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Thursday, April 27, 2017

KEN WHITE HAS PASSED AWAY

Very sad news today as we have learned that attorney Ken White- a great and long time fixture in the REGJB- passed away, reportedly in his sleep, last night. 

Ken was known as an expert in death penalty criminal defense. He handled many well known cases and was a meticulous lawyer in trial. Professional, aggressive, protecting his client at every juncture in the proceedings. 

This is shocking and sad news. Our community has suffered a real loss today. We will post funeral information when we have it. 


18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Stunned. Shocked. Sad. Lost touch over the years. Knew him as a great great assistant public defender and then in private practice over the years. Ken worked hard. Was in the office every saturday morning working. He beat cancer twenty years ago with what was then an experimental treatment. He will be missed.

Phil R said...


I am also stunned to read this. Circa 1997 Ken and I were thrown together in a death penalty case. Neither of us chose the other- I was first chair but he had been on the case years longer. I didn't know Ken before then and our initial work together was rocky to say the least. But then we tried the case and he was fantastic. He made me a better lawyer. He pushed me out of my comfort zone for the betterment of the client. Right at the end of the case he got sick but in saving the client's life, most of the credit goes to him. From that point on we became good friends. A decade or so later I was able to work with him at RC3. We had a great time together and shared great books we were reading and talker poker strategy.
Ken was a great lawyer, but more importantly a great guy. I will miss him a lot.

Phil Reizenstein

RICK FREEDMAN said...


Shocked and stunned to learn of Ken's passing. Ken has been a lawyer for 40 years and a fantastic, dedicated, tireless worker for those in need. He had a great email address that told you all you needed to know about him - it started with acquit...

Ken served on the Private Court Appointed Counsel (PCAC) Screening Committee with me and the other members for more than two decades and he rarely missed a meeting. He always brought thoughtful and important information to our discussions as we decided on who would be eligible for inclusion on the Registry. He was very important to our screening of potential capital registry attorneys.

My prayers go out to his family.

Rick Freedman

A former Judge said...

Having done a fair share of death cases, and seen the good, the bad, the mediocre, Ken represented that 1% of outstanding lawyers. A real loss for many reasons. His family must be devastated by this and hope these words of how Ken was respected will ease their pain in the coming days and years.

Theodore Mastos said...

A very sad day, indeed. I have known Ken for at least 40 years. He was an excellent lawyer and most of all, a wonderful human being. Liberty lost a true champion.

Theodore G. Mastos

Anonymous said...

I loved having cases against Ken. He fought tooth and nail for his clients, but the battle stayed where it belonged--in the courtroom. It was never, ever personal. He had a heart of gold and truly embodied the meaning of the Yiddish word "mensch." He ended every conversation with, "Be well." Well, I haven't stopped crying since I heard the news this morning, Ken. You will be truly missed. Rest in peace, my friend.

Abbe Rifkin

Anonymous said...

I'm going to reply to what Abbe Rifkin just wrote. She and Ken had a massive murder case with each other. When Abbe was told this morning Ken had passed away she was truly inconsolable. How sad that it is so rare for opposing lawyers to care about each other. Ken was partly responsible for that. I saw him ride prosecutors hard- but usually with a twinkle in his eye and they knew it. They knew he never attacked them personally. They did more than respect him- they genuinely liked him.
Anyway- I just those Abbe should also get some recognition for her caring and concern beyond what she already demonstrated. I'm not the person who told Abbe the news- but I know this occurred.

Patricia Mulholland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patricia Mulholland said...

You will be greatly missed by both prosecutors and defense attorneys for you were equally respected and loved by both. You were a zealous advocate in the courtroom and a true gentleman. You were such a kind man. The last thing you told me yesterday was "be well".
I will always miss you.

REAL FORMER JUDGE said...

Rumpole - why don't we pick a person EACH WEEK in the criminal justice building that we admire and respect and love - and we all comment and pay tribute to them - in a loving way - to honor and respect them while they are ALIVE.

Wouldn't that be a wonderful thing. Like a PERSON OF THE WEEK? Someone who makes a difference in the lives of others.

Anonymous said...

"Good friends we had,oh good friends we've lost along the way.." No Woman, No Cry.
So sorry to hear of his passing.

Anonymous said...

Ken was a nice man. He brought me in on a death penalty case when I was younger to help me out. Try finding an older lawyer who will do that today. He was a gentleman.

Edith Georgi said...

Ken gave life to his clients and then gave his own life for his clients.

Anonymous said...

I think that's a great idea 1:24am.

the trialmaster said...

I have known Kenny since he was a young PD, He was always a gentleman even to some obnoxious prosecutors who didn't deserve it. He beat Melanoma many years ago and I am shocked and very sadden by his unexpected death. My sympathy goes out to his family and the defense bar who have lost a very special person.

Anonymous said...

Ken was one of the classiest acts I have ever opposed in 22 years as a prosecutor. He was a zealous advocate who fought hard for his clients but never made the fight personal. After our trial we shook hands and remained friends for many years. He will be misssed

Anonymous said...

I second 1:24's suggestion.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the person of the week would be great. I see many people quietly working for their clients who deserve a little recognition.