Avrum K. Rifman

August 28, 1991

Though he formally stepped down from the bench 15 years ago, Avrum K. Rifman never really stopped "holding court." A man of elfin stature and manner, "Pat" Rifman remained a familiar figure in the streets, cafes and old haunts of the Baltimore political elite going back to the McKeldin era and before, ever ready to share a witty or illustrative anecdote from the past which bore upon the present. The most frequently used word in his vocabulary was "justice," and he used it not merely in the narrow sense of what courts try to dispense but in the broad sense that it was used in the great religious texts. Perhaps the most fitting comment on the sad occasion of his death at 85 this week was a remark by Oliver Wendell Holmes upon seeing his Supreme Court colleague Louis Brandeis walking at a distance: "There goes a good man."

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