Former Ky. Chief Justice Samuel Steinfield dies at 101

Samuel Steinfeld, a former chief justice of Kentucky’s highest court and Jefferson County attorney, died Thursday at Jefferson Manor. He was 101.

Steinfeld was elected in 1966 to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, then Kentucky’s highest court.

Steinfeld was born Feb. 15, 1906, in Louisville and graduated in 1924 from Male High School, where he was a track star. He graduated from the University of Louisville law school, which his father had attended and where he would later send his son, in 1928, then joined his father’s law firm, Gifford & Steinfeld, where he’d been working since 1922.

He became a partner in Steinfeld & Steinfeld with his father in 1935, and practiced there until 1966. Son James is now the third-generation partner in the Steinfeld legal practice.

Steinfeld served on the Court of Appeals from 1967 to 1975 and became chief justice in 1972.

As chief justice, he reported to the General Assembly that an intermediary court was needed to ease the volume of cases heard by the Court of Appeals and the resulting backlog.  That suggestion was adopted in 1975 by an amendment to the Ky. Constitution which was approved by the electorate.

Steinfeld officially retired from the bench the same year but continued to serve as a special judge in Jefferson Circuit Court until 1985 as well as in some appointments in U.S. District Court.

He also taught some courses at UofL’s law school, where he had been active for decades in alumni associations, including as a trustee and president of the alumni association and the Law Alumni Foundation.

Besides his son James, Steinfeld is survived by a daughter, Helane Grossman, and a sister, Thelma Isaacs.

The graveside service will be private. Herman Meyer & Son Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Comments are closed.