain fundamental to the firm and its practice.
Phone: 612.335.1500 Copyright © 1999 - 2013 Leonard, Street and Deinard