Legal Aid Attorney Michele Maxian Dies at 55

Michele Maxian, the Legal Aid lawyer who led the successful fight to have persons accused of crimes-whether rich or poor- arraigned within 24-hours after arrest, died November 14 of cancer. The arrest to arraignment case, People ex rel. Maxian on behalf of Roundtree v. Brown, resulted from daily habeas corpus petitions filed on behalf of 900 people arrested in New York City without warrants - many for offenses no more serious than selling umbrellas without a license. Hailed by her colleagues as a lawyer's lawyer, Ms. Maxian won the Society's Orison S. Marden Award for outstanding service and dedication to the organization and to the clients in 1991. She was named the outstanding public defense practitioner in 2004 by the New York State Bar Association. This was her 30th year at the Society.