Raymond A. Brown, a criminal and civil rights lawyer who represented controversial clients like the Black Panthers, boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter and Amiri Baraka, died Friday at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey. At a time when few Black lawyers served in large firms, he became a solo practitioner focusing on casualties of prejudice and poverty. His talent for courtroom bravado, oratory and canny legal strategies was such that clients like New Jersey politicians, organized crime figures and union officials sought him out when issues far from civil rights were involved.
He also was the president of the New Jersey chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. for 12 years and worked to integrate its schools and faculty. During the riots in Newark, New Jersey, in 1967, he was serving with the National Guard and walked the streets to quiet the disturbances.
Brown was 94 and lived in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. He is survived by his second wife, two children from his first marriage, two stepchildren, and seven grandchildren.—BB