PASSINGS: Stephen Barnett, Douglas Duitsman, Erich Lehmann

Stephen Barnett

Vocal critic of California court system

Stephen Barnett, 73, a 1st Amendment professor emeritus at the UC Berkeley School of Law and a prominent critic of the state court system, died Tuesday in Berkeley of complications from cardiac arrest, the school said.

Colleagues said Barnett, who retired in 2003, was a tireless advocate of free speech rights and had spent his last years as a vocal critic of the speed with which the California Supreme Court handed down its decisions and the way it went about much of its day-to-day business.

In recent years he served on the First Amendment Coalition's board.

Barnett was born Dec. 25, 1935, in Brooklyn, N.Y., grew up in West Hartford, Conn., and earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1962, he clerked for a year for then-U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr.

Barnett worked in private practice as a lawyer in New York and Washington, D.C., before joining the Berkeley faculty in 1967.

He took a break from teaching for two years in the 1970s to accept a position as deputy solicitor general in the Justice Department.

Douglas Duitsman, a publicity executive with Columbia Pictures Television and Warner Bros. Television who also served as president of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in the late 1980s, died Sept. 17 at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks after a three-year battle with cancer, a family spokeswoman said. The Thousand Oaks resident was 81.

Erich Lehmann, professor emeritus of statistics at UC Berkeley known for his texts "Testing Statistical Hypotheses" (1959) and "Theory of Point Estimation" (1983), died Sept. 12 at his Berkeley home. He was 91.

-- times staff and wire reports