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William J. Barker

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Material Information

Title:
William J. Barker real life Judge Hardy, 1886-1968
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, September 1998, 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 - B28-00015
usfldc handle - b28.15
NEW
System ID:
SFS0000059:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:


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PAGE 1

Wi l l i am J. B ar k e r R e al L i f e Ju d ge H ar d y 1886 1968 T hos e s uf f i c i e nt l y l ong i n t he t oot h a nd pe r ha ps s om e f r om t he t e l e vi s i on ge ne r a t i on m a y r e c a l l J udge H a r dy f r om t he A ndy H a r dy f e a t ur e f i l m s H e w a s pl a ye d by L e w i s S t one w hos e w onde r f ul m a ne of s i l ve r ha i r c ont r a s t e d s o s t r i ki ngl y w i t h t he t r a di t i ona l bl a c k r obe J udge H a r dy, a s S t one po r t r a ye d hi m w a s t he e pi t om e of a ki nd, w i s e f i gur e de s e r vi ng o f r e s pe c t a nd obe i s a nc e S uc h a m a n, i t s e e m s t o m e w a s J udge W i l l i a m J B a r ke r w ho w a s a l r e a dy f i r m l y e s t a bl i s he d a s a C i r c ui t J udge i n S e br i ng H i ghl a nds C ount y w he n t he f i r s t H a r dy f i l m w a s r e l e a s e d. T hi s w r i t e r m a y pe r ha ps be f or gi ve n f or ha vi ng f e e l i ngs of e s pe c i a l l y w a r m r e ga r d f or J udge B a r ke r f or hi s a ppoi nt i ng m e i n 1956 t o t he of f i c e of U ni t e d S t a t e s C om m i s s i one r a s ubor di na t e j udi c i a l of f i c i a l w i t h m a gi s t e r i a l dut i e s M y e nt hus i a s m f or t he a ppoi nt m e nt ne ve r w a ne d, e ve n t hough i t di d not l e a d t o f i na nc i a l i nde pe nde nc e I t w a s a bus y but pa r t t i m e r e s pons i bi l i t y, w hi c h, dur i ng m y 5 ye a r t e nur e p r oduc e d f e e s a ve r a gi ng no m or e t ha n $3000 pe r ye a r T oda y, m a gi s t r a t e s a r e c a l l e d j udge s w i t h e nl a r ge d pow e r s a nd dut i e s w i t h i nc om e s a bove $100, 000 a nnua l l y f ul l t i m e S on of a r a i l r oa d e ngi ne e r w i t h S e a boa r d A i r L i ne R a i l r oa d ( a s i t w a s t he n c a l l e d) B a r ke r s pe nt vi r t ua l l y hi s e nt i r e l i f e i n F l o r i da but he w a s bor n i n M a r i e t t a G e or gi a I n hi s e a r l y ye a r s w he n he w a s know n t o f a m i l y a nd f r i e nds a s W i l l i e B a r ke r t he f a m i l y l i ve d i n T a l l a ha s s e e T he J udge 's ol de s t da ught e r s t i l l r e s i de s t he r e H e a t t e nde d l oc a l s c hool s i n t he s t a t e c a pi t ol a nd a l s o t he W e s t F l o r i da S e m i na r y. H e r e l oc a t e d t o J a c ks onvi l l e w he r e he be c a m e ow ne r of a n e a r l y B ui c k a ut om obi l e de a l e r s hi p. R e por t e dl y, he w a s a s m uc h a t hom e i n t he s e r vi c e de pa r t m e nt a s i n t he of f i c e or s how r o om A l t hough t he de a l e r s hi p pr os pe r e d he ha d a na ggi ng de s i r e t o be c om e a l a w ye r s o he s t udi e d l a w a t t he U ni ve r s i t y of F l or i da gr a dua t i n g m a gna c um l a ude a nd ga i ne d a dm i s s i on t o t he B a r i n 1916. H i s c l a s s m a t e s a t G a i ne s vi l l e i nc l ude d G e or ge W W hi t e hu r s t ( w ho l a t e r be c a m e a f e de r a l di s t r i c t j ud ge i n T a m pa ) a nd S pe s s a r d H ol l a nd, l a t e r G ove r nor a nd U ni t e d S t a t e s S e na t or H e a nd H ol l a nd be c a m e s t e a df a s t f r i e nds B a r ke r w a s not s t a nd of f i s h w hi l e a t U ni ve r s i t y, a f f i l i a t i ng w i t h A l pha T a u O m e ga s oc i a l f r a t e r ni t y, P hi K a ppa P hi honor a r y s c hol a s t i c f r a t e r ni t y, a nd P hi D e l t a P hi honor a r y l e ga l f r a t e r ni t y. H e be c a m e a s s oc i a t e d w i t h a gr ow i ng l a w f i r m i n J a c ks onvi l l e w he r e he pr a c t i c e d

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unt i l 1924. A f t e r m ovi ng t o S e b r i ng a nd br i e f l y pr a c t i c i ng l a w t he r e he w a s a ppoi nt e d by G ove r nor J ohn W M a r t i n t o t he 19t h C i r c ui t C our t be nc h a t a ge 39, one of t he younge s t t o r e c e i ve a n a ppoi nt m e nt a t t ha t t i m e T he s t or y i s t ol d t ha t a num be r of l a w ye r s i n S e br i ng w e r e ups e t a nd a ngr y t o s e e a r e l a t i ve ne w c om e r t o t he C i r c ui t s e l e c t e d a s t he ne w j udge G ove r no r M a r t i n r e s ponde d, G e t t o kn ow B i l l B a r ke r ; yo u'l l l i ke hi m T he r e c a n be l i t t l e doubt t ha t t hos e be l l y a c hi ng l a w ye r s he e de d t he gove r nor 's a dvi c e be c a us e a s i t t ur ne d out t he r e w a s a l ot t o l i ke a bout t he ou t s i de r a nd J udge B a r ke r c a m e t o e a r n t he i r r e s pe c t a nd a f f e c t i on. I n D e c e m be r 1957, t he j udge w a s honor e d by t he H i ghl a nds C ount y B a r A s s oc i a t i on a nd t he C ount y C om m i s s i on. H i s po r t r a i t w a s hung on t he w a l l of t he c our t r oom d i r e c t l y be hi nd t he be nc h, a nd he w a s p r e s e nt e d hi s c ha i r w i t h a s ui t a bl y i ns c r i be d p l a que a f f i xe d, a s a gi f t R e t i r e d J udge V e r non W E va ns J r of T a m pa r e m e m be r s s e e i ng t he por t r a i t l oo m i ng ove r t he c our t hous e ye a r s l a t e r w hi l e i n t r i a l t he r e S e ve r a l ye a r s a f t e r c om m e nc e m e nt of h i s a c t i ve j udi c i a l c a r e e r ( s t a t e a nd f e de r a l ) w hi c h ul t i m a t e l y s pa nne d t hi r t y f ou r ye a r s t he j udge m ove d t o B a r t ow w he n t he C i r c ui t s w e r e r e s t r uc t ur e d. H e pr e s i de d t he r e f or t he 10t h C i r c ui t unt i l he a t t a i ne d t h e f e de r a l be nc h i n T a m pa i n 1940. E dw a r d ( T e d) M a c k, w ho w or ke d a s a C i r c ui t C our t r e por t e r i n B a r t ow w hi l e J udge B a r ke r s a t t he r e a nd w hom J udge B a r ke r l a t e r br ou ght w i t h hi m t o T a m pa ha s w r i t t e n a f a s c i na t i ng a c c ount of hi s e xpe r i e nc e s a s a f e de r a l r e por t i ng o f f i c i a l f r om 1940 t o 1970. T e d t e l l s w ha t he c a l l s a n i nt e r e s t i ng, pos s i bl y a p oc r ypha l f a bl e a bout how B a r ke r w a s a ppoi nt e d t o s uc c e e d r e t i r i ng J udge A l e xa nde r A ke r m a n. F l or i da 's t w o s e na t or s A ndr e w s a nd P e ppe r w e r e una bl e t o a gr e e on w hom t o e ndor s e A s a pl oy s om e of B a r ke r 's f r i e nds a r r a nge d a hunt i ng t r i p t o w hi c h b ot h s e na t or s a s w e l l a s B a r ke r w e r e i nvi t e d. B a r ke r w a s not onl y a hi ghl y r e s pe c t e d C i r c ui t J udge but a l s o a r e doubt a bl e s por t s m a n. A f t e r t he out i ng bot h s e na t or s qui c kl y de c i de d, H e 's our m a n. J udge B a r ke r ha d t he f o r e s i ght t o r e t a i n A ke r m a n's s e c r e t a r y, A l l i e M a e M a yna r d, w hom T e d de s c r i be s a s a de l i ght f ul G e or gi a l a dy M r s M a yna r d e ve n di d t he J udge 's t a x r e t ur ns H e r da ught e r A l l i e H i r s c h, w ho w or ke d f or t he H i l l s bor ough C ount y C om m i s s i on f or ye a r s a nd i s now r e t i r e d, t e l l s m e t ha t he r m ot he r w a s 91 ye a r s ol d w he n s he di d he r l a s t r e t ur ns f o r J udge a nd M r s B a r ke r W he n t he y w e r e c he c ke d by a l oc a l a c c ount a nt pr of e s s i ona l he c oul d not f i nd a s i ngl e e r r or i n t he r e t ur ns a nd e ve n a s ke d M r s M a yna r d i f s he w oul d l i ke t o c om e t o w or k f or hi m B ot h T e d a nd B S ( B uddy) C a r t e ha ve ke ys t o a r i c h s t or e hous e of s t or i e s a bout t he i r a s s oc i a t i on w i t h J udge B a r ke r B uddy, a l i f e l ong T a m pa n, w a s ba i l i f f a nd c l e r k ( pr i or t o bud ge t i nc r e a s e s f or hi r i ng t r a i ne d l a w ye r s ) f o r t w o ye a r s b e gi n ni ng i n 1947 t he younge s t ba i l i f f i n t he e nt i r e f e de r a l s ys t e m J oe G i l l e n w a s a n A s s t U S A t t o r ne y, l a t e r be c om i ng l a w c l e r k f or B a r ke r a nd s t i l l l a t e r C l e r k of t he S e c ond D i s t r i c t C our t o f A ppe a l i n L a ke l a nd. J oe 's s on, G uy, now r e t i r e d, s e r ve d de pe nda bl y w e l l a s J ur y C om m i s s i one r i n H i l l s bor ough C ount y f or a l ong t i m e T e d M a c k l a uds G i l l e n ( J oe ) a s a n out s t a ndi ng t r i a l l a w ye r T hi s s c r i be kne w a nd a d m i r e d J oe w he n he w a s doi ng va l ua bl e l e ga l w or k f o r t he j udge B ot h s our c e s l a s t na m e d r e c a l l s o m e m e m or a bl e t r i a l s i n w hi c h J udge B a r ke r w a s i nvol ve d. O ne w a s a n a nt i t r us t c a s e B r uc e s J ui c e s v A m e r i c an C an C o. T he c a s e a t t r a c t e d w i de s pr e a d i nt e r e s t T he l a w ye r f or t he d e f e nda nt w a s a 38 ye a r o l d, pr e m a t ur e l y w hi t e ha i r e d l a w ye r G e r ha r d G e s e l l H i s na m e be c a m e w e l l know n i n f ut ur e

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ye a r s w he n he pr e s i de d ove r t he O l i ve r N or t h t r i a l a nd ot he r l a ndm a r k c a s e s i n t he D i s t of C ol um bi a O ne of J udge B a r ke r 's l a t e r l a w c l e r ks w hos e na m e i s w i t hhe l d a t h i s r e que s t r e l a t e s t ha t t he J udge ha d s om e e c c e nt r i c i t i e s F or e xa m pl e be f or e l e a vi ng f o r t he f e de r a l bui l di ng i n t he m or ni ng t he J udge w oul d c a l l f r om hom e s o t he c l e r k c oul d s w i t c h t he c ha m be r 's a i r c ondi t i oni ng f r om O f f t o O n, t he n r us h dow ns t a i r s t o s e e i f t he J udge 's r e s e r ve d pa r ki ng s pa c e w a s oc c upi e d. I f t he r e w a s a n i nt r udi ng ve hi c l e he ha d t he dut y t o c a l l a nd ha ve i t r e m ove d t he n s t a nd by t o be c e r t a i n t ha t no ot he r c a r oc c upi e d t he s pa c e unt i l t he j udge a r r i ve d. T he o f f i c e a / c ha d t o be t ur ne d of f w he n t he J udge l e f t f or t he da y. A t t he t i m e of h i s f e de r a l a ppoi nt m e nt J udge B a r k e r w a s onl y 53 a nd one of t he younge s t f e de r a l di s t r i c t j udge s i n F l o r i da A t a n i m pr e s s i ve a nd s ol e m n c e r e m ony, he w a s gi ve n t he oa t h, t he n pr a i s e d by e m i ne nt j udge s a nd ot he r of f i c i a l s i nc l udi ng h i s pr e de c e s s or A ke r m a n, w ho c a ut i one d hi m ne ve r t o vi ol a t e R ul e 6 I f you don't know w ha t R ul e 6 i s s a i d A c ke r m a n, I 'l l t e l l you I t 's n e ve r t a ke your s e l f t oo da m n s e r i ous l y. T he J udge 's f a vor i t e s t or y a c c or di ng t o a T am pa T i m e s s t or y i n 1955 i s f r om a H i ghl a nds C ount y m ur de r t r i a l w hi c h he pr e s i de d ove r A w i t ne s s s a i d he he a r d a s hot r a n out s i de a nd s a w a body on t he gr ound w i t h a b ul l e t hol e i n t he he a d a nd one i n t he f a c e T he w i t ne s s c oul d not s a y how l a r ge t he bu l l e t hol e s w e r e i n c om pa r i s on w i t h ot he r obj e c t s but c oul d on l y s a y t ha t t he hol e s w e r e a s b i g a s B B s hot but of f e r e d no e vi de nc e a s t o t he s i z e J udge B a r ke r t he n a s ke d, D i d you e ve r s hoot a nyt hi ng w i t h B B buc ks hot ? " Y e s s i r s a i d t he w i t ne s s A n oppos um " H ow l a r ge w e r e t he hol e s i n t he oppos um ? pr e s s e d t he j udge I don't know t he w i t ne s s s ol e m nl y s a i d. I m i s s e d hi m U pon r e s i gni ng f r om a c t i ve s e r vi c e i n 1959 due t o a pa r t i a l l y di s a bl i ng e ye pr obl e m J udge B a r ke r ga ve hi s e nt i r e l a w l i br a r y t o S t e t s on C ol l e ge of L a w U nt i l hi s de a t h on A pr i l 13, 1968 he r e m a i ne d i n s e ni or s t a t us H i s da ught e r K a y H a m pt on s t i l l a c l a s s i c S out he r n be a ut y, s m i l e s w he n s he r e c a l l s hi s f ondne s s f or c he a p c i ga r s w hi c h t e nde d t o be a r om a t i c a l l y of f e ns i ve H i s s on, W J ( B i l l y) B a r ke r a r e t i r e d de nt i s t r e m e m be r s hi s f a t he r t o be l i ke t he f i c t i ona l J udge H a r dy, a w i s e a nd pa t i e nt f a t he r s how i ng unde r s t a ndi ng e ve n w he n a f i s hi ng l ur e w i t h ga ng hooks c a s t by t he younge r B a r ke r w e nt a w r y a nd pi e r c e d hi s f a t he r 's e a r a nd c he e k ne c e s s i t a t i ng e m e r ge nc y m e di c a l a t t e nt i on, w he n t he e r r a nt a ngl e r w a s a bout 8 or 9 ye a r s ol d. P r oba bl y t he m os t ge ne r ous a nd e l oque nt w o r ds of t r i but e t o t hi s h i gh m i nde d, honor a bl e m a n c a m e f r om M a r y E A dki ns a s t a f f c or r e s ponde nt f r om B a r t ow f o r t he T am pa T i m e s w ho w r ot e i n 1940: P os s e s s e d of he a r t a nd i nc l i na t i ons of a t r ue S out he r n ge nt l e m a n, r i c h a nd poor young a nd ol d, i gnor a nt or l e a r ne d, ba r r i s t e r or c ou nt r ym a n, w hoe ve r i t m a y be t ha t a ppr oa c he s hi m a nd w i t ha l l s o di gni f i e d i n hi s be a r i ng t ha t e ve n t he m os t a s s um i ng w oul d ne ve r a t t e m pt t o t a ke a dva nt a ge o f hi m o r e nc r oa c h on pr i vi l e ge s t ha t m i ght be e xt e nde d. M or i s on B uc k A f t e r w or d:

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T he s e ve n di e t s of m a n: ( 1 ) M i l k, ( 2 ) M i l k, ve ge t a bl e pul p, ( 3) M i l k, i c e c r e a m c a ndy, ( 4) H ot dogs s t e a k, C oke f r e nc h f r i e s ha m a nd e ggs ( 5) P a t e de f o i e gr a s f r ogs l e gs c a vi a r P oul e t R oya l ho r s d'oe uvr e s O m e l e t t e S ur pr i s e C r e pe s S uz e t t e S c ot c h, w i ne c ha m pa gne ( 6) M i l k c r a c ke r s ( 7) M i l k A ut hor unk now n