Interviewee: Dexter Delony
Interviewer: Stephen Prescott
Date: May 14, 1993
P: Today is 14 May 1993. [This is Stephen Prescott, and] I am in the home of
Dexter Delony. Mr. Delony is a professor emeritus, University of Florida College
of Law. His wife, Mrs. Jean Campbell Delony, is with us. [She will be identified
as JD. Ed.] We will be doing an oral history interview about his career at the
University to be put in the University [of Florida Oral History] Archives.
Good afternoon, Mr. Delony. I want you to start by telling us your date of birth
and a little bit about your family background.
D: I was born November 24, 1916 in Ariton, Alabama. My father was a
farmer--peach orchards, pecan orchards, cattle raising and hog raising--[and a]
rural mail carrier. I lived there in Ariton through elementary school and high
school. Then I left there for college.
P: What part of Alabama is Ariton in?
D: [The] southeast. It is in Dale County. Ozark is the county seat. It is in the
southeastern part of the state.
I was the fourth child. The oldest sibling that I had was my sister, whose name
was Robbie Lou Delony. She started work in the 1920s as a telegrapher, and
became a railroad depot agent for the Atlantic Coastline Railroad. My brother
was Murl Delony. He was a telegrapher and an Atlantic Coastline Railroad
depot agent. My next brother--just before me--was Roy Maxwell Delony. He
was a high school principal and assistant superintendent for schools in Jackson
County, Florida. My youngest brother is a lawyer. His name is Ross Delony.
[Of] my children, the oldest is Charles Delony. He has a consulting firm in
Jacksonville, Florida. My daughter is Christine Delony. She is an officer in the
Prudential Insurance Co. Trust Deptartment in Atlanta. And my youngest child
is John. He recently graduated from the University of Florida.
JD: Christine is married. That is not her name now.
D: Her married name is Christine Bulloch.
P: Before we go on to colleges, what made a farmboy decide to become a lawyer?
That would have been pretty unusual in the 1930s.
D: I lived in a farm area that was a small town. Ariton, when I lived in it, had 510
people. We had a wonderful high school program. I just look back upon that
with such envy in comparison with the elementary and the high schools that my
children went to. They encouraged us; we had particular teachers that would
just take a particular interest [in us] outside of the classroom. It was just through
drive and encouragement [that I became a lawyer], as well as [the fact that] I had
a strong desire to do something different and more. My father led me. He was
just so interested in laying the groundwork and opening the road for me. So I
went to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, from that small town of Ariton, and entered the
College of Business Administration at the University of Alabama in 1934. I
graduated from high school in 1934 and then entered college.
But I would also like to tell you that [as] I look back upon that period before I
entered college, of the latter 1920s and the early 1930s when I was in grammar
school and in high school, [I realize that] it was just such a rich life. We had
horses to ride. We just had so many things, [like] friends [of] our own age that
we could associate with with such pleasure. You see, what I am doing is
comparing the experience of my own children, as opposed to the encouraging
atmosphere that I had when I was growing up.
P: That was the height of the Depression. How did the Depression affect you?
D: [It did not]. That was the other aspect--that we just got along so well. We had
extra money coming in from the federal job my father had as a rural mail carrier,
and when the farm income was down and other people had such problems, we
were just spared so well, relatively speaking, and we were able to help other
people. That gave us pleasure too. Of course, we did not have a Depression in
the latter 1920s. The farms and the cattle were all going beautifully in 1928 and
1929. We had good occasions.
Can we start now with college? Is there any other thing that I should address?
Jean, can you think of anything?
D: OK. I entered college in September 1934.
P: Why did you decide on the University of Alabama?
D: Because of financial [concerns]. I did have financial restrictions, so I had to
think in terms of that. I could not make a selection [to go] just anywhere, so the
University of Alabama, financially, was the [best choice]. It was also considered
[to offer a] very good quality [education], at least at our time, and from the
information we had. So I felt very honored and pleased to get to go there.
It was the College of Business Administration that I went to. I was very young--I
think about seventeen. I have not calculated it exactly. But I remember it was
one of my first experiences to live away from home. I lived in a little boarding
place where a family lady rented rooms. There were about four or five of us that
lived in their home. We ate together and we shared rooms; I had a roommate.
At that age, that [was my] first experience being away from home (except on
When I was young my mother and father took us on trips. I remember one time
we had a friend that came--this was when I was still in high school--and we were
just going to go on a travel thing. We left home in the morning and drove all the
way down to Daytona Beach; we went from Ariton to Daytona Beach in one day.
JD: In those old cars and those old roads. [laughter]
D: The next day [we went from] Daytona Beach to beyond Miami, just on the
Everglades side of Miami. [And then] the next day [we went] to a little town on
the gulf coast, and the next day we drove through Gainesville--that was the first
time I had seen Gainesville--right by the law school.
P: This was Bryan Hall, the old law school.
JD: It was on the corner there of [U.S. Highway] 441.
D: Yes, we came up 441. We went by there at about 3:30 in the afternoon and
went all the way to Ariton for sleep that night.
JD: They did not have any money to sleep anywhere, so they just had to go as far as
they could. [laughter]
D: I tell you, we found a place to sleep in the Daytona Beach area. I remember it
today, going to bed and then looking up at a stream of rafters and then the open
spaces on the side, just like a wooden roof that was a tent side.
Then I had this first year at the college and enjoyed it very much. The teachers
then were so nice. One lady just took an interest in me. Of course, I looked
like a little child, I know, but she just led me around and guided me so. I got so
much pleasure out of it.
P: Do you remember her name?
D: No, I do not.
P: What did she teach?
D: [She taught] economics. Then everything was doubled up. You worked hard.
I went to summer school; I went around the calendar. So I got my A.B. degree
in business administration in 1937, and then I went right into the law college,
summer school and all, and got my LL.B. degree, which is now called the J.D.
degree, in 1939.
P: Were you a good student?
D: Yes, [I was] very good. I had an A average.
P: [That is] great. Were you involved in any activities in the college--fraternities,
D: Yes, we had some debate. There is no question about that. But I do not recall
sports. We still had a good football team in those days. [laughter]
P: When did you think about becoming an attorney? Did you know that before you
started college, or was that something that developed?
D: Yes, I knew that before I started college. I was going in that direction. We had
attorney friends in Ozark, the county seat. In those days attorneys were
something you looked up to. I mean, they had more prestige then than I think
they do now, particularly in some of these areas. They were like what we think
of as judges now--just a practicing attorney. They had good reputations.
JD: Of course, they were better educated for the area they were in, so naturally that
gave them an edge in their society.
D: Yes, in relation to other people, whereas now a lot of other people are just as
educated as lawyers.
P: How did you find the law school at Alabama?
D: I hate to be so complimentary that it seems like everything is so wonderful, but
that is my memory, you see. I really enjoyed it. People had an interest; they
would take a personal interest. I am thinking of now when you hardly [know
P: Well, the classes are so large the professor probably does not know most of the
JD: Especially the nearsighted ones who do not see the people in the back.
D: Somehow I attracted them, though. I appealed to them. [laughter] They took
a special interest in me. I really enjoyed it, in looking back.
Then, after I graduated and got my degree, I had already made contacts. I did
some work for Judge John R. Bealle. He was a circuit judge in Tuscaloosa. He
was getting on in age, and it just happened that when he retired I graduated, and
he got me immediately as his assistant. So we opened up a general practice in
Tuscaloosa, and I did a general practice of law, handling civil suits and criminal
suits. I remember some of the trials very vividly. I was just in a drama as to the
things I did between 1939 and 1940, particularly working with a fine person like
Judge Bealle. I just respected him so.
As to why [I moved on]: you say, "Why leave him?" Well, his age and his health
[were advanced], and I knew that I could not keep that practice going alone.
Although there were other people [with whom I could enter a partnership,] I had
to make this decision--do I go with that person or that person? They formed
firms. I was invited--or do I try something else? This is so risky. So it was on
the basis of riskiness, as well as the drive of my father, that I decided to go to
Then in 1940 I entered Harvard Graduate Law School, and there I ran into all
those famous people, [like] Roscoe Pound, etc. I was there from 1940-1941,
and in 1941 I got my LL.M. degree from Harvard.
P: Did you specialize in something, or was it a general LL.M.?
D: [It was] a general LL.M. I wrote a thesis though, in the area of economics. It
was pulling on my background in economics--legal control in preventing
monopolies, and that sort of thing.
P: Did you already know you wanted to teach when you went to Harvard, or were
you still oriented towards practicing law?
D: Mainly, I was thinking in terms of teaching when I went. There is no question
about that. However, the period in which it occurred--[around] 1941--1 was not
sure whether I was going to be drafted with the war starting or what I was going
to do in the meantime. So I was waiting on that. In the period--I do not
remember now why, it may have been just that the job was open--I went as an
attorney for the United States Department of the Interior. I went there in June
1941, and I was an attorney there until 1942.
Then it was considered that my record was such, that I [received] this invitation.
The Office of Price Administration was forming. It was a wartime agency
created by that period, and I had the unique opportunity [to work there]. I think it
was probably because of some people that I knew that had left Harvard and
become top officers in the Office of Price Administration. I was invited not only
to become an attorney, but also a hearing commissioner for that office. And
then when the draft got around they said, "We want him delayed a while." So
they approved my delay and that just kept continuing while I worked in that
position. They just got me deferred.
They sent me to Puerto Rico, and I was an attorney and hearing commissioner in
Puerto Rico for the Office of Price Administration for a year and a half, from
1942-1943. It was a full [year]. Jean, you went with me. How long was it?
JD: It was nearly two years. It might have been a couple months short; I am just not
sure. We went down in September.
D: Then I came back to the United States right at the end of 1943, and then for a
year I was a hearing commissioner for the Office of Price Administration. I had a
number of decisions and opinions that I wrote, and the Office of Price
Administration published them all; they are all published in the record.
Then in 1944 I became an attorney for the National Labor Relations Board
[NLRB]. I prepared many NLRB briefs for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
during that era.
What I can say now is [that] I was leaving the government service and going in to
teaching in 1946.
P: Was your first job in Pennsylvania?
D: [Yes, it was] at the Wharton School. My first teaching job began in September
1946 at the Wharton School of Finance, [at] the University of Pennsylvania in
Philadelphia. I think you have heard of the college; it was considered one of the
rather prominent ones at the time.
P: Certainly; it is one of the best. How did you get this job? Did they contact you?
D: Yes. Jean, can you help me on that?
JD: I do not remember.
D: I certainly did not apply. They contacted me somehow. I am sorry I do not
JD: But they were lovely people. We probably would have stayed, but you could not
find anyplace to live near that place. It was so hard.
P: I can imagine. Well, there was a housing shortage anyhow during that period for
everybody, brought on by the returning veterans.
D: The courses I taught there specialized in business law. We called one of them
Business Law, and one of them Economics. Of course they had a variety of
economic courses, but I taught [only] one economics, and mostly Business Law.
Jean, can you remember some of the prominent people that we knew there?
You remember the names.
JD: [There was] Bernie Cataldo with the Italian name. Then, of course, there was
the Dean. But they were lovely, lovely people.
D: It was the dean that came down to get me; he had learned about me somehow.
I cannot remember that dean's name.
JD: Clarence Callendar was the dean at that time. We really loved it. Pennsylvania
is a beautiful state, but Philadelphia is not [a beautiful city]. We were living in an
old house that had been made into apartments, and we did not get that until mid
year. It was not a very satisfactory place to live. I thought the people upstairs
had put in a washing machine. This had been a really nice house at one time.
The bathroom was big enough to hang the laundry in it, and it had tiled walls with
embossed tile trim and a great big tub, [one] big enough for an elephant. [It
was] a really big tub. And they put a washing machine in the bathroom in the
floor directly above [us] in that old house, and I could see the ceiling was
beginning [to sag]. I thought it was going to come crashing through someday.
[laughter] It may have--I do not know.
D: Then I remember Dean Callendar used to visit us at the apartment.
JD: Yes, he came up to see us.
D: He knew we were unhappy in that place, and he was trying to think of how to
help us get out.
P: Was the school filled with returning GIs by this time? The GI Bill was in effect.
D: It was getting quite crowded, yes. But it was nothing like the University of
Florida College of Law in 1948. I will tell you about that when I get to it.
Anyway, they were very kind, and I was hard-pressed [for adequate living
quarters]. The dean of the [Denver] law school visited us in Washington.
P: This is the University of Denver?
JD: Yes. His name was Price. He came to see us when we were living in
Washington, but his offer did not come until the following year, I guess.
D: He came sometime before 1947.
JD: I am sure we would have stayed there [in Philadelphia], but we could not find a
decent place to live. Before we went up, I went up and scouted around. I found
what had been a carriage house that had been converted into a cottage that
some Quaker people [were living in]. There are a lot of Quakers up there, and
the Quaker lady and her husband were in a reverse situation--they were going to
Washington. But she had a list which she described as being about a foot long
of people who wanted that little house. I sat an hour or so with her, and I talked
myself up to the second position, but I could not make that next jump because it
was the son of an old friend. And if he wanted it, I was out. Otherwise, if we
had gotten that place, I know we would still be there. It was darling; we would
have been so happy in there.
D: I was interested in law though, so when the offer came I went to the University of
Denver College of Law.
JD: Wharton is not too shabby, Dexter.
D: No, it is not. [laughter] I just was interested in law. So from September 1947
to September 1948 I was there.
P: How was the University of Denver? I do not know much about it. Was it trying
to be a good school?
D: It was trying to be, but it does not have the reputation that the University of
Colorado does, and that was one of the factors that made it not very difficult to
leave. Although, the people were nice and it was a good school. I do not want
to depreciate it at all; it is a good school.
Now, Steve, what happened? As far as I knew, I was at the University of
Denver. Then I got a phone call from J. Hillis Miller, and he said, "The law
college dean here has left us"--this is the University of Florida now; you know
J. Hillis Miller--"and we have an acting dean who is rather elderly. I have to look
for people for the faculty. The job is on my shoulders."
P: Was this when Dean [Harry R.] Trusler retired?
JD: Then they had an acting dean.
P: Clifford Crandall was the acting dean.
D: Yes, but he was not too active in the sense that he [did not take care of tasks like
hiring faculty]; J. Hillis Miller handled it. He said, "I am going to interview a
potential dean in Tennessee on such-and-such a date, and I want to come out to
Denver to interview you if you think I could interest you in coming here." I told
him I would like to interview with him. So he went to Tennessee to interview
Henry Fenn, and then came to Denver to interview me. He interviewed me, and
he offered jobs to both of us--to Henry and to me. So that is how I got to the
University of Florida College of Law.
P: The rumor was that Dean Fenn would not hire anybody that did not go to Yale,
so I guess that is how you got in.
JD: There was a rumor to that effect.
P: I think it was probably true.
JD: I do not think so. He knew people up there.
P: He was a graduate of Yale, and had been assistant dean at Yale.
D: Well, there were others that did not feel that way, [who felt that] Harvard was just
as good. [laughter]
Well, now I am on the University of Florida faculty.
JD: I think you should tell him about our trip down, when we came down here.
P: Well, Gainesville was something of a backwater, I guess.
JD: I do not really need to describe the town at this point, but we had a little old car
we bought in Colorado. We had a new car when we left Philadelphia, but we
sold it because we did not need a car. Then we had to find a car when we were
coming down here, so we bought this old Chevrolet. Florida had a very wet
year, and when we came down the roads were sandbagged, and there was still
water in them in places. It rained, and those little windshield wipers in those old
cars were only about six inches long, you know. You could hardly see in front of
your face. I thought, "This whole place is going underwater. "Look at it! There
is water everywhere. There is water on the roads." I just thought the whole
state was going to get inundated and submerged in no time, and I wondered
what in the world we had done. I was born here, incidentally. [laughter]
P: Were you?
JD: Yes. I was born in Jacksonville, but that was just a happenstance.
D: [She was] six months old when she moved to Seattle.
JD: My father was from Seattle. But [with] that trip down and that rain and those
sandbags and the water still across the road, I just thought we really were in a
P: Do you know why J. Hillis Miller called you in Denver? Did someone
D: I do not remember. Jean, do you?
JD: Oh, you were recommended from someone at Harvard.
D: I am sure that is the way it was. He got my name somehow; I sure did not give it
to him. I did not apply.
JD: No. In fact, that man in Kansas was trying to hire you then. You might have
ended up in Manhattan.
P: When you first got here in 1948, what were your first impressions of the law
school? It was much smaller then.
D: Oh, yes. It was much smaller than the University of Denver in the sense of the
number of faculty. Now, you have the records, and I do not. My memory is all
[I have to go on,] and I know the faculty was so small relatively. My memory is
what I understand, and you can correct it. My thought was that the faculty was
somewhere in the area of fifteen. Can you help me on that, Jean?
JD: No, I do not remember that many.
P: I would be surprised if it was that many; I would say ten or twelve is more likely.
D: I am just trying to be [generous]; I think it was much less than that. The
veterans were coming in, and I remember, Steve, my class had 150 in a class.
That was quite normal [to have] 125 to 150, and those few faculty. And they
were old people. I have an indication of the people that I remember there, [such
as] Jimmy Day and Clarence TeSelle. I am sorry if I used the term old people.
That is derogatory.
P: They were not young.
D: They were not under fifty; they were fifty to sixty [years old]. Clarence TeSelle
and Dean Slagle [were there]. Frank Maloney was [also] there, and he was
JD: He had just come. He had been a student here at one time; I am sure you
D: Other than Frank, they were in their sixties. I can remember.
P: Let's talk a little bit about each of them, since you brought them up. Jimmy Day
taught property. Tell me what you remember about him.
D: He was just a pleasant, peaceful [individual]. [He wanted to] solve and
ameliorate any problems--that was just his attitude: "If there is a problem, let's
JD: He was gentle and delicate.
P: You say he was a fairly small man?
D: [He was] heightwise, but not otherwise; he was relatively short.
JD: He was probably 5'8".
D: I do not think so--maybe not quite that tall.
JD: Well he was as tall as I, and I am 5'7".
D: Clarence TeSelle was in a way kind of the opposite, but [he was] a nice guy.
But [he was] vigorous. He was a likeable person, and I enjoyed him very much.
He lived at the White House Hotel, which was on North Main Street. It does not
exist anymore; it was one of those old places. In your question about my
impression of Gainesville, the White House Hotel was one of the main
JD: It was a big white building [and] it had a veranda.
D: TeSelle lived there; he did not have a family.
JD: Hadn't his wife died just before we came? They had lived out in Golfview, I
D: And Dean Slagle was about the same age. They have all been here for many,
many years. What can you say about Dean Slagle, Jean?
JD: He was a precious little man--he really was. Mrs. Slagle was also an attorney.
P: Oh, really? That is interesting.
JD: Yes, and she knew everybody. I do not think Dean Slagle knew quite as much
as Mrs. Slagle, from Mrs. Slagle's point of view. [laughter] Mrs. Slagle was a
strong-willed, small woman.
D: Now, Frank Maloney was young and vigorous and was going to move forward.
Other than that, we had unusual faculty meetings. Frank and I were just about
the only people who were not in their fifties and sixties. It was just so informal;
they were just talking. Henry Fenn was chairman then, and he was trying to get
it more organized. But he was dealing with all these people--except Frank and
me--who were not interested in organization. Clifford Crandall did not drive a
car, and his wife would come and get him after the day's work. She would
come, knowing the faculty was in session. We would pack into the dean's office,
that little bubble room on the south of the old building [Bryan Hall]. You know
how the road comes up right there? She would park there, and everything
would be all right until she decided the faculty meeting ought to be over, and she
would blow her horn. [laughter]
P: I understand she did that to some classes too. She decided they had learned
enough, so she would blow her horn.
D: Oh, you have heard this before. [laughter]
JD: She blew her horn out there. Mrs. Crandall was also from Seattle, strangely
enough. As you know, there are different kinds of bugs here than we had there,
and she would never step off the cement because she had a terrible reaction to
red bugs, and she would do anything to avoid coming in contact with a red bug.
So she never left the cement after she learned that.
P: Were you socially friendly with these people, or was it mainly a professional
D: [We were all] social; we liked them all. Almost all of them lived out near the
Duck Pond--except TeSelle, who lived at the White House. The Duck Pond was
then the prominent area.
P: I live out there now.
D: They were all social.
P: Even though you were thirty years younger, they accepted you?
JD: Oh, yes [they did]. They were so kind; they were so lovely to us. Of course,
the first year we did not do a lot of socializing [because] our second child was
born right after we moved here. So we were pretty busy with babies and
classes. Nobody did much circulating outside of that, to any great extent that
first year. But they were all so sweet to us, and they all came [to the hospital].
Crandall sent me flowers at the hospital when I had the baby, and Bea Day and
Jimmy were so good to us. Actually, when they made their wills in later years,
we were their witnesses.
D: I forgot to get in when our first child was born in Washington, DC--actually
Arlington, Virginia--when I was working in Washington. He was about a year old
when we moved to Philadelphia at the Wharton School. Do you remember how
Jean was telling you about our troubles with the apartment and having to deal
with that? And she had to deal with that one-year-old kid in that apartment.
[laughter] That is all of that. Excuse me, I did not mean to interrupt.
I did [also] want to get in--if you do not mind--[that] at the University of Florida
College of Law I was on the faculty from September 1948 [until] September
1982. And then I became
professor emeritus, which I am now. I would like to say that I instituted the first
labor law teaching program in Florida. None of the other colleges had any; this
was the first. I was here constantly, except in 1952 when I was a visiting
professor at the College of Law at the University of Richmond, Virginia.
JD: You went to New York one time, too. You were at some college in New York
City for six weeks, because we lived down near Washington Square. I cannot
remember what school it was; It was too long ago. But we did that one
summer, in 1964.
P: What did you teach when you first came to Florida?
D: [I taught] personal property, contracts, and I think we called it negotiable
[instruments]. Bills and notes might have been the name of it. I am sure the
record will show. Then I started working on that labor law program. I forget the
year we started, but it was very early--about 1950.
P: How did you find the students in your first year or two?
D: Oh, they were mainly veterans and older than they are now. But they were
interested and very professionally minded. [They carried themselves with a
certain] dignity, I guess, or seriousness. I thought they were quite impressive.
P: At that time, Florida basically had an open-admissions policy with the law school.
Today they take one out of ten.
D: Oh yes, we started raising admission standards.
P: But you found the quality was similar, even though the admission standards were
D: I was just impressed with them; I know that. I cannot give you any comparative
judgment about them. But I do know the admission standards went up.
P: Many of the professors have told me the top was probably even both times, but
there was more variety.
D: Yes, there is no question about that; I agree with that. There was variety. See,
we did not have the LSAT in those days.
JD: Most of them were here with their GI Bill, and many had families.
P: They were serious about it.
JD: They were very serious about their work. So perhaps that very seriousness
made up for a weaker background sometimes. But they really--as Dexter
said--were just an impressive bunch of people. In fact, it has been consistently
[impressive], I think.
P: They have done well over the years.
D: I do not know the year, but my guess is [that] about a year or two after I came on
the faculty (that would be in the area of 1950), we had a person join the faculty
named Reese Smith. He was a Rhodes Scholar and was very, very able.
Jean, he is practicing down in Tampa, is he not? [Smyth joined the faculty in
D: I think so. And also a person [came aboard] at that time  named [J.] Allen
Smith. He is now on the faculty at Rutgers University.
P: This is the Reese Smith who was ultimately president of the ABA [American Bar
JD: That is correct.
D: Another person who was most prominent--that is the best way I can put it--was
George John Miller. You have heard of him before, I would think.
JD: He was on the faculty.
D: Yes, he joined the faculty is what I meant.
JD: You may have heard this story, but he got so wound up with a case when he was
discussing it in class one day [that] he walked off of the edge of the platform.
P: I have heard that.
JD: Yes. It happened.
D: He was highly intelligent and really quite charming., but he left the school after a
very few years. Then other members came on soon after. Was Danny Clark
here when we came, Jean?
JD: Yes, Danny was here.
P: Vernon Wilmot Clark, who just died a couple years ago.
JD: About a year and a half, I guess.
D: He was a very good friend of ours.
P: He taught criminal law.
D: And [he taught] very well.
JD: [He was] a lovely man. I believe one of his sons went here later.
P: Probably. How would you compare the quality of the education at Florida your
first two or three years here compared to what you got at Alabama? Do you
think Florida was as good a school?
D: I think it was educationally as good a school, but the difference--and I am sure it
was, in many ways--was the size of the student body between the two at the
time. Here we had so many, and when I went to college in the 1930s, there
were much, much fewer. But the main difference, and I think it was because of
necessity and not the difference in the attitude of the people, was the attention
that the professor gave the student. When I was an undergraduate in the
College of Law I got so much personal attention from the faculty, whereas we
were not able to do that at the University of Florida.
Then, of course, I had good relations with Hayford Enwall; he was outstanding.
And [I also had good relations with] Bob Mautz and all those people you know.
The last I heard, Hayford was very ill.
P: I have not seen him in about a year and a half.
D: Now, there is one thing I sure would like to emphasize. I had the privilege of
joining the admissions committee in 1948 and was on it for many years. As far
back as that I admired and felt I understood and respected what I consider some
of the special talents of women. I have worked hard to encourage the admission
of women. It is hard to do. We only had, I think, in the 1950s [very few female
law students]. Jean, what is the name of that lady?
JD: Clara Gehan.
P: Clara Floyd Gehan was probably earlier than that. [Winifred L.] Winnie
Wentworth ultimately became a First DCA [District Court of Appeal] judge and
retired about a year and a half ago.
JD: There was a lady named Corrine who went to St. Augustine. I do not remember
her last name.
D: But I always thought [women] had excellent talent in trials and in intuition and
feelings in the trial work, and could portray it very, very well. Anyway, I worked
hard [at] looking for equality, not just talent. I just felt they were entitled to it. Of
course, during that admissions committee thing I also did something I am proud
of, and that is getting academic requirements raised during that period and
helping veterans get in.
Now, the next category that I have that I thought you might be interested in is the
University activities not connected to the law school.
P: Let us go ahead and follow your outline, and if there is something we missed I
will ask you about it.
D: That is my next thought that I thought would be a good idea to get in, the
University activities not connected to the law school. [Here is a list of those
activities:] 1953-1959, member of the University Personnel Board; 1956, member
of the University Graduate School Research Council; 1957, chairman, University
Special Committee on Discharged Employees; 1972-1973, member of the
University Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure (I was appointed by
Steve O'Connell, who was president at the time); 1977-1979, member of the
University Senate; 1977-1980, member, University Committee on Professional
Relations and Standards; 1973, presiding officer of the University Earl C. Groth
Tenure Case; 1975, member of the national Moot Court Board; consultant to the
Association of Junior Colleges; advisor to the Ocala Fireman's Union in the
1960s; [and member], faculty advisory board for the Alligator. That is a student
newspaper, and that was before the Alligator became completely controlled by
P: Were you involved in the incident when [The Alligator] it went off campus, or
were you still involved with The Alligator then?
JD: It was still on campus; it had not gone off campus.
P: It ultimately left because it published abortion information, which was illegal at the
JD: That was after he was on that committee. He was on that committee for a
number of years.
P: I think Professor [James C.] Quarles was on the committee at the time that
JD: Perhaps so at that time, but Dexter was not [on that committee at that time].
Dexter served with Hugh Cunningham and somebody else, I think, for probably
four or five years. It was a long time.
D: The next category of thoughts that I have deals with what I consider famous
people that I knew. I shared a program at the University of Puerto Rico and the
Chicago University with Max Rheinstein, who people know as a famous
personality and a legal writer. Next, I knew Willard Wirtz quite well. He was
secretary of labor in the United States cabinet [during the Kennedy and Johnson
administrations]. We entertained him in our home and at the law school on 12
May 1972. I was chairman of his program at the law school at the time he made
a speech and conducted a seminar. I knew Roscoe Pound when I was at
Harvard and had some follow-up contacts with him. I was a very close friend to
William C. Muse, who was dean of the College of Law at the University of
Richmond and was very prominent in his area for some time. I knew Joe
Covington, who taught at the University of Arkansas, who had a prominent record
as a legal writer. And for interest, I was a classmate of Joe Kennedy's.
P: This was at Harvard?
D: [Yes, it was] at Harvard. Joe Kennedy was the older brother of Jack Kennedy,
and we had a good friendship.
P: He was killed in World War II?
D: [That is] correct. I also knew Louis Sohn, who was my classmate at Harvard.
He became the leading faculty member at Harvard in the area of international
law. I had a personal relationship with Steve O'Connell, who was president of
the University for a period [1968-1973], and J. Hillis Miller, who [also] headed the
University for a time [1947-1953], and Senator Strom Thurmond [from South
Carolina], who visited us at this address. He was trying to get us to become
Republicans at the time.
P: [laughter] He is still around. How did you meet Strom Thurmond?
JD: We had a Republican friend who brought us together.
D: Tom Larkin, who was in Miami and became a very prominent attorney, but who
also had some problems. But he was also very politically active at the time. I
knew Irvin N. Griswold, who was Harvard dean for a time and was president of
the American Association of Law Schools. We knew Claude Pepper, who
visited us; we knew Governor Claude Kirk, a Republican who visited us and sat
on our kitchen table [laughter]. Harold Boyer was one of my closest friends. He
was regional director of the National Labor Relations Board in Tampa. I knew
Governor Ferris Bryant and his daughter Cecilia, who married a friend--John
Godfrey--in Jacksonville. I knew James Kasner of Harvard and Sam P. Martin,
who was provost of the University of Florida medical school for many years.
And [I knew] Provost George Harrell, who followed Martin. They are friends of
ours. [We also know] the U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist. He
came to our law school and had meetings at the law school. I was chairman at
the student meeting with Justice Rehnquist and had a real hard time because at
that time the Supreme Court was dealing with the death penalty, and we had an
audience that rebelled.
P: Was this when Justice Rehnquist was still an associate justice, before he was
made chief justice?
JD: Yes, before he was chief justice.
P: Do you remember what year it was?
D: I am sorry, but I do not; I do not know.
P: But he spoke at the University of Florida?
JD: Oh yes, he was here.
D: [That is] right. Yes, sir.
P: Actually, one professor was telling me about chief justices that had been here,
and he did not mention Rehnquist.
JD: Well, he was not chief justice when he was here, but he was on the Supreme
P: Neither was [Warren] Burger when he was here; that was before he became
chief justice [of the U.S. Supreme Court].
D: OK, [the next category is] students I knew who stand out in my memory. I do
not know a good way to do this, but the names are known by everyone. Lawton
Chiles was my student. All of these were students of mine.
P: OK. What do you remember about Lawton Chiles?
D: [He was] active. But I have little memory [of him] as a student. That is my
trouble. I remember [Kenneth D.] "Buddy" MacKay just as he is now. I think his
personality is very similar, namely, [he is] very vigorous, very friendly, [and he]
wants to get to know this person and the professor. [He is] outgoing.
JD: He has a sunny disposition.
P: Buddy MacKay got a law passed, requiring professors to keep office hours,
because Professor [Ernest M.] Jones refused to see him when he was a student
here. He got even. [laughter]
JD: Well, I think that is a good idea. It is hard to catch them sometimes.
D: I just do not know how to be of interest with these. These are students that I
knew quite well, is all [that] I can say. Bob Butterworth is a politician [Florida
attorney general], Ed Austin is the mayor of Jacksonville and a prosecuting
attorney, and Austin Reed is an attorney in Connecticut. Now, he was a very
good friend. He did not make a big record in Florida because he went up to
Connecticut early. But there just became a personal relationship between him,
his family, my wife, and me. Maurice Paul is a U.S. district judge in Tallahassee
and Gainesville. Reubin Askew [was] governor of Florida twice. [I taught] Dean
Dick Julin's son, whom I knew and had a very good relationship with. I knew
Grafton "Cap" Wilson well, and I thought he was quite able and quite good. I am
so sorry he got into problems in recent years with the University Centre Hotel.
But he was a good student and--I thought--a good practicing attorney. We had a
lot of pleasures in many ways with Lu Hindrey, who was sheriff for many, many
years. He was very inquisitive and very interested. Then he became sheriff
and just stayed there.
P: Lu never finished law school. He went two years.
JD: That is what Dexter said the other day: "I do not believe he ever finished." I
have another friend who did the same thing.
D: I had a very good relationship and memory of Ron Smith, the prosecuting
attorney who succeeded Lynn Register. Woody Lyles, U.S. district judge court
of appeals, 1972, was my student in 1953. [Other students of mine were]
Chesterfield Smith, former chairman of the American Bar Association, [and]
Frank Upchurch, an excellent lawyer and judge. I cannot remember the name of
the county, but he came back and is now in St. Augustine. [Finally, I knew] Joe
Wharton, labor attorney for Disney World.
The next thing that I have is the courses that I taught. I am just going to list
them: contracts, personal property (in personal property I wrote the class
textbook which was mimeographed and used in class for five years), law of sales
(I wrote the class teaching supplement pamphlet), negotiable instruments
(sometimes it was referred to in the curriculum as bills and notes, and sometimes
it was referred to as commercial paper; I wrote the teaching supplement
pamphlet), labor law ( I wrote the Florida labor law book), collective bargaining,
arbitration and mediation, and commercial law (I wrote the teaching supplement
pamphlet on the Uniform Commercial Code).
P: So you have mainly taught in commercial and labor law? Are those your fields?
D: That is right.
P: Did you choose those because you wanted them, or did you just get assigned to
D: I chose them. It was accepted, of course; I did not have the power to choose.
But I chose them as my favorites. See, I was with labor from the first. I
introduced the labor program at the University of Florida. No other college had
P: And you had tremendous practical experience?
D: Yes, in my background, when I was with the government.
P: What was your philosophy or method of teaching? Did you use the Socratic
method, lecture, or [what]?
D: I used both--what is generally considered Socratic, but not just question and
answer. [I used] question, answer, and then [I] lectured on the answer, so it was
a combination. But to introduce a subject would be by question. And as to the
teaching method and activity, I thought the evidence of that, the best way I could
present it to you without reading, was those letters that I received from students
that were not solicited.
P: Professor Delony had shown me a whole stack of, I guess, a dozen or more
letters from former students thanking him, especially for preparing them for the
bar, and his teaching method. Law professors are famous for being sort of
intimidating. We had the "Paper Chase" show [on TV]. Did you ever adopt this
method of trying to intimidate the students?
P: All right. Are there any of your courses that stand out in your mind that you
would like to comment on more?
D: No, I do not think so, other than things that I have done in reference to those
courses. The way I have that divided is publications, things officially published,
all of which deal with the subjects of those courses. The next is what I label as
activities in the law college other than teaching, and that all relates to these
P: That sounds good. One other question I have on the courses was what would
have been a typical size for a class in the 1950s and 1960s?
D: My memory is in 1960s and 1970s--in that area. Now, they got much smaller in
the 1970s and 1980s. We got them down. But again, it varied. I remember
some in the 1970s and 1980s with seventy-five or more in that big courtroom
P: Many of them would run 100 a day, and some might run 30, depending on the
D: Yes. Well, that is the way it was then too. You would have thirty to seventy-five
or more in that period.
JD: When they were in the old building they just did not have the facilities to handle
that many people. I remember Dexter coming home one time and telling me
that there was a restroom across the hall from the room that was used for the
lecture room, and somebody had opened the doors both ways, sat on the
commode and listened to the class from there. [laughter]
P: We will talk about the building later on, so let us go on and follow your outline.
That will be easier for you. But I do want to talk about the move to the new
building at some time.
JD: That was in the old building, which was really a lovely building, when things were
P: It is a very beautiful building.
D: Steve, I do not know how to do this without its being boring to you. All you can
do is say the title and the place where it is published. This is [a list of] the
publications. The first one that I am going to mention I am very proud of. It has
a national reputation and has been cited in many law review articles and court
opinions. The title is "Good Faith in Collective Bargaining," published in 12
University of Florida Law Review (1959), 378 (45 pages). This article was cited
in a large number of court opinions and other publications. Next [was], "The
Present Problem in the Collection of Checks Through Banks," 10 University of
Florida Law Review (1957), 382 (67 pages); cited by the California Supreme
Court in Cooper v. Union Bank, 103 California Report, 610 at 617, August 1972.
Next, book review, "Case and Materials on Negotiable Instruments," 13 Journal
of Legal Education (1960), 118. Next, article as part of book entitled, "Labor
Management Reporting and Disclosure Act," published by Tulane University in
1961. Next, "Court Monitorship of Labor Unions," published in the United States
House Judiciary Committee documents of the 86th Congress, House of
Representatives, Judiciary Committee hearings, 18, 19 May 1960, Washington,
DC, pp. 110-18, 124-33. Next article, "State Power to Regulate Labor
MAnagement Relations," published in Symposium on the Labor Management
Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, pp.666-92; also published by Clitor's
Publishing Reports, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Next, "Many Arbitration Cases by
Delony published in the Commerce Clearing House Arbitration Awards";
examples (now, this is like three or four examples of some arbitration cases, but I
have many that were published in the Commerce Clearing House Awards [CCH]
casebook; these are just some examples): (1) National Brewing Company,
Miami, FL, Plant and Brewers Workers, Local Union 185, Section 8140, CCH
Labor Arbitration Awards (64-1), 3484-93; next, Hudson Pulp and Paper
Corporation, Palatka, FL Mill and International Brotherhood of Pulp, Sulfite, and
Papermill Workers, Local 641, Section 8371, CCH Labor Arbitration Awards
(68-2), 4280-83. Next, National Brewing Company, published CCH 1964,
Arbitration Section 8140, Vol. 64, p. 3484. Next, Rayonier Incorporated and
International Association of Machinists, 1960 CCH reports.
Now we can leave the arbitration cases and go back to other things. [There was
the] speech as cochairman on "NLRB Developments" to the Chicago ABA 1961
meeting, published in the 1962 Chicago ABA Reports, pp. 3, 4, 67 (44 pages).
Next, speech as chairman of the American Bar Association Committee on
Education and Labor Relations on "Effect of Current Congressional Labor Acts"
to the 1957 Washington ABA convention, published in the 1957 ABA Convention
Program Reports. Next, [was the] speech on "Collective Bargaining as an
Institution of Industrial Self-Government" to the 1964 Dallas ABA section on labor
relations, published in 1964 ABA Convention Program Reports. Next, the
speech on U.S. Supreme Court case "Sinclair Refining Company vs. Atkinson,"
published in 1963 Proceedings of the ABA Section of Labor Relations Law, p.
241. Next, two articles and five arbitration cases published in the University of
Florida book entitled Labor Relations and Arbitration Materials. Next, I wrote
"Biographical Data Section," published in the 1982 Directory of Labor Arbitrators
by Labor Relations Press. That is all of that section.
P: While we are talking about publications, you are pretty well published. When
you first came to the University, publications were not a big issue. They
certainly are today. How do you feel about the dichotomy, the tension, between
publishing and teaching? Which should come first?
D: I feel that teaching should come first. Writing has two objectives, it seems to
me. One is to develop the teacher's skill and knowledge in fields, and the
second is to promote and advance knowledge in the field and make it available to
others and students. That is helpful in dealing with the students and helping
students, and I think it is important. But I think the primary objective is to serve
students in the interest and to develop their facilities and their capacities and help
them achieve the results that they want.
P: So your research has been more practical and not theoretical, certainly in terms
of the trend now towards publishing theoretical pieces in law reviews that deal
with anthropology and psychology.
D: [It has been] more practical.
P: Good. Is there anything else on your publications or research interests that you
wanted to cover?
D: I just have a number of activities--many of which are not published; that is the
reason why I separated them--which I think are significant in my development
and my ability to deal with students in things that I did to help others, the college,
and the University. I think they are important. Listing them, I am afraid people
listening to me can become bored, but I would like them on record so that people
who want to know would have it available to them.
P: I think so. Why not go through them, and you can comment if you want to, or I
may ask you some questions about how you got involved in it or something.
D: July 1972-October 1972 I was chairman of the School Governing Panel, [which]
prepared the report adopted by the faculty on committee composition and the
operation of committees. This established the school's organization of
committees. It was part of the organization and development of the college
itself. [From] 1952-1953, [I was] chairman of the Committee on Revised
Curriculum, [and I] added many new courses to [the] curriculum, [which were]
adopted by the faculty. This became a significant curriculum development, as
we were trying the expand the courses offered.
P: Let's talk about that for just a minute. Do you now remember the types of
changes you made? [Were they] electives?
D: Yes. In fact, we were then introducing and getting the program in labor relations
started, which was nothing before. We were developing commercial paper as
separate. We had it as commercial law where we taught sales, negotiable
instruments, various types of bills and notes, etc. We developed courses and
divided them. We took courses that just look like a summary of material, and
made courses out of the parts of it. It was an important procedure. We
developed the curriculum and expanded the curriculum significantly in the early
P: What kind of response did you get? The reason I ask you, and you may not
know this, [is because] the law school just revised its curriculum last month, and
it was very hotly debated. The faculty voted twenty-six to twenty-four to accept;
they were within three votes. The students voted 75 percent to reject, but it
really did not have an impact. Did you have that kind of thing? Was it
controversial, or was it something that went down [in a] much quieter [manner]?
D: [It was] less controversial than that because all of us knew the fact that the
curriculum needed expanding. It was not highly controversial. Now, on some
particular courses we would have controversy and debate as to how [to divide it],
and what coverage it should have.
P: The new plan is to take all of the first-year courses and make them one-semester
courses, like contracts and civil procedure, and allow more time for teaching
seminars. This has created quite a bit of controversy on the faculty as to
whether these courses can be taught in one semester. Is there anything else
about the curriculum?
P: Let's go ahead then.
D: I would like to reiterate some [of my] activities in the law school other than
teaching. For example, I was a member of the American Association of Law
Schools's Committee on Lawyers in Federal Service. In 1963 I was chairman of
the Committee on Relations of Law College with Other Institutions. In 1964, [I
was] advisor to Governor Ferris Bryant on labor disputes. In 1976, [I was]
moderator of the College of Law's Second Annual Public Employment Labor
Relations Forum. From 1976-77, I was chairman of the law school Center for
Government Responsibility, Appellate Litigation Review. In 1977, I conducted
the Commercial Paper course for Florida county judges. In 1978, [I wrote an]
article on state power to regulate intrastate labor relations (this article was
reviewed in the local newspapers). In May 1973, [I was] speaker at the
University of Florida Division of Continuing Education on "Current and Future
Trends in Labor Relations." From 1974-75, [I was a] member of the Law School
Committee on Development of Curriculum, [which] prepared and designed
current labor law and commercial law curriculum. In 1974, I was a member of
the ABA committee for the Florida Public Sector including public employee
bargaining. From 1974-75, I gave speeches to labor forums, [and] many
speeches on labor and commercial law to bar association meetings. As
examples, on November 14, 1974, [I gave] quite a significant speech--twenty-two
pages--entitled "Florida Public Sector Labor Relations," delivered to the American
Arbitration Association's Miami meeting. October 31, 1960, [I spoke to the]
director of the Florida State Bar Labor Relations Forum in Winter Park.
December 16, 1960, [I gave a] speech to the Florida Bar's Fifteenth Judicial
Circuit, [entitled] "Legal Problems Involved in Check Collections." May 27, 1960,
[I] gave testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor Relations. February
10, 1960, [I delivered a] speech to Emory University Law Institute in Atlanta on
"Jurisdiction of State Courts and Labor Law", and February 12 a speech on
"State Power" to the Atlanta Lawyers Club. Next, [as] chairman [in] 1956 [of the]
Council of Labor Relations of the Association of American Law Schools, [my]
speech [was] delivered in 1956 to the Association of American Law Schools in
Miami, Labor Law Committee. Next, in 1957, [I was] secretary-treasurer of the
Order of the Coif, [and I was] vice president and president of the Order of the
Coif in 1958. From 1958-63, [I was] cochairman of the ABA Committee on the
Development of Law under the National Labor Relations Board. August 7, 1962,
as co-chairman of the ABA Labor Committee, [I delivered a] speech to the San
Francisco ABA labor meeting on "Development of Law under the National Labor
Relations Act," published, p. 69, 1962 ABA Digest. Next, [I was] chairman of the
Labor Law Institute of the Florida Bar on Labor Management Relations. [In]
1962 [I was] chairman [of the] ABA Committee on Labor Contract Enforcement.
From 1962-70, I prepared cases for student moot court. November 20, 1967, [I
delivered a] speech at the New York Roosevelt Hotel to the American
Association of Law Schools's Labor Law Council. November 2, 1968, [I was]
chairman of the PAD fraternity awards banquet. January 31, 1969, [I] received
[an] award as chairman of the Building Committee at the dedication of the
[University of Florida] Holland Law Center. 1970, [I was a] member [of the]
American Trial Lawyers Association's Committee on Arbitration. Next, [I
delivered] testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the
P: Do you remember what you testified about?
D: The testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the
Judiciary on May 19, 1960, was on a bill to prohibit certain judicial acts affecting
internal affairs of labor unions. Next, in 1960, [I was] advisor to U.S. Senator
John L. McClellan [D, Arkansas] on national emergency disputes. Next, [I]
created a course in commercial law and wrote the text and casebook for the
course, used [from] 1952-1982. Next, [I was] the author of Cases and
Comments on Acquisition, Use, and Sale of Personal Property, which was used
as a case textbook for Property I, Law 309, College of Law, University of Florida,
1950-1982. Next, [I wrote a] memo [providing a] description of the new law
building, written as chairman of the Building Committee. Next, [I was a] member
as an arbitrator and mediator of the American Arbitration Association, [from]
1957-present. Next, [I was a] member, arbitrator and mediator of the Federal
Mediation Conciliation Service, [from] 1962-present; many Delony Arbitration
Awards are published by the American Arbitration Association and the
Commerce Clearing House.
Next, 1971 was a most important year for me. I had a long, long campaign
sponsored by Harold Boyer to become a member of the National Labor Relations
Board. I came very, very close. It was neck and neck for several days.
Finally, the other person got the position.
P: That was a great honor just to be considered.
D: To get that close.
In December 1973 I received an offer from the United States State Department to
be the State Department Labor Law Officer in Thailand and, when I declined that,
I got an offer again a few months later to [work in] Bulgaria. These offers came
through Harold Boyer, the Twelfth Regional Director of the National Labor
Relations Board, who sponsored me then. I declined them.
Next, in October 1973, [I] managed elections administered by the National Labor
Relations Board. I got many students jobs with the Tampa Regional Office of
the National Labor Relations Board through Boyer. [I received an] award from
the Federal Mediation Conciliation Service on July 8, 1979, for the many cases
that I had arbitrated in [both] the private sector and the public sector. Next, on
May 12, 1981, the American Arbitration Association appointed me to the
following special arbitration panels: the Arbitration Panel for the United States
Treasury Department, the Arbitration Panel for the Internal Revenue Service. I
[also] arbitrated many cases for the U.S. Postal Service. Next, for the
Association of American Law Schools and the American Bar Association, I made
video tapes on all parts of the Uniform Commercial Code (for example, the
"Secure Transactions on the Uniform Commercial Code" and "Uniform
Commercial Code as Applicable to Banks"). Next, August 4, 1962, [I delivered
a] speech to a New York University seminar on the Uniform Commercial Code.
Next, [I delivered a] speech to the Florida Bar Convention, August 2, 1978,
[entitled] "Uniform Commercial Code Priorities Under Bankruptcy." August
1979, [my speech was:] "History of the Uniform Commercial Code." Next,
August 1964, [I presented a] speech on "Florida Labor Law" to the Florida Bar
Labor Law Council in Tampa. Next, November 15, 1973, [I gave a] speech to
the Florida Pharmacy Law and Management Conference. Next, March 13,
1958, [I delivered a] speech to Florida A & M College of Law Commercial Code
There are many additional speeches I will not bother you with, but there is an
example: [I gave a speech] to the Hospital Administration Seminar on Labor Law,
October 25, 1958, which was conducted by the Florida Bar Committee on
Uniform Commercial Code.
Next, in 1964, [I was a] member of a New York University commercial code
workshop, [and I] received [a] special award for the speech. Next, 1958-80, [I
was a] member of the Florida Bar Labor Relations Committee, [and gave] many
speeches in committee chairman positions. Next, 1960-78, [I was a] member of
the Florida Bar Committee on Uniform Commercial Code--speeches and
committee chairmen. 1956-80, [I was a] member of the ABA Committee on
Labor Law. 1972-74, [I was] chairman [of the] Committee on Education of Labor
P: Your activities have been very numerous, but it seems that many of them were
practically oriented--speeches to attorneys, speeches at law schools. Is that
unusual for a professor to be as involved in [the] actual trenches [of] law practice
as you were? I think it is unusual today.
Among the many things that Professor Delony did, was that he was chairman of
the Building Committee that built the Holland Law Center. The University of
Florida College of Law was located in Bryan Hall from the 1910s until 1969, when
it moved to its current location in the northwest corner of campus. Professor
Delony, first of all, I would like you to tell about what the old building was like, the
crowding problem, the decision to move, and then the committee's process of
working through the plans--what you wanted to do, what you could do, and what
you ultimately produced.
D: When I came here in 1948 Bryan Hall was just--what we call today--the old part.
That was the entire building; that is all that it was. It was very, very crowded. I
do not think there were more than two classrooms, the best I can remember.
Maybe [there were] three; I was forgetting the upstairs. The offices were very
JD: But you had a nice office.
D: Yes. It is true; they were crowded, but we had nice offices.
JD: But there were just not enough of them. [laughter]
D: Then in about a couple years we were able to add to Bryan Hall, and that
addition was just lovely. We were able to get the library out in the addition, we
had the courtroom, and we had three offices in the new area. Dean Fenn had
one and I had one and I forget who had the other one. I should remember.
[laughter] Anyway, I felt that we were then in good shape. It was just so much
better than it had been, after we added the additions to Bryan Hall.
But the expansion, the additions to the student body, became so great that we
recognized that a new building would be desirable. So everyone started in for
the new building. To get the financing and to get it approved was not easy, but
once that was finally done, we had the problem of getting it planned. As
chairman of the faculty Building Committee, it was our group that had to deal with
the architect. We had many trying situations between us and the architect, with
the architect prevailing in many instances. On the other hand, we ended up, we
think, with a fairly acceptable building. One aspect that sticks out in my memory
well is trying to devise the one large room so it could be an auditorium
of--relatively speaking--a huge size, and then still not be used just for an
auditorium, but to be divided so it could be used as a classroom. And [we
created] more than one classroom--[we] divided it into two sections.
So we had plans for a number of different buildings, such as housing and all, but
there were not finances for that. We had to end up for some time with just the
Holland part, named after [U.S.] Senator [Spessard L.] Holland [from Florida]; we
called it the Holland Law Center. [We had] that part for a number of years,
before the other division was added.
P: As I understand it from Roy Hunt, the committee originally envisioned the
building with open atriums, and for natural reasons they had to eliminate those.
P: Do you remember when you moved to the new building [and] what was involved
D: I do not remember what was involved in that factor, but I remember moving to the
building very definitely.
P: I believe [U.S. Supreme Court] Chief Justice Earl Warren spoke at the dedication
of the building. I think that is correct.
JD: I do not know who made this criteria, but somewhere along the line they were
directed [that] they could not have more than so many square feet for their office.
But no one said anything about the closets [laughter], so they ended up with
rather nice closets where they could get all their filing cabinets and things in,
because the offices really were not large.
P: They vary in details, but essentially that is what I have been told, that to meet
some kind of state requirements they had these large closets which some of the
professors used to open up and expand their office space.
JD: Yes. His bookshelves are mounted on the wall in the office that he had there,
and it fell off the wall. If he had not heard it crack all that would have come
down on him, because there was not much space, and there he was. He
P: Most people seem to be pleased with the building itself. The biggest criticism I
have heard is [over] where it is located. When it was in Bryan Hall the law
school was right on campus, and now it is kind of isolated, and there is very little
interaction with the main campus--either of students or the faculty.
JD: That is true.
P: Did you find that to be a problem sometimes?
D: I think you expressed it quite well.
P: The 1960s, of course, were a time of great dissension in the whole country,
primarily over integration, civil rights, and the Vietnam War. The University of
Florida, as well as the law school, was integrated in the late 1950s. Virgil
Hawkins tried unsuccessfully to be admitted, and then ultimately George Allen
and Stephen Mickle were. What problems did you perceive or what problems
did the law school have in integrating, and what are your memories of that?
D: I thought that the faculty was definitely for integration, and I am not aware of any
prejudice that prevented that other than failure--you could consider this a
prejudice--to change, to adjust regulations for entrance requirements, academic
standing, etc., so it would permit certain groups of people to be admitted. To get
admissions among many of those groups required that they improve their
qualifications, which would take time, or the changing of our admission
requirements. But so far as emotional prejudice is concerned, I do not think that
there was an appreciable amount of that. I tried hard and worked hard--for
women particularly--and I thought that was quite successful. I was so pleased to
see some years ago that the women's proportion was over a third of the student
P: It is about 40 percent.
D: I do not know what it is today, but you think it is about 40?
P: It is about 40 percent. As I understand it, there was not the type of violence [at
Florida] that there was at the University of Alabama and Arkansas and places like
D: I never heard of any violence.
P: What about the antiwar movement, the Vietnam War movement? There was
some of that on the main campus [on the part of] Father Michael Gannon and
others, [but] as far as I know it did not affect the law school very much. Did you
have disruptions from antiwar protesters?
D: A great majority, in my judgment, was against it. I do not recall any violence that
was involved so far as the law school was concerned.
JD: There were no demonstrations in the law college?
D: On the campus around the law college there were [demonstrations].
JD: But the law college, not per se?
D: Not that involved the law college.
JD: I did not remember any.
P: To conclude, let's talk about each of the men that led the school while you were
on the faculty as dean. [Tell me something about] their leadership style and
things you remember about them, starting with Dean Henry Fenn, who came the
same year you did. [He was] a very tall, august man.
JD: We called him "Big Brother."
P: You called him "Big Brother?"
JD: The students did, just as they used to call the two Smiths--when we had those
two young Smiths, Allan and Reese--the "Smith Brothers," like the cough drops.
Do you remember the old Smith Brothers cough drops?
P: I had forgotten it until you said that. Now it has come back to me.
JD: Well, they called then the Smith Brothers, and they were not alike at all
physically, and they certainly were not brothers. But that was just the [nickname
the students gave them] in that facility. Henry Fenn became known as Big
P: What was his style as dean?
D: Leadership. He wanted to get the school changed. He was very courteous and
considerate, but he had strengths. He pushed, [and] he encouraged people. I
considered him a very good leader. I liked to see the energy and the effort that
he put into the job, because he had a hard job. I am not criticizing other people,
but with times changing as they were, the students increasing [in numbers], and
being so short of courses, we needed to expand the faculty and we needed to
expand the curriculum, and he did a wonderful job in utilizing the facilities that
were available to him to meet the situations that we had then. I considered him
a very good dean.
Now, I think he got to the point--I am not positive of this, and I do not know what
happened--that he became discouraged, which led to his resigning as dean
earlier than I ever thought he would. I mean, I was surprised that he resigned as
early as he did.
JD: He said something to me once about ten years, that he thought that what he
could accomplish all he could do in ten years, and that is all he was going to be
able to accomplish, and his view at the time was that it was better to step down
and let somebody else work at it for a while, from that point of view. Maybe that
is true. Maybe you wear out the people you have to deal with, [and] it is better
for them [to move on]. I do not know. But he did make that comment to me
about resigning the deanship.
P: Of course, he is still alive, but his health is not very good.
JD: No, but he had a nice sense of humor and a nice twinkle, and I am sure he got
along well with people. I never heard of anyone who did not appreciate him.
So that was not it; he was not worn out from that sort of thing. But I think he felt
he had advanced the program as far as he was able [to], maybe.
P: I think that is probably true. I do not know if you knew Dean Trusler--his
predecessor--or not, but he had been dean for thirty-two years, and the school
had been very much something of a southern backwater, and [UF president] Dr.
[J. Hillis] Miller was quite explicit about bringing Dean Fenn in to raise the
standards, and I think he succeeded in doing that.
JD: Well, I think he was successful. I think he made an excellent choice.
P: He was followed by Dean Frank Maloney, who was a law scholar. Tell me what
you remember about Frank Maloney.
D: Oh, it is hard.
JD: With a friend like that, how can you?
D: I am prejudiced on that one. He was just one of the best friends I ever had, and
I loved him very much.
JD: And [Eugene F.] Gene Scoles was here then. He [Maloney] was also a very
close friend of Gene Scoles's and Roy Hunt's. Gene Scoles left to be dean at
D: Frank Maloney had this unusual talent, from my point of view, of being able to
achieve things himself. [He] worked like a dog.
JD: He never quit.
D: Second category, he encouraged others to work like a dog. And the third
category, he organized, planned, developed programs, expanded new programs
and new areas. This was the most wonderful dean one could hope for.
P: When he became dean, both Richard Stephens and Bob Mautz wanted to
become dean, and rumor is that they sort of sabotaged him, [that] they created
problems for him from that point on and made his deanship a little more difficult
than it should have been. Do you think so?
JD: I had no idea. I would not think so.
D: Well, I knew they were interested, but we are ignorant of those [rumors].
P: Roy Hunt actually told me that, because he was interim dean and had to deal
JD: Yes, Roy was interim.
P: He said that Dick Stephens never forgave the fact that he did not become dean.
JD: Well, now, Len Powers wanted to be dean also.
P: That is true, he did. He was associate dean at the time, and he wanted to be
dean, as did Professor Mautz.
JD: But no, I had never even [heard of these rumors].
D: Well I knew there was interest, Jean, there is no question.
JD: Oh yes, but I mean, I never heard of any efforts to give him a hard time in any
P: I guess the LL.M. program was started under Maloney?
P: So you think he was quite successful in building on what Fenn had done? When
he did resign, [Joseph] Richard "Dick" Julin was brought in from Northwestern.
JD: He did not resign--he died.
P: That is true. He died quite unexpectedly.
JD: Very unexpectedly.
D: Wait a minute, are you talking about Frank?
JD: Yes, Frank.
D: No. Frank resigned as dean.
JD: He resigned first?
P: We are about to discuss the hiring of Dick Julin as dean. This was something
kind of new for the University of Florida--they brought in a major scholar from out
of state. Were you involved in the process of selecting Dean Julin?
D: No, I cannot say that I was.
JD: There were a number of people brought down for interviews.
D: Yes, we interviewed a number of people--that is correct.
JD: But other than that [you did not actively participate in the selection process].
P: Tell me a little about Dean Julin's leadership style and his accomplishments as
D: He was rather aggressive, I think. [He was] progressive, aggressive, interested
in achieving the goals that he was especially interested in, and very attentive.
He was interested in what was going on in all of the areas. He was not the type
of person who would say, "Well, that must be all right [because] I do not hear
anything about it." He would go in himself to see what was going on there. So I
think he was a very able, alert person.
P: Of course, the law school grew tremendously when he was dean. The second
class was added--the January entering class--and a great deal of effort for the
first time was put into private fund raising, which had not really been done to that
Were you still on the faculty when Dean Frank Read was hired?
P: I do not know as much about him. Tell me about his background and how he
was selected to be dean.
D: Again, I was not on the board of selection, and I do not know the details. He
seemed like a very able person, but he was also kind of different from the others.
He was more inclined to think of what was best for him professionally--to stay
here and develop this, or keep looking at other places for opportunities. Hence,
he stayed with us [for] quite a short time.
P: Right. He was certainly very involved in private fund raising. Do you know the
current dean, Jeff Lewis?
D: I know him very well.
P: He was on the faculty a long time, and he was an associate dean. Are you
familiar with his activities as dean?
D: Again, I am familiar with him as dean, but from what I do know, I am most
impressed with what he is doing. He is just an outstanding personality. [He is]
honorable, and I just care a great deal about him. I just think he is handling the
law school beautifully. He probably has more problems to deal with in the sense
of the size and all of the faculty and the student body, but he is doing an
excellent job. Of course, his assistants are able too; he has some good
assistants there with him.
P: Yes, indeed.
JD: I think when he came on as dean the law school was so much larger and was so
diverse, and I think there were probably groups within the law school, although I
personally have no knowledge of this. I think he had a more difficult time
coming in than the other deans preceding him had. When the place was solid,
people were of a more similar cast.
P: Not to mention there have been severe budget constraints during his deanship,
which brings us to the last thing I want to talk to you about. The law school is
fond of saying it is in the top twenty, although it is not ranked so in most of the
rankings. In your opinion, how good is Florida's law school, what can it do to be
better, and what do you see as the future for it? Do you think it will become a
major national law school?
JD: That certainly has been the goal.
D: I think the College of Law will develop positively in the future for the following
reasons: (1) the talent that it now has available to it, plus the potential talent that
will be available to it in the future, (2) the directions this talent wants the school to
go [in] and their enthusiasm in pushing it in that direction, and (3) the
development in the state's need for an improved educational institution, will
guide and instigate this leadership that the school follows in trying to gain more
P: That wraps up everything I had. Is there anything that I did not cover that you
think we need to know about?
D: No. I was looking at these notes, and I do not see anything [to add] there. I am
sorry that last [comment] was so clumsily put; if I could write it I could do it better.
P: Don't worry about it. We appreciate your taking this time. Thank you.
[End of the interview]