Boyd, John T 1998-09-21

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John Boyd discusses his career as a district judge and the law profession.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: John Boyd

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: September 21, 1998

Location: Amarillo, Texas

Interviewer: Fred Allison

Length: 1 hour, 30 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Born in Plainview, Texas, World War II, Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, Equivalence of two college years, Drafted, Special Services, End of World War II, Received medals, Reasons he became a lawyer, Move: Knock on Any Door, starring Humphrey (?) Bogart, Baylor University, Finished undergraduate work, 1948-began law school, G. I. Bill, Used it to pay for school, 1950, graduated from law school, Plainview, Texas (again), Private law practice (1950-1969), District bench: Plainview, Texas, 64th district, January 1, 1969, Last judicial appointment made by Governor John Connally, 1969-1981, Immediate Court: Amarillo, Texas, Appointed by Governor Clements, Branches of the Texas Court system, Plainview, Texas (again): 1950s, Interest rates, Law cases involved loans, Later cases involved insurance defense and other defense work, Case involving African-American, Juries, At the time only men served on juries, Jurors stayed at courthouse dormitories during trial, Women jurors, Abolished courthouse dormitories, Women and property laws, Baylor University (again), Law school, Boyd's class had 150 to 180, only 3 were women, Now women make up 40% of law students, Women and the law profession, Began in the 1950s, Meticulous, Excellent researchers, Trial lawyers, Change of the law profession, Lawyers now are too competitive, Public opinion of lawyers, Graduating more lawyers than the economy can absorb, In-your-face attitude (since the 1960s), Lawyers being able to advertise, Law is supposed to be a profession, not a business, Racial Discrimination, Attended a segregated school, served in a segregated army, Regrets, Description of courthouses, World War II, helped change things, First case with an African-American, Opinion: United States has made progress to end racial discrimination, Judicial Activist, Constitutional rights vs. a technicality, Napoleonic Law, Natural law vs. common law, Right and wrong, District Bench, 1969 (again)

Tape 1, Side 2: District Bench (continued), John Connally (again), Democrat, Conservatives and liberals, Civil War, Great-grandfather, Murphy, was killed in was (from Georgia), Grandfather was 7, Northerners burned down his house, Opinion: Republicans now are the old, Southern Democrats, Commission for judicial conduct, Spent 6 years on committee, Discipline body for state judges, Created by the state constitution, Elections and judges, Campaign contributions, Judicial activist (again), Educating voters, Historical References, Legal cases: more than a half were criminal (1969 vs. 1998), 1998-more senseless violence (drive-by shootings), 1969-more family violence and disturbances, Breakdown in laws, Opinion: disrespect for law, have a breakdown in society, Racially motivated crimes, District bench, since 1981, 7th Court of Appeals, 50-60% of criminal cases, Legal cases: University Interscholastic League, Texas Tech University, Oil and gas leases, Stories from his court, Anecdote

Tape 2, Side 1: Stories from his court (continued), Divorce case, Dimmitt, Texas, Drug cases, Hard drugs-cocaine, angel dust, Opinion: Society has to deal with the problem, X-rated (NC-17) movies and theaters, Types of movies, Definition of pornography is unclear, Community opposition, World War II (again), returning home after the war, Status of living in Plainview, Texas, Inventions, Car air-conditions, Television, Opinion: crime on television and movies has an effect on , violence, Changing family units, Divorces, Change in lawyer fee/salary/rates, Local bar set fee, but that was revoked by the Supreme Court, Pro-bono work, Costs involved with court cases have increased, Health Insurance reforms, Public opinion of lawyers (again), Thoughts and opinions, Opinion: There will never be a perfect system

Tape 2, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1860s-1998

Bulk Dates: 1950-1998

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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