The Legacy of Lubbock and the Law, December 2016

Compiled by Chuck Lanehart

100+ Years Ago

Plainview Muddle

A contest suit has been filed in the District court of Hale county. . . attacking the election held on Oct. 3, 1908 to determine the question of issuing $60,000 court house bonds and $15,000 jail bonds.

Consternation reigned supreme Thursday morning about the courthouse when, like a bomb in a war camp, the petition was found on file in the clerk’s office. Its sweeping allegations laying at the door of many respected and wealthy citizens of Precinct No. 1 the charge of illegal voting, embracing accusations of perjury, pauperism, alienage, etc., created a sensation of astonishment which gradually cooled into a sense of indignation and resentment.
The Lubbock Avalanche Journal, November 13, 1908

(Note: the lawsuit failed, and the second Hale County Courthouse was completed in 1910. Designed by architect H.A. Overbeck, the structure is the oldest still in use as a courthouse on the South Plains. The 1893 Dickens County Courthouse is older, but is undergoing renovation and has not been in use since March of 201 5. The Swisher County Courthouse was constructed in 1909, but is invisible within a 1962 modern encasement of brick veneer. In the Panhandle, only the 1894 Donley, the 1906 Hartley and the 1909 Hemphill 11 County Courthouses are older.)

75 Years Ago

Ralph Brock
Ralph Brock (1915-2003) was elected Lubbock County Attorney in 1940, later served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and practiced law in Lubbock for 65 years. He was a longtime leader of the local Democratic Party.

Fines Are Assessed In Liquor Charges

Fines totaling $325 were assessed against two liquor law violators this morning by Judge G.V. Pardue of county court.

Alva Kinsie was fined $125 and costs, Lonzader Payne, a negro woman, $200 and costs. Both pleaded guilty, Judge Pardue said in his judgments.

Walter Wilkerson was charged this morning in two cases with liquor law violation. Ralph Brock, county attomey, was completing an affidavit alleging contempt of 99th district court, where, Brock said, Wilkerson had been permanently enjoined from trafficking in intoxicants.
Lubbock Evening Journal, December 12, 1941

Commissioners To Set Date For Wet-Dry Voting Today

The County clerk late Wednesday afternoon certified signatures to a second leader of the local Democratic Party petition seeking a wet-dry election in Justice Precinct 2, clearing the way for Lubbock County Commissioners to formally set the date in a 10 a.m. meeting today.
County Judge Rod Shaw said Wednesday night . . . “I feel we would have an administrative dutv to call an election.”

Bill Davis, attorney for Lubbock County Beverage Assn., announced Wednesday that his group will not attend today’s meeting. He said all information the association had has been turned over to county officials. He said the material includes over 200 exceptions to the petition, and if accepted, they would nullify the petition.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, December 15, 1966

(Note: With the opening of the famous “Strip,” Lubbock Counry’s Precinct 2 had been wet since 1960. The 1966 petition was an unsucces.01 effort to ban alcohol sales. For an excellent dissertation on the history of alcohol in Lubbock, see Lubbock from Town to Ciry,” edited by Lawrence L Graves, West Texas Museum Association, 1986.)

25 Years Ago

Floyd Holder
Floyd Holder (1934-2010) was a noted Lubbock criminal defense lawyer from the late 1970s until his death in 2010. He was known for his ability to select jurors who would acquit his clients. With (I think) tongue in cheek, he claimed his only rule for jury selection was to “keep every juror whose profession starts with the letter ‘P’.”

Floyd Holder’s List of Top Ten Juror Occupations

1. Prostitutes
2. Preachers
3. Pimps
4. Professors
5. Plumbers
6. Painters (House)
7. Painters (Art)
8. Pilots
9. Psychologists
10. Physicians

Bar Results Announced

Results of the July, 1991, bar exam were made public in November. Texas Tech School of Law graduates led the state in bar passage rate for first-time takers of the exam. The passage rates for Texas law schools were as follows:

1. Texas Tech-94.03%
2. University of Texas-93.25%
3. St. Mary’s-93.03%
4. Baylor-90.51%
5. South Texas-88.23%
6. University of Houston-87.45%
7. Southern Methodist-85.18%
8. Texas Southern-33.33%

—Lubbock Law Notes, December 1991

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