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Rudolph Kass was born in Magdeburg, Germany, and emigrated to Arlington at the age of three. Justice Kass received his B.A. from Harvard College in 1952 and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1956. Prior to his appointment to the Appeals Court, Justice Kass joined and later became a partner in the Boston law firm Brown, Rudnick, Freed & Gesmer (now Brown Rudnick LLP), where he specialized in real estate with a concentration in urban affairs. In 1965, Justice Kass served as counsel to a special legislative committee that drafted a statute creating the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, now known as MassHousing.
In 1979, Governor Michael Dukakis appointed Justice Kass to the Appeals Court. During his tenure, he wrote 1,600 opinions, approximately 200 of which were single justice memoranda and orders. Justice Kass reached the mandatory retirement age in 2000 but remained a recall judge until 2003. He has lectured and written extensively on subjects related to real estate and is the editor and author of several chapters in Legal Chowder: Lawyering and Judging in Massachusetts. Currently, Justice Kass is serving as director of both Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly and the Law Advocacy & Resource Center and is an adjunct professor at Boston College Law School, where he teaches real estate.