Judge Richburg, hog, and tape recorder

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And you were speaking about Tom Howard. Tom and I went to school together. We graduated together. And I had — I had a lot of — I had a lot of good times with Tom. And the other lawyer that had been mentioned here. Many are dead, are gone. Bobby Wade. Most of you know Barney Hemphill, don’t you? Barney Hemphill is — he, in my opinion, is a lawyer’s lawyer. Barney is an honorable man. What he tells you, you can believe it. Well, Barney is not well. He’s 85 now. He graduated at SMU in 1937, and I in 1938. So if you have time — he’s listed in the telephone directory — call him. Give him a ring. It would been a lot to him just to hear from you, to hear from his friends. And he and Bert Gunn. Most of you know Bert Gunn. They’re up there in the old Adolphus Tower building together. I mean, they were on the same floor, but they’re not anymore.

Now there’s some questions asked about who was the one who did all these bonds. Well, I’m going to tell you younger fellows, if you never had the privilege of trying a case before a man like Judge Richburg, the law west of the Trinity, you don’t know what practicing law is all about. You just don’t. I learned — he had some of the most unique ways of doing things. For instance, I remember one time people got involved over a dispute over a hog. Well, you know how the judge handled it? He had them bring the hog into court. And they brought him in. He said, “Now, turn the hog loose and see which one he goes to.” Well, the hog headed to the owner’s way, and that settled it. And he had on his desk up here, he had one of the tape recorders that had the little light that flickered off and on, you know. And he — people would be sitting here on the witness stand, and Judge Richburg would turn that machine on and now — he says now to the witness, he said, “Now, you know, look at that blinking now.” He says, “That’s a truth machine. It tells me when you’re telling the truth and when you’re not.” And he generally got the truth pretty much. And I visited with him several times out at West Dallas, and we’d have dinner on the ground.

The people out there would get into disputes, neighborhood. And Judge Richburg would say, “Well, Dalford, let’s take these folks out to West Dallas and let’s have dinner on the ground.” And we’d go out there and we’d have a meal. And by the time we got through, their dispute had all been settled.

And he did a lot of things that he couldn’t get by with today, but — for instance, he had what he called a leave-alone bond. You know, he’d have a leave-alone bond, a don’t fight bond, a don’t curse bond, don’t slow-trail bond. He had a bond for every occasion. But he was a great man, and I’m glad I knew him.

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