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Joseph P. Lieb

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Material Information

Title:
Joseph P. Lieb gentleman, gentle judge (1901-1971)
Physical Description:
1 online resource (4 p.) : ill. ;
Language:
English
Creator:
Buck, Morison
Publisher:
Morison Buck
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Judges -- Biography -- Florida -- Hillsborough County   ( lcsh )

Notes

Original Version:
Originally published as part of the "Chips off the Old Bench" column: Tampa, Fla. : Hillsborough County, October 1999, Lawyer under title:
General Note:
Title from caption.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
usfldc doi - B28-00005
usfldc handle - b28.5
NEW
System ID:
SFS0000050:00001


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Full Text

PAGE 1

J os e ph P L i e b G e nt l e m a n, G e nt l e J udge ( 1901 1971) T om W i c ke r T a r he e l br e d ne w s pa pe r c ol um ni s t onc e quot e d h i s pr of e s s or i n j our na l i s m a t t he U n i ve r s i t y of N or t h C a r ol i na I f you'r e go i ng t o t e l l a s t or y a bout a be a r br i ng on t he be a r T he s ubj e c t of t hi s pi e c e w a s a be a r of a m a n na m e d J oe L i e b, t he s e ve nt h s on of G e or ge F r a nc i s & M a r y M c M a nu s L i e b. T he r e i s no e vi de nc e t ha t t he ne w s of hi s bi r t h i n F a r i ba ul t M i nne s ot a got i nt e r na t i ona l a t t e nt i on. B ut i t i s ne ve r t he l e s s t r ue t ha t t he ye a r 1901 c hr oni c l e d bot h hi s a r r i va l a nd t he f i r s t w i r e l e s s t r a ns m i s s i on a c r os s t he A t l a nt i c by M a r c oni L e a n a nd a t hl e t i c i n hi s yout h L i e b ul t i m a t e l y gr e w t o a bout 6 1 i n he i ght a nd w e i ghe d i n a bout 220 pounds I t 's no w onde r J oe f l e d t he c ol d c l i m a t e o f M i nne s ot a a s s oon a s he c oul d. A ve r a ge J a nua r y t e m pe r a t ur e i n F a r i ba ul t i s 11. 2 de gr e e s a bove z e r o. J a nua r y, 1970 s a w a one da y r e c or d l ow of 34 be l ow T ha t 's c hi l l y H e a t t e nde d S t T hom a s C ol l e ge i n S t P a ul f or t w o ye a r s t he n t r a ns f e r r e d t o G e or ge t ow n U ni ve r s i t y i n W a s hi ngt on, D C on a f oot ba l l s c hol a r s hi p. H e ha d t o be e f up" t o r e a c h t he m i ni m um pl a yi ng w e i ght of 150 l bs W he n he c he c ke d i n, t he s c a l e s r e a d onl y 137 H e c ont i nue d t o pl a y gua r d f or G e or ge t ow n w hi l e i n l a w s c hool t he r e T he book e nt i t l e d T he G e or ge t ow n H oya s T he S t or y of a R a m bunc t i ous F oot ba l l T e a m l i s t s L i e b a s a gua r d on t he r os t e r of t he 19 21 a nd 1922 t e a m s T hos e w e r e t he ye a r s be f or e be he m ot h l i ne m e n a dva nc e d pr ot e c t i ve ge a r a nd c oa c he s w ho s om e one de s c r i be d a s f e l l ow s w ho a r e w i l l i n g t o l a y dow n y our l i f e f or hi s s c hool O t he r L i e b br ot he r s w o r t hy of not e i nc l ude d: J ohn L i e b, w ho w a s a r oom m a t e of D w i ght E i s e nhow e r a t W e s t P o i nt ; T om L i e b w a s C oa c h of t he U ni ve r s i t y of F l or i da G a t or s f r om 1940 t o 1946. A f t e r gr a dua t i ng i n 1924 w i t h a l a w de gr e e f r om G e or ge t ow n ( one o f hi s c l a s s m a t e s w a s t he l a t e J ohn T w om e y, a T a m pa l a w ye r ) a nd a dm i s s i on t o t he D C ba r t ha t ye a r L i e b a ppl i e d t o t he U S D e pt of J us t i c e f or a ppoi n t m e nt a s S pe c i a l A ge nt w i t h w ha t w a s t he n know n a s t he B ur e a u of I nve s t i ga t i on, un t i l 1935 w he n by A c t o f C ongr e s s i t be c a m e t he F B I J oe L i e b, J r onl y c hi l d of j udge a nd M r s L i e b a n d a m us i c pr odi gy r e l a t e s how hi s f a t he r w a s c a l l e d upon t o i de nt i f y i n a pol i c e l i ne u p t he or ga ni z e d c r i m e f i gu r e A r t hur ( D ut c h) S c hul t z ( w hos e r e a l na m e w a s F l e ge nhe i m e r ) S c hul t z w a s pl a yi ng poke r w i t h

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A r nol d R ot hs t e i n ( a nd o t he r s ) a t P a r k C e nt r a l H ot e l i n M a nha t t a n w he n t he l a t t e r w a s gunne d dow n i n t he ga ngl a nd s t yl e of t ha t e r a R ot hs t e i n ha d be e n a ga m bl i ng c z a r w hos e pr i nc i pa l c l a i m t o f a m e w a s f i xi ng t he 1919 W or l d S e r i e s A f t e r l e a vi ng t he B ur e a u, a nd doubt l e s s be ne f i t i ng f r om hi s f i ne r e c or d a nd r e put a t i on a c qui r e d dur i ng h i s e xpe r i e nc e i n l a w e nf or c e m e nt L i e b w a s a ppoi nt e d a n a s s i s t a nt pr os e c ut or by U S A t t or ne y, J ohn W H ol l a nd ( w h o, i nc i de nt a l l y be c a m e a f e de r a l di s t r i c t j udge i n M i a m i a nd w hos e r e t i r e m e nt c r e a t e d t he va c a nc y f i l l e d by J os e ph P L i e b i n 1955) H e s e r ve d a s A s s t U S A t t or ne y i n M i a m i f r om 1931 unt i l 1934. W hi l e i n t ha t a s s i gnm e nt he m e t h i s w i f e t he f or m e r H e l e n B ow m a n of K noxvi l l e T e nne s s e e on a bl i nd da t e T he i r s on s t i l l r e s i de s i n t he f a m i l y ho m e on B a ys hor e B l vd. I n 1934, t he L i e bs s e t t l e d pe r m a ne nt l y i n T a m pa b ought t he hom e ove r l ooki ng t he ba y, a nd J oe be ga n t he pr a c t i c e of l a w A s s oc i a t e d w i t h t he S ha c ke l f or d f i r m f or s e ve r a l ye a r s he e s t a bl i s he d hi m s e l f a s a j our ne ym a n l a w ye r i n r e a l e s t a t e a nd t r i a l pr a c t i c e A r m i n S m i t h, J r a f i ne l a w ye r a nd pa r t ne r i n t he G i bbons f i r m f or m a ny ye a r s be f o r e r e t i r i ng, t e l l s of hi s w i f e R e be c c a 's e xpe r i e nc e w i t h J oe w he n s he w a s i n t he s e c r e t a r i a l pool w i t h S ha c ke l f o r d i n 1944: "H e w as de l i ght f ul t o w or k w i t h, al w ay s t he ge nt l e m an, and v e r y upbe at and c he e r f ul H e w as s o t hor ough t hat he i ns i s t e d on hand dr af t i ng al l of hi s l e gal handi w or k A r m i n s ay s of hi s ow n c ont ac t w i t h J oe dur i ng t he s am e pe r i od "B e hi nd hi s us ual l y s e r i ous f ac ade l ur k e d t he good ol d I r i s h hum or and none o f t hat de l i ght f ul de m e anor v ani s he d af t e r he be c am e a f e de r al j udge I n 1946, a t t he i nvi t a t i on of M or r i s W hi t e he j oi ne d t he F o w l e r W hi t e f i r m O ne of hi s c l os e a s s oc i a t e s t he r e w a s t he e ne r ge t i c a nd c a pa bl e J a m e s E ( J i m m y ) T hom ps on, w ho i ndul ge s t he s e r e f l e c t i ons : J oe L i e b w as al w ay s t ot al l y pr e par e d f or hi s t r i al s and l at e r as a j udge he e x pe c t e d l aw y e r s t o be al s o. M or r i s W hi t e us e d t o s ay t hat J oe s onl y f aul t as a t r i al l aw y e r w as t hat he t hought l i k e a J udge and w e nt out of hi s w ay t o i ns ur e j us t i c e w he n he had be e n hi r e d t o w i n f or hi s c l i e nt L at e r as a J udge M or r i s w as he ar d t o s ay t hat hi s onl y f aul t w as a t e nde nc y t o t hi nk as an adv oc at e f or w hi c he v e r s i de of a c as e he f e l t w as r i ght I r e c al l as k i ng f or J oe s adv i c e onc e on hi r i ng an e x pe r t I as k e d hi m w ha t e x am i ni ng phy s i c i an w oul d be l i k e l y t o g i v e f av or abl e t e s t i m ony i n a c as e I had c om i ng up. H e c has t i s e d m e f or t he que s t i on and t ol d m e t o l ook f or t he be s t qual i f i e d w i t h unque s t i one d i nt e gr i t y and pr e f e r abl y one w ho c oul d t e s t i f y i n t e r m s t hat l ay m an c oul d unde r s t and. H e t he n adde d t hat i f t he e x pe r t s opi ni on agr e e d w i t h m y t he or y of t he c as e us e hi m as a w i t ne s s and i f i t di dn' t us e t he e x am i n m y e v al uat i on f or s e t t l e m e nt pur pos e s but N E V E R t r y t o ge t an e x pe r t i nv ol v e d as a par t i s an ot he r t han as a par t i s an f or hi s opi ni on. T ha t w as good adv i c e J ohn A r t hur J one s ve t e r a n l a w ye r a nd s e ni or pa r t n e r w i t h H ol l a nd & K ni ght l a ughi ngl y r e m e m be r e d a c a s e w he r e he w a s de f e n di ng W e s t e r n U ni on. J oe L i e b r e pr e s e nt e d t he pl a i nt i f f w ho ha d l os t pa r t of a f i ng e r w he n hi s ve hi c l e c ol l i de d w i t h a W U ve hi c l e U nbe know ns t t o L i e b, t he W e s t e r n U ni on dr i ve r ha d a phys i c a l de f o r m i t y c a us i ng hi m t o ha ve a c r a b l i ke w a l k J one s s a i d t h a t w he n J oe L i e b s a w t he m i s s ha pe n a ppe a r a nc e of t he de f e nda nt 's a ge nt c ont r a s t e d w i t h t he r obus t ne s s of hi s pl a i n t i f f he t ur ne d pa l e e vi de nt l y t hi nki ng t ha t a j ur y m i ght c o nc l ude t ha t t he de f e nda nt 's dr i ve r w a s t he one r e a l l y i nj ur e d i n t he c ol l i s i on. M r s L i e b w a s a pow e r i n s t a t e a nd na t i ona l R e pub l i c a n pol i t i c s f or ye a r s I n 1952 a n

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e l e c t i on ye a r s he w a s a m e m be r of t he R e publ i c a n N a t i ona l C om m i t t e e O n S e pt e m be r 4 ( he r hus ba nd's bi r t h da y) s he w a s on t he pl a t f or m a t P l a nt F i e l d t o i nt r oduc e D w i ght E i s e nhow e r w ho w a s a ppe a r i ng i n s uppor t o f hi s b oom i ng c a ndi da c y f or pr e s i de nt T hi r t y s i x ye a r s l a t e r L e l a nd H a w e s w r ot e a de t a i l e d s t or y i n t he T r i bune w i t h a pi c t ur e of I ke H e l e n L i e b a n d J oe J r H e c a l l e d i t T he D a y E i s e nhow e r S t um pe d i n T a m pa I t m a y onl y ha ve be e n c oi nc i de nc e but w he n J udge H ol l a nd r e t i r e d, P r e s i de nt E i s e nhow e r c hos e J os e ph P a t r i c k L i e b ove r N a t ha n G r a ha m a s e ni or R e publ i c a n f r om T a m pa w ho w a s r e por t e dl y s upr e m e l y c onf i de nt t ha t he 'd be t h e a ppoi nt e e H on. A l e xa nde r L P a s ka y, C hi e f B a nkr upt c y J udge i n T a m pa be c a m e a s s oc i a t e d w i t h J udge L i e b a s hi s L a w C l e r k i n 1958 H e ha s a gr e a t s t or e o f know l e dge a bout m a t t e r s L i e bi a n, a nd hi s ke e n r e c ol l e c t i on of t he e v e nt s t a ki ng pl a c e i n t he U S v H of f a t r i a l i n pa r t i c ul a r m us t be s ha r e d: "Y ou m ay r e c al l t hat Se nat or M c C l e l l an of A r k ans as c hai r e d a C ongr e s s i onal i nv e s t i gat i on i nt o t he a l l e ge d i nf i l t r at i on of t he M a f i a i nt o l abor uni ons e s pe c i al l y t he T e am s t e r s J F K w a s a r ank i ng m e m be r of t he Subc om m i t t e e and B obby K e nne dy w as t he c hi e f c ouns e l f or t he Subc om m i t t e e T he c ons t a nt f i e r y c l as he s be t w e e n H of f a and B obby K e nne dy w e r e w e l l publ i c i z e d and l e f t no d oubt t he r e w as no l ov e l os t be t w e e n t he t w o. T hus t he r e w as no gr e at s ur pr i s e t hat B obby K e nne dy w as t e d no t i m e t o go af t e r H o f f a as s oon as he be c am e t he A t t or ne y G e n e r al T he r e w as no r e s i de nt j udge i n O r l ando at t hat t i m e and t he O r l ando c al e nde r w a s handl e d by J udge D oz i e r D e V ane a Se ni or U S. D i s t r i c t J udge A s s oon as t he H of f a c am p l e ar ne d t hat t he c r i m i nal c as e w oul d be handl e d by j udge D e V ane t he y i m m e di at e l y hi r e d J ul i us P ar k e r of T al l ahas s e e a f or m e r s c hool m at e and ne i ghbor of t he J udge T he y a l s o hi r e d f or m e r G ov e r nor F ul l e r W ar r e n, a c l os e f r i e nd of t he J ud ge and F r ank R agano of T am pa, w ho had s t ar t e d pr ac t i c i ng i n T am pa and w ho al s o had c l os e c onne c t i ons w i t h Sant o T r af f i c ant e W he n B obby K e nne dy l e ar ne d of t h i s l i ne up he pani c k e d and c al l e d E ar l W ar r e n, C hi e f j us t i c e and ur ge d hi m t o r e m ov e D e V ane i m m e di at e l y I ne v e r f or got t he F r i day a f t e r noon w he n I br ought t he ne w s t o J udge L i e b t hat he w as a v e r y l uc k y f e l l ow A l l pe ndi ng m ot i ons w e r e t o be he ar d i n O r l ando t he f ol l ow i ng M onday at 9 A M T he J udge i ns t r uc t e d m e t o go pos t has t e t o O r l ando, g e t t he f i l e r e ad t he m ot i ons and de br i e f hi m w he n he ar r i v e d Sun day af t e r noon I got t o t he f e de r al c our t hous e on Sat ur day I t w as c l os e d but I w as abl e t o l oc at e t he de put y c l e r k and got t he f i l e J us t i c e D e pt at t o r ne y s w ho w e r e s t ay i ng ac r os s t he s t r e e t f r om m y hot e l t ol d m e t hat t he i r r oom s had b e e n bugge d and l i k e l y t he J udge s and m y r oom w oul d be l i k e w i s e R at he r t han di s c u s s t he c as e i n t he hot e l J udge L i e b and I w al k e d ar ound L ak e E ol a unt i l m i dni ght di s c us s i ng t he 32 c ount m ai l f r aud i ndi c t m e nt W he n t he c our t c onv e ne d on M onday t he H of f a pe opl e w e r e s t upe f i e d t o s e e J udge L i e b on t he be nc h and i m m e di at e l y as k e d f or a r e c e s s T hat r e que s t w as de ni e d. O ne of t he gr ounds f or di s m i s s al w as t hat t he gr and j ur y w as i m pr ope r l y c onv e ne d. T he l aw r e qui r e d t hat t he r e be t w o j ur y c om m i s s i one r s one D e m oc r at and one R e publ i c an, but w he n t he t w o w ho had s e l e c t e d t he gr and j ur y t e s t i f i e d i t t ur ne d out t hat bot h c om m i s s i one r s w e r e r e gi s t e r e d as D e m oc r at s N e e dl e s s t o s ay al l he l l br ok e l oos e I ns t e ad of r ul i ng i m m e di at e l y J udge L i e b t ol d t he l aw y e r s t o c om e bac k af t e r l unc h r e c e s s W he n c our t r e c onv e ne d, H of f a f i r e d hi s e nt i r e e nt our age e x c e pt t he r e gul ar T e am s t e r s at t or ne y and F r ank R agano an d as k e d f or and w as gr ant e d a r e c e s s unt i l t he f ol l ow i ng day H of f a i m m e di at e l y b r ought i n a ne w l aw y e r a M r K at z

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f r om P hi l ade l phi a, w ho ar gue d t he m ot i on P r os e c ut i on ar gum e nt w as pr e s e nt e d by J am e s N e al w ho l at e r be c am e f am ous dur i ng W at e r gat e K at z pr e s e nt e d a pe r s ua s i v e ar gum e nt w i t h w hi c h I w as i n agr e e m e nt and t he i ndi c t m e nt w as di s m i s s e d. T ow a r d t he e nd of hi s c a r e e r J udge L i e b, w ho r e c e i ve d a num be r o f l e t t e r s a f t e r h i s r ul i ng i n U S v H of f a w hi c h a c c us e d hi m of t a ki n g br i be s be i ng a c om m uni s t a nd ot he r s c ur r i l ous c ha r ge s t ypi c a l of ha t e m a i l ha d t o de a l w i t h di f f i c ul t a nd vol a t i l e c a s e s i nvol vi ng i nt e gr a t i on of publ i c s c hool s a nd f a c i l i t i e s A c c or di ng t o h i s s on, m o r e t ha n 100 phone c a l l s t hr e a t e ni ng hi s l i f e w e r e r e c e i ve d. O n one oc c a s i on he w a s hi t i n t he s t om a c h w i t h a w i ne bot t l e w hi l e s hoppi ng a t t he ol d W i nn D i xi e s t or e on K e nne dy B l vd a t B r e va r d. A s he w a s l e a vi ng c ha m be r s l a t e one a f t e r noon i n N ove m be r 1971 he w a s s t r i c ke n, r us he d t o t he hos pi t a l but w a s una bl e t o r e c ove r A l t hough J oe L i e b's l i f e w a s de s t i ne d not t o e xc e e d t he B i bl i c a l t h r e e s c or e a nd t e n ye a r s hi s r e c or d of publ i c s e r vi c e i m pe c c a bl e pe r s ona l l i f e a nd hi s j udi c i a l m i e n ge nt l e ye t f i r m w i l l be hi s i nde l i bl e m onum e nt M or i s on B uc k A f t e r w or d: O ne w ho c l a i m s t ha t he know s a bout i t T e l l s m e t he e a r t h i s a va l e of s i n; B ut I a nd t he be e s a nd t he bi r ds w e doubt i t A nd t hi nk i t a w or l d w or t h l i vi ng i n. E l l a W he e l e r W i l c ox


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