BROCKTON — From obtaining a consumer clearly show up to court docket bare to aiding one more sneak in to see his lifeless mother making use of a coffin, Brockton-dependent lawyer Martin Leppo’s profession as a criminal protection law firm has been nearly anything but unexciting.
Now dwelling in Stoughton, Leppo is 89 and is continue to arguing scenarios in court. Even though he is finest recognised for staying the law firm of convicted artwork thief Myles Connor, his 60-year tenure incorporates substantially extra than a single famous defendant.
It all begun in the West End of Boston where he grew up prior to shifting to Dorchester and then Brookline. His parents were each from the Kiev place in Russia, though they failed to know each and every other in advance of they immigrated.
Leppo was all-around 12 decades aged when he made a decision he required to be a lawyer.
“My dad and I have been in the motor vehicle in the early 40s. We were listening to the radio about a fight in between the Us citizens and Japanese in airplanes,” Leppo claimed. “And my father, who was an aged-time fighter, he was there throwing punches at the air. And he looked at me and mentioned, ‘What are you going to do with your existence?'”
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“I reported, ‘Dad, it can be uncomplicated. I am heading to a big university. Which is for sure. I’m likely to be a Marine. And I’m heading to be a demo lawyer.'”
Leppo said he required to be a Marine for the reason that mastering about the soldiers in Planet War II experienced motivated him to serve his state. He explained he preferred to be a law firm since he believed the only professions he could go into were becoming a businessperson, a teacher or a law firm, and he wasn’t fond of the two former.
For the most part, Leppo adopted his mentioned route by means of life. He graduated from Brookline Large and attended Northeastern College.
But at that time, the Korean War was taking place, and he dropped a person of his good friends to the war. So he left college and served in the Marines during the war.
When Leppo was at the end of his company, he was acknowledged to Boston University’s law university on the ailment that he provide 12 far more weeks in the Marines. So he served that time, and begun college instantly soon after.
Northeastern counted his first 12 months at BU Regulation as his last 12 months at Northeastern and granted him his undergraduate liberal arts diploma.
But according to Leppo, BU Legislation did not like the actuality that he was functioning entire-time while attending legislation school, so immediately after two many years of education there, he was kicked out.
So Leppo switched to New England Legislation Faculty, which was acknowledged by a distinct name at the time, and concluded his regulation degree there.
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On Nov. 10, 1959, Leppo passed the Massachusetts bar exam on his to start with go. He failed to explain to his dad and mom he experienced passed simply because that night he was celebrating the birthday of the Maritime Corps with his fellow officers.
“A bunch of aged Marines were coming to see me, so I celebrated with them and then I celebrated my moms and dads the following night time,” he claimed.
Leppo commenced functioning for an insurance policy adjustment business immediately after graduating, but shortly identified inspiration when going to Dorchester District Courtroom. He asked if they desired court-appointed legal professionals, which they did, so he established out on his possess and commenced using court appointments out of Dorchester.
Before long, he’d constructed a sturdy independent practice.
1 of the very first major instances Leppo remembers was in Norfolk Remarkable Court in Dedham. It was a large-profile murder scenario of a man killing his girlfriend. He was the direct lawyer’s next.
If the gentleman was found responsible, the person would deal with the loss of life penalty, Leppo mentioned. So the decide went close to asking jurors no matter whether they would be at ease locating the gentleman responsible if that intended it would ship the defendant to loss of life, he mentioned.
One particular juror was a girl in her 60s. She informed the choose “I could in no way ship that younger guy to the electrical chair,” and pointed at Leppo.
The choose had to say “That’s the lawyer,” Leppo explained.
It wasn’t extended before Leppo designed it into the initial version of a ebook known as “Finest Attorneys in The united states.” He despatched the book to two individuals.
Just one was his mother, and in the e book he wrote, “All this is because of you.”
The other was a Boston University legislation professor.
“I despatched him an autographed duplicate of the book because he reported I’d never make it,” Leppo stated.
It was in the course of this time that Leppo met his spouse Marcia. She was a trial clerk at Suffolk Top-quality Court. It all begun when they attended the same dance a single night time.
“We went out and had a sandwich after the dance, and then I bugged her due to the fact she worked in Outstanding Court,” he reported. “She turned me down a pair of occasions, and we dated and the relaxation is record.”
The two have been married Could 7, 1961, and are nevertheless together right now.
Some of Leppo’s most weird encounters arrived from defending a gentleman named Anthony Jackson as his courtroom-appointed lawyer. He was on demo for murdering 13 women of all ages, Leppo said.
“He came into courtroom naked. One more time he ate razor blades,” Leppo said. “And then he would not appear in the courtroom at all.”
The court docket responded by placing a speaker in Jackson’s cell so he could listen, Leppo claimed. At a single stage, Jackson bought mad at Leppo and ripped the speaker off the wall of his mobile.
“I walked back there and I claimed, ‘I’ve experienced plenty of of that. I’ve had more than enough of you.’ And I went back and and we had a very little altercation,” Leppo explained. “And when they have been lugging him to the healthcare facility, he was yelling ‘Marty save me! Conserve me!'”
Even the tale of how Leppo met convicted artwork thief Myles Connor is one for the background guides. He was sitting with a group of guys at a café in Mattapan Square when he saw a thing strange.
“A guy walked by the cafe in Mattapan Sq. on Blue Hill Avenue, and he is got a mountain lion on a leash,” he stated.
The person happened to be Myles Connor, who Leppo acknowledged. He went in excess of and released himself, and quickly they began doing the job alongside one another. After defending Connor on lots of cases, the two men grew to become near.
The two became so close that when Connor’s mother’s funeral was scheduled all through a time when he was intended to be in jail, Leppo aided him sneak in to see her by putting him in a coffin and having it into the funeral home, permitting him out to say his goodbyes, and then using him out of the home by using the coffin.
Leppo mentioned he’s still symbolizing Connor, and that most days he speaks to him in excess of the mobile phone several periods a day.
Even now enjoys the do the job
These days Leppo works in the similar place of work with his son Karl Leppo, who is also a law firm.
Leppo mentioned he is however functioning as a attorney nowadays because he only enjoys the perform.
“I liked the operate alone. Persons give me a likelihood to to do some thing vital,” he mentioned.
And he will not prepare on retiring whenever quickly.
“As prolonged as I can strike the bat all over and strike a fastball, I’m gonna do it,” he mentioned.
Enterprise team writer Susannah Sudborough can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]. You can observe her on Twitter at @k_sudborough. Assistance neighborhood journalism by obtaining a electronic or print membership to The Business nowadays.