Eighth Circuit Historical Society

The Historical Society of the United States Courts in the Eighth Circuit

Called to Justice: The Life of a Federal Trial Judge

by Warren K. Urbom
Foreword by William J. Riley
University of Nebraska Press, 2012 (Law in the American West Series) 

Warren K. Urbom, United States District Judge for the District of Nebraska, has penned a memoir of his remarkable life and career. He shares with the reader his Great Depression childhood, life challenges, and experiences as a trial attorney and federal judge. As the presiding judge of the Wounded Knee trials of 1975-1976, he is able to provide a first-hand account of one of the twentieth century’s most significant series of federal trials. His life story is laid out candidly, providing a rare inside view of the work of a federal trial judge. While doing so, Judge Urbom’s memoir also reveals the fairness, humanity, and wisdom that have earned him the respect of lawyers, judges, and the Native American community.

Reviewers give Judge Urbom and his memoir high praise. Chief U.S. Court of Appeals Judge William Jay Riley, who wrote the foreword, describes him as “an extraordinary federal trial judge and a most remarkable human being.” Deanell Reece Tacha, Dean of Pepperdine University School of Law and retired Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge, declares Judge Urbom as “one of the truly great judges of our time.” U.S. District Judge Richard G. Kopf, District of Nebraska, refers to his writing as “exquisite prose,” and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of The Great Sioux Nation: Sitting in Judgment on America, calls it is “brilliant” and “breathtaking.”

The Nebraska Branch of the Eighth Circuit Historical Society contributed funds toward the publication and dissemination of this book.


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