Home Online Discussion of Judge Stanley Sporkin’s Career and Legacy 

    Online Discussion of Judge Stanley Sporkin’s Career and Legacy 

    As Director of SEC Enforcement (1974-1981), Judge Stanley Sporkin initiated a series of explosive foreign bribery investigations that stunned U.S. companies, stimulated Congressional investigations, and shook foreign governments – leading directly to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and, eventually, to UN and OECD treaties and to anti-corruption measures by a number of foreign states.

    Sporkin became General Counsel of the CIA in 1981 under Director William Casey and a federal district judge in 1986.  Throughout his career, Judge Sporkin broke convention, generated controversy, and made contributions of enduring importance to American law and policy.  He was particularly proud of decision-supporting claims against Germany for slave labor in WWII.  His ruling in the Princz case was reversed on appeal, but stimulated claims against alleged corporate collaborators and a diplomatic process that led to millions of dollars in reparations for Holocaust survivors and their heirs.


    Moderator, Mark B. Feldman, Adjunct Professor Georgetown Law; Deputy and Acting Legal Adviser, Department of State (1974-1981).



    Re: SEC years – Eugene Goldman, Senior Counsel, McDermott, Will & Emery; SEC Senior Counsel, Division of Enforcement 1977 – 1983; first law clerk to Judge Sporkin.


    Re: CIA years – James W. Zirkle, Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown and American University; Associate General Counsel CIA 1985-2009.


    Re: Judicial service – Theodore B. Olson, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; United States Solicitor General 2001-04, Ass’t A.G. Office Legal Counsel 1981-84.



    For your information:

    Obituaries in the Washington Post and NY Times highlighted Judge Sporkin’s colorful career. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/stanley-sporkin-crusading-sec-enforcer-and-tough-minded-us-judge-dies-at-88/2020/03/24/c51a1db8-6ddc-11ea-a3ec-70d7479d83f0_story.html