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Vernon W. Evans, Jr

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Title:
Vernon W. Evans, Jr tenderhearted sage of Saugus (1919-2001)
Physical Description:
1 online resource (15 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

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 - B28-00029
usfldc handle - b28.29
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System ID:
SFS0000073:00001


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1 V e r n on W. E van s Jr T E N D E R H E A R T E D S A G E O F S A U G U S ( 1919 2001) M a r i a nne M oor e A m e r i c a n poe t ( 1887 1972) c ons i de r e d a pr i m e s t yl i s t o f t he obj e c t i vi s t s c hool of poe t r y, onc e obs e r ve d: W e m us t hav e t h e c our age of our pe c ul i ar i t i e s V e r non E va ns m a n a nd j udge w a s pos s e s s e d of e xc e pt i ona l m e nt a l a c ui t y; he ha d hi s ow n unus ua l s om e m i ght s a y pe c ul i a r pe r s ona l i t y. H i s S a ugus H i gh S c hool Y e a r book de s c r i be d hi m a s t e m pe r a m e nt a l A r ound t he c our t hous e c onne c t e d l e ga l c om m uni t y, he a c qui r e d a r e pu t a t i on o f be i ng gr ouc hy, of ha vi ng a N e d S pa r ks i a n t e m pe r a m e nt ( onl y ol d S pa r ks ne ve r a ppe a r e d t o c r a c k a s m i l e a nd h i s m os t f a m i l i a r f a c i a l e xpr e s s i on w a s a s na r l ) T h i s i s not t o s ugge s t t ha t J udge E va ns f r i ght e ne d s m a l l c hi l dr e n. A s w e w i l l s e e l a t e r he ha d a s of t s pot f or c hi l dr e n a nd s m a l l a ni m a l s w he t he r s i t t i ng on t he C our t or i n hi s pr i va t e l i f e A c om pr e he ns i ve c om m e nt a r y on t he c ha r a c t e r o f J udge E va ns c om e s f r om a not he r J udge E va ns of T a m pa D on E va ns ( no r e l a t i on t o V e r non ) now r e t i r e d C i r c ui t C our t J udge i s t he s on of l ongt i m e U ni t e d S t a t e s P r oba t i on O f f i c e r w ho s e r ve d f or m a ny ye a r s w i t h gr e a t di s t i nc t i on i n t he T a m pa D i v i s i on of t he U S D i s t r i c t C our t

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2 I f i r s t m e t J udge E va ns w he n he c a m e on t he be nc h a nd I w a s pr a c t i c i ng l a w H e w a s a no nons e ns e t ype j udge H e p r oba bl y gr a nt e d f e w e r c ont i nua nc e s t ha n a ny j udge i n our C i r c ui t s h i s t or y. A l t hough he c a m e f r om t he de f e ns e s i de a s a j udge he di dn t l e a n t ha t w a y. S om e t hought he di d, a s he w oul d hol d pl a i nt i f f s l a w ye r s f e e t t o t he f i r e but he di d i t e qua l l y t o de f e ns e l a w ye r s H e w a s pe r s ona l l y a ve r y c ons e r va t i ve pe r s on, i n t he pol i t i c a l s e ns e A l t hough r a i s e d a s a N e w E ngl a nd R e publ i c a n, I m s ur e he e ve nt ua l l y r e gi s t e r e d a s a D e m oc r a t H e a nd I be c a m e c l os e f r i e nds onc e I be c a m e a j udge E a c h t i m e he w oul d e a r n s om e a c c ol a de I w oul d a l w a ys t e l l hi m t he y d got t e n m i xe d up a nd i t w a s s uppos e d t o go t o m e W e pr oba bl y pl a ye d 100 r ounds of go l f t oge t he r F or ye a r s w e pl a ye d a s pa r t ne r s a t t he pr e s t i gi ous W adde l l I nv i t at i ona l H e w a s a f i e r c e c om pe t i t or a nd m a y be be s t r e m e m be r e d by t hos e w ho di dn t know hi m ve r y w e l l f or hi s t e m pe r H e de f i ni t e l y ha d one b ut i t w a s m os t l y h i m s t r ongl y voi c i ng hi s vi e w s a bout i s s ue s I us e d t o ki d h i m a bout hi s f a m ous gol f t i r a de s H e di dn t t h i nk t he y w e r e f unny but t ol e r a t e d t he t e a s i ng. H e m ove d t o L ut z p r i m a r i l y t o be ge ogr a phi c a l l y c l os e r t o hi s 80 a c r e r a nc h i n H e r na ndo C ount y. H e r a i s e d c a t t l e t he r e H e di d i t f or t he t a x be ne f i t s but a l s o f o r t he e xpe r i e nc e H e di dn t e nj oy t a ki ng hi s c a t t l e t o m a r ke t H e d gi ve n s om e of t he m na m e s T he r e w e r e a f e w w hi c h he d ne ve r be e n a bl e t o c a t c h a nd t he y di e d t he r e of ol d a ge I nt e r e s t i ngl y, t he r a nc h l a nd i s now a dj a c e nt t o H e r na ndo O a ks G ol d C om m uni t y. C ons i s t e nt w i t h hi s r e l uc t a nc e t o t a ke hi s c a t t l e t o m a r ke t he l ove d a l l a ni m a l s e s pe c i a l l y dogs O ne da y he a r r i ve d a t hi s r a nc h t o f i nd a pup ne xt t o t he ga t e H e t ook hi m hom e a nd G at e w a s hi s buddy f or m a ny ye a r s T he f a c t t ha t G a t e w oul dn t l e t a nyone ge t c l os e t o t he i r hous e i nc l udi ng V e r non s w i f e N e l l di dn t m a t t e r V e r non s e r ve d t he

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3 pe opl e of H i l l s bor ough e xt r e m e l y w e l l a nd s e r ve d a s a n e xa m pl e of w ha t a J udge s houl d be t o m a ny ne w j udge s W e c ont i nue t o m i s s hi m but he s t i l l vi vi dl y l i ve s i n ou r m e m or i e s ( D on E va ns ) A na t i ve of S a ugus M a s s a c hus e t t s V e r non a r r i ve t he r e on D e c e m be r 23 1919 t he onl y c hi l d of V e r non W E va ns a nd w i f e G l a dys W ya t t E va ns of P r i nc e E dw a r d I s l a nd, C a na da T he s e ni or E va ns w a s S upe r i nt e n de nt of S c hool s i n S a ugus a nd a l s o s e r ve d a s a S e l e c t m a n ( one s e r vi ng on a boa r d gov e r ni ng t he c om m uni t y a pr a c t i c e c om m on i n N e w E ngl a nd) H i s m ot he r be c a m e a t r a i ne d L P N i n l a t e r l i f e A f t e r hi s pa r e nt s s e pa r a t e d, l a t e r di vo r c i ng, V e r non e nj oye d l i vi ng w i t h h i s m ot he r s f a m i l y c ons i s t i ng of a s he put i t T w e l v e r e l at i v e s i n f ou r s e par at e apar t m e nt s i n one gr e at hous e S a ugus i s a n hi s t or i c t ow n l oc a t e d a bout 13 m i l e s nor t h of B os t on, by U S 1, w i t h a bout 27 000 r e s i de nt s T he l oc a l C ha m be r o f C om m e r c e r e f e r s t o t he t ow n a s t he G at e w ay t o t he N or t h Shor e a nd i s p r oud o f i t s N a t i ona l H i s t or i c S i t e S a ugus I r on W or ks A f t e r hi s unde r g r a dua t e w or k i n l oc a l s c hool s pr o ba bl y unde r t he w a t c hf ul e ye o f hi s f a t he r a nd l a t e r a t D e P a uw U ni ve r s i t y i n I ndi a na V e r non r e c e i ve d hi s ba c he l o r s de gr e e a t t he U ni ve r s i t y of N e w H a m ps hi r e i n 194 1, a bout 6 m ont hs be f o r e P e a r l H a r bor D ur i ng hi s D ur ha m da ys a t t he l a t t e r i ns t i t ut i on he w or ke d i n t he K a ppa S i g m a H ous e w a i t i ng on t a bl e s a nd c l e a ni ng t he ki t c he n. I n hi s s e ni or ye a r he w a s H ous e M a na ge r r e c e i vi ng no s a l a r y, but a l l ow a nc e s f or va r i ous f r a t e r ni t y obl i ga t i ons a nd m e a l s S how i ng a hi gh de gr e e of pr e s c i e nc e a nt i c i pa t i ng he w oul d s oon be d r a f t e d i nt o m i l i t a r y s e r vi c e V e r non e nl i s t e d a s a n A vi a t i on C a de t i n t he A r m y A i r C or ps I n s om e a ut obi ogr a phi c a l not e s put t oge t he r a t t he i ns t a nc e of hi s c l os e f r i e nd a nd a s s oc i a t e F

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4 R ona l d F r a l e y, V e r non a c know l e dge s hi s di s c om f or t a s a pot e nt i a l a vi a t or a f t e r s om e s ol o hour s i n a P T 19. D r opp i ng out of t he c a de t pr ogr a m he r e m a i ne d i n t he A r m y A i r C or ps a s a n A r m a m e nt C a de t H e w a s c om m i s s i one d a 2 n d L i e ut e na nt i n J a nua r y 1942 unt i l s e pa r a t e d w i t h t he r a nk o f C a pt a i n. I n J ul y, 1 956, he w a s pr o m ot e d t o L T C ( 05) i n t he R e s e r ve s O f hi s f i ve ye a r s on a c t i ve dut y i n W W I I 30 m ont hs of i t w a s i n A us t r a l i a N e w G ui ne a a nd t he P hi l i ppi ne s D ur i ng h i s dut y t i m e i n N e w G ui ne a he c ont r a c t e d m a l a r i a w hi c h, V e r non s a i d, m a de hi m a t r ue ve t e r a n of t he S out hw e s t P a c i f i c w a r A f t e r hi s e xt e nde d m i l i t a r y s e r vi c e i n t he A r m y A i r C or ps ( w hi c h be c a m e t he A i r F or c e dur i ng t he T r um a n a dm i ni s t r a t i on) E va ns m ove d t o A r i z ona t o e s c a pe t he c ol d c l i m a t e of M a s s a c hus e t t s W hi l e w o r ki ng i n a m e ni a l j ob i n P hoe ni x, he m e t a nd f e l l i n l ove w i t h hi s f i r s t w i f e A nne t t w ho ha d a c onne c t i on w i t h t he s a m e bus i ne s s c ol l e ge w he r e V e r non w a s e m pl oye d. T he y m a r r i e d on S e pt e m be r 25, 1946. M e a nt i m e he be c a m e c om m i t t e d t o be c om i ng a l a w ye r but l e a r n e d t ha t due t o r i gi dl y r e s t r i c t i ve r e s i de nt i a l r e qui r e m e nt s he c oul d not ga i n e a r l y a d m i s s i on t o l a w s c hool i n P hoe ni x. C ons e que nt l y, he c a m e t o F l o r i da w he r e w i t hi n a r e a s ona bl y s hor t t i m e he c oul d e nr ol l a t S t e t s on C ol l e ge of L a w t he n i n D e l a nd. U pon gr a dua t i ng w i t h hi s L L B de g r e e i n 1948 he t e a m e d up w i t h t he l a t e R i c ha r d C oope r ( l a t e r J udge C oope r ) a nd t he y pr a c t i c e d a s C oope r & E va ns i n D e l a nd f o r a t i m e L a t e r J udge E va ns r e m a r ke d t ha t t he y al m os t s t ar v e d. J udge C oope r by t he w a y, di e d N ove m be r 16, 1990. T o he l p s uppor t hi s f a m i l y, w hi c h gr e w ove r t i m e t o i nc l ude a da ught e r a nd t w o s ons V e r non be c a m e a c l a i m s a dj us t e r w i t h A m e r i c a n F i r e & C a s ua l t y C om pa ny i n J a c ks onvi l l e L a t e r he w a s r e a s s i gne d t o B r a de nt o n by t he c om pa ny a nd w a s pr om ot e d t o m a na ge r a t t he l a t t e r l oc a t i on. T hi s e xpe r i e nc e be c a m e i nva l ua bl e t o hi m l a t e r a s a

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5 de f e ns e c ouns e l r e pr e s e nt i ng i ns ur e r s i n j ur y t r i a l s s t a t e a nd f e de r a l A not he r s i gni f i c a nt m ove i n 1952 br ought hi m t o T a m pa w he r e he be c a m e a n a s s oc i a t e of t he s m a l l f i r m o f G r a ha m D i xon & F l ynn I n N ove m be r o f t he f ol l ow i ng ye a r t he T a m pa T r i bune a nnounc e d t ha t V e r non r e c e i ve d a ppoi nt m e nt a s A s s i s t a nt U ni t e d S t a t e s A t t or ne y i n t he T a m pa D i vi s i on of t he U S D i s t r i c t C our t H i s a p poi nt m e nt w a s r e c om m e nde d by t he U S A t t or ne y, J a m e s L G ui l m a r t i n a R e publ i c a n, w ho s e r ve d dur i ng t he E i s e nhow e r a dm i ni s t r a t i on. A t t he c onc l us i on of h i s t w o ye a r s t i nt a s a f e de r a l pr os e c ut or t he s a m e ne w s pa pe r not e d t ha t E va ns ha d l os t onl y t h r e e or hour c a s e s he ha ndl e d ove r s uc h pe r i od. C onvi c t i ons he obt a i ne d i nc l ude d t hos e of ga m bl i ng f i gur e s l i ke C ha r l i e S u l l i a nd J ohn C I ppol i t o on w a ge r i ng a nd ot he r c ha r ge s H e a l s o ha ndl e d pr e s e nt a t i ons t o a G r a nd J ur y t ha t l e d t o i ndi c t m e nt o f S a nt o a nd H e n r y T r a f f i c a nt e on ga m bl i ng s t a m p vi ol a t i ons I n t he ye a r s 1953 1955, E va ns w or ke d a l ongs i de F r a nk M us c a r e l l a J r a s A s s i s t a nt U S A t t or ne ys B ot h w e r e a s s i gne d t o t he c our t r oom of t he l a t e D i s t J udge W i l l i a m J B a r ke r r e l a t e s H on. R ol a nd G onz a l e z o f T a m pa now r e t i r e d f r om H i l l s bor ough C ount y C i r c ui t C our t w ho w a s f o r s e ve r a l ye a r s J udge B a r ke r s t r us t e d a nd a bl e L a w C l e r k. D u r i ng t he ye a r s l a s t m e n t i one d, E va ns be c a m e f r i e ndl y w i t h F e l i x S ha r pe not 87, r e t i r e d U S D e put y M a r s ha l w ho r e m e m be r s V e r non a s one of t he br i ght e s t a nd be s t he e ve r de a l t w i t h i n t he U S A t t or ne ys of f i c e i n T a m pa M us c a r e l l a w ho l i ve s i n P a l m H a r bor de s c r i be s V e r non a s a ve r y s m a r t a t t or ne y w ho t e nde d t o be a l one r a nd not ve r y t a l ka t i ve a bout hi s pe r s ona l l i f e I n O c t obe r 1956, V e r non t ook a not he r s t e p up t he l a dde r of p r of e s s i ona l a c hi e ve m e nt by be c om i ng a pa r t ne r i nn t he e s t a bl i s he d T a m pa l a w f i r m o f S ha c kl e f o r d

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6 F a r r i or ( now G r a y R obi ns on) H e w a s a m a j or t r i al hor s e i n t he f i r m pa r t i c i pa t i ng i n be t w e e n 400 a nd 500 c i vi l t r i a l s ( j ur y ) i n hi s e i ght ye a r s w i t h t ha t f i r m M or e ove r he a l s o w a s a ppoi nt e d t o r e pr e s e nt a ppr oxi m a t e l y 30 pe r s ons on t r i a l f or f e de r a l c r i m e s T hos e c our t r oom e xpe r i e nc e s a f f or de d hi m pe r ha p s t he r a r e oppo r t uni t y t o de ve l op hi s ow n s t yl e a nd t e c hni que a s a t op not c h t r i a l l a w ye r de f e ndi ng l a r ge l y t or t a c t i ons on be ha l f of i ns ur a nc e c om pa ni e s T hi s s c r i ve ne r s t i l l r e m e m be r s a f e de r a l c our t t r i a l i n T a m pa J udge G e or ge W hi t e hur s t pr e s i di ng w he r e t hi s hu m bl e one r e pr e s e nt i ng t he pl a i nt i f f s uf f e r e d a de f e a t a t t he ha nds of V e r non E va ns M y c l i e nt w a s a pa s s e nge r i n t he f r on t s e a t of a n a ut om obi l e he a di ng f or A von P a r k f or t he pu r pos e of a t t e ndi n g a c hur c h c onf e r e nc e H i s dr i ve r c ol l i de d w i t h t he r e a d e nd o f a t r uc k w hi c h pr ot r ud e d out upon t he r oa dw a y. O ne o f t he a f f i r m a t i ve de f e ns e s pl e d t ha t t he pa r t i e s w e r e on a j oi nt ve nt u r e ; t ha t t he pl a i nt i f f s dr i ve r w a s ne gl i ge nt a nd t ha t hi s ne gl i g e nc e w a s i m put e d t o t he pl a i nt i f f I l i ke t o t hi nk t ha t t he c our t s i ns t r uc t i on t o t he 12 pe r s on j u r y i s t he r e a s on w hy i t r e t ur ne d a de f e ns e ve r di c t but i t s t i l l s m a r t s M y c l i e nt w a s ne ve r of f e r e d a ny s e t t l e m e nt de s pi t e hi s l os s of he a r i ng i n one e a r a s r e s ul t o f t he a c c i de nt O r i t s i m pl y m a y ha ve be e n t ha t t he j u r y c oul dn t s t a nd pl a i nt i f f s l a w ye r V e r non ha d de ve l ope d a t r i a l t e c hni que w hi c h p r ove d t o be hi ghl y e f f e c t i ve W he ne ve r s he r e c e i ve d a n a dve r s e r ul i ng f r om t he C our t du r i ng t he t r i a l h e w oul d vi r t ua l l y f ol d up a nd c ol l a ps e i n hi s c ha i r a t c ouns e l t a bl e I a l m os t e xpe c t e d one of t he l a dy j ur o r s t o r us h out o f t he j u r y box a nd a ppl y a c ol d c l ot h t o t hi s f or e he a d. C r a f t y V e r non D ur i ng hi s ye a r s w i t h S ha c kl e f or d F a r r i o r he w a s a f r i e nd a nd m e nt or t o a younge r c r op o f t r i a l a dvoc a t e d, i nc l udi ng F R ona l d F r a l e y, E s q. C a l vi n A P ope E s q.

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7 a nd C L a w r e nc e S t a gg, E s q. F r a l e y pr e pa r e d a s pl e ndi d R e m e m br a nc e of J udge E va ns a f t e r t he l a t t e r s de a t h, a nd i t w a s publ i s he d i n t he N ove m be r 2001 e di t i on o f L a w ye r m a ga z i ne L a r r y S t a gg c ont r i bu t e d t he f ol l ow i ng obs e r va t i ons pe r t a i ni ng t o J udge E va ns : T he r e a r e a t on o f s t or i e s a bout V e r non E va ns M y pa r t i c ul a r f a vor i t e r e l a t e s t o gol f A f t e r f i n i s hi ng a pa r t i c ul a r l y f r us t r a t i ng r oun d, he t ook h i s c l ubs t o hi s a t t i c w he r e he c ha i ne d a nd l oc ke d t he i ns t r uc t i ng hi s f i r s t w i f e A nne t t e t o hol d t he ke y a nd not t o gi ve i t t o hi m no m a t t e r w ha t he s a i d. A f e w m ont hs l a t e r on one of t he go r ge ous s pr i ng da ys w e e nj oy i n F l o r i da h e w a s pe r s ua de d t o a ga i n pl a y by s om e of hi s pa l e s a t S ha c kl e f or d I don t know e xa c t l y how he m a na ge d t o r e t r i e ve hi s c l ubs but you c a n i m a gi ne t he e xc ha nge be t w e e n hi m a nd A nne t t e on t he s ubj e c t J udge E va ns s on, D a n a dvi s e s t ha t w he n t he a t t i c w he r e t he c l ubs w e r e c ha i ne d t o a r a f t e r w a s e nt e r e d, t he y f ound a ha c k s a w t he c ut c ha i n a nd no gol f ba g. V e r non w a s a m a s t e r f ul t r i a l l a w ye r I w a t c he d hi m a num be r of t i m e s a nd e ve n pa r t i c i pa t e d i n a c r i m i na l t r i a l w i t h hi m a s t he c our t a ppoi nt e d de f e ns e l a w ye r w hi l e I w a s c l e r ki ng w i t h S ha c kl e f or d. H e ha d t ha t hang dog w a y a bout hi m t ha t you de s c r i be T he r e w a s no one c a s e i n w hi c h he de f e nde d G r e y hound, I t hi nk T he c l a i m s r e pr e s e nt a t i ve w ho c a m e t o a t t e nd t he t r i a l di d not know V e r non a nd w a s a ppa r e nt l y s om e w ha t di s a ppoi nt e d i n G r e yhound s s e l e c t i on o f a t r i a l l a w ye r dur i ng t he f i r s t da y. H e r e vi s e d t ha t opi ni on a s t he t r i a l w e nt a l ong o f c our s e a nd I a m s ur e i t w a s a de f e ns e ve r di c t J ohn M c Q ui gg, a ve t e r a n T a m pa a t t or ne y, ha s pos i t i ve r e c ol l e c t i ons a bout V e r non E va ns : D ur i ng 1962, I j oi ne d t he l a w f i r m o f S ha c kl e f o r d, F a r r i or S t a l l i ngs G l os & E va ns S oon I a s ke d w he t he r t he E va ns i n t he f i r m na m e w a s T om E va ns he a d of t he r e a l e s t a t e de pa r t m e nt or V e r non E va ns i n t he t r i a l de pa r t m e nt T he a ns w e r gi ve n t o m e w a s bo t h. O t he r l a w ye r s i nc l udi ng t hos e i n t he S ha c kl e f or d f i r m c ons i de r e d V e r non t o be a hi ghl y s ki l l e d j ur y t r i a l l a w ye r V e r non w a s ve r y l oya l t o t he m a ny i ns ur a nc e c om pa ny c l i e nt s t ha t w e r e l oya l t o hi m T he j uni or l a w ye r s i n t he S ha kl e f o r d f i r m i nc l udi ng m e

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8 l e a r ne d a bout l oya l t y t o t he c l i e nt w he n s e ve r a l t i m e s V e r non, w i t hout c om pl a i nt w oul d a t t he di r e c t i on of one of t he m os t t h r i f t y i ns ur e r s t ur n dow n a s m a l l s e t t l e m e nt of f e r a nd t a ke a c a s e t o t r i a l D ur i ng e a r l y 1973 V e r non a nd I ha d a dj a c e nt of f i c e s a t t he S ha c kl e f or d f i r m O ne a f t e r noon, I c oul d t e l l t ha t V e r non w a s i l l a nd he a dm i t t e d t o di z z i ne s s a nd na us e a W he n t he s ym pt om s ke pt up, V e r non a gr e e d t ha t h e m i ght na ve a n i nne r e a r i nf e c t i on or pos s i bl y e ve n a he a r t a t t a c k. R e l uc t a nt l y, he a gr e e d t o l e t m e dr i ve hi m t o t he T a m pa G e ne r a l H os pi t a l E m e r ge nc y R oom f or di a gnos i s V e r non s phys i c i a n w a s L e s t e r Z i ps e r M D a nd he s oon a ns w e r e d a pa ge t o t he E m e r ge nc y R oom a s he w a s m a ki ng r ounds a t t he hos pi t a l V e r non a nd I t o l d D r Z i ps e r t he s ym pt om s a nd D r Z i ps e r be ga n hi s e xa m by put t i ng hi s s t e t hos c ope t o V e r non s c he s t V e r n on s ha bi t s of t h r i f t a nd e f f i c i e nc y t he n go t he uppe r ha nd. H e s a i d, D oc t or w hi l e y ou r e he r e pl e as e l ook at m y l e g w he r e i t w as c ut by t he out boa r d m ot or l as t s um m e r D r Z i ps e r c huc kl e d a nd s a i d, V e r non, i f y ou don t m i nd I l l e x am i ne t hi s e nd f i r s t D ur i ng 1973, V e r non be c a m e a C i r c ui t J udge S o m e a t t or ne ys m i s t a ke nl y a s s um e d t ha t J udge E va ns l ong e xpe r i e nc e i n vi go r ous l y de f e ndi ng i ns ur e r s w oul d m e a n t ha t he w oul d be e s t a bl i s hm e nt m i nde d i n hi s r ul i n gs N ot s o. D ur i ng t he e a r l y 1980 s I r e pr e s e nt e d a l a r ge na t i ona l c o r por a t i on t ha t ha d b e e n s ue d by a s m a l l F l o r i da bus i ne s s M y oppone nt s w e r e a f or m e r C i r c ui t J udge a nd a y ounge r a t t or ne y w ho i s now a C i r c ui t J udge T he c a s e w a s a s s i gne d t o J udge E va ns a nd e ve nt ua l l y i t w a s s e t f or a non j u r y t r i a l S om e of t he a dvi c e t ha t I o f f e r e d t o m y c l i e n t w a s t ha t a r e a s ona bl e s e t t l e m e nt

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9 w oul d be t he be s t c our s e a s I kne w t ha t J udge E va ns t ypi c a l l y w a s s ym pa t he t i c t o a pa r t y t ha t ha d t he pos i t i on of a n unde r dog i n t he t r a ns a c t i on. T he c a s e w a s a m i c a bl e s e t t l e d. V e r non E va ns w a s a n a t t or ne y t ha t I hi ghl y r e s pe c t e d f or hi s s ki l l a nd i n t e gr i t y. H e w a s a n unf or ge t t a bl e c ha r a c t e r t o m e a nd ot he r s A s t ut e T a m pa l a w ye r w i t h T r e na m K e m ke r M a r vi n E B a r ki n, r e c a l l s a pa r t i c ul a r c a s e w he r e V e r non E va ns r e pr e s e nt e d t he i ns ur e r f or hi s c l i e nt de f e ndi ng a c l a i m t ha t B a r ki n s c l i e nt ha d pol l ut e d a s t r e a m : V e r non, he r e l a t e s s om e how m a na ge d t o pe r s ua d e t he j ur y t ha t a ny pol l ut i on i n t he s t r e a m r e l a t e d m o r e t o t he na t ur a l e f f e c t o f l e a v e s f a l l i ng a nd t w i gs de c a yi ng t ha n t he c ons i de r a bl e c ont r i but i on m a de by m y c l i e nt H e w a s s o t r a ns pa r e nt l y hone s t a nd f or t hr i ght t ha t t he j u r y ha d no pr obl e m a gr e e i ng w i t h hi m t o m y a m a z e m e nt V e r non r e c e i ve d t he f i r s t j udi c i a l a ppoi nt m e nt und e r t he 1972 a m e ndm e nt t o A r t i c l e V i n 1973 w he n G ove r nor R e ube n A s ke w na m e d hi m t o s uc c e e d t he l a t e R oge r D F l ynn a s j udge of C i r c ui t C our t T hi s i s t he s a m e F l ynn w ho w a s i ns t r um e nt a l i n hi r i ng V e r non t w o de c a de s e a r l i e r t o be c om e a n a s s oc i a t e i n G r a ha m D i xon & F l ynn. U nt i l hi s c our t a ppoi nt m e nt V e r non ga ve ge ne r ou s l y of hi s t i m e a nd e xpe r t i s e t o i ndi ge nt s w ho s ought he l p f r om L a w I nc ( now B a y A r e a L e ga l S e r vi c e s I nc ) f or t he i r l e ga l pr obl e m s V e r non s f or m e r c ol l e a gue a t S ha c kl e f or d F a r r i or C a l vi n A P ope E s q. w ho s e r ve d f or s e ve r a l ye a r s on t he H i l l s bor ough C ount y C i r c ui t C our t a f t e r de f e a t i ng a n i nc um be nt j udge R e ne A Z a c c hi ni i n a s que a ke r 50. 43% t o 49 57% i n 197 8 t e l l s o f hi s e xpe r i e nc e i n w ha t he s a ys w a s J udge E va ns f i r s t j ur y t r i a l : I t w a s a c om m on i f i l l a dvi s e d, p r a c t i c e f or j ur y t r i a l l a w ye r s t o s c he dul e s e ve r a l j ur y t r i a l s i n t he s a m e w e e k w i t h t he be l i e f t ha t m a ny w oul d s e t t l e a nd t ha t t he pr e s i di ng t r i a l j udge w oul d yi e l d t o t he t r i a l j udge w ho f i r s t c a l l e d t he l a w ye r f or t r i a l t he r e by pr e c i pi t a t i ng a ne c e s s a r y c ont i nua nc e of t r i a l s t he l a w ye r ha d i n ot he r

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10 di vi s i ons J udge E va ns w a s a s s i gne d t he c ha m be r s a nd c our t r oo m di r e c t l y a c r os s f r om t he c ha m be r s a nd c our t r oom a s s i gne d t o j u r y t r i a l J udge J a m e s L e nf e s t e y. I w a s s c he dul e d f or t r i a l i n bot h c our t s t he s a m e w e e k, but I w a s not f i r s t i n l i ne f o r e i t he r j udge B y c ha nc e m y t r i a l w i t h J udge L e nf e s t e y be ga n on M onda y m or ni ng a nd a l l of t he ot he r c a s e s s c he dul e d i n f r om o f V e r non c ont i nue d or s e t t l e d. S oon I be ga n t o r e c e i ve c om m uni qu s f r om a c r os s t he ha l l f r om J udge V e r non i nqui r i ng w he n I w oul d be ove r t o t hi s c our t r oom t o t r y h i s c a s e M y L e nf e s t e y j ur y w a s a l r e a dy s e l e c t e d a nd s w or n, s o I w a s c o m pe l l e d t o r e m a i n unt i l m y j u r y r e t u r ne d a f a vor a bl e ve r di c t m i d da y on T ue s da y or W e dne s da y. W hi l e I w a s ga t he r i ng m y doc um e nt s a nd ge a r t o de pa r t a nd t he j ur y w e r e go ng dow n t he ha l l a ba i l i f f t ol d m e t o c om e a c r os s t he ha l l t o s e e J udge E va ns E xpe c t i n g a br i e f s c he dul i ng c onf e r e nc e I e nt e r e d t he J udge s c our t r oom t o f i nd h i m e nr obe d on t he be nc h w i t h t he v oi r di r e pa ne l i n t he box a nd t he pl a i nt i f f a nd he r l a w ye r s s i t t i ng a t t he t a bl e i n f r ont of t he j u r or s I n r e s pons e t o t he J udge s a c r os s t he c our t r oom i nqui r y a bout m y r e a di ne s s t o f a vo r t he m w i t h m y p r e s e nc e I ha d no opt i on but t o s a y, w i t h out a pi t s t op: R e ady f or t he de f e ns e y our honor I hope d t ha t m y g r i n o f c onf i de nc e w a s not t oo t hi n t o i ns pi r e s om e a f f e c t i on f r om t he j ur or s T he be s t pa r t a bout be i n g t he de f e ns e a t t or ne y i n c i vi l j ur y t r i a l s i s t ha t t he j udge a nd t he pl a i nt i f f s do a l ot o f t a l ki ng a nd pa pe r s huf f l i ng be f or e t he de f e ns e a t t or ne y i s a l l ow e d t o s pe a k. Y e a r s of pr a c t i c e e na bl e d m e t o be a bl e t o a ppe a r t o be l i s t e ni ng t o t he j udge a nd t he ot he r pa r t i e s w hi l e r e a di ng a nd r e vi e w i ng m y e nt i r e f i l e B y t he t i m e I w a s c a l l e d upon, I w a s r e a dy. I di d not w i t h t he j u r y t r i a l c om pl e t e l y, but I c a n t a t t r i but e t o be i ng i m pr e s s e d t o dut y be f o r e I ha d a c ha nc e t o m e di t a t e be t w e e n t r i a l s T he w om a n w a s hur t a nd pe r ha ps t he j ur y ve r di c t w a s c or r e c t T he t r i a l w a s he l d r a t he r s oon a f t e r i t be c a m e ne c e s s a r y t o ha ve w om e n on t he j u r y v oi r di r e

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11 F or a t i m e I ha d d r a w n pa ne l s w hi c h f a c i l i t a t e d t he s e l e c t i on of j u r i e s w hi c h w e r e 50/ 5 0 m a n/ w om a n a nd i n s om e c a s e s t he r e w e r e a m a j or i t y of w om e n a nd a t l e a s t onc e a n a l l w om a n j u r y. T he ol d t i m e r s w e r e s c a r e d s t i f f t o ha ve w om e n on t he j ur y but I f ound t ha t I l i ke d t he m a nd got good r e s ul t s f r o m t he n. T he j u r y i n t he J udge E va ns c a s e w a s f i ve w om e n a nd one l i t t l e I t a l i a n m a n w i t h a m ous t a c he B e c a us e of hi s a ge he c oul d ha ve ha a n a ut om a t i c e xc us e but he de m ur r e d a nd r e m a i ne d t o t he ve r di c t O ne o f t he w om e n j ur or s w a s s e a t e d i n t he s e c ond r ow a t t he e nd of t he j ur y box ne a r e s t t o t h e J udge S he m us t ha ve be e n c hi l l y be c a us e he r a r m s w e r e ba r e a nd s he f o l de d t he m a c r os s he r c he s t a nd one on t op o f t he o t he r W i t hi n m om e nt s of t he s t a r t of t he t r i a l s he s l um pe d i n he r c ha i r a nd e m i t t e d a ve r y qui e t s nor e t o a c c om pa ny he r c l os e d e ye s I t s e e m e d a ppa r e nt t ha t t he j ur o r w a s a s l e e p t hus de n yi ng t he pa r t i e s t he i r r i ght t o a s i x pe r s on j ur y. N ot w i s hi ng t o e m ba r r a s s t he j ur o r or do a nyt hi ng t o o f f e nd t he ot he r j u r or s I w a i t e d t o t he f i r s t c onf e r e nc e a t t he be nc h t o s ugge s t t o t he C our t : Say y our H onor i t appe ar s t hat w om an j ur or w i t h he r ar m s f ol de d i s as l e e p. T he ot he r l a w ye r ha d no c om m e nt but t he J udge w a s r e a dy f o r t he c ha l l e nge : Y ou a r e r i ght M r P ope s he i s a s l e e p, but t he r e i s no t hi ng I c a n do a bout i t I n l a t e r ye a r s I w oul d ha ve f i l e d a m ot i on t o w i t hdr a w t he j ur or a nd t o m i s t r y t he c a s e but t he a nt i c i pa t e d c os t s of a r e t r i a l a nd poo r t hi nki ng on m y pa r t s t a ye d m y ha nd. W e e nj oye d he r pe a c e f ul s l e e pi ng c ount e na nc e f or t he r e s t of t he t r i a l a l m os t w i t hi n a r m s r e a c h of t he J udge on hi s be nc h. A ve r d i c t w a s r e nde r e d i n t he a m ount of $14, 000. 00 f or t he pl a i nt i f f a nd a ga i ns t m y de f e nda nt a nd I f e l t dow n a s I t r udge d ba c k t o m y o f f i c e on N or t h M or ga n S t r e e t

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12 T he r e w a s a c our t r e por t e r s of f i c e on t he s a m e f l oo r a s m y o f f i c e a nd a s I w a l ke d pa s t one of t he w om e n i nqui r e d a bout t he ve r di c t i n m y c a s e I t w a s not a n unc om m on i nqui r y, but t ho I ha d o f t e n di s c us s e d m y f a vor a bl e ve r di c t s w i t h t he r e por t e r s a s f r i e nds I di d no t e nj oy t hi s c onve r s a t i on. P ol i t e ne s s t o a c ol l e a gu e s f r i e ndl y ove r t ur e s l e d m e t o gr ous e t ha t I di d not s e e how t he j u r y c oul d ha ve r e a c he d a f our t e e n t hous a nd dol l a r s ve r di c t i n t h i s c a s e ( S ub t e n t hous a nd dol l a r s ve r di c t s w e r e c om m on t he n) T he l a dy s a i d: I a m goi ng t o f i nd out w ha t ha ppe ne d. T ha t m a n on t he j u r y i s m y unc l e F e a r i ng s om e e t hi c a l pr obl e m I de m ur r e d. T he ne xt da y t he l a dy t ol d m e : Y ou w e r e r i ght T he ve r di c t w a s not f ou r t e e n t hous a nd dol l a r s i t w a s t hi r t e e n t hous a nd dol l a r s but one of t he j ur or s t hought t ha t num be r w a s unl uc ky. I ne ve r a s ke d a bout t he c ont r i but i on of t he s l e e pi ng j ur or W oul dn t i t be s om e t hi ng i f t ha t u nl uc ky s ugge s t i on w a s he r onl y c om m e nt i n t he j ur y r oom ? I ha ve a l w a ys be l i e ve d t ha t I don t know how t he y r e a c h a ve r di c t of a c e r t a i n a m ount buy t he y s e e m t o do w ha t I t h i nk i s r i ght i n a ve r y hi gh pe r c e nt a ge of j ur y t r i a l s I a m not s ur e I ne e d t o k now I t w o r ks a nd I l ove i t M a y i t a l w a ys be ut i l i z e d s a t i s f a c t or i l y. B A nde r s on ( B ob) M i t c ha m E s q. now a r e t i r e d C i r c ui t C our t J udge w a s de f e ndi n g a pa r t y i n a C i r c ui t c i vi l c a s e be f or e a j u r y. A c o de f e nda nt t he i ns ur a nc e c om pa ny, w a s r e pr e s e nt e d by R C or bi n G l os a pa r t ne r of S ha c kl e f or d F a r r i or J udge E va ns pr e s i de d. O n t he s e c ond da y o f t he t r i a l t he c a s e w a s i n r e c e s s f or l unc h unt i l 1: 3 0 pm M r G l os w a s not a t t he c ouns e l t a bl e a l t houg h hi s c l i e nt a nd e ve r yone e l s e w a s i n pl a c e i nc l udi ng t he J udge w he n t he t r i a l w a s due t o r e s um e A f t e r s om e m i nut e s of a w kw a r d s i l e nc e J udge E va ns a s ke d M i t c ha m i f h e kne w w he r e M r G l os w a s M i t c ha m r e pl i e d t ha t he di d not know A f t e r m o r e t ha n a n h our a f t e r t he t r i a l w a s due t o pr oc e e d,

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13 M r G l os s t r i de s i n w i t h hi s b r i e f c a s e a nd s i t s dow n. J udge E va ns s a i d not hi ng bu t ha d G l os c om e t o t he j udge s c ha m be r s M i t c ha m ha s no r e c ol l e c t i on of a ny a c t i on a ga i ns t a t t or ne y G l os a s a r e s ul t o f hi s t a r di ne s s C or bi n G l os di e d F e br ua r y 22, 1999. I n hi s unus ua l l y f a s c i na t i ng c ol l e c t i on of e s s a ys e nt i t l e d T he M i ddl e o f M y T e t he r J os e ph E ps t e i n w r i t e s a bout unus ua l a s pe c t s of t he hum a n f a c e H e e xt r a c t s a quot e f r o m G e or ge E l i ot s s t or y, D a ni e l D e r onda : H i s habi t of r ul i ng gav e hi m an ai r of r e s e r v e d aut hor i t at i v e ne s s A nyone obs e r vi ng J udge E va n s on t he B e nc h c oul d r e a di l y ge t t ha t i m pr e s s i on f r om h i s de m e a nor a nd f a c i a l e xpr e s s i on. V e r non w a s l e a n a nd phys i c a l l y s t r ong, s om e w ha t s om be r but a l w a ys s e e m e d t o be unde r c om pl e t e c ont r ol e ve n t hough he m i gh t b e c hur ni ng i ns i de L a w ye r s a r e of t e n a c c us e d of us i ng w or ds on s t e r oi ds a r t i f i c i a l l y p uf f e d up w a ys o f e xpr e s s i ng i de a s E va ns t e nde d t o be poi nt e d a nd di r e c t e d i n w ha t e ve r he s a i d or di d w hi c h no doubt he l pe d t o m a ke hi m a f i ne t r i a l l a w ye r a s w e l l a s a n a dm i r e d j udge V e r non ha d t o e ndur e m or e t ha n hi s s ha r e o f pe r s o na l t r a ge di e s l a t e i n l i f e H i s w i f e A nne t t e s uc c um be d t o a l e ngt hy i l l ne s s i n 1 987. L e s s t ha n a ye a r pr i or t o t he j udge s de a t h, hi s younge r s on, D a vi d l os t hi s l i f e i n a n i ndus t r i a l a c c i de nt O n a pos i t i ve not e he f ound ha ppi ne s s w he n he m a r r i e d A nne t t e s s i s t e r N e l l S t e w a r t on J une 19, 1989 a nd s he s ur vi ve d hi m a s di d hi s da ug ht e r N a nc y E va ns W a r d, s on, D a ni e l L E va ns s e ve r a l gr a ndc hi l dr e n a nd g r e a t gr a ndc hi l dr e n, a nd a ne phe w R obe r t B S t e w a r t B e f or e hi s r e t i r e m e nt f r o m t he C our t i n 1990, he w a s honor e d by be i ng g i ve n t he R obt W P a t t on A w a r d a s O ut s t a ndi ng J udge a nd a l s o r e c ogni z e d by t he T r i a l L a w ye r s of t he B a r A s s oc i a t i on f or di s t i ngui s he d s e r vi c e t o t ha t gr oup. M or i s on B uc k

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14 T he f ol l ow i ng t r i bu t e i n t he f o r m o f a poi gna nt l e t t e r f r om a l a dy w ho ha d a pr obl e m s ol ve d w hi l e he w a s a s s i gne d br i e f l y t o t h e F a m i l y L a w D i vi s i on of t he C our t m i ght pe r ha ps be t he f i ne s t m e m or i a l of a l l D e a r M r s E va ns I w a s s a dde ne d by t he pa s s i ng of you r hus ba nd, e a r l i e r t hi s m ont h. H e w a s a w onde r f ul m a n. Y ou don t know m e a nd I onl y pa s s e d t hr ough hi s c our t r oom on e t i m e be w ha t he di d t ha t da y, c ha nge d m y l i f e H e ga ve m e m y da ught e r ba c k. T ha t w a s i n 1979. M y e x w i f e a nd I w e r e a r e odds ove r vi s i t a t i on ( of c our s e a f t e r s he r e m a r r i e d) a nd w he n w e w e nt be f or e J udge E va ns t ha t da y he t oo k our be a ut i f ul t h r e e ye a r ol d da ught e r put he r on hi s l a p a nd s a i d I m goi ng t o ke e p he r f or 15 m i nut e s 15 da ys 15 m ont hs o r 15 ye a r s w ha t e ve r unt i l you t w o de c i de on w ha t i s f a i r a nd r e a s ona bl e f or t he f a t he r s vi s i t a t i on r i ght s N ow you go out s i de a nd s i t on t ha t be nc h a nd w he n you w or k i t out I l l be r i ght he r e w i t h your da ught e r W e l l i t di dn t t a ke 15 m i nut e s a nd s he ha s gr ow n up t o be a be a ut i f ul 25 ye a r ol d g r a dua t e of V a nde r bi l t U ni ve r s i t y a nd vi s i t a t i on w a s ne ve r m uc h of a pr ob l e m f r om t ha t da y on O h, I w e n t on t o ge t r e m a r r i e d a nd ha ve f our m or e c hi l dr e n a nd a ve r y ha ppy s uc c e s s f ul l i f e but a t t ha t t i m e I w a s 30 ye a r s ol d a nd t he onl y t hi ng t ha t m a t t e r e d w a s ha vi ng c ont i nua l i nt e r a c t i on w i t h m y da ught e r V e r non a c c om pl i s he d t ha t i n hi s dow n t o e a r t h, no nons e ns e w a y a nd a l t hough I ha ve l ooke d f or t he oppor t uni t y I ne ve r go t a c ha nc e t o t ha nk hi m f or w ha t he di d a nd I a dm i t I a m s om e w ha t a s ha m e d, but a t l e a s t t hr ough w r i t i ng t hi s l e t t e r t o you I c a n a c know l e dge ( a l t hough pos t hum ous l y) hi s w onde r f ul de e d I a m s ur e I w a s j us t one of t he m a ny l i ve s

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15 t ha t he c ha nge d f or t he be t t e r dur i ng t he c our s e of hi s l i f e H i s t i m e on e a r t h w a s w e l l s pe nt M a y G od B l e s s V e r non you, a nd your f a m i l y. A F T E R WO R D : O ur w hol e l i f e i s a s t or y m or e or l e s s i nt e l l i gi bl e ge ne r al l y l e s s ; but w e s hal l r e ad i t by a c l e ar e r l i ght w he n i t i s e nde d. C ha r l e s D i c ke ns


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