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Thomas Allison Miller, Sr. (1918-2002)

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Title:
Thomas Allison Miller, Sr. (1918-2002) Alabama cotton farmer, decorated WW2 veteran, drive-in restaurant operator, lawyer & judge for the common people
Physical Description:
1 online resource (6 p.) : ill. ;
Language:
English
Creator:
Buck, Morison
Publisher:
Morrison Buck, 2002?
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla

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 - B28-00054
usfldc handle - b28.54
NEW
System ID:
SFS0000098:00001


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1 T H O M A S A L L I S O N M I L L E R S R ( 1918 2002) A L A B A M A C O T T O N F A R M E R D E C O R A T E D W W 2 V E T E R A N D R I V E I N R E S T A U R A N T O P E R A T O R L A W Y E R & J U D G E F O R T H E C O M M O N P E O P L E T om M i l l e r w a s bor n a nd r a i s e d on a f a r m i n t he F a r N or t h ( N or t he r nm os t A l a ba m a t ha t i s ) : he w a s a t r ue s on of t he S out h a nd pr oud of i t T om f i r s t a r r i ve d a t t he f a r m i n T a nne r A l a on S e pt 4 1918 H e w a s one of ni ne c hi l d r e n. A t s om e poi nt i n hi s yout h T om de c i de d t ha t unl e s s he w a s c om m i t t e d t o a c a r e e r i n f a r m i ng he w oul d ha ve t o pur s ue ot he r oppor t uni t i e s A l t hough t he S e c ond W or l d W a r w a s not ye t a f oot he e nl i s t e d i n t he A r m y A i r C or p s a s a P r i va t e a t a ge 20 a nd l e f t t he f a r m f or e ve r T he f ol l ow i ng ye a r he r e e nl i s t e d a t M a xw e l l F i e l d, A l a ba m a P r i or t o c om m e nc e m e nt of h i s t e nur e a s a n of f i c e r he e a r ne d a di pl om a f r om t he A i r C or ps T e c hni c a l S c hool gr a dua t i ng i n a i r pl a ne m e c ha ni c s A l w a ys e a ge r t o a dv a nc e hi m s e l f M i l l e r a t t e nde d O f f i c e r s C a ndi da t e S c hool i n S a n A nt oni o, T e xa s c om pl e t e d t he c our s e i n f i ne s t yl e a nd w a s c om m i s s i one d a s 2 n d L i e ut e na nt i n t he A r m y of t he U ni t e d S t a t e s on M a y 20, 1947, t o da t e f r om S e pt 2 1944. H i s m i l i t a r y du t i e s w e r e e xpa nde d a nd be c a m e m or e ha z a r dous w he n i n J ul y, 1942 he w a s s hi ppe d t o t he E ur ope a n A f r i c a n M i ddl e E a s t e r n T he a t r e w he r e he s e r ve d a s C r e w C hi e f of a B 24 bom be r F l i ght C hi e f a nd S qua dr on I ns pe c t or ; he a l s o s pe nt t i m e a s a n e ngi ne e r i ng of f i c e r a t a B 29 ba s e of ope r a t i ons A s a r e s ul t of t he f or e goi ng s e r vi c e he w a s a w a r de d t he E ur ope a n A f r i c a n M i ddl e E a s t e r n r i bbon w i t h t hr e e br onz e s t a r s H i s t ot a l t i m e i n m i l i t a r y s e r vi c e f or hi s c ount r y w a s s e ve n ye a r s J udge M i l l e r r e c e i ve d a n H onor a bl e D i s c ha r ge f or e ve r y s e gm e nt of s uc h s e r vi c e F or t he r e m a i nde r of hi s 83 ye a r s on e a r t h J udge M i l l e r r e gul a r l y c he c ke d obi t ua r i e s i n t he l oc a l pa pe r a nd he w oul d r a r e l y m i s s t he f une r a l s e r vi c e s of m i l i t a r y ve t e r a ns i r r e s pe c t i ve of w he t he r or not he kne w t he ve t e r a ns pe r s ona l l y. A f t e r be i ng r e l e a s e d f r om m i l i t a r y s e r vi c e M i l l e r c hos e t o l oc a t e i n T a m pa D e m ons t r a t i ng hi s i nt e ns e de s i r e t o s uc c e e d w i t h pl a ns t o f ur t he r hi s e duc a t i on, he bui l t a d r i ve i n r e s t a ur a nt a t 9602 N N e br a s ka A v e nue w hi c h he ope r a t e d f r om 1946 t o 1952. H e s om e how f ound t he t i m e a nd e ne r gy t o a t t e nd t he U ni ve r s i t y of T a m pa dur i ng t he s a m e ye a r s a nd gr a dua t e d w i t h a B S B A de gr e e t hus be c om i ng e l i gi bl e t o be c om e a dm i t t e d t o l a w s c hool

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2 S c a r c e l y be f or e he c oul d de t e r m i ne i f he ha d a ny F l or i da s a nd i n h i s s hoe s T om m e t t he l ove of hi s l i f e l ove l y B e t t y ( ne e E l i z a be t h S c hl e m a n) f r om a pr om i ne nt T a m pa f a m i l y w hi c h w a s hi ghl y r e s pe c t e d. I n he r ow n w or ds B e t t y de s c r i be s t he c i r c um s t a nc e s of he r f i r s t m e e t i ng w i t h T om w hi c h qui c kl y bl os s om e d i nt o a s ol i d m a r r i a ge t ha t e ndur e d f o r 60 ye a r s T he l ovi ng c oupl e pr oduc e d t w o s ons f i ve gr a ndc hi l dr e n a nd s i x g r e a t gr a ndc hi l dr e n: I f i t hadn t be e n f or m y de ar m ot he r ( B l e s s he r ) I m s ur e I w oul d hav e ne v e r m e t m y T om M y m ot he r had i nv i t e d m y br ot he r J ac k and I t o go w i t h he r and D ad danc i ng on a Sat ur day ni ght at t he G e r m an A m e r i c an C l ub. M ot he r t ol d us t he C l ub had hi r e d a ne w band; t hat t he gr oup w as v e r y good, pl ay e d c ount r y m us i c W e de c l i ne d, s t at i ng w e w oul d not l i k e danc i ng t o t hat k i nd of m us i c M y m ot he r di d not gi v e up, c onv i nc i ng us t o pl e as e go w i t h t he m W e f i nal l y agr e e d t o go a s t he m us i c had good r hy t hm and w e e nde d up r e al l y e nj oy i ng t h e c ount r y m us i c and our s e l v e s I not i c e d s e r v i c e m e n t he r e and i n t he gr oup w a s T om I f ound out l at e r w he n he w al k e d ov e r t o our t abl e i nt r oduc e d hi m s e l f and as k e d m e t o danc e H e w as a v e r y good bal l r oo m danc e r W e s t ar t e d dat i ng, got s e r i ous and w he n T om he ar d he w oul d be s hi ppe d ov e r s e as s hor t l y he as k e d m e t o m ar r y hi m W e di dn t t ak e t i m e t o pl an a c hur c h w e ddi ng. W e m ar r i e d A pr i l 4, 1942, a Sat ur day ni ght i n m y U nc l e F r ank s and A unt s hom e E v e r y t hi ng l ook e d l ov e l y I t w as a be aut i f u l ni ght and i t w as al l s o v e r y s pe c i al M i l l e r s pr i m a r y goa l o f be c om i ng a l a w ye r w a s r e a l i z e d w he n he w a s a w a r de d hi s L L B de gr e e f r om U ni ve r s i t y of M i a m i i n 1953. H e i m m e di a t e l y ope ne d a n of f i c e i n t he S ul phur S pr i ngs a r e a of T a m pa a nd e nga ge d i n t he pr a c t i c e of l a w unt i l 1961 I t w oul d be f a i r a nd a c c ur a t e t o s a y t ha t M i l l e r s i nt e r e s t i n publ i c of f i c e m ot i va t e d hi m t o hi t t he gr ound r unni ng t he s a m e ye a r t ha t he r e c e i ve d hi s l a w d e gr e e I n 195 3, he c ha l l e nge d J L Y oung, J r f or a s e a t on t he C i t y s B oa r d of R e pr e s e nt a t i ve s but w a s d e f e a t e d. T h r e e ye a r s l a t e r he c ont e nde d w i t h t he l a t e R obe r t T M a nn f or t he D i s t r i c t 2 S t a t e H ous e s l ot but w a s uns uc c e s s f ul H e t r i e d f or t he S t a t e r e pr e s e nt a t i ve po s t i n G r oup 3 oppo s i ng t h e l a t e T om W hi t a ke r J r i n 1958 but f e l l f a r s hor t T om s f i r s t t a s t e of vi c t or y c a m e i n 1966 w he n he w a s c hos e n C om m i t t e e m a n, P r e c i nc t 32, a s a D e m oc r a t hi s p a r t y a f f i l i a t i on. U nda unt e d by e a r l i e r l a c k of s u c c e s s pol i t i c a l l y, T om t he n w e nt he a d t o he a d w i t h ve ne r a bl e W i l l i a m C B r ooke r l ongt i m e C ount y J udge w ho h a d a l ot of f r i e nds w i t h pol i t i c a l c l out a nd w ho w on e a s i l y w i t h a l a r ge pl ur a l i t y of t he vot e A ne w l y c r e a t e d c ount y j udge s hi p c a l l e d f or a not he r e l e c t i on i n 1970. M i l l e r bo l dl y got i nt o a c ont e s t w i t h t he l a t e N i c k J F a l s one a w e l l c onne c t e d a n d e s t a bl i s he d a t t or ne y i n T a m pa a nd T om w a s a ga i n di s a ppoi nt e d. S how i ng t he pe r s i s t e nc e a nd t e na c i t y w hi c h w e r e t he ha l l m a r k of hi s pe r s ona l i t y, he a s s um e d t he t i t l e o f C ount y J udge T om M i l l e r w he n he de f e a t e d a w e l l know n A f r i c a n A m e r i c a n l a w ye r i n T a m pa i n 1972. J ud ge M i l l e r s f i na l a ppe a r a nc e a s a c a ndi da t e on t he ba l l ot i n H i l l s bor ough C ount y c a m e i n 1978 w he n a not he r a m bi t i ous l a w ye r a t t e m pt e d t o pr e c l ude J u dge M i l l e r s a s c e n s i on t o C i r c ui t C our t but w a s de f e a t e d. I n t ha t f i na l c ont e s t T om r e c e i ve d 53. 55% of t he vot e J udge M i l l e r w on w i t hout oppos i t i on i n 1984. S om e f ol ks be l i e ve t ha t C a l vi n C ool i dge our 30 t h P r e s i de nt w a s one of t he m os t unde r r a t e d of our c hi e f e xe c ut i ve s H e di dn t t a l k a l ot but he i s c r e di t e d w i t h t he f ol l ow i ng bi t of pr a c t i c a l phi l os ophy: N ot hi ng i n t he w or l d c an t ak e t he pl ac e o f pe r s i s t e nc e

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3 T al e nt w i l l not N ot hi ng i s m or e c om m on t han uns uc c e s s f ul m e n w i t h t al e nt G e ni u s w i l l not U nr e w ar de d ge ni us i s al m os t a p r ov e r b. E duc at i on w i l l not T he w or l d i s f ul l o f e duc at e d d e r e l i c t s P e r s i s t e nc e and de t e r m i nat i on al one ar e om ni pot e nt C a l vi n C ool i dge ( 1872 1933) C ool i dge ga ve u s a not he r gr e a t e xa m pl e of c om m on s e ns e w he n h e s a i d: N o m a n e ve r l i s t e ne d hi m s e l f out of a j ob P r e s i de nt C ool i dg e w a s a l w a ys know n a s a t i ght l i ppe d l i s t e ne r w ho m i ght ha ve be e n ha ve be e n t he f i r s t pe r s on t o s a y: W hy us e t w o w or ds w he n one w i l l do? H e w a s a t hi s m os t l oqua c i ous w he n a l a dy vi s i t or a t t he W hi t e H ous e w a s ove r he a r d t e l l i ng t he P r e s i de nt t ha t s he w oul d m a ke a s m a l l w a ge r t ha t s he c oul d i nduc e hi m t o s a y m or e t ha n t w o w or ds W he r e upon C ool i dge r e pl i e d, Y ou l os e J udge T om M i l l e r w a s a not he r good l i s t e ne r unl i ke s om e of hi s c ont e m por a r i e s w ho m i ght di s r upt a l a w ye r i n m i ds t r e a m of hi s or he r pr e s e nt a t i on by a que s t i on or unt i m e l y c om m e nt T he ye a r 1961 br ought T om M i l l e r hi s f i r s t oppor t uni t y t o do j udi c i a l w or k. I t w a s t he n t ha t he w a s a ppoi nt e d by G ove r nor F a r r i s B r ya nt a s j udge of I ndus t r i a l C l a i m s I n t ha t c a pa c i t y he a dj udi c a t e d c l a i m s unde r t he F l or i da W or km e n s C om pe n s a t i on L a w A f t e r 8 ye a r s of c r e di t a bl e s e r vi c e M i l l e r w a s r e pl a c e d by L oui s T i dw e l l of T a m pa a c a pa bl e l a w ye r w ho got hi s pr of e s s i ona l s t a r t a s L a w C l e r k w i t h U S D i s t r i c t J udge J os e ph P L i e b. T hi s s c r i be i s i nde bt e d t o J ohn W i l l i a m s on, a bl e a nd e xpe r i e nc e d T a m pa a t t or ne y, f or pr ovi di ng t he f ol l ow i ng s um m a r y of hi s know l e dge a nd r e c ol l e c t i ons a bout T om M i l l e r s e xpe r i e nc e i n de a l i ng w i t h c l a i m s f or on t he j ob i n j ur i e s : I n t he m i d 60s I w or k e d f or T r a v e l e r s I ns ur an c e C o. s C l ai m s D e pt i n T am pa, and i n par t i c ul ar t he i r W or k e r s C o m pe ns at i on c l ai m d e p ar t m e nt A t t hat t i m e T om & J oe B ar r s w e r e D e put y C om m i s s i one r s T om w as t he bane of t he i ns ur anc e c om pani e s and de f e ns e l aw f i r m s T he r e w a s op e n ac t i v i t y t r y i ng t o f e nd of f T om s r e appoi nt m e nt E v e nt ual l y i t w o r k e d and T om w as r e pl ac e d. T om and J oe w e r e v e r y c l os e A nd dur i ng t hi s hi at us T om pr a c t i c e d l aw at J oe s and m y l aw of f i c e T om r an f or C ount y J udge t he f i r s t t i m e i n 1968 and I r e c al l t he r e w as s om e f l ak about T om us i ng J udge T om M i l l e r i n hi s c am pai gn l i t e r at ur e al l t he w ay t o t he T am pa T r i bune no l e s s I had l i t t l e ac t i v i t y i n t hat c am pai gn or any ot he r T om w as a r e a l c am pai gne r u s i ng e v e r y oppor t uni t y t o pr e s e nt hi s po s i t i on on e v e r y i s s ue H e us e d e v e r y m e ans at hand t o be c om e k now n, i nc l udi ng s hak i ng e v e r y one s hand w ho c am e w i t hi n 50 f e e t of our of f i c e ; he al s o di d t he r ubbe r c hi c k e n c i r c ui t f ai t hf ul l y T om c ont i nue d t o at t e nd W or k e r s C om pe ns at i o n c onv e nt i ons e v e n t hough he w as no l onge r i nv ol v e d i n t hos e m at t e r s T om had a m ode s t y e t ac t i v e pr ac t i c e dur i ng t he hi at us H e t ook c opi ous not e s bu t ov e r w or k e d l ow e nd c as e s H e w as v e r y ac t i v e i n t he A m e r i c an L e gi on. A nd he w or e hi s ov e r s e a s c ap w i t h pr i de e v e r y V e t e r ans D ay

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4 F r om 1973 unt i l 1979, M i l l e r s e r ve d a s C ount y C our t J udge H e c a pt ur e d t he c ont e s t e d s e a t on C i r c ui t C our t w he n he w a s e l e c t e d i n t he 1 978 ge ne r a l e l e c t i on, a s not e d e a r l i e r D ur i ng t he l a t t e r c a m pa i gn, he i s s ue d t he f ol l ow i ng phi l os ophi c a l s t a t e m e nt a bout w ha t i s r e qui r e d t o be a good j udge but he w a s ul t i m a t e l y de f i n i ng hi m s e l f : A j udge m ay be t he gr e at e s t ge ni us i n t he w o r l d, but unl e s s he has t he i nt e gr i t y t o f ol l ow t he l aw c om pas s i on f or pe opl e and t he i r pr obl e m s a j udi c i al t e m pe r am e nt pat i e nc e unde r s t andi ng, l ac k of p r e c onc e i v e d p r e j udi c e s and unl e s s he de v ot e s t i m e t o hi s dut i e s an d m ak e hi m s e l f av ai l abl e t o t he l i t i gant s he i s not and w i l l not be a good j udg e T om n e ve r c ons i de r e d hi m s e l f a ny s or t of ge ni us or l e ga l s c hol a r but i n t he opi ni on o f m os t l a w ye r s a ppe a r i ng be f or e hi m he pos s e s s e d t he ot he r a t t r i b ut e s O ne of T a m pa s m os t a s t ut e l a w ye r s a nd pa s t P r e s i de nt of t he H i l l s bor ough C ount y B a r A s s oc i a t i on i s A D a l l a s A l br i t t on. H e pr ov i d e s t he f ol l ow i ng c oge nt r e m a r ks a bout hi s obs e r va t i ons a nd e xpe r i e nc e be f or e J udge T om M i l l e r : I k ne w T om M i l l e r e ar l y on. H e w as a ge nt l e m an w ho had pur s ue d ot he r oc c upat i ons i nc l udi ng t hat of s hor t or de r c ook be f o r e he w a s abl e t o f i ni s h c ol l e ge and go t o l aw s c hool w hi c h he di d s om e t i m e i n hi s 30 s i f I m not m i s t ak e n. H e w as l i k e abl e and k i nd, e s pe c i al l y t o t he poor and unl e ar ne d. H e had a gr e at s e ns e of hum or H e be c am e a D e put y C om m i s s i one r f or W or k e r s C om p e ns at i on c a s e s and w a s qui t e a popul ar j udge H e had t he abi l i t y t o t r ul y pe ne t r at e a c o m pl e x s e t of c l ai m s and t o c om e u p w i t h bot h t he r e al f ac t s and appl i c abl e l aw H e w oul d t he n di c t at e a l e t t e r w i t h gr e at de t ai l as t o t he f ac t s and as t o t he appl i c abl e l aw w i t h hi s hol di ng, and t he l aw y e r as s i gne d t o p r e par e t he O r de r w oul d hav e t he l e t t e r gi v i ng i n pr e c i s e de t ai l hi s r ul i ngs a g r e at h e l p t o t he l aw y e r s w h o w e r e a s s i gne d t o pr e par e f or m al or de r s i n w or k e r s c om pe n s at i on c a s e s H e had m any f r i e nds i n t he B ar but h e w a s e s pe c i al l y c l o s e t o J oe B ar r s w ho al s o s e r v e d a s D e put y C om m i s s i o ne r of J udge of I ndus t r i al C l ai m s f o r a pe r i od and w ho w as ot he r w i s e a s pe c i al i s t i n w or k e r s c o m pe ns at i on l aw pr ac t i c i ng t oge t he r w i t h J oh n A W i l l i am s on, a w e l l k now n w or k e r s c om p pr a c t i t i one r T he f i r m of B ar r s and W i l l i am s on ha d an of f i c e ac r os s t he s t r e e t f r o m t he C i t y H al l w h i c h hous e d t he i r f i r m w hi c h i nc l ude d s e v e r a l as s oc i at e s and an i nv e s t i gat or pl us ot he r s t af f O n t he s e c ond f l oor at t he r e ar of t he of f i c e B ar r s and W i l l i am s on had a hos pi t al i t y r oom V i s i t i ng c ouns e l w as i nv i t e d t o s t op up t o t he hos pi t al i t y r oom and t he r e t o r e l ax and e nj oy a be e r or s om e t hi ng har de r or pe r hap s j us t a s of t dr i nk T he popul ar i t y of t hi s pl ac e i nc r e as e d and t he r e w e r e a num be r of l aw y e r s w ho w oul d be f ound t he r e on an al m os t dai l y bas i s p ar t i c ul ar l y ar ound t he noon hour T om M i l l e r w as a v e r y f r e que nt v i s i t or and hi s f r i e nd J udge H ar r y R y de r al s o c oul d be f ound t he r e T om ac t i ng i n hi s f unc t i on as j udge had m ar r i e d J oe B ar r s and hi s w i f e D i ane T om had am bi t i ons be y ond t he w or k e r s c o m p be nc h. H e de c i de d t o r un agai n s t t he s ol e pr obat e j udge C ount y J udge W i l l i am B r ook e r J udge B r o ok e r had not r un an e l e c t i on i n s om e t i m e and w as hi ghl y pe r t u r be d t o f i nd t hat he had oppos i t i on. H e c al l e d on hi s f r i e nds of m any y e a r s an d de f e at e d T om i n t he e l e c t i on. H e w as al w ay s f r i e ndl y t o al l s i de s and v e r y dow n t o e ar t h, but he w as not abov e be r at i ng one or bot h s i de s i f he t hought t he y had not done t he i r h om e w o r k i n any m at t e r be f or e t he c our t H e al s o had a pr e di l e c t i on f or m ov i ng c as e s al ong, and I c an r e c al l t hat he r e qui r e d B ob M i t c ham and m e t o c om m e nc e a c i v i l t r i al at 5 o c l oc k on a T hur s day af t e r noon, ov e r ou r pr ot e s t s W e s om e how m anag e d t o g e t a l l our w i t ne s s e s t o c ou r t m um bl i ng unde r ou r br e at h about t he l ac k of not i c e f or t he l at e s t ar t ( O ur f e e l i ngs w e r e c ons i de r abl y i m pr ov e d w he n t h e j ur y br ought i n t he v e r di c t f or $975 000. 00)

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5 H e w as ne v e r pont i f i c al but he w as e x ac t i ng. H e c oul d r e ad t he l aw and he c oul d di s s e c t a c as e H e had a l ow t ol e r anc e f or c ant or obf us c at i on and m ade s ur e t hat t he l aw y e r s k ne w hi s v i e w s O ut s i de of c our t h e w as v e r y w a r m w i t h a br oad s m i l e and e x hi bi t e d a g e nui ne f ondne s s f or al m os t e v e r y body I don t t hi nk he had any e n e m i e s and m os t of u s w ho p r ac t i c e d be f o r e hi m t hought he w as a good j udge w ho w as de c i s i v e and or gani z e d i n hi s f i ndi ngs and c onc l us i ons of l aw H e w as a ge nt l e m an t ow ar d l i t i gan t s w i t h w hom he had m or e pat i e nc e t han he di d l aw y e r s M y unde r s t andi ng i s t hat T om had a he a r t at t ac k at br e ak f as t one m o r ni ng and di e d, not t oo l ong af t e r he had r e t i r e d. I r e c al l hi m w i t h ge nui ne af f e c t i on and appr e c i at i on f or hi s s t e e l y de t e r m i nat i on t o ge t t o t he t r ut h. S t e v e S e s s um s pr om i ne nt T a m pa a t t or ne y w hos e pr a c t i c e i s pr i m a r i l y f oc us e d on f a m i l y l a w s pe a ks a bout J udge T om & B e t t y M i l l e r f r om t he c l os e pe r s pe c t i ve of a ne i ghbor : W e w e r e ne x t door ne i ghbor s on t he E as t s i de of t he H i l l s bor ough R i v e r i n Se m i nol e H e i ght s f or 12 y e ar s H e and hi s w i f e B e t t y w e r e w ond e r f ul ne i g hbor s al t hough t he y l ar g e l y k e pt t o t he m s e l v e s W he n w e di d s e e t he m t he y w e r e w ar m and f r i e ndl y T om m ow e d hi s ow n l aw n. I r e m e m be r s e e i ng hi m m os t w e e k e nds dur i ng t he w ar m e r m ont hs dr e s s e d i n bl ac k w i ngt i p s h oe s bl ac k s oc k s and a H aw ai i an br i ght l y c ov e r e d s w i m s ui t f ol l ow e d t he l aw n m ow e r T hat i s t he onl y t i m e t hat I s aw hi m s o dr e s s e d. I t r i e d m any c as e s be f o r e hi m bot h be f or e dur i ng and af t e r t he t i m e t hat w e w e r e ne i ghbor s H e ne v e r di s c u s s e d any t hi ng w i t h m e c onc e r ni ng t he l aw e x c e pt w he n I w as i n C our t be f or e hi m T he t h i ng I r e m e m be r be s t about hi s j udi c i al pe r f or m anc e w as t hat he pai d s t r i c t at t e nt i on t o t he pr oc e e di ngs and m ad e e x t e n s i v e not e s as t he c a s e pr og r e s s e d. H e m ade v e r y l i t t l e c om m e nt unt i l e v e r y t hi ng w as c om pl e t e d. A f t e r t he c l os i ng a r gum e nt s w e r e c om pl e t e d, he as k e d i f bot h l aw y e r s w e r e f i ni s he d. H e t he n r e f e r r e d t o hi s not e s and i m m e di at e l y r ul e d. H e di d t hi s e v e n w he n t he c as e had l as t e d s e v e r al day s and w as hi ghl y c om pl e x A nd he c ov e r e d al l t he i s s ue s as k e d c oun s e l i f he had ov e r l ook e d any i s s ue and t he n di r e c t e d one of t he l aw y e r s t o pr e par e t he f i nal j udgm e nt i n ac c or danc e w i t h t hi s r ul i ng. H on. D on G a l l a ghe r a s t a unc h R e publ i c a n, kne w T om M i l l e r w he n t he y bot h, a t di f f e r e nt t i m e s s e r ve d a s j udge s i n w or km e n s c om pe n s a t i on c a s e s T om de s c r i be d by t he f or m e r a s a ye l l ow dog D e m oc r a t w a s a ppoi nt e d by t he D e m oc r a t G ov. B r ya nt a s he r e t of or e not e d, a nd G a l l a ghe r w a s t he c hoi c e of t he R e publ i c a n G ove r nor C l a ude K i r k. M e s s r s M i l l e r a nd G a l l a ghe r s e r ve d on t he 13 t h J udi c i a l C i r c ui t be n c h a s c ol l e a gu e s J udge G a l l a ghe r be c a m e a S e ni or J udge i n 1996 a nd c ont i nue s t o t a ke va r i o us a s s i gnm e nt s i n t ha t c a pa c i t y. C hi e f J udge M e ne nde z of f i c e a dvi s e s t ha t a f t e r r e t i r e m e nt i n 1992, J udge M i l l e r a s a s e ni or j udge a gr e e d t o t a ke a s s i gnm e nt of a l l a s be s t os c l a i m s c a s e s f i l e d i n t he C i r c ui t J udge G a l l a ghe r f ur t he r l a uds hi s f r i e nd T o m M i l l e r w he n he s a ys : T om M i l l e r w as f i r s t and f or e m os t a pat r i ot i n t h e t r ue s e ns e of t he w or d. H e w as pr ou d of hi s s e r v i c e as a c om bat v e t e r an i n W W 2, pr oud t o be a L e gi onnai r e and at t e nde d t he L e gi on s c onv e nt i ons w he ne v e r and w he r e v e r t he y w e r e he l d. H i s w or k w i t h v e t e r ans w as r e w ar d e d by t he C ount y C om m i s s i on w ho r e que s t e d t ha t J udge M i l l e r or gani z e and r un t he annual V e t e r an s

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6 D ay par ade on N ov e m be r 11. T om w a s ge ne r al l y t he m ai n s p e ak e r and par ad e r e v i e w e r al ong w i t h ot he r pr om i ne nt c ount y of f i c i al s N ot onl y w as J udge M i l l e r a t r ue pat r i ot he w as a k i nd and ge nt l e m an. J oA nn R uc a v a do, t he ve r y pe r s ona bl e a s s i s t a nt t o C i r c ui t J udge S us a n S e xt on, s ha r e s a n a ne c dot a l e xpe r i e nc e f r om he r w or k a s a s ubs t i t ut e f or J udge M i l l e r : A s a s ubs t i t ut e I w as us ual l y i ns t r uc t e d by t he r e gul ar J udi c i al A s s i s t ant as t o w hat t h e j udge s pr e f e r e nc e s w e r e O n one s uc h as s i gnm e nt w i t h J udge T om M i l l e r t he J A t ol d m e t o k e e p an e y e on any pe nc i l s l e f t on t he j udge s de s k She s ai d i f t he pe nc i l poi nt w a s l e f t he adi ng t ow ar d t he f r ont of t he de s k i t m e ant he w ant e d i t s har pe ne d I f ound t hat t o be odd but s ur e e nough, upon c he c k i ng hi s de s k t he r e t he y w e r e poi nt i ng up and s om e dow n s o I k ne w m y dut y and di d i t I ne v e r had a c om pl ai nt f or m hi m J udge M i l l e r t ook w ha t e ve r t i m e w a s r e a s on a b l y a va i l a bl e t o c ont i nue h i s l e ga l a nd j udi c i a l e duc a t i on, a l l t he w hi l e c ont i nui ng t o ge t hi s w or k done i n w ha t e ve r di vi s i on of t he C i r c ui t C our t t o w hi c h he w a s a s s i gne d. H i s de a t h f r om na t ur a l c a us e s i n 2002 br ought a n e nd t o t he s t e l l a r c a r e e r of a m a n de s c r i be d by H i l l s bor ou gh C ount y C hi e f J udge M a nue l M e ne nde z J r a s a n i ns t i t ut i on F e l l ow J udge a nd out s t a ndi ng publ i c s e r va nt i n t h e j udi c i a r y, J R oge r s P a dge t t s a i d: H e had a m anne r about hi m t hat e nc our age d pe opl e t o t hi n k t hat t he y w e r e goi ng t o ge t a f ai r s hak e H e l ov e d be i ng a j udge pr obabl y m or e t han any body I k ne w H e w as a har d w or k e r w i l l i ng t o f i l l i n w he r e v e r he w as ne e de d. T o s how hi s s pi r i t o f c oope r at i v e n e s s J udge M i l l e r w i l l i ngl y t oo k as s i gnm e nt t o m e e t t he ne e ds of t he e nt i r e C i r c ui t M or i s on B uc k A f t e r w or d: T o be a m ong t hos e w ho know w ha t s w ha t i s va s t l y m or e i m po r t a nt t ha n t o be l i s t e d i n w ho s w ho. A non