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Judge O. K. Reaves, west central Florida leviathan

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Material Information

Title:
Judge O. K. Reaves, west central Florida leviathan
Physical Description:
1 online resource (3 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, March 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 - B28-00019
usfldc handle - b28.19
NEW
System ID:
SFS0000063:00001


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PAGE 1

Ju d ge O K R e ave s We s t C e n t r al F l or i d a L e vi at h an T he ye a r w a s 1877 I t ha d be e n a s c a nt t w e l ve ye a r s s i nc e t he l a s t s hot s w e r e f i r e d i n t he na t i on's l ong ni ght m a r e t he c a l a m i t ous C i vi l W a r I n t he s pr i ng o f t ha t ye a r R ut he r f or d B H a ye s w a s e l e c t e d P r e s i de nt a nd i n l a t e A pr i l t he l a s t f e de r a l t r oops w i t hdr e w f r om t he S out h by l e a vi ng N e w O r l e a ns M e a nw hi l e i n F l or i da G e or ge F D r e w a D e m oc r a t w a s s w or n i n a s G ove r nor e ndi ng t he e r a of s o c a l l e d c a r pe t ba g" gove r nm e nt I t w a s a l s o t he ye a r i n w hi c h t w o l a t e r c l os e l y c onne c t e d l a w ye r s w e r e bor n. O ne w a s G i ddi ngs E M a br y, a M i s s i s s i ppi a n, w ho ve n t ur e d i nt o F l or i da a nd ul t i m a t e l y s e t t l e d i n T a m pa w he r e he f or m e d a n a s s oc i a t i on w i t h D oyl e C a r l t on f o r t he pr a c t i c e of l a w i n 1912. T he ot he r c e nt e r pi e c e of t hi s a r t i c l e w a s O K R e a ve s na t i ve F l o r i di a n. B i ogr a phi c a l r e f e r e nc e s a nd hi s ow n not e s r e f l e c t hi s bi r t h i n S a r a s ot a A t l e a s t one r e c or d, how e ve r r e f l e c t s he w a s bor n i n F r ui t vi l l e w hi c h i s m or e l i ke l y c o r r e c t i n t ha t t he f oundi ng of S a r a s ot a r e p or t e dl y di d not t a ke p l a c e unt i l a bout 1884 T ha t O K R e a ve s l i ve d, p r a c t i c e d l a w be c a m e a j udge t he n r e s um e d t he pr a c t i c e a nd w a s a pi l l a r o f hi s c hu r c h a nd c om m uni t y l e a d e r a r e f a c t s T ha t hi s pr of e s s i ona l r e put a t i on a nd s t a t ur e m a de hi m a m a n a pa r t f r om m os t of hi s c ont e m por a r i e s i s t he s t uf f t ha t gi ve s bi r t h t o l e ge nds H e w a s of t he c om m on c l a y no doubt but c l a y o f a un i que m ol d. F a m e d f i l m di r e c t or J ohn F or d i s t he or i gi n of a r e m a r k a t t r i but e d t o a c ha r a c t e r i n one of hi s c l a s s i c W e s t e r ns I f a l e ge nd be c om e s f a c t t he n p r i nt t he l e ge nd. J udge R e a ve s a s he w a s f or e ve r know n f ol l ow i ng hi s j udi c i a l s e r vi c e w a s a ppoi nt e d J udge of t he S i x t h J udi c i a l C i r c ui t i n 1915 a nd he l d t ha t of f i c e unt i l 1921. T ha t C i r c ui t i s pr e s e nt l y c om pr i s e d of P a s c o a nd P i ne l l a s C ount i e s ; dur i ng R e a ve s t e nur e i t e nc om pa s s e d M a na t e e a l s o. W he n t he 6t h C i r c ui t w a s r e s t r uc t ur e d i n 1915 by C h. 6975, L a w s of F l o r i da t he 13t h C i r c ui t w a s c r e a t e d e xc l u s i ve l y f or H i l l s bor ough C ount y. P r e pa r i ng f or hi s l ong c a r e e r w hi c h l a y a he a d, R e a ve s a t t e nde d S t e t s on U ni ve r s i t y L a w S c hool gr a dua t i ng i n t he C l a s s of 1903, j us t t hr e e ye a r s a f t e r t ha t i ns t i t ut i on w a s f ounde d. A ha l f c e nt ur y l a t e r R e a ve s w a s hono r e d w i t h ot he r 50 ye a r gr a dua t e s by S t e t s on. J udge R e a ve s l a w p a r t ne r f or m e r G o ve r nor D oyl e C a r l t on w a s pr i nc i pa l s pe a ke r f or t he oc c a s i on. R e a ve s l a unc he d hi s l a w pr a c t i c e i n B r a de nt on i n 1903 a nd e s t a b l i s he d hi m s e l f i n w ha t m us t ha ve be e n a hi ghl y c om pe t e nt f a s hi on f or t he ne xt 12 ye a r s A t t e s t i ng t o t ha t c onc l us i on i s t he f a c t t ha t he be c a m e j udge a f t e r t h a t r e l a t i ve l y b r i e f t i m e i n t he pr of e s s i on.

PAGE 2

I n 1921 t he s a l a r y of C i r c ui t J udge s w a s $5000 a y e a r A T a m pa T r i bune s t or y i n t he 40's f e a t ur e d J udge R e a ve s c a l l i ng hi m one o f t he B ui l de r s of T a m pa a nd quot e d hi m a s s a yi ng t ha t he l e f t t he be nc h w i t h a t e n ye a r ol d s on, w a s pr om pt e d t o r e s i gn hi s j udge s hi p a nd r e s um e pr i va t e l a w p r a c t i c e P e r ha ps i t w a s t he l ur e o f bi g c i t y l i f e t ha t br ought hi m t o T a m pa a t t ha t t i m e a m e t r opol i s o f 51 628 s oul s H ow e ve r i t c a m e a bout he c a m e a nd w a s m a de a pa r t ne r i n t he f i r m know n a s M a br y, R e a ve s a nd C a r l t on. G ove r nor C a r l t on t ook t hi r d pos i t i on i n t he f i r m na m e pe r ha ps out o f de f e r e nc e t o R e a ve s w ho w a s ol de r a nd a f or m e r j udge S om e ye a r s a go, R e e c e S m i t h w ho j oi ne d t he f i r m e a r l y i n hi s c a r e e r i n 1953, c om pos e d a s pl e ndi d, i n de pt h pr of i l e of f i r m m e m be r s a nd a s s oc i a t e s T he f i r m na m e ha s unde r gone a num be r o f c ha nge s of t he ye a r s u l t i m a t e l y dr oppi ng t he f a m i l i a r M a br y, R e a ve s s i gna t ur e a nd i s pr e s e nt l y t i t l e d C a r l t on, F i e l ds W a r d E m m a nue l S m i t h a nd C ut l e r A s f ur t he r e vi de nc e o f hi s s t a t ur e R e a ve s w a s onc e of f e r e d bu t de c l i ne d a s e a t on t he F l or i da S upr e m e C our t w hi c h a t one t i m e i s s a i d t o ha ve r e f e r r e d t o hi m a s O ne of t he t w o be s t l a w ye r s i n F l or i da H e s e r ve d a t e r m i n t he S t a t e L e gi s l a t ur e a nd l a t e r w a s a c ha r t e r m e m be r a nd P r e s i de nt o f t he F l or i da B a r A s s oc i a t i on, f or e r unne r of T he F l or i da B a r i n 1920. I n a ddi t i on t o hi s c a r e e r i n t he l a w R e a ve s ha d e xt e ns i ve bus i ne s s a nd f i na nc i a l i nt e r e s t s r e por t e dl y be i ng a s ha r e hol de r i n B r a de nt on B a nk a nd T r us t N a t i ona l B a nk of C om m e r c e C om m e r c i a l S t a t e B a nk, M e r c ha nt 's M e c ha ni c s B a nk, G ua r a nt y M or t ga ge C o. S e m i no l e F ur ni t ur e C o. B e a c h P a r k C om pa ny a nd ot he r s I n 1949, O K R e a ve s a t t r a c t e d publ i c a t t e nt i on w h e n he t ook a s t r ong s t a nd a ga i ns t s t r i ke s by or ga ni z e d l a bor c a l l i ng f or f e de r a l l e gi s l a t i on out l a w i ng s t r i ke s or r e qui r i ng a l l l a bor di s put e s t o be r e s ol ve d by a t h r e e j udge pa ne l i n f e de r a l c our t s D e s c r i be d by R e e c e S m i t h a s a l a w ye r 's l a w ye r w ho ne ve r c e a s e d t o be a m ode l of l e ga l e xc e l l e nc e f or hi s f i r m 's j uni o r m e m be r s a nd a s s oc i a t e s a nd i nde e d, f or a l l w ho de a l t w i t h hi m J udge R e a ve s w a s pe r ha ps s ur pr i s i ngl y, a m a n w i t h s e l f de pr e c a t i ng hum or R e e c e t e l l s t he s t or y, W he n he w a s ove r 9 0 ye a r s j udge t ol d B r oa ddus ( L i v i ngs t on) of t he f i r m t ha t he w a s w or r i e d a bout t he he r e a f t e r B r oa ddus s a i d he c oul dn't s e e w hy s i nc e J udge ha d be e n a de vout C hr i s t i a n a l l hi s l i f e J udge r e pl i e d, Y e s but I vot e d f or F r a nkl i n R oos e ve l t i n 1932 W hi l e R e a ve s w a s not a m a n of t he c l ot h, he w a s a n i ndi vi dua l m a de of r oc k r i bbe d m or a l f a br i c A s t a l w a r t B a pt i s t he w a s c hos e n w i l e s t i l l i n M a na t e e C ount y t o l e a d t he F l or i da B a pt i s t C onve nt i on. I n 1962, he w a s r e c og ni z e d a s a C hr i s t i a n l a ym a n of unus ua l a c hi e ve m e nt s by T r i bune C hur c h E di t or A di e l J M onc r i e f i n hi s c ol um n T he w r i t e r m e t O K R e a ve s onl y onc e I n 1953 a c om m i t t e e t o pr e pa r e a r e s ol ut i on honor i ng J udge L L P a r ks on t he 30t h a nni ve r s a r y t o hi s 13t h C i r c ui t J udge s hi p w a s a ppoi nt e d by B a r A s s oc i a t i on P r e s i de nt W i l l i a m H G i l l e n. I t c ons i s t e d of J udge R e a ve s T M S ha c kl e f or d J r E s q. a nd a t hi r t y ye a r ol d f l e dgl i ng l a w ye r out of h i s l e a gue M y r e c ol l e c t i on of J udge R e a ve s f r om t ha t di s t a nt a nd br i e f a s s oc i a t i on i s t ha t he w a s a m a n of c om m a ndi ng p r e s e nc e a nd s i nc e r i t y, a nd pos s e s s e d of a w ondr ous s pe a ki ng voi c e L a w ye r / w r i t e r L oui s A uc hi nc l os s onc e r e m a r ke d o f hi s boa r di ng s c hool he a dm a s t e r E ndi c ot t P e a body, H e a r i ng hi m t a l k w a s a l i t t l e l i ke l i s t e ni ng t o G od T ha t w a s a f e e l i ng e xpe r i e nc e d by m e a f t e r m e e t i ng a nd he a r i ng J udge R e a ve s 45 ye a r s a go. H i s l ong a nd pr oduc t i ve l i f e c a m e t o a n e nd i n 197 0 a t a ge 93 S u r vi vor s i nc l ude d hi s

PAGE 3

s on, t he l a t e C ha r l e s K R e a ve s a nd t hr e e gr a ndda ught e r s one of w hom B e t t y L ou T ur ne r s t i l l l i ve s i n T a m pa S on, C ha r l e s w a s t r a i ne d a s a l a w ye r a s s oc i a t e d f or a t i m e w i t h t he M a br y, R e a ve s f i r m t he n s e r ve d w i t h t he F B I L a t e r he e nga ge d i n bus i ne s s i n T a m pa M r s C ha r l e s K R e a ve s s t i l l l i ve s a c t i ve l y i n T a m pa T o pa r a phr a s e S ydne y S m i t h's pr a i s e o f a pa r t i c ul a r f ood doubt l e s s G od c oul d ha ve m a de a be t t e r m a n t ha n O K R e a ve s but doubt l e s s H e ne ve r di d M or i s on B uc k


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