Ed Mason’s first encounter with Judge Sarah Hughes

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And the other Sarah Hughes story will concern Ed Mason. When we were in the D.A.’s office together we had a case up there. We — it fell out luck to try civil rights cases against the sheriff, and some of our sheriffs had a lot more than others. And some of you may remember who I’m talking about. We had plenty of lawsuits at some times in the past.

We had a matter we wanted to present to the judge, and so I said, “Ed, go up there and see if she’ll do what — what were we doing? Getting the case passed or something. Well, something simple.

MR. MASON: Well, we were in Judge Taylor’s court.

MAGISTRATE TOLLE: But you went to see her, didn’t you?

MR. MASON: You sent me to tell Judge Hughes —


MR. MASON: — that we were going to be late.

MAGISTRATE TOLLE: I remember — I remember that. Right, we were going to be late; that’s right. We had a trial going in Judge Taylor’s court. I said, “Go tell her we’re late.” So —

MR. MASON: I had been practicing law about three months.

MAGISTRATE TOLLE: Ed goes up to her court. She’s not there in the courtroom. She’s down in the coffee shop drinking coffee with the courtroom deputy clerk. He ought to tell the story. Tell it. You tell it.

MR. MASON: Well, John sent me down there. You know —

MAGISTRATE TOLLE: I didn’t send you “down” there; I sent you “up” there.

MR. MASON: — relying on people. But I went up to Judge Hughes. I had never met her, and she seemed real nice. I was watching her talk at the table. So I went up and tapped her on the shoulder. That was mistake number one. And I said, “Excuse me, Your Honor, but may I interrupt?” And that’s all I got. She said, “No, you may not interrupt. What you may do is you may go to my office and stand in the doorway. Don’t go in my office and don’t be out of my office. Stand in the doorway till I get there.”

Well, Judge Taylor is waiting for me in another federal court. So about 20 minutes everybody is waiting. I was there until Judge Hughes got up there. And she asked me what my business was, and I told her. And she said, “Well, get here when you can.”

MAGISTRATE TOLLE: “I’m right here, Judge.” Judge Taylor was an easy man to deal with; we didn’t have any trouble with him, but it was the other one.


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