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Marlin Lawyer Quizzes HSA Manager, Koppell

By Lawrence W. Feinders

A Dustin M. Burke '52 and a voluble G. Oliver Koppell '62 sparred with lawyer George Waldstein '46 for four hours Friday over the history of "Let's Go: A Student Guide to Europe."

Waldstein, representing John A. Marlin '62 in his suit against the Harvard Student Agencies over rights to the guidebook, pressed Burke doggedly about his role in the product. But the HRA general manager frequently requested Waldstein to clarity his questions and much of the time was spent in disputes over semantics. Generally, Burke stuck alone to affidavits he had submitted previously.

The wrangling took place across a large oval table at the Boston Bar Association as Waldstein took sworn depositions from Burke and Koppell, HRA's president, in the first step of the pre-trial discovery phase of Martin's quit.

Authority Questioned

Koppell was questioned most carefully about the authority under which he signed an agreement on March 28, 1941, acknowledging Martin's copyright to the 1941 "Let's Go." He stated that Burke was aware that Martin threatened to withhold his manuscript unless HEA agreed to acknowledge his copyright. But Koppell observed, "Mr. Burke did not order me to accept or reject Martin's conditions. He did express his concern."

Then Koppell read from his affidavit of March 19 that he "felt compelled to submit to Martin's demands" in order that "the guide could be published in time for distribution for the summer season."

"At the time of exercises of this agreement," Koppell repeated from his affidavit, "I was not an officer of HEA and had no authority to make any contract on behalf of the corporation."

"Was that your state of mind when you signed the agreement?" Waldstein asked. MEA lawyer Harold Rosenwald '27 quickly instructed Koppell not to answer this question.

"Were you informed subsequently that you had no authority," Walstein asked. Again Rosenwald told Koppell not to answer.

"Did you believe that you were not acting fraudulently when you signed the agreement?" Waldstein asked. For a third time Rosenwald told Koppell not to reply.

Earlier, Burke quoted a statement from his affidavit of March 29 that although as manager of the European guide agency Koppell had "broad authority within the established policies of HEA," he "was not in any way authorised...to consent to the application for a copyright by John Martin or any other person."

Outsiders All Right

At another point Waldstein asked Burke if he thought Michael B. Kats '62, manager of the 1942 "Let's Go," had acted within his authority when he signed an agreement to employ four persons, including Yale junior Leonard M. Chazen, to write the 1942 guide. Rosenwald instructed Burke not to answer "because this is a question of law which the judge will decide."

Later, Burke explained that it was consistent with the policies of the HEA to hire non-Harvard students "where the occasion justifies it." "In any instance where we do not have a Harvard student available with a special skill," he noted, "we hire outsiders."

Under sharp questioning on his statement that he compiled the vocabulary list in the 1941 "Let's Go," Koppell acknowledged that three-quarters of the 32 word list followed in identical order a list contained in "Europe '61," a pamphlet published by Speak-easy Language Cards.

Waldstein, representing John A. Marlin '62 in his suit against the Harvard Student Agencies over rights to the guidebook, pressed Burke doggedly about his role in the product. But the HRA general manager frequently requested Waldstein to clarity his questions and much of the time was spent in disputes over semantics. Generally, Burke stuck alone to affidavits he had submitted previously.

The wrangling took place across a large oval table at the Boston Bar Association as Waldstein took sworn depositions from Burke and Koppell, HRA's president, in the first step of the pre-trial discovery phase of Martin's quit.

Authority Questioned

Koppell was questioned most carefully about the authority under which he signed an agreement on March 28, 1941, acknowledging Martin's copyright to the 1941 "Let's Go." He stated that Burke was aware that Martin threatened to withhold his manuscript unless HEA agreed to acknowledge his copyright. But Koppell observed, "Mr. Burke did not order me to accept or reject Martin's conditions. He did express his concern."

Then Koppell read from his affidavit of March 19 that he "felt compelled to submit to Martin's demands" in order that "the guide could be published in time for distribution for the summer season."

"At the time of exercises of this agreement," Koppell repeated from his affidavit, "I was not an officer of HEA and had no authority to make any contract on behalf of the corporation."

"Was that your state of mind when you signed the agreement?" Waldstein asked. MEA lawyer Harold Rosenwald '27 quickly instructed Koppell not to answer this question.

"Were you informed subsequently that you had no authority," Walstein asked. Again Rosenwald told Koppell not to answer.

"Did you believe that you were not acting fraudulently when you signed the agreement?" Waldstein asked. For a third time Rosenwald told Koppell not to reply.

Earlier, Burke quoted a statement from his affidavit of March 29 that although as manager of the European guide agency Koppell had "broad authority within the established policies of HEA," he "was not in any way authorised...to consent to the application for a copyright by John Martin or any other person."

Outsiders All Right

At another point Waldstein asked Burke if he thought Michael B. Kats '62, manager of the 1942 "Let's Go," had acted within his authority when he signed an agreement to employ four persons, including Yale junior Leonard M. Chazen, to write the 1942 guide. Rosenwald instructed Burke not to answer "because this is a question of law which the judge will decide."

Later, Burke explained that it was consistent with the policies of the HEA to hire non-Harvard students "where the occasion justifies it." "In any instance where we do not have a Harvard student available with a special skill," he noted, "we hire outsiders."

Under sharp questioning on his statement that he compiled the vocabulary list in the 1941 "Let's Go," Koppell acknowledged that three-quarters of the 32 word list followed in identical order a list contained in "Europe '61," a pamphlet published by Speak-easy Language Cards.

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