Thurgood Marshall

[page 141, line 13]

But before I became a lawyer I was covering federal court one day, KLIF, and there was a hearing before T. Whitfield Davis. And it was one of these cases involving the Dallas Independent School District desegregation case. And it had gone up to the Supreme Court, had come back down, gone up because T. Whitfield Davis refused to issue the orders that the Supreme Court seemed to indicate should have been issued to order the schools to be desegregated.

And the lawyers came in for this hearing and they filed — and I was sitting in the jury box in the old post office. And T. Whitfield sat there, came in and looked around and started to launch into his tale about George Washington Carver and the peanut and about industry and the blacks and all. And the lawyer sat there, and one of them had a pad out. He had a fistful of sharpened pencils and she was starting to write on that pad as Judge T. Whitfield Davis had went on. And the lawyer would write, snap, and the pencil would break. He’d put on down and pick another one up very deliberately, snap.

And I got curious, so I leaned forward toward the counsel table where I looked over him, and he was writing line after line broken by the broken pencil point, “The lawyer who loses his temper” — snap — “loses his case.” That was Thurgood Marshall who shortly after that wound up being in the Supreme Court of the United States. I won’t say that that got me involved in practicing law, but it was interesting.

And there’s so many other stories, but I’m not going to top any of the ones that went before me. It’s too tough an act to follow. Thank you.

JUDGE VANCE: You folks are real patient. Let me ask you, Ed, your name is on here.

MR. MASON: No, I’m waiving any.

JUDGE VANCE: All right. Sheriff Bowles.


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