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COLLECTION Identifier: HOLLIS 601663

John Francis Dooling papers


These materials constitute the working papers of a sitting federal judge. Judge Dooling's special expertise was in patent cases. His Court (Eastern District of New York) also included a large proportion of immigration and exclusion of aliens cases, and cases growing out of integration in the New York school system.


  • 1960 - 1980

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these papers is governed by the rules and regulations of the Harvard Law School Library. This collection is open to the public, but is housed off-site at Harvard Depository and requires 2 business-day advance notice for retrieval. Consult the Special Collections staff for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Harvard Law School Library holds copyright on some, but not all, of the material in our collections. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be directed to the Special Collections staff. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from the Harvard Law School Library are also responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations who hold copyright.


40 boxes
The papers of John F. Dooling, Jr. (1908-1981), span the years of 1961 to 1980, the period when he sat on the bench of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Papers include drafts; notes; judicial instructions; judicial documents; memoranda; orders; typed and printed opinions; clippings. The four major series in these papers are: (1) Bench Notes; (2) Jury Instructions; (3) Memoranda, Orders, etc., and (4) Bound Opinions. There is a small series of Miscellany, which includes one folder of correspondence and manuscripts of unpublished, incidental writings. Some of the categories of the cases that Judge Dooling heard were: Criminal; tax; Selective Service (deferment); reduction of sentence, bail; illegal search and seizure; defrauding the United States; kickbacks; forced confessions; detention without access to counsel; Social Security Administration misuse of benefits; Habeas Corpus; patent; violations of Securities and Exchange Act of 1934; railroad injuries; diversity jurisdiction; admiralty; naturalization; integration of New York schools; exclusion of aliens; budgetary limits. Judge Dooling excelled in patent cases, and was strong on civil liberties. Three hundred of his opinions were published. His wide scope of reading and interests are reflected in his writing style.

Historical/Biographical Information

b. June 13, 1908, Brooklyn, New York.

s. John Francis and Anna Clothilde (Conlan) Dooling.

A.B. cum laude, St. Francis College, Brooklyn, 1929.

LL.B. magna cum laude, St. Johns University.

LL.B., Harvard University, 1934.

m. Marie Dorothea Elizabeth Bernard, April 24, 1937; children: Julienne (Mrs. Eugene B. Nann), Deborah (Mrs. Paul G. Fitzgerald), Peter, Ann, Marie.

Admitted to New York State bar, 1934.

Attorney with Sullivan & Cromwell, New York City, 1934-1961.

U.S. District Judge, Eastern District of New York, 1961-1981; appointed by President John F. Kennedy.

Trustee, Vassar College, 1965-1969.

Member, American Law Institute.

Member, Association of the Bar of the City of New York; chairman of its committee on state legislation, 1951-1953; on committee on courts' superior jurisdiction, 1957-1960.

d. January 12, 1981.


"Seider v. Roth After Shaffer v. Heitner," XLV Brooklyn Law Review 505-518 (1979).

Series List

  1. Series I. Bench Notes, 1960, 1966-1980.

    (13 mss. boxes)

    Judge Dooling's Bench Notes consist of handwritten notes taken by him during oral argument of cases in which he sat. These are all holograph notes, and they are quite extensive for each case. Notes are arranged alphabetically by case, and information on court term and docket number for each case is included, in addition to identification of the case as civil or criminal. There are a small number of unidentified notes. This series includes his bench notes on Carter-Wallace v. Davis Edwards (3 folders), both patent cases; also: Genesco v. Howard Stores Corporation (6 folders); McRae v. Secretary, H.E.W. (8 folders); Nuclear Research Association v. United Medical Laboratories (10 folders); Parents of Andrew Jackson High School v. Nyquist (8 folders); United States v. Ostrow (4 folders).

  2. Series II. Jury Instructions, 1960-1979.

    (11 1/2 mss. boxes)

    This series contains typed copies of Judge Dooling's charges to the jury, for both civil and criminal cases; all of the cases in which the United States is plaintiff are criminal cases. Series is arranged alphabetically by name of case, indicating court term, docket number, and identification as to civil or criminal proceedings.

  3. Series III. Memoranda, Orders, Etc., April 1966 - December 1980.

    (10 1/2 mss. boxes)

    This series consists of files of cases which were disposed of by way of memoranda and/or orders which were not published; most of these actions did not come to trial. Original arrangement was chronological by date of issuance of memorandum or order, and this arrangement has been retained. Types of memorandum or order included are: Orders to dismiss complaints, actions; orders to deny relief sought by defendants; orders to dismiss actions with prejudice; orders that bail be denied; orders to deny defendant's motion for reduction of sentence; memoranda incorporating findings of fact; orders on motion for class action determination; judgment orders; habeas corpus. Included also are selected conference memoranda. These are all Judge Dooling's orders and memoranda; length of most are one to two pages, although some of the memoranda are quite lengthy. Some of the memoranda/orders included are the Carter-Wallace, Digitronics, McRae, Nuclear Research Associates, and Parent Teacher Association cases mentioned earier; also Mandell v. Mitchell, Klein v. Nassau County Medical Center, and DeFelice v. Board of Education.

  4. Series IV. Miscellany

    (1 mss. box)

    This series contains outlines, drafts, and copies of materials from seminars conducted by Judge Dooling for newly appointed U.S. District Judges and seminars held at Columbia University; some correspondence; clippings; manuscripts of writings; a list of his reported opinions. There is no major correspondence sequence in the Dooling papers.

  5. Series V. Bound Opinions, December 20, 1960-December 30, 1970

    (4 Paige boxes)

    This series consists of nineteen volumes (some in two parts) of typed carbon copies of Judge Dooling's opinions, memoranda, orders, and findings of fact, bound by court terms or part of court terms. Within each volume cases are arranged chronologically by the date on which the opinion, etc., was handed down. Dates covered are December 20, 1960 through December 30, 1970; there are no volumes for subsequent court terms. Preliminary material in most volumes includes an alphabetical list of cases and a listing by categories, e.g. Admiralty, Civil cases, Criminal cases, Habeas Corpus, and Miscellaneous; some of the later volumes have Tables of Contents. The opinions are signed by Judge Dooling in ink or are stamped with his name. Volumes are lettered in gold on spine.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers of John F. Dooling, Jr. (1908-1981) were presented to the Harvard Law School Library as a gift by his widow, Dorothea B. Dooling, on February 4, 1981.

Processing Information

Prepared by Judith W. Mellins and Erika S. Chadbourn, 15 June 1985.
Link to catalog
Dooling, John Francis. Papers, 1960-1980: Finding Aid.
Harvard Law School LibraryCambridge, MA 02138

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Law School Library, Historical & Special Collections Repository

Harvard Law School Library's Historical & Special Collections (HSC) collects, preserves, and makes available research materials for the study of the law and legal history. HSC holds over 8,000 linear feet of manuscripts, over 100,000 rare books, and more than 70,000 visual images.

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