August 9, 2022


Let'S Talk Law

The Existence and Periods of a Region Lawyer: Chapter 14

Eight hundred decades back the English King Henry II developed a judicial method based on governmental legislation and the precedents of past courtroom rulings. The procedure and its rules are recognized as the Widespread Law of England. Down by the many years it has been pliable and adaptive to present lifestyles and disorders. For eight centuries it has delivered the principles human beings abide by in the course of daily life. Innumerable lawful scholars have experimented with to strengthen it, and some of the adjustments have stood the check of time. The American colonies adopted it, and it stays the structure and law we adhere to nowadays. The courthouse, usually on the town sq., is the position in which courts implement, guard and usually build the legal rights and principles we cherish. Looking at the mass of diverging prejudices festering in the human becoming, and the simple fact that human beings function our judicial system, the job completed by our courts is remarkable.

The Anglo (White racist) prejudices of the 1940s which ended up made use of to aid win the “Joe Smith” (fictitious identify) case are uncomplicated to see and identify now. They have been not clear in the 1940s, when most white individuals did not think they existed. Are other unnoticed prejudices impacting the procedure of our courts now?
Yes. To point out only a few, we are revisiting the separation of church and point out which King Henry VIII imagined he experienced produced when he attempted to get rid of the power of the Roman Catholic Church from the Popular Law of England.  Nowadays it requires the sort of some citizens with evangelical contentions looking for authorized enforcement of their beliefs on others. Confrontations in excess of the rights of Jews, Moslems and people today of other faiths to reside in peace appear to be to be under no circumstances-ending and also to breed prejudices.

Our hatred of Germans and Japanese, tied to Globe War II, is only slowly waning. Through history, war has been a significant contributing power to the generation and progress of prejudice. The biases stated higher than, merged with particular person human encounters, seep into and influence our judicial system.

I consider our judicial process is the finest obtainable which can operate in our democracy. It permits us to live in an satisfactory stage of regulation and purchase. It is pricey. We maintain a person or additional courthouses in just about every county, alongside one another with several jails and penitentiaries. Whilst we hope it is uncommon, it is essential to admit that from time to time innocent defendants are punished and defective civil judgments are rendered.

It is degrading to confess that this is the very best we can do.  It may be just that — our best. Practically all courtroom judgments are recognized by the community as good at the time they are rendered. It is disconcerting to comprehend that historical past will tarnish some of them as prejudices alter.

This phenomenon named prejudice is baffling to me. For the duration of the fifteen decades when my father practiced law with me we usually mentioned U.S. Supreme Court docket selections. A single morning a current ruling defining the equal legal rights of the Negro race was the topic of our dialogue a single early morning. Referring to the conclusion, nearly below his breath, my father stated: “I you should not treatment what the courts say, they are an inferior race.” This startled me and ended our discussion. My father had fought the Ku Klux Klan when it was a political challenge. As an Assistant U.S. Lawyer General, he had been the guide attorney despatched into the deep South, prosecuting local elected officers who experienced violated civil rights. These situations challenged nearby prejudices and I had feared for his basic safety. Following going to Sherman just one of his closest close friends was a well-known black Methodist minister who normally visited in our workplace. My father experienced written a beautiful statement of his religious beliefs, which was examine at his funeral, the topic of which was taken from the sermon of a further black minister, a avenue preacher.  His sermon had been shipped on a street corner in a Louisiana city.

My father was a person of the most sensible and revered adult men I have at any time known. What could have been the causation of his prejudice? His father had been a Methodist chaplain with the Confederate forces during the Civil War. Shortly right after the war, as a Methodist preacher, my paternal grandfather died of tuberculosis, which the household believed war disorders experienced prompted. His widow was impoverished, and out of requirement, lived with her kids. She was a splendid particular person whom I loved. She died hating Yankees–not just some Yankees, but all Yankees. Was the induce of my father’s prejudice his family’s Civil War working experience, or had it advanced from his experiences afterwards in existence? You can see why prejudice is so baffling to me.

That also explains why I have an unabated admiration for our judicial system. No artwork or science exists which delves into far more variables than the mass of prejudices embedded in the brains of human beings. The demo attorney works in this perplexing place, and I think the demo lawyer’s observe is the pursuit of the best science.

Upon the demise of Spearman Webb, I inherited what had been the Webb and Webb legislation company. Even though it then bore my identify, the company was the finest and most useful present these two fantastic attorneys could have provided me. With it came an business office total of conditions and lawful problems, a superior law library, Pass up Goldie (Mrs. Spearman Webb, utilized amongst 1910-1971) and Overlook Ruth (Ruth Bolton, used amongst 1928-1992) — the best authorized secretaries in the county. Down as a result of the decades these two secretaries worked with and skilled others who labored in the business: Elsie Matlock, Jackie Shorter, Johnnie Gee, Gladys Price Hamilton, Ruth French Savage, Mrs. Dean Martin, Sidney Steed, Mary Minor Rogers, Debra Gay, Tammie Rae Hill, Beckie Head and Diann Murphy. Miss Goldie and Skip Ruth also labored with and aided the adhering to attorneys who labored in the business during my era: Ralph Elliott, who grew to become County Lawyer and District Judge, Lester Newman, who turned Assistant County Legal professional and County Court at Legislation Choose, Joe Rollins who left the office environment to be part of the workers at the Houston Town Attorney’s Office environment, and Richard Rowland who, for more than a ten years, handled genuine estate and estate problems in our office environment.

After the loss of life of Spearman the office was “The Law Places of work of Neilson Rogers,” except for one transient pleasurable period. At 65 yrs of age my father, Fred S. Rogers, retired from the U. S. Board of Parole, moved to Sherman, and the workplace grew to become the organization of Rogers and Rogers. I always loved the office environment, but these 15 years until he died were being the most pleasing of my observe. My father appeared to want to do the place of work function which I did not significantly like. Except when I experienced court commitments, I began the follow of protecting workplace hrs amongst 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 midday, and relished farming and ranching in the afternoons.

I admire and regard the men who taught me how to observe law. They are my father, Spearman Webb and a group of terrific protection legal professionals, the most important of which was Henry Strasburger.

These days, at 90 years of age, I keep on to attend the business office two or a few several hours every early morning. Occasionally an old customer or law firm walks in for a visit, which I always enjoy. To me it is a magical put: put exactly where problems had been solved, the place mistaken was rectified and legal rights preserved. Nicely, not often. I recall a person event when a scenario we assumed was fantastic, blew up on us and Spearman reported: “The very good Lord wasn’t on possibly aspect of that lawsuit.”

In summary, permit me to beg of you to be tolerant when you criticize legal professionals recall that in our adversary procedure they are demanded to symbolize criminals and, in our civil courts, wrongdoers.

Please be careful when complaining of our courts. Normally, they by itself stand amongst law and order and anarchy. General public respect for courts is crucial mainly because jails and prisons alone are unable to implement the policies we reside by. Our suitable way of life hangs on a very fragile, thin line of voluntary compliance with regulation and purchase that is made from respect and awareness by the public of the rulings of our courts. These rulings have been forged around a time period of 8 hundred decades. Our courts can by no means be best, as long as prejudices fester in the brains of humans and individuals operate our judicial method.

–THE End–

Neilson Rogers
May well 16, 2006


Neilson Rogers practiced legislation in Sherman for nearly 60 decades, from 1938 until finally 2002, apart from for the 5 years he was in the U.S. Military through World War II. In 2007 he was regarded by the Grayson County Bar Assn. for 7 a long time of company to the lawful and judicial communities. In retirement he wrote this memoir, which was serialized in the North Texas e-News. Prior to his demise, Mr. Rogers requested Dr. Jerry Lincecum to edit the memoir and gave him literary power of legal professional to make selections about publishing his writings.