BROCKTON — From obtaining a consumer display up to courtroom naked to serving to a further sneak in to see his lifeless mom using a coffin, Brockton-centered attorney Martin Leppo’s profession as a legal defense attorney has been something but boring.
Now living in Stoughton, Leppo is 89 and is nonetheless arguing instances in court. While he is best recognised for remaining the law firm of convicted art thief Myles Connor, his 60-12 months tenure contains considerably far more than one particular well known defendant.
It all began in the West Finish of Boston wherever he grew up just before relocating to Dorchester and then Brookline. His moms and dads ended up the two from the Kiev location in Russia, even though they did not know every single other right before they immigrated.
Leppo was all around 12 yrs aged when he decided he wished to be a law firm.
“My father and I have been in the auto in the early 40s. We have been listening to the radio about a battle concerning the People in america and Japanese in airplanes,” Leppo stated. “And my father, who was an previous-time fighter, he was there throwing punches at the air. And he appeared at me and said, ‘What are you heading to do with your everyday living?'”
“I claimed, ‘Dad, it can be effortless. I’m heading to a major college or university. That’s for confident. I’m heading to be a Marine. And I’m going to be a demo attorney.'”
Leppo explained he desired to be a Marine simply because finding out about the soldiers in Earth War II experienced encouraged him to provide his region. He reported he needed to be a lawyer for the reason that he assumed the only occupations he could go into were being staying a businessperson, a teacher or a lawyer, and he was not fond of the two former.
For the most section, Leppo followed his stated route by means of existence. He graduated from Brookline Substantial and attended Northeastern University.
But at that time, the Korean War was occurring, and he shed a person of his buddies to the war. So he left college and served in the Marines all through the war.
When Leppo was at the stop of his support, he was acknowledged to Boston University’s legislation faculty on the problem that he provide 12 a lot more months in the Marines. So he served that time, and began university instantly right after.
Northeastern counted his to start with calendar year at BU Regulation as his last yr at Northeastern and granted him his undergraduate liberal arts degree.
But in accordance to Leppo, BU Regulation did not like the fact that he was doing work total-time although attending regulation school, so right after two years of education there, he was kicked out.
So Leppo switched to New England Regulation University, which was regarded by a diverse name at the time, and completed his law diploma there.
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On Nov. 10, 1959, Leppo handed the Massachusetts bar test on his initial go. He failed to convey to his parents he had passed for the reason that that evening he was celebrating the birthday of the Marine Corps with his fellow officers.
“A bunch of previous Marines had been coming to see me, so I celebrated with them and then I celebrated my mothers and fathers the subsequent night time,” he explained.
Leppo commenced operating for an insurance plan adjustment firm soon after graduating, but shortly discovered inspiration although checking out Dorchester District Courtroom. He questioned if they essential court docket-appointed attorneys, which they did, so he set out on his individual and started using court appointments out of Dorchester.
Shortly, he’d developed a solid impartial practice.
One of the initial huge situations Leppo remembers was in Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham. It was a large-profile murder situation of a person killing his girlfriend. He was the lead lawyer’s next.
If the gentleman was identified guilty, the man would experience the dying penalty, Leppo stated. So the decide went all over inquiring jurors no matter whether they would be snug locating the male guilty if that intended it would send the defendant to dying, he stated.
1 juror was a lady in her 60s. She instructed the choose “I could never ever deliver that younger male to the electrical chair,” and pointed at Leppo.
The judge experienced to say “That’s the lawyer,” Leppo said.
It wasn’t extensive ahead of Leppo built it into the initially version of a guide named “Finest Legal professionals in The usa.” He sent the e book to two people.
A single was his mom, and in the book he wrote, “All this is because of you.”
The other was a Boston College regulation professor.
“I sent him an autographed duplicate of the book because he explained I’d never make it,” Leppo said.
It was through this time that Leppo fulfilled his wife Marcia. She was a demo clerk at Suffolk Exceptional Courtroom. It all started off when they attended the very same dance one night time.
“We went out and had a sandwich after the dance, and then I bugged her since she worked in Outstanding Court,” he said. “She turned me down a few of situations, and we dated and the relaxation is heritage.”
The two were married Could 7, 1961, and are even now together now.
Some of Leppo’s most weird experiences arrived from defending a person named Anthony Jackson as his court-appointed attorney. He was on demo for murdering 13 females, Leppo explained.
“He came into court docket bare. A further time he ate razor blades,” Leppo said. “And then he wouldn’t appear in the courtroom at all.”
The court docket responded by placing a speaker in Jackson’s cell so he could pay attention, Leppo explained. At just one position, Jackson obtained mad at Leppo and ripped the speaker off the wall of his mobile.
“I walked back there and I mentioned, ‘I’ve experienced ample of that. I’ve had adequate of you.’ And I went back and and we experienced a small altercation,” Leppo claimed. “And when they ended up lugging him to the healthcare facility, he was yelling ‘Marty save me! Help save me!'”
Even the tale of how Leppo met convicted art thief Myles Connor is a single for the heritage publications. He was sitting down with a team of gentlemen at a café in Mattapan Sq. when he noticed anything strange.
“A guy walked by the restaurant in Mattapan Square on Blue Hill Avenue, and he is acquired a mountain lion on a leash,” he stated.
The male took place to be Myles Connor, who Leppo regarded. He went more than and launched himself, and quickly they started doing the job with each other. After defending Connor on a lot of situations, the two males became near.
The two became so close that when Connor’s mother’s funeral was scheduled through a time when he was supposed to be in jail, Leppo assisted him sneak in to see her by putting him in a coffin and having it into the funeral household, permitting him out to say his goodbyes, and then taking him out of the home through the coffin.
Leppo claimed he’s nonetheless symbolizing Connor, and that most times he speaks to him around the cell phone many times a day.
Still loves the operate
These times Leppo will work in the exact office environment with his son Karl Leppo, who is also a attorney.
Leppo stated he is nevertheless operating as a law firm today simply because he merely loves the work.
“I preferred the function itself. Individuals give me a likelihood to to do anything essential,” he said.
And he isn’t going to system on retiring at any time before long.
“As extended as I can hit the bat all-around and strike a fastball, I am gonna do it,” he said.
Company workers writer Susannah Sudborough can be achieved by electronic mail at [email protected]. You can stick to her on Twitter at @k_sudborough. Help regional journalism by buying a digital or print subscription to The Organization currently.