Title: Chesterfield Smith
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Title: Chesterfield Smith
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UFLC 74
Interviewee: Chesterfield Smith
Interviewer: Julian Pleasants
Date: January 14, 2000 and March 9, 2000


P: This is Julian Pleasants, and I am in Miami speaking with Mr. Chesterfield Smith.
It is January 14, 2000. Mr. Smith, tell me when and where you were born.

S: I was born on July 28, 1917 in De Soto County.

P: And were you born in [the town of] Arcadia?

S: I am a little confused, frankly, as to where I was born. My parents were living in a
small town in south De Soto County, Fort Ogden, nine miles away where my
father was principal of the school. Yet, my father was from Arcadia. My mother
was from Dade City. I have often said that I was born in Arcadia and my sister,
who is younger than me and does not know, has said, no, I was born in Dade
City. I do not remember who told me since then that I was actually born in Fort
Ogden. I do have a birth certificate somewhere, but I do not want to say now with
certainty. It was Florida. I guess that you can get the birth certificate, can you not,
if you ask for them?

P: Yes.

S: I just have not done that. I always put down Arcadia as the place that I was born.

P: What was De Soto County like when you were growing up?

S: When I was born, De Soto County was geographically quite big, but because of
the political desire outside Arcadia to get more state representatives, in 1921 the
legislature divided De Soto County into five counties, and each county got a
representative. Arcadia was the county seat of the old county. The four counties
that were created were Hardee (Wauchula was the county seat), Highlands
(Sebring was the county seat), Glades (Moore Haven was the county seat), and
Charlotte (Punta Gorda was the county seat). Of course, Arcadia was kept as the
county seat of De Soto county, or what was left of it. They cut in 1921 those other
four counties off, and Arcadia remained the county seat of what remained as
DeSoto County.

P: And this was not very heavily populated at the time, was it?

S: No. I do not know about the 1921 facts very well. The first time I remember
much about the population of De Soto County, it was around 9,000 to 10,000
people in the 1930s, and Arcadia had 4,000 plus--less than 5,000.









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P: How did the Depression impact your life and the county?

S: My father had been a schoolteacher. Then, about 1919 or 1920 he went into the
electrical construction business. In a general sort of way, he contracted with the
local electrical plant to transmit electricity to rural areas in De Soto County. The
business was not worth a lot of money because DeSoto County was scarcely
populated. He also had an electrical shop, and he sold electrical things to the
Arcadia community. He had otherwise done all right. He was very active and
respected in the community. In 1924, he ran for and was elected superintendent
for the schools in De Soto County. He of course had previously been a
schoolteacher. So, he served as county school superintendent in 1925, 1926,
1927, and 1928. He ran for re-election in 1928 and was defeated, so he went out
of office in the beginning of 1929. That is about the time the Depression hit in full.
But in Florida, we had a land boom in 1925 and 1926 which exploded in 1927.
While it did not hurt my daddy monetarily as bad in 1927 and 1928 as it did when
he lost that election, that was really the beginning of a real depression in Florida
and Arcadia. He lost that 1928election partially because he had gotten involved
in the Florida land boom and thought that DeSoto County was going to be a
heavily populated area. He had a program where he built five or six new schools
in areas in DeSoto County that he thought were going to grow real heavily, but
they never really were fully utilized. In communities that had 300 and 400 people,
he built a schoolhouse. People never did come with children to attend those
schools, and the county owed the money to built them. That is why the voters
kicked my father out of office, as I understood it. Of course, I was ten or eleven
years old, so I do not know for sure. But to me, the real depression started when
he lost that election. It was a little before the stock boom collapsed in 1929, and
other things happened nationwide, but we in Arcadia were already in deep
economic trouble. My father certainly had a hard, hard time. I do not remember
too much about the exact details of what happened, but we had a small home in
Arcadia that he owned and built when he was county school superintendent. I
had a mother, and I had a sister who was two and a half years younger than me
and a brother who was seven years younger than me. We lived in Arcadia a few
months after the times got really tough, and I do not have it real clear in my mind
right now when it was, but I will say probably in mid-summer of 1929, we moved
to Sebring, which formerly had been part of DeSoto County. My father had three
brothers and a sister, all born in Arcadia, but the sister was married and lived in
Sebring. She and her husband had a moderately successful electrical repair and
selling electric shop over there. My father went to work with her on electrical
repairs and construction and selling out of her stores. Our immediate family
stayed there in Sebring, as I remember, something like four months. We totally
gave up our home in Arcadia. The only home we had was in Sebring. After we
had stayed there four or five months, whatever it was, when school started, we
moved to Wauchula, another former part of DeSoto County. My father opened up
a branch of my aunt's shop in Wauchula, and I went to the eighth and ninth









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grades in Wauchula Hardee County and lived there, roughly, two years.
Then, in 1931 we moved back to Arcadia, and I went to the tenth, eleventh, and
twelfth grades in Arcadia (still DeSoto County) and graduated from high school
there in June of 1934. I was sixteen years of age, but almost seventeen.

P: What kind of student were you?

S: A good student. I had sporadic grades but most of the time, frankly, I was the
male head of the class. Every now and then, I would goof off or quit off or cut off.
Usually, if somebody passed me, they were only the girls who studied very hard
all the time and I did not. I skipped the second grade because I was so
scholastically good in the first grade, and that is why I got out of high school
when I was sixteen. I did not ever go to the second grade. I think it is fair to state
that I always knew that a little bit I was a teacher's pet. At the same time, I also
recognized that my father was the superintendent of schools during part of that
time, and that he had been a schoolteacher, and that I got some of the
advantages out of that relationship. I can remember new teachers who were
hired from afar and brought into Arcadia and, maybe, they would stay with us for
a week or so when they first came looking for a new home. I knew some of them
well later on. For example, four years later they would be teaching me. I knew
that I always had, kind of, a unique relationship with some of them. However, I
did get very good grades in school, too, in Wauchula. I led my class up there
both years I was there, and I led my class too in twelfth grade.

P: What individuals had the greatest impact on your life?

S: Up to today?

P: Well, mainly in your youth, when you were growing up in Wauchula and Arcadia?

S: Habitually and regularly, it is usually your mother. It was with me. My mother
was, in my judgement, an extraordinary person, not necessarily an intellectual
genius but a very, very smart woman, a quick and aware woman who was caring
and purposeful and who knew how to handle all people, including me. She did
have a great deal of economic trouble because my father never really recovered
from the loss of that job. He had been a very prominent civic man in a little small
town until he lost that election. Like, he was president of the Chamber of
Commerce, and he was always presiding at programs and making speeches and
doing public things. He had brilliant scholastic grades, I am told. I do not know,
but they always said he did. After the election defeat, my mother had a hard time.
When we moved back to Arcadia, which was in the summer of 1931, I entered
the tenth grade, and from then on we did not have very much money. We did
have a home. It is still there and nice enough now, today. I remember that my
father bought it for, like, $3500. It was in the Depression. It was awful. I am sure









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Page 4

it would, as it looks today, cost close to $100,000, the lot and everything, even in
Arcadia but not then. I lived in that house until World War II, and my mother
lived in it until she died in 1977 or 1978, I think. No, that would be too late. Gosh,
I do not even know when she was born, but she was born before the turn of the
century. I would say about 1895 or 1896, so that would be a long time. She was
eighty-one when she died, so I guess it was probably about 1975, 1976 or 1978
when she died. But, she had a hard time. She started working, and she worked
for a long, long time as the only social editor of the Arcadian, a weekly
newspaper. She knew everybody in the whole county. My father had in the 1930s
opened in Arcadia his own electrical shop. I mean, he sold Fridgidairs, which
were electrical iceboxes. He had a little shop there, and he sold electric things.
He did not make much money, but we lived on whatever it was. When he had
financial trouble, he just went away. He drank a lot in those days, usually wine,
and my mother had to run the family and make the money, basically, and it was
very hard. He did not truly contribute very much; she did. In the Depression,
however, he did make a short comeback, a little bit. In 1934, he ran for the state
legislature and was elected, and he served in the 1935 Florida legislative session
for one two-year term. I think he got beat for re-election in 1936. I know that he
quit serving, and I think he got beat by Mr. Dishone.

P: Were you a page in that 1935 legislative session?

S: Yes. I went to Tallahassee with him, and I was a page.

P: How did that influence your career?

S: It influenced it in some material ways. I saw a lot of things. I knew a lot of
talented people. In Arcadia, I had known almost everybody. Some from other
areas who went up there and did anything, I got a little closer opportunity to
observe. I graduated from high school in 1934, so I was already out of high
school when I went up to the legislature. I do not remember participating in any
way in my father's political campaign. I do not know of that. I do not have any
recollection of it happening. I do not even know for sure who ran it. I do know it
was a contested race. My daddy and I lived in one room up in Tallahassee. The
pay in those days for a legislator was $6 a day. So, we went up there without
much financial reward. The legislature was only really in existence when it was in
session for those sixty days. So, we got paid for sixty days at $6, $360, and we
had all our expenses to pay up there, including even travel to and from Arcadia. It
was in the middle of the Depression and things were of course a lot cheaper, but
I lived in the same room with my father. I got a job in the legislature as a page,
and I also got paid $6 a day. Everybody connected with the legislature, the
secretaries, the janitors, the sergeant of arms, the doorman, got $6 a day -
including legislators. I was a page. So, together, my father and I had $720 for the
sixty days that we were up there. Those legislators then had two-year terms, and









UFLC 74
Page 5

my father was not defeated until 1936. He then got a job with the state agriculture
commissioner. I am not exactly sure what he did, but I think for awhile that he
inspected filling stations and the quality of gasolines and other things in which the
agriculture commissioner had responsibility. He toured the entire state. He did
not stay at home very much. They paid him better than they paid the legislators,
but it was not great. I will say they paid about $200 a month or something like
that. We thus did a little better economically. I did not go with him. I had worked
in the Arcadia drugstore from 1931, when we came back to Arcadia from
Wauchula, through high school. It was owned by my uncle,
Stanhope Chesterfield Smith, my father's younger brother who later served
eighteen years in the Florida state legislature. He was a druggist, a pharmacist. I
remember, I worked during school Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,
and Friday afternoons from three-thirty, when I got out of school, until six, and I
worked all day on Saturday, from eight until six. I worked not at all on Sunday. I
got paid $5 a week, as people did in those days, and that was helpful. I think that
the first really bad grades and perhaps the only bad ones that I had in school
were in my tenth year in high school in Arcadia when I started working at that
drugstore. I was on the town, so to speak, and I had both a little money and other
things and got interested in other things. I dropped from the top of my class to a
"C" student. When I got concerned about my [grade point average], it went back
up.

P: At what point did you decide to go to the University of Florida?


S: After I got out in 1934, I did not have any opportunity that year to go to the
University of Florida. Mainly, it was not the cost of the schooling, but it was the
cost of living that you had to worry about, food and other things. My father did not
have much then, and my family did not have much. I worked full time at the drug
store for $18 per week. But, in 1935, I had just been a page, and I had some of
that money left over. I think it was $90 that I had left, and in 1935 in the fall I went
to the University of Florida. I remember that my daddy wanted me to go, and my
mother, and they together gave me $33 a month plus $60 more for the year, not
for the month, to do things. I think student fees were $30. I remember, I shared a
room with my first cousin, Harold Smith. We got up there and, if I am not
mistaken, we paid $8 a month for the room. We used to eat for $0.25 a meal,
$0.20 a meal at the College Inn. But, I got by on the $32 per month. One of the
funny things about me, I think, is that I never did want to work at school and thus
put myself through school. However, I was willing to drop out of school to work. I
stayed up there, roughly, from September through June the first year, which 1935
and 1936. I dropped out to work at the drugstore then again for about three or
four months. I got paid $18 a week, as I remember it, and I saved some money.
Most of it [because] I was living at home. I was very changeable in motivation
and goals and everything, but I was heavily involved in the community. I am not









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quite sure--I will say that this is an approximation, that I am not representing it
totally accurately--I dropped out of school my first semester in the second year. I
had completed the first year. I went back to Tallahassee and worked as a
sergeant at arms in the senate, again for the $6 a day, but it was a little better job
than a page. I was, kind of, an assistant door keeper. By then, I was years of
age, I guess, nineteen or twenty. I stayed up there. My father was not in the
legislature then, and I made a little less money out of it in that I now had a little
more in living expenses. I remember one of the things, sitting on a bench and
reading that new book, Gone With the Wind, that came out that year, [that] I was
intrigued by. I made a lot of friends that have always been friends, some of them.
My father had continued after he lost the election, or re-election, with the
department of agriculture. Again, I am not quite sure, but he was doing a lot of
work in Dade County. I went down to live with him, and in the summer of 1937 I
worked down there, in Miami, for Herbie Frank's Piggy Park, which was said to
be the longest soda fountain in the world. It was one of those things back in
those days, cars would come up. They did not have places for diners to sit. You
would go wait on the cars. They would put a tray on the glass window and put
sandwiches or drinks or things on there. I was a soda jerk, like I had had training
for in Arcadia at my uncle's drugstore. I stayed down there for, roughly, all
summer and the fall, and I went back to the University of Florida in the spring and
then dropped out of the spring semester to go back up to the legislature for the
third time and work again when the legislature met. They met every two years.
So, I worked in [the State Legislature in] 1935, 1937, and 1939. I then went back
down to Miami with my father. My mother was still living at home in Arcadia, but
my father would come up there every other weekend or something. He had a
boarding room in Miami. I stayed with him, and this time, I got a job helping lay
sewer pipe down Pine Tree Drive, which is a big street in Miami Beach that looks
over Indian Creek to the Fountainbleu Hotel and all that has been constructed
there up and down. Great residences in those days were being built. I came
back, and I did not have any money to go to school. I had roughly completed just
a year and a half of school in three years, or four. I started selling by using a
delivery truck. I worked for 0. K. Candy Company, which was owned by a man
named Lewis in Lakeland, Florida. I had assigned to me Hardee, De Soto, and
Highlands County, and I went usually to filling stations and small grocery stores
that abounded in those days. I would sell them things that we had in the truck,
including cigarettes and some cigars and all kinds of candy. It included any kind
of thing that you would sell to people, like something to eat, candy-like type
things, a can of peanuts or other things that they would buy at little stores or
filling stations. Sometimes, filling stations in those days would stock food, and
little grocery stores were all around. I did that and drove all over in those three
counties. I would go to Lakeland where the wholesale place was, and stock up
on Saturday. I would not work on Sunday. Then, I would sell Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in those three counties. I drove all around
them. Usually, I stayed at home in Arcadia at night. I would drive back. Those









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towns are, like, twenty-five miles apart.

P: Let me jump ahead a little bit, if I may. At what point did you join the Florida
National Guard?

S: My two uncles were the principal local founders and commanders of the National
Guard. My Uncle Rupert had started it. He had four boys in his family. I was
close to all of them. One of them, named Harold, was exactly my age. I was thirty
days older than him. We went to school together in every grade that I went to
school, including the University of Florida when I first went up there. He did not
drop out like I did, but he did drop out, too. He was in every grade I was,
kindergarten on up, and Arcadia is very small. We roomed together when we
went to the University of Florida. We both joined the National Guard there about
when the draft was enacted in 1940, and we each had high draft numbers.
However, because my uncle was commander-in-chief, I had previously kind of
gone along to the National Guard in summer camp with them twice as, kind of, a
mascot or gopher. I was thirteen once and fourteen once. But now, this was 1940
when we joined the National Guard, and I was twenty-two. I had left that candy
truck, and I had gone down to Boca Grande to a drugstore that is now some kind
of clothing store. It had the first liquor bar down there, and it was called Fugate's.
I knew how to jerk soda, and I stayed down there for a long time, maybe one and
a half years. My first wife Vivian Parker was an Arcadia girl who came from a
family that continued to have much more economic success than my family did.
She went away to Wesleyan college, and she was majoring in music on piano
and was really quite successful. She was an influence in my life, a lot. I left
Fugate's and joined the National Guard. I would guess I joined the National
Guard, without knowing for sure, in 1940. They mobilized us on November 25,
1940 and sent us up to Camp Blanding, Florida. When we went to Camp
Blanding, I was still a $21 a month beginner, apprentice or whatever you call
them. A normal lowest rank man made about $50, but they paid $21 the first
ninety days or something. So, I was still in my first ninety days when we were
mobilized, and I started up the ranks. I had always made good grades in school,
except in my tenth year. But, candidly, I first started exhibiting leadership and
other things when we went in the National Guard. I was steadily promoted in that
National Guard unit. Originally, the first year in the military, it had involved mostly
De Soto County people. Even the company commander-in-chief, I had known all
my life. He was a second cousin, I think, to an aunt of mine, not a Smith but the
wife of one of the Smith boys. Arcadia was this small town, and so they were all,
kind of, family, we thought. So, I went up there, and I got promoted regularly. I
got promoted to private first-class soon after I left the $21 a month level. Private
first-class was probably making about $50 a month. Then, I got promoted to
corporal right away, I will say in three more months. We were in the federal
service at Camp Blanding in North Florida, so we were living up there full time. I
was then promoted about sixty days later to sergeant and then to master









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sergeant. We were in a service battery, as they called it, which furnished all the
supplies including food and ammunition and gasoline and everything else to an
artillery battalion with which we were connected. They called it the service
battery. So, while there was a first sergeant who ran their daily lives, a top
sergeant they used to call him, I was his peer in salary and rank. I was in charge
more of our mission, and he was in charge of their conduct and things like that.

P: At what point did you decide to go to Officers' Candidate School at Fort Sill?

S: We had been in the service about fifteen months. We thought we were only going
for a year, and they extended it. I do not even remember how long, but we first
went in November 25, 1940. We were supposed to get out in one year, and they
extended it maybe in September or somewhere else and said we had to stay,
maybe, another year. Then, December 7, 1941 was Pearl Harbor, and it was
indefinite thereafter. When Pearl Harbor came, within a week or two or three,
they spread us out of Camp Blanding and were worried about the Southeastern
coastline. We went up from South Carolina all the way down Florida, my division,
which was the 31st Division made up, basically, of Florida National Guard infantry
people. We were 100 here and 100 there all the way up that coast. We did that
for about sixty or ninety days, which made it into February or so. I will give you a
summary of the thing. I know that Spring, early like February (which is not really
Spring), we were in Camp Blanding there, back. We had been temporarily out on
those coast things. They gave us something in the nature of (maybe it was a
regular) IQ test. There were almost 19,000 people in our division, and I
understand that I made the highest grade on the IQ test. I believe that the perfect
score was 180, and I made 180. Nobody else in the whole division made higher
than 176.

P: It must have been that University of Florida education.

S: I guess. I had always read extensively since I was six years old, and that was
probably a lot of it. I applied, as I remember it, in February after that for Officer
Candidate School. We were moved somewhere about March out to Waco,
Texas, to an Army camp out there, Camp Bowie maybe. I was notified out there
that I was accepted to attend Officer Candidate School.

P: At what point did you go to Fort Sill?

S: That is why I was thinking about it. I did not go until 1942. Well, yes, that is right.
That is what I did then. I left about April or May in 1942. Well, I stayed at Fort Sill
at Officer Candidate School 120 days, and I got out about August 1. So, I guess
it was April, May, June, and July. So, I went about April 1.


P: Where did they send you after that?









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S: I came home and stayed a week or two. I was a new second lieutenant when I
got out of school. They sent me, and I remember getting there sometime like
September 1, Fort Custer which was in between Battle Creek and Kalamazoo,
Michigan. They were forming a new infantry division, as they were doing
everywhere in those days. All of us who went there were officers. Maybe 10 or 15
percent of the officers who were required for the new division were veterans of
some sort, either in the National Guard or in the Regular Army or something. The
other 80 or 90 percent of us were brand new Officer Candidate School
graduates, and they trained us about three or four months. We stayed there,
roughly, 120 days with no troops to speak of, just us, and we were training each
other how to be officers and what to do, more building an organization and
making job assignments. I was promoted partially because of my record or my IQ
or something to first lieutenant thirty days after I got there. I was the first one of
the graduates in my class who got promoted to first lieutenant. I had a very
spectacular and meteoric rise right there, but I did not get appointed to a higher
ranking job for a very long time thereafter. A lot of people had gone way by me
and left me behind, passed me. I was not always perfect. Somewhere around
January 1, 1943, we moved to Camp Phillips, which was at Salina, Kansas, and
they sent enlisted troops in. In other words, up to that time, we had been kind of
vacant, but we now had all of our troops. They were draftees, primarily, and
brand new, and so we started training them. We stayed in Camp Phillip, Kansas,
all of 1943, basically. I will say, maybe, October, we moved to Tennessee and
went on maneuvers and stayed there, like, ninety days out in the woods on
maneuvers. They sent us, somewhere like December to Camp McCain, which
was at Grenada, Mississippi. I came home on furlough in January. My girlfriend,
Vivian Parker, and I got married. We, of course, had been corresponding. We
had been sweethearts in high school and before, and in college back when I
used to sell groceries off of that truck before and after. She came with me to
Grenada, and we lived there a week but we wanted better quarters. It was
extremely crowded, a little, little town with a whole division camped right out there
and all those wives. I then got a duplex with another friend of mine in similar
circumstances in Oxford, Mississippi, which was sixty miles away, and so did four
others in my unit who were young officers. Their wives lived over there, and the
wives kind of banded up together and did things together. The six of us drove
every day sixty miles each way from Oxford to Grenada and back to Oxford and
lived there in Mississippi. I got married in January, and I would say we lived in
Oxford, Mississippi until June 1. Then, we were notified that we were going to the
European theater. The girls went home, and we went on the train to New York
and stayed there about three or four days. We camped out north of New York on
the Hudson River, and then we went to England. While I do not remember
exactly, I would say we got to England around June 10.


P: Just after D Day.









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Page 10

S: Right after D Day. [I can't remember] exactly when we went, but I remember that
I was promoted shortly before we left Mississippi to captain, a battery
commander. Some other people had passed me in rank in the meantime,
partially, I always thought, because I had a very exceptional unit of artillery men
and we always did real well, and they did not want to break it up. Also, I was a
little independent and erratic, I think, and I was not surprised that some other
people passed me in rank. We went to Europe, and I was a battery commander
over there. We stayed in England, from the time I got there, twenty to thirty days.
As I remember, without in any way representing that this is accurate, we went
into Normandy about D plus fifty or sixty days. It may have been a little later than
that because the fighting had almost cleared out right at the beaches, although
everything about the fighting was still there in part. We went in about five miles
the first day and camped and organized. We then started toward Cherbourg.

P: Excuse me. You were assigned to Patton's 3rd Army, then?

S: Yes. I was in Patton's 3rd Army at that time, though I am not sure of that.

P: What infantry division were you in?

S: I was in the 94th Infantry Division, and it could have been not part of the 3rd Army,
but I do not think it was at this time. Later, it clearly was. I remember that. We
went over towards Cherbourg where they had just wound up a siege where they
had taken on Normandy. Patton had already cleared Paris and was moving
towards the French border, and we thought that was where we were going.
Instead, we were sent down into Brittany and we stayed, approximately, 120 to
130 days in Brittany. There were three cities down there that had submarine
bases, and they never had cleared them out totally when Patton went through
there in a hurry. They were all under siege, and they had a lot of German soldiers
and a lot of artillery and mortars and other things. It was decided to just keep
them under siege, and we did not fight regularly. My troop would send shells in
there almost everyday. I was an artillery man. The infantry troops that we were
supporting were mainly stationary. They were just holding the Germans in there,
and they had Navy ships out in front of them where they could not get out. They
decided that was the best way. We stayed there more than 120 days, I think. It
was the first combat I had. We went out, and I was shot at and I shot shells back.
I sometimes was a forward observer. I was a battery commander and I had
forward observers, but they would get sick and tired or somebody had to go
relieve them, and I often did it. I remember my first shellings and first shots.
Some of the troops I commanded were killed, just a few, three or four. They were
not heavy battles, as when I was engaged, at all. We could even go back out the
other way under siege, and we did do it sometimes, and afterward go into little
towns and go into restaurants and eat. I remember getting oysters with great
pleasure there. Somewhere around November, I think, the siege broke down.









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About that time, I did have a three-day pass to Paris, I remember. About that
time, we were moved up into Patton's 3rd Army that he had fronting toward the
Rhine. I think Patton had reached the Rhine, frankly, down around the southern
border of Germany but not up very far. We were sent up there, and we were the
Northern Division of Patton's 3rd Army. We went somewhere, maybe, up 100
miles along the German border. We were in France and on this side of the Rhine,
and then we had the Battle of the Bulge. It was in December, if I recall rightly...

P: December 15.

S: All right. We had the Battle of the Bulge, and Patton was given the assignment of
moving north and trying to go in from the south to wedge off the German attack.
So, he moved everybody who was in a division south of us to the north (I guess
there had to be around fifteen divisions in an army, or more). He moved them all
up. They all passed us, about one each day, going north and stretching up, going
towards there, and we had to keep extending to the south to cover the front. As
they would leave their territory, we had to take it over. We got to where there
were very few troops along there because we ultimately had 100 miles, I think,
that our 18,000 men were covering when, originally, we had only eight to ten. So,
there were 1,000 troops, I guess, every six miles that we had along there. They
kept going up because they were going to the Bulge to go try to break through
that thing, as they ultimately did, and we had to cover the entire Rhine front.

P: Excuse me. Let me ask a question that comes up often. Were you aware at all of
the German attack because the intelligence reports said there was no chance of
attack from the Germans?

S: I was not aware until the attack was over. We were just moving in there from
Brittany. We were the last unit to move there. The Americans originally were
planning to go on straight over there where the Germans were. The American
troops were not far from the Rhine, and they were going to try to get over the
river just north of the Switzerland border. But the Bulge attack happened way up
north of that, so they went up there. But, I did not know about it until--we had
already left Brittany when we heard about it, but we had not gotten to where we
were going in the French Rhineland. We were en route when we heard about the
Battle of the Bulge, and we followed it closely. We got news accounts and radio
accounts and information, memos and other things about it. I will say, we
probably got there two to three days after the Battle of the Bulge really started.
But, we covered all those more experienced troops who were moving in up there
to the Bulge with Patton to do his heavy fighting. We covered the whole front. I
never was really in the Bulge itself during the fighting, though we went ultimately
up there and did a little bit of fighting before the final victory in the Battle of the
Bulge, in that they had gone all the way through and captured it. We were
involved a little, but it was at the end the cleanup of stragglers. We then were









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sent back. We were still in the 3rd Army. The Germans were still on the other side
of the Saar River, and we went down to Saarville, or Saarburg. I do not really
remember exactly all about that very much, but we were very stationary for,
maybe, sixty days and did not move, hardly at all. Our guns were all pointed
across the river there, and we would shell everyday, but our infantry troops were
not moving. The river was between us, and they were just stabilizing what had
happened in the Saar Valley. We stayed there, I do not know exactly how long
but I will say, sixty days, which would have been most of January and February.
Sometime around February 1, we crossed the Saar and started for the Rhine.
There was an autobahn (like our interstates) that was there, and we started down
it. The Germans were in flight a little bit, and we were moving fast. One of my
experiences, and I will say this was around (I do not know exactly when and
anybody who would correct it thirty days, well, I would probably fold and say I do
not remember) March 1 we were heading for the Rhine and troops were just
pouring through there. I saw for the first time in my life jet aircraft, that the
Germans had built. When they came down the line, we were hub to hub. They
came down there, and they did not have machine guns, apparently. They came
in jet aircraft and threw hand grenades out of the jet aircraft all over everywhere.
A hand grenade gave me a scratch right on this shoulder here that was not very
deep, but it did require that I go get medical attention. They put a small bandage
on it. I was not hurt. I was not out of duty, even, but I got a Purple Heart out of it
which, ultimately, gave you points to come home on. We went on, and we
eventually went to the Rhine near that bridge, that the Germans....

P: The Remagen Bridge?

S: Yes, but we were south of that about ten or fifteen miles at Ludwigshafen. Do you
know that area?

P: Yes, that is close.

S: That is where we were going into and got there. We fought a little all the way but
not much. If we would fight a little bit, the Germans would pull out and run back
again. We got to the Rhine, and we were stationed at the Rhine. They had gotten
across that bridge, but they had decided to stabilize, as I remember it. They had
a little circle of land over there, but they were not going to do anything until
everybody got calmed down and everybody got moved up and so on. All of a
sudden, we were transferred to the north, to Hodges' command up north of
Cologne. We were up in Belgium, near the Holland border to go across the
Rhine. We did cross the Rhine there, and we did go into the Ruhr Valley. By that
time, the Americans had really moved way over into Germany and, again, this is
thinking when this was, I would say [it was] April 15 or somewhere along there.
We went into the Ruhr Valley, and we were given areas to run and control. I was
given what they called a kreis, which is like a county, like Dade County only not









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that big because there were not any that big, more like Alachua County or
something. I remember the German commander, county manager you would call
it, or something, he would come down and talk to me like I was the boss--I
was--and say what was happening. I was told under instructions from above that
we wanted to stabilize everything. We wanted electricity to continue to be
generated. We wanted the trains to run [and] the telephones to run. We were
supposed to protect. They had prisoner of war camps that were primarily Polish.
Some were Russians, in my territory. The war was about over for us in April, but
it had not been terminated. They were not fighting anymore. There were no
troops in there on the other side. It was just German people. We moved in and
lived in good houses and stayed there. I remember that county manager would
suck my ass all day, if he could, like bring me strawberries or something. They
were not, however, very nice to the prisoners of war. We found out a tremendous
number of those prisoners of war had been in America for a long time. They had
not stayed there, but they talked English. They had been immigrants over there
and had gone back to their country, either because the Depression had gotten
them or because they had decided they wanted to go home or because, maybe
even, patriotism. But, they had gone back and had been captured and sent up
there. They [Germans] were bad to them, and they treated them badly. One
thing, a friend of mine who was our medical doctor and a captain from Pottstown,
Pennsylvania, named Jim (I will think of his last name in a minute) wrote about
how I ordered all the Germans to move into the prison camp, or a bunch of them
by designation, to move out of big houses, and I sent the prisoners to live in the
big houses. But, we stayed there a moderately long time, like four or five weeks.
The war was not over. They still had not hit the VE Day that was in May...

P: May 8.

S: So, this must have been in April. They sent us to go fight some more. We were
destined to go over towards... Dusseldorf was right near us on the Rhine where
we were. We were in Germany. I forget the name of the biggest little town, but it
was like 50,000 people that I was in charge of. We went going towards Munich,
basically, where there was still some fighting on. We started across there when
VE Day came. We did not know where we were. We stopped near that most
well-known prison camp over there. I remember going in and looking at it in May.
We stayed there about ten days when they sent us into Czechoslovakia. We
stayed in Czechoslovakia, perhaps, ninety days. I played golf several times in
Czechoslovakia.

P: The camp was Dachau?

S: Yes.


P: Did you go in there or see any of the prison?









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S: Yes, I did.

P: What was that like?

S: It was just as bad as it sounded. We could see where people had been buried,
and we were told all about it. The American Army had taken over and, to some
extent, were propagandizing the badness of it. But, we were shown and saw
everything. We went near Pilsen. I did get to go into Prague and visit. I forget that
little German town that I went to. It is well-known with hot waters and hot baths.
Carlsbad, I think. That is where I played golf. We stayed there, not doing much
but kind of calming down. We did have some duties over control of the people, so
to speak, as the war was ending. Everybody was worried about training and
going to Japan, and they did not want to. All of a sudden, they announced the
point system and about going home. I will say that was in August, and I had high,
high points. I had been in the service then, I will guess, more than fifty-five or
sixty months, and you got points for that. I had a Purple Heart and five Battle
Stars and combat duty and everything. I had, I believe, 130 points. I was up on
the top list of people to come home. So, I think I came home, without knowing for
sure, around September 1, hit the United States. I remember I left, maybe, in
August and went through France to Le Havre. We got to Le Havre, and my Uncle
Chesterfield, who later was in the legislature for so long but who was a druggist
in Arcadia I had worked for, was a colonel. He had been a captain in the National
Guard, and he was not on a fighting duty but other duties, kind of like for older
people. He was not that much older than me, but I will say he was like fifty then.
Usually, people of fifty [years] did not get into combat. They did other duties. I
remember he took me out a couple of nights there at Le Havre, or near Le Havre.
We got on a ship that took us fourteen days to come home on, a victory ship. I
had gone over there on the, maybe it was the Queen Elizabeth. It was a big, big
ship. All 19,000 of us got on one ship on the way over there. Coming home on
this big ship thing, we landed in New York and went pretty quick to Camp
Blanding. They kept us there about ten days, and we were about to go nuts
because we were close to home and wanted to go home. Eventually, we were
released. My wife came up from Arcadia, and we went into Jacksonville where I
had an uncle living and stayed two days or so. Then, we rode the train down to
Miami and caught a PanAm aircraft, seaplanes they called them. They did not
have wheels.

P: Like Chalk's [Chalk's Airline, amphibious air service from Miami to the Bahamas].

S: Yes, out here where our [Miami] City Hall is.

P: Amphibious planes?
S: Yes, an amphibious plane, and we went to Cuba and stayed three weeks. Then,









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we came home, and I had decided to go back to the University of Florida and do
law school. In those days, you could get into the Florida Law School if you had
two years of college, and you would go three years. I had a year and a half. It is
my belief that we went up there the day after Christmas. The second semester
was to start, like, January 10, but we did not have a house, so we were going to
stabilize. I went into school, and it is my belief that I made straight "A"s, to get my
last semester. Then, I went into law school, and it is my belief that I was one of
the top two with about identical grades in law school the first year I was there.
Then, the second and third year, I was the top student in it, and I graduated. Of
course, you went around the clock. My wife had saved--I was sending home
most of my pay, which by the time I was a captain, was around $300 a month. I
was made a major, and I was a major coming home. I shot craps for fourteen
days, and I won about $4000. I do not know exactly how much, but we got home
and my wife and I, between us, had about $7,000. We thought that was all the
money, and then we got the GI Bill. The GI Bill, I think, was $105 or $115, that
they gave us. I got a nice little apartment, and I joined the golf club there in
Gainesville, the one that the University owns now. I played golf, and I started with
some friends of similar experience. I played golf all the time, and I studied. I had
a very disciplined life in those times. Weekends, I got up every morning at six a.
m., and I studied two hours, and I went to the law school. I had all of my classes
in the morning and in the afternoon, I played golf. Then, I would study at night
from eight until ten. I would also study all of the time in school that I was not in
class. A lot of people did not. A lot of people talked and did other [things], walked
and went. I studied. I was hired then as a student assistant.

P: Let me interrupt you a second. I wanted to go back and talk a little bit about some
of your World War II experiences. How did that experience change your life?

S: I think it changed my life, and these things are egotistical to say but I will say
them anyway, by making me into a leader. I was in charge of most everything I
did in World War II. As far as other people were concerned, there were obviously
sometimes people above me who were in charge of me, but I would go out and
be in charge and I think it made me leader. It also let me know, again egotistical
a little bit, that I could do some things better than some other people could. I
know I was very quick in intelligence. It did not take me long to decide or do
things, and I learned that in World War II.

P: What did you think of Tom Brokaw's book, The Greatest Generation? There is
an article on you in there.

S: Yes.


P: Was it the greatest generation?









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S: I think the Depression had a great deal of impact on that generation, and I think
that the war was, in some ways, a good way to come out of the Depression.
Now, maybe on some people, it had much more impact than the Depression. To
me, I think the Depression was not very helpful to me and was making me and
my family and others bad. The war gave me a chance, as I said, to become a
leader. I think, together, the "greatest generation" (a reference to the recent Tom
Brokaw book, The Greatest Generation, New York: Random House, 1998; a
collection of personal narratives of World War II veterans) may or may not be the
greatest generation, but they did achieve a great deal after those two disasters.
So, that makes them great, so to speak, and that is a conclusion that, maybe, the
EST should not have been on. I was impacted a great deal, adversely by the
Depression, and positively by the war, but included in the war, I would call being
a returning GI and the GI Bill and going to school. The University of Florida never
had been big like it was after the war when we came back. When I was up there
in the 1930s, we had 2,400 or 2,600 students in the whole college, or 2,700 or
2,800. I think that when I entered there after the war, there were, like, 6,000 and
by the time I graduated in two years, there were something like 14,000 or 15,000.
The school facilities had not changed too much. It was just crowded.

P: It was a huge influx of veterans?

S: Oh yes, that is all it was.

P: How important was the GI Bill in American history?

S: I think it is the greatest piece of legislation to have a favorable impact on the
country and I think, perhaps, the reason if they are the greatest generation or
have any aspects of it. I do not know how anybody could ever conceive of a
measure that benefitted a country more than I think the GI Bill did. I am not
talking about me alone, by any sense. I am talking about everybody I knew was
impacted by it. I got a job teaching because I had the highest grades in my class,
as a student assistant. Basically, that meant that three nights a week, I think, I
had a class that lasted two hours in which we would review for students that were
having trouble of what was going on in the day. I was paid $105 a month for that.
So, while I was there, I had the GI Bill of $115 and I had that student assistant of
$105, and I had that $7,000 that I had saved and won shooting. I played golf all
the time, and I had a good life. We did not have a car, but we lived right across
University Avenue from the law school, which is the business school or
something now, right there near the grocery story. Molly's was the name of the
old grocery store then. We had a baby, and my duties were pretty simple. One,
the baby was to stay with me basically under my supervision when I was
studying. Second, I was in charge of doing all diapers. There was, down at
University Avenue and what is now 13th Street-I think it was 9th in those days or
something-there was a Laundromat, and I was to do all the diapers. And, I was









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to stay home with the baby all day long when I was not studying on Saturday,
and my wife was free. On Sunday, the baby and my wife and I were destined to
be together all day, when I was not studying. We had a very simple life, no car
[but] we were right there at the law school. Really, while having that money does
not sound quite so good today, it was quite good in those days because nobody
else had that, especially the $7,000 I had that I had won shooting craps and so
on. We did not spend too much of that. We spent, in the two year I was up there,
maybe $3,000 of it, and I came home as a lawyer with about $4,000. We bought
a car, and we rented a home but we had to furnish it. We bought an electric
icebox and an electric stove. So, I used it well, and I made good judgements, I
think, in all of those things. I remember, a car, a new Plymouth, if I believe right,
cost me about $750 in those days.

P: This is when you came back to Arcadia?


S: Arcadia. I was thinking, when I went up there, Arcadia only had about nine or ten
lawyers, and I knew them all. It was a small town, and I knew all about them. I
had thought about where I was going to practice law, and I had decided I was
going to practice law in Sarasota. That was the weekend haven, out of Arcadia. It
was forty-five miles away, we would go over on the beach, and have a great
time. So I subscribed to the Sarasota Herald Tribune, a daily. It came to my
house everyday in Gainesville, of course a day late, but I would read it. I was
trying to get familiar with the community. In those days, people were not hired
much by lawyers. They opened their own office and built their own practice. The
second year, I decided, well, I really liked Sarasota, but I ought to see
somewhere else, and I did the same thing thinking about Vero Beach. They only
had a weekly paper, or maybe it was a biweekly paper but it was not daily. I got
it, too, and I read them all the time, thinking I was going to one or the other of
them. Near my graduation, I was at the top of my class, a lawyer friend of mine,
who was fourteen years older than me and who I had played golf with some in
Arcadia where we had a little nine-hole golf course, offered to hire me. No lawyer
I know of had ever been hired in Arcadia before. Everybody had their own
practice. He paid me $150 a month, and that was about what everybody who
was graduating would get in those days. I went home and had a great practice in
some ways. Just as kind of a funny story, the third week that I was there, they
brought a case against the major client of my law firm, which had two men in it,
named Treadwell. They represented Consolidated Naval Stores Company which
had, at one time, owned 3,000,000 acres of land in Florida that they took pine
sap [from] for turpentine, and made turpentine out of it. It was extremely lucrative
and valuable. Eventually, the turpentine grew out and grew away, and they
decided they had to do something about the lands. They kept them, and they had
bought lands for turpentine. They started getting oil leases on them. They could
get oil leases for about $0.25 an acre per year, when the land could be









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purchased for $1 an acre or less, even sometimes $0.75. So, this company was
owned by Chicago people, but they had about a $2,000,000 a year income out of
it. It was real big. Then, land started going up, in 1948 and 1949. All of a sudden,
that land which had been selling for $1 or $1.50 and acre was bringing $12 or
$14 an acre and even still going up. Of course, today, it is $3,000, the same land,
if you had bought it. But, the company claimed that it was an asset of theirs that
they had for the turpentine business, and that they were now selling an asset and
that they were entitled to take capital gain on it for federal income tax, whereas
the federal government said that they were in the land business and that was
ordinary income. It was a $1,000,000 case because they were selling so much of
that land. They had 3,000,000 acres. They decided they wanted to preserve the
testimony, all about the turpentine and how it goes. This was the first case of its
kind. I had some interesting things about it. I mean, it was the first big case, and
it was given to me, only because it was not going to be able to be resolved. It
was to preserve testimony. So, I had to sue the federal government for the
Consolidated Naval Stores Company. At that time, the southern district of Florida
went from Jacksonville and Tampa all the way down to the Keys, and the United
States attorney was a grand old gentleman named Herbert Phillips, who was
eighty-eight years old, and he had been a United States attorney for twenty
years. I mention him because of a couple of things. We went on, and I wanted to
preserve testimony to show that there had really been all this land that had been
acquired solely to get turpentine out of the pine trees, that it really was a
business, and that they had not bought it to speculate on selling land. They were
not in the land business. This was disposing of their assets. The president of the
company lived in Jacksonville, and he had met and knew a lady who was the
secretary, when there were hardly any secretaries, to the president of that
company which was headquartered in Jacksonville. I lived down in Arcadia. I
even forget her name now, but I served with subpoena to preserve her testimony,
and I found out she was ninety-nine years of age. I went to take her testimony
and served notice, of course, on Mr. Herbert Phillips. We went to Live Oak,
where she lived, to take that testimony. When we went in there, she came over
and put her arms around Mr. Phillips and kissed him. I said, what is happening,
Mr. Phillips? He said, she was my Sunday school teacher! She was ten years
older than him. He was eighty-eight, and she was ninety-nine. It was funny as
hell. It did not matter about the testimony I was preserving, but he kissed her.
Then, we went over to hear the case later and had a great federal judge, who
had been a Florida Supreme Court judge but then became a federal judge in
Jacksonville, named Louis Strum. He was a legendary judge. I went in there,
and I worked for Mr. Treadwell, who was about his age. I would say Louis Strum
was about seventy. Of course, I was a three-months lawyer. We went in, and he
was gracious and warm. Mr. Phillips and I were going to make this presentation
and argue to him about whether that was a disposition of an asset and all based
upon the evidence that we had accumulated. We talked and talked, and he told
me about Mr. Treadwell, how he had been his friend and what a great guy he









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was and how Florida was changing. We talked over an hour, I would say, and all
of a sudden, he said, well, gentlemen, this has really been pleasant. He said, we
came here for a purpose; I am going to stop all of this conversation. He said, I
call the court to order; let us proceed. He looked at me and said, Mr. Smith?
And I said, well, Judge. He said, on your feet! I remember, we had been sitting
there like we are talking now, but all of a sudden, court was in session, and he
yelled at me and scared me to death. It was one of the scariest [moments] I have
ever been in, and he was mad as hell at me because court was in session and I
was still sitting and talking like this. That is kind of rambling, but it helps me to
remember things back then.

P: Did you win the case?

S: Well, it was not a really big contest. We did preserve that testimony and,
eventually, we did settle the case on our basis.

P: Let me ask you something I have really forgotten. Why did you choose the
practice of law?

S: I had seen a lot of very effective lawyers. I worked three sessions of the
legislature. Like today 10 percent of the legislature are lawyers, in those days,
more than 50 percent were lawyers and, frankly, usually the most articulate and
effective advocates were lawyers, almost exclusively, in the legislature, and they
had made an impact on me. More than that, in my little old town, I played golf
and always had. A lot of the lawyers played golf, most all of them, and we did not
have hardly anybody else who played golf in Arcadia. I would bet that there were
less than thirty people who played golf ever in Arcadia and, of that, ten of them
were lawyers, and I saw them and liked them. Then, there were a lot of lawyers
who were very nice to me when I was young. I had always had good grades in
school, and lawyers told me I ought to be a lawyer.

P: This was not, in any way, a precursor to a political career, was it?


S: Well, I do not know. I had thought about politics to some extent, too, and I knew
that lawyers had a good edge, not control, but a good edge, in some things in
political life. I thought about politics a great deal. I went back and stayed in
Arcadia two years and practiced law. [End of Side 2, Tape A.] ...the things were
changing a little after the war. I was elected, but never got to serve, as president
of the local bar association, which was a big circuit in those days. It was the
twelfth circuit, but Arcadia was one of the smaller county seats in it. It included
Manatee County which was Bradenton, Sarasota County which was Sarasota,
Charlotte County which was Punta Gorda, Lee County which was Fort Myers,
and Collier County which was Everglades City in those days, and also Hendry









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County which was La Belle, and Glades County which was Moore Haven, and
Highlands County which was Sebring. All of those, so there were a lot of lawyers
involved in it. And Hardee County which was Wauchula. I was president-elect of
the Circuit bar association. I was elected about two years after I had been a
lawyer. That is when I decided when I got an offer to go to Bartow to practice law
that I accepted. I went up there to Bartow. Primarily, Bill McRae was a partner
up there. He had been valedictorian of his class at the University of Florida
which, I think, was 1930. He had been a Rhodes Scholar. He had been an All
American football player on the 1928 and 1929 football teams, and 1928 was
undefeated. He was a personal aide to General Hap Arnold [Commander
General] in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He was brilliant. Mr. Beavis
was, kind of, a country land lawyer, not very well educated and not too smart who
had been an office man for Senator [Spessard L.] Holland. Senator Holland was
a very good lawyer, I am told. Certainly, everything I know about him was, I had a
lot of association with him later, but he did not really show me what kind of lawyer
he was. Senator Holland was in politics. He was a county prosecutor, and then
he became a state senator and served twelve years as a state senator. He
became governor [of Florida, 1941-1945], and then he became a United States
senator. He could practice all the time he was in the state legislature. He could
not practice when he was a governor, and he did not really practice though he
participated in the firm and some of the money and other things when he was
United States senator. He liked Bill and knew of his great record, as I said, and
Bill had practiced law in Jacksonville. Then, he went into World War II. He had
been a law professor at Florida. He was the most brilliant law professor up there,
and then he had to go into World War II and Hap Arnold, and this. He got out,
and he helped in San Francisco. He was a military representative and aide to the
delegates out there when they formed the United Nations. He was a brilliant guy,
and he had come a lot to the University of Florida, where he had been a
professor at the law school when I was up there. I was very active, like I was
president of what I would call the student body. It was the John Marshall Bar
Association. I was magistrate of the largest law firm fraternity there, which was
Phi Delta Phi. I used to speak or introduce or be involved in all programs that
they had here, so I got to know Bill McRae real well. They decided they needed
another lawyer besides him, and they looked at three of us. They looked at a guy
who had gone to Harvard from Jacksonville named David Dunlap, who
eventually went to Orlando with the Carleton Fields firm [later Carleton, Fields,
Ward, Emmanuel and Cutler law firm]. They also looked at another guy who had
been in my class in Tallahassee named Warren Goodrich lived in Bradenton,
and who had been the first editor of the Law Review up there. And they looked at
me. Incidentally, I had been chairman of a committee that formed the law review
up there. We did not have one. I never was editor because after we formed it, it
took us a couple of years to really get it going, but we worked on it and raised
money. But, he had been up there a lot of times, especially with Phi Delta Phi, so









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he came down to interview me and asked me if I wanted to go up there [Bartow].
I went up there and looked, and so, eventually, I went up there. Polk County was,
at that time, roughly ten times, twelve times maybe, as [large as] De Soto
County. It is even more so now because De Soto County has been very stable.
Polk County has not done too well, but it is not like that. Polk County now has,
maybe, about 550,000 people in it but, at one time, it was the fourth largest
county in the state for years and years and the fifth largest for years and years.
They used to have numbered license plates on cars, and it was number five (this
is a reference to Florida's practice of coding automobile tag numbers according
to the county in which each tag was issued. The initial number of each license
tag was the county identification number, arranged in ascending order, one
through sixty seven, according to the population rank of each county). It no
longer is. It must probably be tenth or twelfth by now. But, Bill was real good, and
I went up there mainly because I could see that I was not going to have a very
big or lucrative law practice in Arcadia. Second, I had played with the offices, as
you can see. I mean, I was president of the John Marshal Bar Association, which
was the biggest political office at the law school, all those kind of things. I started
thinking about running for the legislature when I got to De Soto County. I was
fairly old, like thirty or thirty-one, after all the war and all. All of a sudden, my
Uncle Chesterfield, who owned the drugstore and who I had worked for and who
was a wonderful good guy to me all during the time I was in high school in the
1930s, announced that he was running for the legislature. Incidentally, he served
up there, I think, for either eighteen or twenty years after he was elected in 1950.
He served first in 1951. I got that opportunity to go to Bartow, and so I went. I
could not be in politics anymore.

P: Were you not a city commissioner at one time?

S: I was appointed as a city commissioner in Bartow, later, for a vacancy. I did not
ever run for a political office. But, I went up there to Bartow. When I got up there,
well, it was possible you could run for something and I was never told that I could
not. We knew Senator Holland. I had been paid about $200 a month in Arcadia,
and I was paid $400 a month in Bartow. Senator Holland was paid $500 a month
in Bartow by the firm, but he did not do much. McRay and Beavis were paid
$1,000 a month and then, eventually, $2,000 a month before I took over. So, that
was more money and more things, and I could see it. I knew it was not right to
run for office if Senator Holland was in office. He had the big office, and he was
the big man. It was not right for others to get into controversial situations that
would adversely impact him.

P: Do you regret not running for political office?

S: No, not anymore. I, in some way, have always been involved. I went up there and
started doing work. I had [already] had two years of experience. Their biggest









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clients were two phosphate companies. The biggest one of those, American
Cyanamid Company, had a Mr. Arthur Crego as its local manager. The fourth
month that I was in Bartow, he asked to see McRae and Beavis, and he basically
told them, I know I am your biggest client; you have been my lawyers now for
seven years but, frankly, it has been going downhill, and I have decided to
terminate our relationship with you and hire other lawyers. He said, I like young
Smith; he has been doing my work, and I have decided that if you will let him do
all of the work that I will not take our business away. I would guess that he
probably paid us in those days, maybe, $15,000 or $20,000 a year and we took
in about $70,000 for the whole damn firm. So, it was very important, and they
immediately said, sure, we will let him do the work; that is fine. The next day,
they made me a partner in the firm. I had only been up there three months and,
the next year, they put my name in the firm. McRae, who I adored and loved and
was a genius and was brilliant, did not care very much about a lot of things. He
did not care very much about money. He wanted enough to live well, but he did
not care about any more. Also, he liked to intimidate other people, including me,
intellectually, like he would like to write the criticisms of my legal draftsmanship,
sometimes in Latin and sometimes in Greek. He was fluent in both, as he had
been at Oxford and other places. But, he drank too much and ate too much. He
was a great trial lawyer, but he did not work as hard as I did. The second year I
was there, I did something that sounds so simple and does not seem so
revolutionary now. I went up to the University of Florida Law School, my law
school, and looked and found out who were the best students up there. And we
were hiring on the basis of grades for twenty years after that, alone almost. For
many years, no other law firm was really worrying about that. But I hired three
guys. In fact, you probably know all of them. Henry Kiddleson is still with me. He
is general counsel of our firm now. He had the highest grades of all. Another one
was Bill Henry, who was from Ocala.

P: And Steven Grimes?


S: Steven Grimes was the third one. They came down there, and the three of them
and me and Beavis and McRae were in the firm. They loved McRae, and he
loved them, and I do not mean otherwise. But, the four of us, the three young
ones and me, spent endless hours, weekends, drinking beer and eating steak,
talking about the future and how we were going to build the law firm and how we
were going to change things. We started adding people to it. In 1955, after I had
been there and in my fifth year, I took over the firm as manager, and we made
those three partners. The four of us really built that firm and talked about it
endlessly and forever. They used to always say Kiddleson and Bill Henry always
voted with me whether I was right or wrong, and Grimes always voted for me
when I was right but voted against me when I wrong, and I was not wrong much









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then. They were wonderful people and were very important. We started building
that firm, and we started doing new things that other people had not done before.
We hired the first non-lawyer manager to the firm and started putting business
practices in. We put billable hours in, which have been a strength and a
weakness, but it certainly grossly increased our income a great deal and made
clients pay more and understand a little more what they were paying for. We
started hiring people, and we grew. In 1960, of course he was Senator Hollands
partner, but President [Dwight D.] Eisenhower [34th U. S. president, 1953-1961]
nominated Bill McRae to be on the federal bench, but he did not get it completed
before the election. So, the first nominee that Jack Kennedy [John F. Kennedy,
35th U.S. President, 1961-1963] made to the federal bench in the United States
was Bill McRae and, of course, with Holland as his partner, he was immediately
confirmed, and he left. Now, McRae did not care much about economics.
Senator Holland used to argue with me some about what the firm should do. He
had been a pretty widely utilized lawyer in the citrus industry, which had been
very dominant in central Florida in economic ways but also had great
weaknesses in that the growers were tremendous farmers who lived on their
property but were small in total volume and that the fruit was all sold fresh;
basically, the fruit was sold a little bit in November and a lot in December and
then January, then skipped to March, April, and May and then not selling any the
rest of the year. Well, they had invented frozen orange concentrate two years
before and had started, for the first time, to get stability, and they started to have
employees year round and the plants and offices. Minute Maid was there.
Senator Holland had been close to, or maybe was, the industry legal spokesman
for citrus for fifteen years. He wanted us, and especially me, to concentrate on
citrus. We thought about it, but at the same time, the phosphate industry-which,
phosphate is an essential plant food; with potash and nitrogen, it makes all of the
chemical fertilizers-they discovered concentrated phosphate. We called it triple
super phosphate. By adding sulphur to it, they made lots of improvements. It
reduced the volume by about 75 percent, and the biggest cost out of producing it
was transportation. We used to have trains all over and tons and tons and tons,
millions of tons; when I started up there, there were 3,000,000 tons. By the time
triple super phosphate got in, they were mining 14,000,000 and 15,000,000 tons,
so the employees got very big. I believed that we ought to go and concentrate on
phosphate. We argued about it. He had that one client I told you about that
caused him to hire me, where they did that, he and McRae and Beavis. But,
eventually, I got to represent the entire phosphate industry, and I did it in lots of
ways. The first thing that we did that helped us a great deal was to be involved
with them [was]...the Teamsters and the International Chemical Workers decided
to organize them, as they started building these big chemical plants. When they
had just been mining and having drag lines, they did not have unions very much,
or they were not strong. But, all of a sudden, they started that, so I litigated for
them for about four years and did more labor law than any other one thing,
mainly in state courts but some in federal agencies and federal courts. There got









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to be more, and they got to be stronger. I started the first in 1954 and by 1958 or
1959, they had started using us in the legislature. We were worrying about
severance taxes and all of those things. By 1959 to 1962, we were head over
heels in environmental damage suits that were growing out of the chemical
industry. When I had Grimes and Bill Henry and Kiddleson, we would divide it up.
Nobody had ever really specialized to the extent in Florida that we specialized.
Bill Henry likes to tell now how I announced at a firm meeting when we had
eleven lawyers that he was head of the tax department. He said he hardly knew
what federal taxes were. But, as I also told him, the next year, he was elected
chairman of the tax commission of the Florida Bar. Grimes was made a litigator.
McRae and I were also litigators. McRae left in 1960 as a federal judge.
Kiddleson was made head of the legal department. He happened to be about the
best in the United States. What was good about them as real estate people, they
were consumers of real estate. They ate it up and had to have some more, and
they wanted some more, and they had to pay very high prices for land that was
much cheaper, when it became competitive about that. It was a very lucrative
thing. So, I will say that, in 1956, I had become president of the 10th Judicial
Circuit Bar, which is basically Polk County, Sebring and Wauchula. In 1958, I was
elected to the board of governors of the Florida Bar and served 1959 through
1963. I started to run for president of the Florida Bar in 1962 and 1963. Two of
my best friends had served on the board of governors one term longer than me,
and they both wanted to run. I was absolutely convinced because of lots of things
that I have not outlined that I would win. One thing, McRae had been elected the
third president of the Florida Bar and the first that had ever conducted a
statewide race, and I had handled his race because I was at the University of
Florida when the returning service men were. He was there in 1931 or
something, and I knew lawyers all over the state even better than he did, though
his reputation was great. I just knew that I could almost win, but I decided not to
and they ran against each other. I decided to seek one more term. Usually, I
decided that I was only going to stay four years, two terms. Then, I ran in my fifth
year for president-elect, and I had no opposition. Then, I ran for president in my
sixth year, and I had no opposition. That was a very great year in the Florida Bar
in many ways and many things.

P: This was 1965, is that right?

S: 1964, when I took office. I came out in 1965. Among the things that happened
there, I did a lot of things. I sponsored the Judicial Qualifications Commission
which still exists and which is the disciplinary control authority over judges. I
helped get court rules for the first time all over the state. Equity rules were the
only thing that we had at the time, and I helped do all of those. I got a
Constitutional Revision Commission created by the legislature to study and
revise and submit the legislature proposals for a new constitution. I got that bill
through the legislature and all of those things, and I was going back to the office









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to run it. We then had fourteen lawyers, I think.
P: Let me ask you a little more about [being] the president of the Florida Bar. One of
the things that has been consistent throughout your career is that, at that point,
you wanted to make certain that people who could not afford to be represented
would get represented.

S: Yes. Well, I came from a poor background, as I told you, and I did fight for things.
I created when I was president and I was, frankly, the major sponsor of-no one
person ever creates things like that alone, but I came close-the client security
fund. That was fund that lawyers contribute to each year to reward clients of
lawyers who are guilty of malfeasance and malfunctions, who steal or embezzle
the client's money and that kind of stuff, to pay it back. I started worrying a great
deal about legal aid in all kinds of ways. We had Lawyers Title Guarantee Funds
that we helped start. I was not the major player in it, but I was a player. We
started Legal Aid and helped in every way that we could. I became a friend, while
I was president of the state bar, of Lewis Powell, who was president of the ABA
[American Bar Association]. Lewis got me involved in lots of things that the ABA
was doing that involved legal aid. He supported, for the first time,
federally-supported legal aid and what we call the OEO, the Office of Emergency
Opportunity Legal Aid Fund. I was a national spokesman for it. I stood up on the
floor of the ABA House of Delegates and proposed... [tape interrupted.] the
availability of legal services to people who needed lawyers and did not have
them. We looked at all kinds of things and did not ever get enthusiastic about the
use of official ombudsmen to speak for people. We looked and spent a great
amount of time on legal insurance and group legal service plans where
everybody in a certain profession or a certain area, or like a trailer camp or
anything else, they could have insurance where everybody paid a small amount
to have lawyers available to whoever needed them. We looked at things like legal
specialization. There was no specialization, and the theory was that if you have
specialists, they could do the job quicker and better for cheaper prices. That may
not have worked [because] the specialists, as they got very good and very
proficient, would charge more. A lot of things, I have mentioned and missed but I
will say that, by 1955, the law was my life and I knew that was what I was going
to do, and I was involved in it. I was elected president of two circuit bars. I served
in 1955 in Polk County, and I began to run our firm. I read and thought about the
law and how law firms ought to be. I got Kiddleson and Grimes and Henry, and
we spent all that time talking about the firm and where we going, and we got
ambitious.

P: I have a couple of questions about when you were president of the Florida Bar.
You talked a lot about professional ethics, and one of the things I know you
thought about is, what would be an appropriate penalty for a lawyer who was
guilty of malfeasance or stealing funds; is disbarment enough, or should there be
more severe penalties?









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S: I think that if there are crimes committed, they are subject to the criminal laws,
such as embezzlement or something like that, and that is there. The ethical rules
are enforced as a professional thing for the profession, and the ultimate
sanction-and perhaps it is not like that death penalty or anything quite that
serious-is disbarment. Like any other status, basically a disbarment is
permanent, but a court or somebody else could change rules or something on it
later on if there is some reason. I do not know of anybody right now who has
been disbarred and reinstated, but they have rules where they suspend lawyers
for three years or two years or five years and let them come back in. I think that,
basically, the relationship of professionalism still requires that if a person is not
willing to apply certain standards to the relationship with the people that he works
with and for, he just should not be a lawyer. I do not think it is for lawyers alone.
There are other people who have professional standards, and they ought to be
enforced. I spent a great amount of time when I was with Florida Bar. I will say
that the time I spent with the bar, it was probably close to one-fourth of my time
and that of that fourth, I spent half, or an eighth, of my time in bar disciplinary
measures and going after people and getting rid of people.

P: Another issue that came up while you were president of the Florida Bar was
unauthorized legal practice. What methods did you use to try to restrict that?

S: That was more important in those days than it is now. The theory between
people there is that unqualified people were taking advantage of clients when
they were not authorized to practice and did not have the skills in training. Now,
there is a great disciplinary argument going on as to whether you can render
many, many of the services that lawyers try to keep to themselves exclusively
through other arrangements. There is a big fight going on between accountants
and lawyers now as to whether some things that lawyers have had exclusive
possession of ought to be exclusively lawyers', such as estate planning, is an
easy one, that accountants can perhaps get as well qualified, or any particular
person may be better qualified than another particular person in estate planning,
but a lot of other things, too. Things that are consulting or advisory services that
lawyers give, grew out of the relationship that they had of defending people who
had been accused of wrong, or helping them in a transaction that they had
decided to do, into where before long, lawyers were helping them plan and
decide what to do. We have 1,000 lawyers in our law firm now. We always called
them in the early days, officers of the court. Well, I will say of those 1,000, there
are probably 600 of them who have never been involved in courts or gone to
court. Litigation is still a very, very big and important and lucrative part of the
practice of law, but there are many other things that they do now. Some of those
things have grown and developed during years that I have been involved. When
we first were talking about discipline of lawyers, disbarment for unauthorized
practices, we were mainly referring to trial cases and representation in an









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advocacy sense of people who were opposed to each other. Now, they are
talking about advising people often and doing things. That is the biggest
controversy in the legal world today.

P: Another issue that was important all through your career was more adequate
judicial salaries and a better group of judges and a way to evaluate judges.

S: Yes, and it still is. We have not reached total success yet. For example, I tend to
think that judges who are exalted a little bit more, like in England, might have a
higher quality overall than they do over here. Now, sometime, no matter how you
treat them, you can get a Bill Brennan or somebody that is just as great a judge
as you can have, and I do not mean that we do not have them. We have
wonderful judges but, as we need more and more, we also have some who are
not as well-qualified. You cannot select judges on the basis of how good a judge
there is. You have to take the judge who is available to you, and that is the right
system, I think. You do not want to start having favorites because there are two
contending parties. But, a lot of judges are not as good as they could be, so I
wanted always to make them [better]. Part of it grows out of the fact that some
people are not competitive, and they did not want to contend for a judgeship
against somebody that they thought was at least their peer because they did not
want people to say, he tried to get a judgeship and did not, when he was very
successful. Also, some of them did not like the things that judgeships did, like
having to have elections. Others did not like [other] things, like the compensation
was not as good as they could make outside. So, I have tried always to raise
judges [salaries] and judicial selection methods. I have been heavily involved in it
all of my life and still am, even today. I talk almost everyday about how to get
better judges. How do you sometimes get better judges? Well, you always try, if
there is a vacancy, to get the best candidate to succeed and become the judge.
How do you decide the best candidate? Well, it is very difficult. Sometimes, they
are peers. Sometimes, the distinctions are minute, and you cannot tell what they
are exactly. Sometimes, you make errors yourself, but I always try to get the best
judge in every seat. I spend endless hours every year, with no benefit to myself,
talking to people who want to be judges and deciding whether I will write a dear
friend, like Reubin Askew [Florida governor, 1971-1979] or somebody, and say,
this is a good person and they ought to be looked at extremely carefully by you
because I personally think that they are the best qualified of those four
candidates you have to select from.

P: Are you, then, in favor of the Missouri system of selecting judges?

S: I am in favor of having a non-partial selection body that recommends them to the
governor. I am not in favor of the Missouri system, necessarily, of retention
elections. I was. I put that in, in Florida. I went to Reubin first. When I was
chairman of the Constitutional Revision Commission, I made Reubin chairman of









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the judicial article. He, however, had already long been interested in that when
he was a freshman legislator. Steve O'Connell, whom you know, was chairman
of the Judicial Council of Florida, and I was active in the Bar, and we used to go
to Reubin for help when he was in the legislature and talked to him about a lot of
the things that he became real good and expert in, and helped achieve in Florida
a great deal.

P: So the non-partisan recommendation is better than having judges elected?

S: The honest truth is, the very best judges who I have ever seen or heard of in this
country were usually appointed by one man, and if he will work at it hard enough
and will just have no bad purposes and will not want to get his cousin's friend in
or will not want to get his wife's uncle or will not want to get a business cohort of
his or somebody else an advantage, that is the best way it is. [Here are] two or
three stories I have told about judges. In May of 1955, I got a telephone call. He
said, Chesterfield. I said, yes? He said, this is Roy Collins [Leroy Collins, Florida
governor, 1955-1961]; do you have your calendar there? I said, yes, sir. He
said, I want to call you up on June 7, which is three weeks from today at three
p.m.; will you be able to take that call? I said, sure I will, governor; what do you
want to talk about? He said, well, there is a vacancy in your circuit on circuit
judge. He said, I have thought about it and talked about it and, at that time, I plan
to offer that judgeship to you; but, I do not offer it now. He said, I have talked to
Bill McRae (who had grown up with him in Tallahassee), and I have talked to a
lot of people and they say that you will not take it to be a judge, but I want you to
think about it for three weeks because I believe that the appointment of judges is
the single most important thing that I can do for the state long-range, in that I only
get to serve here six years, two years and four more if I am re-elected (he had a
partial term). He said, twenty years after I am no longer governor, people who I
appointed as judges, like you if you do it, will be deciding the important issues for
this state, and I want to get them. He said, I have talked to them, and some of
them think you care about the state and you care about these things and if you
worry about it enough, you may take it. I said, Governor, I do not want to be
judge. He said, I know you do not want to be a judge, but you do want the judicial
system to be good and you want it to work. He said, I want you to think about it;
you cannot turn me down by saying you will not think about it and will not talk to
me three weeks from now. Of course, he said, I do not have to talk to anybody
else; I can appoint you, and I will tell you now that if you say, yes, you will take it,
I will appoint you; but, I am not offering it to you yet; you have to wait three
weeks. I said, all right, Governor. I did worry in varying degrees, some days
hardly at all, some days a great deal. Did I want to be a judge? Now, why did I
tell this story? Well, somebody who you might think is the best lawyer in town to
be a judge, he does not want to go down before that judicial nominating
committee and not be selected. All of his clients know that he applied and did not
get it. They say, we cannot count on him staying with us. If he wants to be judge,









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he will not be a lawyer much longer. He just does not want to do that. Roy knew
all of that, and Roy Collins knew that it was important. He made that his best and
most effective way to improve the judicial system in the state, and he did it. He
appointed more good judges than anybody ever had. Not long after him, it went
way down. When Claude Kirk [Florida governor, 1967-1971] was governor, he
appointed the sorriest, dumbest assholes who have ever been appointed. He
almost knew it and thought about it and did not care. Now, if we had a judicial
nominating committee, like you were talking about, they would not have gotten
near so good a judges as Roy Collins did because he, as one person, could talk
people into taking it. They cannot. They only can take people who apply to them.
But, they never would have had those sorry judges that Claude Kirk had. They
would not have let any of them get on the panel. So, what the panel does is, it
eliminates the terrible, the sorry ones. Most governors have, especially in ancient
history but in my lifetime I am talking about, appointed some sorry judges, their
friends and anyone. They did not have to talk to anyone. We do not get any
really sorry judges now. Whether we get the very best we can is certainly
debatable, and the best... [End of Side 3, Tape B.] It does not have to be
confirmed by the senate. It does not have to be anything. I get to appoint them,
and that is a very effective thing. Still, I like to get rid of those sorry, better than I
do to seek the giants. We miss a few giants now.

P: So, how do you get rid of the sorry ones?

S: By the judicial selection committee.

P: No, once they are appointed?

S: Oh, you do not. You just have to see. The very few really sorry people like we
were getting prior to those judicial nominating commissions never get on those
judicial nominating commissions. The governor usually does not have his cronies
and friends there so he, too, is looking at their merits. He, too, is trying to select
only from this group, and they have met a test. So, usually, if there are three or
five nominees, the governor will, if he does not get the best one, he will get the
second best or something. They are not bad like they used to be, now. Where I
have trouble, because I supported that and helped get that established with
Reubin, in selling it to Reubin--I did sell it to Reubin, and I helped him implement
it, and, of course, the constitution revision commission that I did not get to pass
on Article V, but we drafted one. Reubin was chairman of the committee, and we
had it in it. Later, it was, for all practical purposes when he was governor,
redrafted by Sandy D'Alemberte [president of ABA & President of FSU,
1994-present] and some other people and put in, just as Reubin and his
committee and my commission had done it. Where we have differences now is
retention elections. I hated elections for judges and thought that they were bad
things, but I do not like retention elections either. Usually, those judges get









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retained, and usually they do not get kicked out. I hate going through raising
money. I hate going through the political process of having supporters, and they
go before that judge and do things. I now would go to some modification of the
federal system where they have lifetime appointments. I probably would give
them long term appointments instead of lifetime, like I may give county judges
ten-year appointments and cannot seek re-election and circuit judges fifteen-year
appointments and cannot seek re-election or some variation of it. I would not
even oppose lifetime, certainly for the Supreme Court, but I would get rid of
retention elections simply because it annoys me. Nobody really cares about who
those judges are enough to make campaign contributions but lawyers. If you look
at a judicial election, you will see that 80 or 90 percent of his contributors are
lawyers, and the other 10 or 15 percent are usually litigants.

P: Or developers.

S: Yes. I mean, they expect to be litigants.

P: And that is a prima facie conflict of interest, is it not?

S: Yes. That is why I am not quite for it so much. I am worrying about it now and
trying to figure out how to do something about it. I have been talking with some
people. This has just evolved with me, mainly since I have been in Dade County.
Retention elections, even in Alachua County, are not bad. In De Soto County, my
old home county, they are not bad at all. Everybody knows everybody, and
money does not matter that much in the elections. Down here, nobody knows
anybody, and the money that lawyers give help them persuade all kinds of
people who do not know anything about it and who are never going to court and
who do not really care about judges very much, but it is important for the county
overall. So, that is why I have changed.

P: Let us go back to something you were getting ready to talk about, the expansion
of your law firm when you merged with Knight in Lakeland. Talk about that.

S: I was going to say, in 1962, the first full year that McRae had left, I noticed that
66 percent of our gross income came from the phosphate industry, and 49
percent of that came from five phosphate companies. We had every phosphate
company. We represented them. I had built up a trade union. I would say that
was what I did in the 1950s. That is how I made the firm. You have to have
money and you have to have business to do the firm. So, 66 percent told us we
had to do something. This is a little exaggeration, but I have told this so many
times __ but I decided that, to be a better law firm, we had to become less
dependent on phosphate companies, that if 49 percent were five [meaning, the
five phosphate companies], that is almost 10 percent of your total business [this
is unclear-- 49% of 66% should yield approximately 33% of the firm's total









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business]. Roughly 50 percent of your income is overhead, and 50 percent is
the profits that the partners divide up and get. So, what would we do if we lost
one of them? It was very important. The overhead still had to be paid, and more
of it would come out of what was left, but at the very least, the 10 percent would
be more than 5 percent of our total gross income that we had if we walked. So, if
they come to you and say, I want this, and you do not think it is ethically proper
or professionally proper or good for the community or somebody else, you have
trouble arguing with them or anything, because they will say, well, screw you; you
do what I want, or I will get me another lawyer. They were very hard to replace. I
looked around and in 1962, in Bartow, there were twenty-nine lawyers. Our firm
had nineteen of them. Of the ten that were not there, five were judges, and there
were five competitors. Now, we did have competitors in Polk County and
Lakeland, which was the biggest city. There were about fifty lawyers. In Winter
Haven, which is as big as Bartow, there were about twenty-five or thirty. In Lake
Wales, there were twelve or fourteen. In Haines City, there were five or six. In
Frost Proof, there were one or two. In Fort Meade, there were one or two. In
Mulberry, there were one or two. But, Bartow was the county seat. As I told
Senator Holland, who I loved and in lots of ways still love, I wanted to expand to
Lakeland. He did not want to expand to Lakeland, for silly reasons that I will not
go into, but we finally decided to expand into Lakeland. We expanded over there
in 1962 after we had done those studies. I then became president of the Florida
Bar. We grew a little over there, and we did better. I remember explaining to
Senator Holland that we represent the Chrysler dealer, we represent the Ford
dealer, and we represent the Chevrolet dealer, there are no more dealers in
Bartow; we represent the Florida National Bank, we represent the Citrus and
Chemical Bank, and there are no more banks in Bartow; we represent Bartow
Federal Savings and Loan, and there are no more savings and loan; and, of the
rich people who are in town here, if there are ten of them, we represent eight or
nine of the richest in town; there are no more people we can get and do, and we
have to go to Lakeland. He did not want to, but we did it. When I came home, it
was worse. We decided that we were doing well in Lakeland. The firm was
getting bigger, and we grew to about thirty-three or thirty-four and somewhere, I
will say around 1967 or 1968, we became the largest firm in the state in number
of lawyers.

P: Now, this is Holland & Knight?

S: Then, it was Holland, Beavis, Smith, Kibbler, & Hall.

P: How did you decide on Holland-Knight, eventually?

S: Well, it is what I was doing. For example, when I became managing partner, I
had done something-and I do not even want to imply, but I had never seen this
anywhere else in the United States-I started listing the lawyers in our firm on our









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letterhead alphabetically instead of by seniority. The reason why is that some of
the young people like Grimes and Kiddleson and Bill Henry were better than
some of the older ones, and I did not want them to have seniority just because
they had been there longer. We were getting to where we made independent
judgements as to capacity and capability. I wanted to change it after we did that.
It worked. But, always in other firms-like we did, and we had about thirty-five
lawyers then-if you brought in a Grimes and a Henry and a Kiddleson into that
thirty-five person firm and they were as talented as they turned out to be, before
long, they would want their name in the firm. That is what happened with Burke
Kibbler. We brought him in, in Lakeland, and he wants his name in the firm. You
let them get in there, and there is always somebody rising up. So, I wanted to get
a permanent name and, again, about the first in the state. Holland was about
seventy-eight years old and was not going to practice anymore and was not
going to run [for elective office] anymore after another year. We had a chance to
go into Tampa and merge with a firm called Knight, Jones, Whitaker, and
Germany, which had ten lawyers in it. Mr. Knight was dead, but his son was still
there. He was getting the most money of anybody out of the firm, but he did not
really practice and he was not really important. So, we suggested that we merge
and we name the firm Holland and Knight, and that the Knight be Mr. Knight who
was dead and who had started the firm, and they agreed to it. We used to have
meetings all the time with the lawyers that they do not have as much [anymore]
but when we decided that, I called Senator Holland in Washington on the
speaker phone, and they were all there, and basically told him that we had
decided on this and that we wanted to give him an opportunity to make any
comment or participate, if he wanted to come home for a meeting. He said, well, I
do not like it. I said, why do you not like it, Senator Holland? He said, well, I like
Mr. Knight; he is kind of like the Pope over there with the Cubans in Tampa, and I
have always needed him and used him in the elections. But, he said, I have
made up my mind. He said, I have put up with you, Chesterfield; I am never
going to practice law in any firm in which your name is not in the firm. Well, I had
all my partners there listening and I said, Senator Holland, we have decided. He
said, well, I am not going to practice in any firm in which your name is not in it. I
said, Senator Holland, where are you going to practice? [Laughter] So, he agreed
finally to do it, and it has been wonderful and beneficial to us. Now, people who
had never heard of any of them, in Boston or New York or Atlanta or somewhere
else, we have no problem about bringing their names in. I think our firm will stay
that name a long time. But, it will not matter. It will not be named after any other
person. If we name it, it might be to appease somebody or do something to get
them to come in there, but it will not be to get anybody's name in the firm who is
living and practicing. There is no way. Other firms have moved to follow us,
eventually, but we started all of that. I started it, really, more than anybody else.


P: Do you regret that it was not Holland, Smith & Knight?









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S: Oh, I do not want to imply that I am modest or do not have some of that but, no, I
was the one who decided it. They all wanted to put my name in it, and I was Mr.
Big in those days, without question. I had totally dominated the phosphate
industry as their lawyer. It was the biggest income. I had been the most active
president of the Florida Bar that they had up to that time, and I had just been
chairman, successfully, of a Constitutional Revision Commission, and I was
active also already in moving in the American Bar Association. So, I could have
gotten my name in it easily, but that is what I wanted to get rid of. There would be
another person just like that. Perhaps, you know that we were the first law firm to
ever have two presidents of the American Bar Association, one which is a
woman. She is not quite president, but she is president-elect.

P: Martha Barnett?

S: Yes. So, we are moving again. If we were going to do names, we certainly ought
to put Martha's name in there.

P: Talk about how you expanded the firm, really, nationwide but mainly in the state
of Florida. And, an interesting concept, when you first started expanding, you did
not have a central headquarters, did you?

S: Well, it was run out of Bartow until 1963 when I moved to Lakeland, as I told you.
The main office was still in Bartow. For example, Kiddleson and Henry and
Grimes all were still in Bartow and, as I told you, they were the three guys who
really, with me, talked and talked and planned and planned and dreamed and
dreamed of the firm. Now, others got into it. Bob Fagen, who just called, got into
it in the 1960s, and Mike Jamieson and Bob Murray, who is dead now, and
Parkhill Mays and a lot of other people who got into it, John Arthur Jones and
John Germany, when we went to Tampa in 1968. So, in many years, it has been
changed, but those were the three who started with me when they were young. I
always still think of them as young. Henry Kiddleson is the youngest, and he is
seventy now, so they are not young. Of course, when I was forty, they were
twenty-six and twenty-seven, and they had just started practicing law. So, I
thought of them as young.

P: Explain how you opened your new, headquarters in different cities. Did you just
open an office, or did you merge with another firm?

S: We have done both. In Lakeland, we opened an office. In Tampa, we merged
with somebody.


P: What about Tallahassee?









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S: We opened an office. In Tampa, we grew it, but it was started with that firm over
there. Going on down, I do not know where next, but we opened offices in
Bradenton, Sarasota, and Fort Myers. We took in lawyers in each of those cities,
but it was not a merger. They were not big offices. They all turned out to be
successful, but they were not really our kind of practice which was bigger things
like phosphate--I mean bigger monies, bigger transactions. They were smaller
transactions, and we decided to close them down, ultimately, all at different
times, Fort Myers first-it has grown bigger and better down there, and we could
have possibly been wrong-Sarasota next and Bradenton last. Then, they
reopened a branch office of St. Petersburg in Bradenton recently but, in general,
we decided they were not. We decided we had to go to Jacksonville and Miami
and Orlando instead of littler cities like that. We eventually closed Bartow. After I
moved down here, we had moved a lot of Bartow into Lakeland. We had opened
a very unique thing that is now done by some other firms but, as far as I know,
never had been done. We put our business office out in the outskirts, in a
building, actually one of those with a rounded roof.

P: Like a Quonset hut?

S: Yes, like a Quonset hut. We went down and paid $5.10 a square foot for rent out
there for years, and we now have...

P: Where is this?

S: It is southwest of Lakeland. We now have about 140 people out there, and they
run the financial end of the business, the personnel end of the business, the
administrative end of the business, like insurance and health care and health
claims, for all of the firms in San Francisco, Boston, New York, and all of Florida.
We started doing it first when we had Tallahassee and Tampa and Bartow and
Lakeland, I think, when we did it, and it has just worked. Most people in a
building like this where you pay $35 or more a square foot for space, they have
their offices like this in the law firms down here. We, of course, were one of the
first law firms that I knew of in the nation that got heavily involved in computers.
The computers required great space. They were massive instruments in those
days. They were not desktop computers like you have now. They were big, big
machines. We still have one over there in the Lakeland office, we started working
on it, and working out of there. I can honestly tell you that I can pick up that
phone and, in three seconds, I can have the San Francisco office. I do not quite
understand the telephone system, but I can get it and I can talk to anybody in
San Francisco on that phone in three seconds, as quick as I can talk to anybody
in Fort Lauderdale. We do all of that. We also have telescreens where we can
communicate between people, and we use that office to run everything out there
that can be run. Now, there has to be a little liaison in business in each office, but
we do not have all of that thing. We do not have anything done.









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P: So, all the billable hours go there as well?

S: All financing, all billings, all collections, all employee problems and matters.

P: So, in that sense, you do not have any profit centers. Nobody is really competing
against anybody else.

S: We have one profit center, and that is the greatest thing that most people say is
unique about our firm. While we have to recognize that a lawyer, if you could
ever identify one of equal skill and attractiveness and ability and productivity, in
New York makes more than a lawyer in Tampa, of the same thing. We still use
one profit center, and we have an involved scheme that allows the executive
partner-I was for many years-the right to finally decide compensation after the
profits are in. While everybody has a certain guaranteed compensation, which is
roughly equivalent to 70 percent of last year (so that you will know you have
something coming, real profit), sometimes, if last year was a great year and you
were the one who made it a great year or something, you might have 200
percent of last year, or 150 percent, but everybody gets at least 70 percent.

P: Is it based on billable hours? How do you determine [compensation]?

S: Collections of money, more than anything, and billable hours are what lead to
that, but there can be other things and other ways. We have other ways of
getting money. You can have a client for a fixed fee, or you can have a client for
a contingent fee or anything else for it. So, it is all money. You have records that
show what each person generated and brought in and what they contributed to it
and who else contributed to it. You allocate it. It is arbitrary to some extent but
based on a lot of records and a lot of expenses. We have a managing partner,
the guy who has the job I used to have, Bill McBride in Tampa. He is in New
York today. He is finally just gone through two totally harrowing weeks of dividing
up money, working sixteen to eighteen hours a day, and they are distributing it
today.

P: Well, they will be happy today.

S: They will know tomorrow what they got.

P: What would you do, for example, the year you were president of the ABA? How
would they compensate you?

S: Back in those days, I was the managing partner, and I was the dominant
managing partner in that I had hired most everybody else. Nowadays, some of
them who I hired, or who other people hired, are here and doing those things. A
lot of them were merged and brought in. There are all kinds of ways. But, I









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usually just never have worried very much about money. I did not have high living
expenses in Bartow or otherwise. Usually, when I was gone [as ABA President], I
would be arbitrary if there was a shortage of money, and we never had but one
down year. In 1990, there was 3 percent less than the year before. That is the
only down year we have ever had. I would take what I made the year before or
something, but I was only gone, roughly, two and a half years. A lot of that, you
have opportunities to do other things and generate other things.

P: Get more business?

S: Yes, get more business, and you can make all kinds of contributions. I did not
practice law while I was ABA president. I did practice while I was Florida Bar
president, but a great deal of my practice was done at night. I would do Bar work
in the daytime.

P: Explain why you decided to move to Miami.

S: All right. When I came home from the Bar, I do not want to use the word fortunate
but I will say, because I was so extremely well-known when I was ABA president
because of the Saturday Night Massacre [a reference to President Richard
Nixon's 1973 firing of the Watergate Special Prosecutor, which provoked the
resignations of Justice Department officials] in the Nixon impeachment, I was
uniquely known all over the United States for an American Bar Association
president. We had a developing legal profession also that a lot of the present
practices were being followed, and we had several opportunities to merge with
national firms or to become important in national firms and for me to be head of
national firms and things like that, not totally national, but beginning. This was
just beginning, when they had not done anything out of their state ever before.
We spent a lot of time talking about it. We used to have one all day Saturday
meeting every month, and we spent several Saturdays talking about whether we
wanted to go [national]. The firm was awful close to evenly divided; that is, about
half of them wanted to experiment and go outside the state and try to build a
national practice, and the other half said, well, hell, we are mainly here in the
Tampa Bay area and Polk County and Tampa and Tallahassee, so we ought to
expand but we ought to do it in Florida. We negotiated and the major firm we
spent a great amount of time on was a firm of a close friend of mine which had
started in Omaha, Nebraska, named Cue, Peck, Rock. Their national practice, to
some extent, was based upon the first expanding national bond practice. They
did municipal financing and state financing all over everywhere, and they had
offices in Omaha and then they opened offices in Denver and Minneapolis and
Washington. Then, they went to New York and Atlanta, and that is when we were
talking to them. They were not quite as big as us but were almost as big. We, by
that time, were maybe 140, and they were about 100.









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P: You were still, by far, the biggest firm in Florida?


S: In the state, yes. But, we talked on those Saturdays, and we went through it all,
eventually, really worrying about it and having a lot of meetings. We had some
weekends in which we would bring their partners down to meet with our partners
or our partners would go up there to meet with theirs. We almost saw a complete
reversal in the firm, and that is that most of those who were opposed to going
national changed over and wanted to go national, and most of those who had
wanted to go national changed over and decided they ought to expand in Florida.
There was a lot of argument about some of the things, the geography and control
of people by discipline and by ethics and responsibility. But we finally--on the
basis that if we stayed in Florida, all of us had the same rules for admission and
we had all the same rules for practice, we had all the same continuing legal
education requirements and we had the knowledge that we would be governed
and disciplined the same, and it would not be different in each state, so we
decided to stay in the state. In a general sort of way, while some had wanted to
go very much into those other states, we seemed finally pretty well settled on
that. That was in 1978 and 1979. We had decided that we were going to stay in
the state-we were along the west coast by then, Fort Myers, Sarasota,
Bradenton, Tampa, and up to Tallahassee-and that we needed to get down to
southeast Florida. We were the largest firm in the state, but we were not in the
largest legal market in the state. In fact, in those days up until that time, the
largest law firms in the state had not been in Miami. They had been in
Jacksonville and Tampa, though they were moving a little into Miami finally and
getting bigger. We came down here, and I had friend named Bill Colson who
advised me. He had been a trial lawyer down here. And I went to see, first, we
picked out Steele, Hector & Davis. Probably why we picked them, most of all,
was that they represented Florida Power and Light, and they represented
Southeastern National Bank, which had been the First National Bank of Miami. It
became Southeast Bank, ultimately, and is over here where the First Union is
now. Southeast went bankrupt, erroneously. But, I came down and talked to the
three people: Louis Hector, who had been a Rhodes Scholar, but he was
between McRae's age and mine; John Edward Smith, a wonderful lawyer who
died last year who had worked for us in Lakeland, and he was a University of
Florida graduate; and Bill (I cannot even say his name), he was a young lawyer
who Roy Collins had made chairman of his state road department. They were the
management committee down here. We came down, and I think we had
ninety-eight lawyers at that time. They had something like twenty-four, and they
felt like we had come to eat them or something, that we were devouring. They
were just scared to death when we offered to merge with them and take over.
They had never had anything much like that in Florida. We told them all that we
were doing. We told them all about our system of only hiring in the top 5 percent
of the graduates of law school. They were a tremendous force. They made more









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money per lawyer than we did because they were down here. But, they did not
do anything like that. They did not talk about growth. They did not know anything,
and they had those tremendous clients. In about a week or ten days, they had
talked and talked and talked. I had two or three good friends in there besides
John Edward Smith. Sandy D'Alemberte wanted to merge with us, and he was in
there. But, they called and said, no, they did not want to do it. So then, Colson
sent us to the largest firm down here, which was not near as strong as Steele,
Hector, & Davis, [which was] Shutts and Bowen. As an aside, I might mention
that Steele, Hector, & Davis immediately listened to everything we had said and
adopted it. They revolutionized themselves. They started competing for the best
students in all the state law schools. We would see them go to Florida and go
after the same ones we had. They learned a lot from us, but they did not do it.
We negotiated with Shutts and Bowen for about six months, and it was a lot of
negotiations. They had, roughly, fifty lawyers, and we had ninety-six or
ninety-eight lawyers. They had fifty lawyers in Miami and about fourteen in Palm
Beach, and they were the largest firm here. We used to meet every Saturday and
talk. We agreed on a merger, the two committees did, and we had to take it to
our partners. We were meeting in our office in Lakeland, all of our partners from
Tampa and the other places around Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Tallahassee. We
were meeting there discussing it when I got a telephone call from the Shutts
Bowen chairman, who was a lawyer from Palm Beach. He said, I have great
news; we have approved the merger. He said, I thought you would want to know;
they told me you were not through yet, but how are you coming? I said, well, it
looks good to me; we are debating it and going along, and I am really glad to get
that news; tell me a little about it. He said, well, we debated and argued a great
deal, and there is a lot of fear that you will totally control things and we will not
have anything to say about it, but we finally decided to do it. He said, but it was a
good close vote; we only have twenty-one partners and twenty-eight non-partner
lawyers who did not get to vote--they were participants, however. He said, the
vote was thirteen in favor, eight against it. I said, good God, what do you mean
eight against it? He said, well, eight voted not to do it. I said, we do not want a
merger with eight partners out of twenty-one who do not want to be with us, who
are not part of it; they will leave or do something else, and we are not interested
in that at all. He said, well, I cannot change the vote; that is what it was. But, he
said, I did not know you would feel that way. I said, well, that is the way I feel; let
me see about my partners. I told my partners, and they agreed. So, we had six
months of work, and they agreed that night to terminate discussions with them.
So, the third firm that my friend down here, Bill Colson, recommended we talk to
was Smathers and Thompson. George Smathers, for eighteen years, had been
a junior [United States] senator to Holland, and he had been my friend at the
University of Florida. When he ran for senator against Claude Pepper [1950],
well, I like Claude Pepper, personally, very much, but I supported George and
spoke for him around the state some. I called George and told him, George, how
would a merged law firm named Holland and Smathers sound to you? He said,









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gosh, I would like that! I said, well, I want to come down and talk about it; any
possibility of merger? He said, I really am not involved in day by day
management in any way. Of course, he was a United States senator, and he was
the senior person in the firm. He said, I will talk to you, and I will get Cromwell
Anderson, the managing partner. I said, well, this is Monday, and we will be
down on Wednesday, and he said, all right. We went down there, and we met,
we talked, got along good. They had some differences. All of their offices were
here, and they had a small office in Washington and their compensation was
higher than our compensation for similar type people, but we decided to hire
Arthur Anderson [Accounting Firm] to help us and consult with us about terms,
and they did. In about two to three weeks, we reached an agreement to merge
and, again, had to take it to our respective partners. We agreed to do it on that
next Saturday. We were home debating it, and it was going along pretty well in
our firm in Lakeland when I got a call. He said, Chesterfield, this is George. I
said, yes? He said, I want to come up to see you tomorrow. I said, what do you
mean come to see me tomorrow? That is Sunday. He said, well, I just need to
come see you. I said, why? He said, well, I want to join your firm, and I want to
have a place to practice. I said, what happened? He said, when we talked to the
firm down there, Cromwell Anderson and I presented it and told what Arthur
Anderson recommended, but we had not talked to the partners about it and they
got mad as hell and said we did not have any right to be negotiating to merge
them without them knowing about it, and said, they kicked us both out of the firm.
I said, they kicked out the senior member and the managing partner? He said,
yes, and I want to come see you. I said, George, I cannot see you tomorrow; I
have to go to court, but if you will come up here Thursday, I will see you. He said,
I want to come. Well, I went in and told everybody else, and we disbanded. There
was not anything else left to do.

P: I would have gotten pretty discouraged after this.


S: I know it. On Wednesday, George called me up and said, they have agreed to
take me back in, so I will not come in there. But, he said, Cromwell, the
managing partner, they thought he had a bigger obligation than I did to tell them,
and they are not going to let him back in. And he never has been back in yet. He
is still never over there. But, after we did that, well, I got discouraged. That is
when I decided to come down here in a simple sort of way. I rented an apartment
in Coral Gables, and I was going to study and look at it and see what we wanted
to do and try to devise it. Again, I will say, at that time, I was extremely
well-known. I had just been president of the ABA during Watergate, and I had
been president of the Florida Bar doing the constitutional revision as chairman of
that. So, I knew everybody down here, a lot, scads of people. I thought I would
look into it. I came down here, and we got that apartment. We started looking.
We found a little firm of ten lawyers in Coral Gables with four in Fort Lauderdale.









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We started talking merger with them, and we reached a merger then. Their name
was Glass, Schultz, Weinstein, & Moss. Glass and Weinstein and Moss are
still significant and with us. Most of the other lawyers eventually faded away, the
younger ones, and did not do it. But, we came down here and I noticed as we
were trying to build, we were talking about that was the first step. I started to
build, and the furniture in that rented apartment was not such that you could
entertain big people and be somebody in the business and social life, so I told
her to get a better house. She started looking at them, and she looked in lots of
places, mainly in Coral Gables. She found old houses that she wanted to
remodel and I said, no, we may not be here but six months or a year while we
are trying to decide what to do. I was still doing phosphate. I was still flying all the
time. I was here, roughly, one week out of two, and she would be here both
weeks. So she said she would look some more, and she went to a house that we
live in now, kind of a small house. She was a southern girl from Arcadia. It was a
little house that had lots of virtues, even now. It had big space for entertaining. All
of the lawn was patios and no lawns to mow. But, most of all, the ceilings in the
rooms were eighteen feet high. It had been built by a classmate of mine and his
wife, Jack Orr, who was later mayor here. He was a law school classmate. I
knew when we walked in, I told the Realtor (whom I liked), I am in trouble; she
will like this house because of these high ceilings. That is what southern girls like.
Within seven or eight minutes-she went off and I stayed up there with him-she
came back and said, Chesterfield, and I said, yes, honey? She said, I want this
house. I said, well, I am not surprised; I knew you would kind of like parts of it,
but what do you mean you want it? She said, I want to buy this house. I said,
honey, I am only a lawyer; I make good money more than we thought I would,
but it is still not rich; we have a lovely home in Bartow; we spent a great amount
of money remodeling it three years ago; we have three and a half acres of
beautiful land around it; it is one of the finest homes up there; I cannot afford two
homes! And she said, I am not dumb! I know that; I do not want that one; I want
this one! That is why I really moved down here. I had decided to come down
here until I got it straightened out, but when she bought that house, I moved
down here and we just kept growing. [End of Side 4, Tape B.] I was still
traveling and, in many ways, I had a lot better life traveling out of Miami than I did
out of Bartow. It took me an hour to drive to the airport from Bartow to Tampa, or
it took me an hour and fifteen minutes to drive to Orlando to the airport. Down
here, I could be there in ten minutes. I sometimes would get on an airplane three
times a week. I mean, I would go away all day to Tallahassee and come back
that night or something. So, I did not mind it as much and, of course, the potential
was so great down here. I gave an interview to the American Lawyer when I
came down here, in which I stated that we had decided that we were the largest
law firm in Florida, but we had decided to grow much larger and much more
specialized. This was the largest legal market, and I was going to build a big
office down here and I said, I expect to have sixty-five lawyers here in two years.
There was a local lawyer who you may know. He lives here, and his name is









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Danny Paul. He was the guy who drafted the constitutional charter for
Miami-Dade that made them separate and different. Well, he was a snot who did
not like me, really, very much, and he was quoted in the American Lawyer to
have said, if Holland & Knight has sixty-five lawyers in two years, it will be only
because they discovered phosphate in the Everglades. Then, nineteen months
later, I sent him a telegram and said, Holland & Knight has found phosphate in
the Everglades, and we now have seventy-four lawyers in the Miami office. We
started growing and doing, and we decided to keep going. We opened the
Orlando office in 1983, which is the year I quit running the firm.

P: By the way, why did you decide to do that?

S: Among other things, I was sixty-five, and I had run the firm for a very long time.
Other people were getting older, and I just thought nobody should keep running
the firm forever, and it was a very aggressive thing, so I quit. They were all
surprised, frankly. They thought I would not quit. They thought I wanted to do it,
to keep on. I was not mad or tired, and I have continued to be actively involved,
but I do not go to meetings and I do not participate in votes or decisions. I do
influence them, and I know that. The managing partner now was a student at the
University of Florida when I became president of the American Bar Association. I
asked Dick Julan, the dean, and he recommended three guys whom I
interviewed. I added a fourth one who is now the ambassador to the Court of St.
James in England, named Paul Roney, whom a federal judge from St.
Petersburg had as a law clerk, and he recommended me to him. But, I selected
McBride to be my assistant. He got involved in management in the firm when he
traveled and lived with me for three years. Then, he came home and, roughly, six
or seven years after that, he became the manager of the Tampa office. Then, he
got elected on a management committee that they created to succeed me in
time. I started with Bob Fagen, but he added people and made a management
committee. Eventually, I felt that it was a disaster and not working.

P: Is this the three-person management committee?

S: Yes.

P: And that just did not work very well?

S: It did not work. They were doing all kinds of things like, well, you do what you
want to in Tampa, and we will do what we want to in Miami. The one profit center
was breaking down, and all of those kinds of things. So, they created a
management committee, and McBride got elected to that, and that was not
working. They were some of our best lawyers on those management committees,
year after year, but they were arguing. Finally, I got tired of it. I had not been to a
meeting in over seven years, in 1991 I think it was, and I wrote a note to all the









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partners in the firm and said that I had not been participating in management
then for a long time but that I was very disgusted and annoyed at the
management committee, and I wanted to abolish it, that I had suggested it to
them and they had said no, so I wanted to call a meeting of all the partners to
discuss it and to hear my views to see what would happen. The management
committee took the position that I was not a Class B partner anymore, which was
a stockholder, so I could not call a meeting and that they were opposed to any
tampering with the present system. I wrote another letter back and said, well,
whether I can call a meeting or not, I do not know, but whether you come to it or
not, it is up to you; I am going to have the meeting, and I invite you to come; they
say I have no authority, but they cannot keep you from coming, and I ask you to.
100 percent of them came, including the management committee. They read a
little statement in which they said I have no authority anymore, and that no official
action could be taken. But, it did (and very clearly did) require to change that
system 80 percent approval of the partners. So, we agreed, and I spoke for about
thirty minutes. Nobody else much spoke. Some members of the management
committee spoke little things, like we have spent a great deal of time on this, and
we oppose it. That was about all. We voted, and I got 93 percent of the vote. The
management committee were the main ones who voted against it. So, we went
back to the old system that I had when I was in charge, and they had a contested
election. McBride won it, and we provided in the new one that he would hold
office for five years and could be re-elected. He has been re-elected once, and
he has two more years to serve. He is worrying now. I think he is fifty-four, he
could be fifty-five. He thinks, maybe, he would like to have one more career
before his life is over so, obviously, he does not have much time. He has another
year and a half to two years to serve, and we are having rumblings and debates.
This is the first time that half the lawyers have lived outside the state, or more
than half, or slightly. Less than ten more than half are out of the state.

P: Talk about that. When did you decide to move to San Francisco and Washington
and Atlanta and New York? How did that come about?

S: Well, we went to Washington while I was still managing partner. We decided to
go, and I merged with a small firm up there and sent some Florida lawyers up
there. We had twenty-three lawyers up there, and it never did work very well. It
did not work very bad. It was not a big loss to us, but it was just that we did not
amount to anybody. We were not somebody in the Bar. People did not know us
or talk about us as being a leader or anything else. We went up there in 1982.

P: Is this Pope, Ballard, & Louis?


S: Yes. We merged with them. Their lawyers were past their prime. They were a
little old, with one or two exceptions, and it just did not work out very much. We









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oozed down, oozed down, and oozed down. We would keep adding lawyers, but
they would still ooze down. We went from twenty-three to twenty to seventeen to
fourteen to eleven. When McBride won this election, after I had abolished the
management executive committee, he came to me right after he had been
elected in 1992, and he asked me if I would go up to Washington and take over
and build that office to where it was a really significant office. We had a lot of
talks about it but I told him, basically, I was about seventy-five and I would go,
but--I realized that it was no longer like it used to be, but I was not going to
operate any different and that I wanted the rule, and the partnership to vote on it,
that anything I decided to do up there I could do unless the partners, in a vote by
a majority, disagreed. He could bring up anything he thought they ought to
decide on, but that if they turned me down, I was coming home. I was going to
either be in charge or not be in charge. I went up there and stayed thirteen
months. When I went up there, there were seven lawyers. I thought two of them
were no good and ought to go. Then, we had five lawyers. I spent the first three
months up there trying to figure out what to do, somewhat like Miami. I talked to
all my friends in big law firms up there and worked it. Eventually, and I had tried
several other things, I started building with a few laterals, and I brought the five
up to about eighteen or twenty. Then, I got a chance to merge with a law firm,
Dunells & Duvall, which had lost two main lawyers. One of them was Bob
Bennett [attorney for President Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones lawsuit], who went
with Scad & Arps, which was a very hot firm. The other one was Arnold, who
was hot, hot, hot in real estate along the Dulles Parkway where they built, kind of,
a second tier to Silicon Valley out there. He went with Arnold & Porter (he was
not the Arnold in Arnold & Porter). But, they had a forty person law firm left. Their
two primary areas of expertise were public housing and government contracts.
They were weak in most every other thing, but they were strong in those. We
talked and negotiated, and they finally agreed to merge with us. I kept adding
some laterals and brought in some more lawyers up from Florida so that when
we merged, we had the same number of partners in the Holland & Knight office
up there that they had in Dunells & Duval, which was the name of the firm, but
they had nine more lawyers than we had. They had more associates. They had,
roughly, forty, and we had, roughly, thirty by the time we merged. So, we had a
seventy-person law firm, and I stayed three more months. We added and made it
about ninety, and I came home. It is now the largest office in the firm with,
roughly, 160. That was how that firm got there. That was during Bill [McBride's]
administration. At the same time, we had been talking and looking for a long time
at a law firm in Atlanta. Bill and a senior partner in Tampa named John Germany
took in a small firm in Atlanta. It was mainly a trial firm, but the senior guy in the
firm had been to Harvard Law School with Germany in the late 1940s. In 1950,
they graduated. His daughter was president of the Lawyers' Club of Atlanta,
which was kind of an elite bar association that they had up there. Then, her
husband was president of the state bar of Georgia. They just had five lawyers,









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and they were two of them, and they needed help because they had those jobs.
We took them in, and we started building that Atlanta law firm. Everybody in the
firm has contributed some. It probably needs more work than any other office we
have in the firm still. It has about seventy or eighty lawyers now, but it is still not
as strong compared to the other law firms in the city as we are in most every
other city we are in. That is how we got to there. Then, Bill came in and he
negotiated. He knew he wanted to go to New York and Boston. He negotiated
with two old firms, and we got into those areas. We talked to people in other
cities, like Philadelphia and Detroit and Chicago and Texas, but we all agreed
that if you are going to be a national law firm, as we had decided to be by then,
you have to go to New York. He merged with an old law firm, 170 years old,
roughly, Haight, Gardner, Poor, & Pavens, whose work was almost exclusively
admiralty but who had developed a burgeoning specialty that was perhaps now
20 percent of their business and hopes for the future of aviation, which was not
unlike admiralty, as aviation became more and more important. That office still
needs some work done on it, too. We are trying to make it into full service.

P: When you merge, do you change stock or money? How do you...?

S: We are a partnership.

P: It is just a partnership? Okay, so you do not really take over.

S: We give them credits. Their investment in the partnership is just like ours, and we
agree on the amount and put it in there. Sometimes, we pay money or do money.
We give them what their equity is worth if we take over, from physical assets to
work in progress or anything of the sort.

P: What was your view on moving to Mexico City.

S: I was not heavily involved in it. I think the main reason we went down there is, we
had some really good contacts with some really superior people. They were
looking for a merger partner perhaps more than we were, and they merged. I was
not opposed to it in any way. I was not much of a part of it. I went down there
with three or four others to consummate the deal at the opening of the thing, but
it was not either me or my idea.

P: Was it a good idea?

S: Yes. I think I would not have gone down there if that was all we were going to do,
but I think it will be a splendid office and might someday be one of the best
offices that we have anywhere. We have tentatively decided but not
implemented, and I am working on it now, to make Texas, as far as Holland &
Knight is concerned, look like Florida and California. We are working on what we









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are going to do. We have a fine office that we do not have to worry much about,
though it is still relatively new, in Boston, and we have a growing office in the
Washington area, in northern Virginia and Baltimore, and we are talking about
that corridor. We have agreed on a merger with a Chicago firm that is not
very big, but you cannot put it down yet Fbecausel we are not publicly
announced. We will, probably, be by February 1. The biggest problems facing a
law firm like us are conflicts, especially [in a firm like] our firm where our biggest
single area of practice is litigation. If you represent Ford Motor Company, we will
say, they are in every place and every place and into it. So, you have a conflict. If
you sue them, you cannot represent some other people who are suing them in
other cities, where you are not and everywhere else. Conflicts are horrible things
for us. You have to be loyal to clients, and you cannot just be loyal to them in that
particular case. If you are their lawyer in one case, you cannot sue them
anywhere else in the world. So, we have some big conflicts. This was primarily a
forty-five person litigation firm. Litigation firms are the worst on conflicts. When
you have some things like admiralty, we had very few conflicts in New York. We
have very few contacts in some cities that we have been to because they do not
do a lot of litigation. If they do a lot of litigation, it is bad. But, you could have
conflicts if you did real property. If you represented some big developer, like that
one in Dallas who has office buildings all over the world, Trammel Crow, who we
represent, you are always in conflict. You cannot have somebody else who is
competing for another transaction, and it is hell.

P: How big is the firm now? How many lawyers and how many offices?

S: I do not know, to be absolutely accurate, but approximately twenty in the United
States and four overseas and, roughly, if you count the Chicago lawyers (where
we both agreed on a merger if we can eliminate those conflicts, get them waived
or be willing to give up the cases, [where] the client has to be willing for us
[because] we have a professional obligation to carry out the assignment once we
have taken it, so it is hard to do [and] we spend endless time on it. If we do that,
we would have, roughly, 1000.

P: What are the advantages and disadvantages of a huge firm? You have already
mentioned one of the disadvantages-litigations-conflicts. What would be the
major advantages of having all these lawyers in all these different places?

S: Stability. We have offices that have ups and downs, but the firm has never had
ups and downs. So, if Miami is not doing well in a particular year, maybe New
York and Boston are. If Boston is not doing well, maybe Orlando and Tampa are.
I told you we only had one year in which we were down 3 percent from the year
before and all the rest, it is been up.









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P: Are there cost savings by having all of these offices?
S: Sure. The problem of conflicts is tremendous, but: one, reputation is where you
get your clients; contacts is where you get your clients, and publicity results.
Already, people know our firm who, fifteen years ago, had never heard of it, all
over the country.

P: Also, you get national clients, like Marriott for example, that you might not have
had?

S: Oh yes. We have numerous ones in which we have national partnerships. We
are now making national presentations to clients in which we take a bundle of
lawyers and go to a general counsel and say, we know you are not interested
right now in intellectual property, you are not interested in employee
discrimination lawsuits, you are not interested in land, you are not interested in
corporate stocks and the issuance or anything else, but we brought somebody
from each of those things in case you get interested in them in the future. All you
really want from us right now is litigation, which we have been doing for you for a
long time, but we wanted you to know these other things. We are full service.
And they will listen, and we will get hired.

P: Because you can do anything. You can cover any category.

S: Because we are full service. Well, there are obviously some differences in our
capacity to do some things, like there may be better bankruptcy firms in the
world-I am not sure there are-and there may be intellectual property firms, but
we are doing things that are trying to advance our capacities in all kinds of ways.

P: How big can the firm get? How big should it get?

S: I have predicted to the firm, and there are others who think like I do but none of
them have orally stated it to the firm as a whole, I recently stated that I think by
the year 2005 to 2006, we will have 3000 lawyers.

P: Will that be the largest firm in America at that point?

S: Well, it would be now. I do not know whether it will be then, but I will say that I
doubt it. I think there will be ten firms of more than 2000 lawyers in America by
the year 2010, and they may have some as big as 5000 lawyers.

P: So, the legal profession is going like the corporate world?

S: Yes. Big, big, big. When we started, as I told you, and I mean in my lifetime, the
largest law firm in the country had, like, 180 lawyers in it or something. We now
have five times that much plus.









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P: Another area that you have been very important in, in developing, and I think
both as your term as president of ABA and the Florida Bar and with the firm, you
have consistently required and emphasized pro bono work. Talk a little bit how
that developed and why that is so important.

S: I think lawyers, to have their monopoly, have to realize that if there is a need and
they do not fill it, nobody can fill it, or they cannot have a monopoly like they have
on the practice of law, the representation of people and such things. So, I have
recognized that all people, if the public is to grant the monopoly as they have,
that is, through their government, they are all entitled to unique services that are
required for everybody that they cannot get from anybody else except lawyers. If
they cannot do them, there are numerous kinds of ways it can be done, but they
basically have to be done by somebody. I think the lawyers benefit from the
monopoly. They have a profession they would not have and if they can give
something back, they ought to. Pro bono is just a word that means that charitable
obligation by lawyers is met in a methodical and reasoned way. For example, we
handle big cases, sometimes, pro bono that no one lawyer, including us, could
afford to do. But, we have 1000 lawyers. If another law firm is asked and has
three lawyers, obviously, if we give the same amount that they give, we can
handle a case, right off, that is 300 or 400 times more extensive than theirs. It
involves time and effort. So, we do pro bono work to get lawyers to participate
sometimes in larger matters. Those are the ones they usually call pro bono. Of
course, it drifts down to where a practitioner sometimes uses the words pro bono
to mean that he did not charge anything. But, when we are talking about a pro
bono unit, we have some lawyers in our headquarters right now, in Tallahassee,
who do nothing but pro bono work. They do not charge for any kind of work. They
do not do it, so they can give full time to it, and they decide what cases they will
handle like that. They put out an analysis of it with its pros and cons of why these
people need help, what kind of help they need, and why we should do it. They
make an estimate of the economic cost to us, and they give a ten-day letter in
which everybody gets to comment on it to the pro bono guy. He takes those
comments, ultimately, if there are any doubts about it, he either turns it down or
takes it to the managing partner who can decide whether we will take it or not.
Some of those things involve all kinds of issues. For example, do we want to get
involved. We are heavily involved right now in the death penalty issue.

P: The electric chair?

S: Yes, and other things. There might be some people who do not agree with that in
the firm, and there probably were. In the ten-day letter, they got to express their
views, but they probably got overridden. If it were 50 percent, they would not get
overridden. If it is 15 percent, they may get overridden.









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P: I seem to remember, we have a good interview with Martha Barnett, and she was
involved in one of these issues. I cannot remember whether it was Freddy Pitts
and the compensation he got?

S: No, she was in Rosewood.

P: Rosewood, that is it, yes.

S: Steve Handlin is head of the pro bono department, and he got Martha heavily
involved because, in many ways, the ultimate pro bono activity there was a
lobbying effort with the legislature, not a litigation in court. Martha, while she does
some litigation, is not a litigator as such. Most pro bono is litigation, but she got
heavily involved because they were trying to get the legislature to admit the
wrong and to compensate some of the survivors, in a minor way, for the harm
that they had suffered, or that their predecessors had suffered.

P: So, that would be a good example of that kind of pro bono activity?

S: Yes. We do all kinds of pro bono activity, and we make undertake pro bono
activity by any set of lawyers that we have in the firm. It could be under the
guidance and direction of Handlin. He does not just use the people in his pro
bono department. Then, we have pro bono cases, like whether the state
adequately treats mental patients.

P: That was an issue for you when you were president of the ABA, was it not, how
to help?

S: I do not remember. I had a lot of issues.

P: Well, that was a good one. How about in the firm's hiring? Obviously, at some
point, you very specifically targeted women and minorities. How did you go about
that process?

S: Well, it was not easy. In 1969, again, on our Saturday meetings, [which] we used
to have in our Lakeland office because we had a huge conference room in those
days (now, it is not quite so big; it is the same room, but everybody has gotten
bigger conference rooms in the interim), we used to have firm meetings to
discuss issues once a month. As chairman of the firm, I raised the issue as to
whether the firm should permit any more lawyers to go to segregated facilities
and to spend firm money on entertainment, whether they should get the firm
checks if they took somebody to a restaurant that barred African-Americans. In
those days, we called them Negroes. We debated all one Saturday, until the time
ran out-they usually were about six hour meetings-and we terminated it, and we
scheduled for the following month again. In that month, I worried about it some









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more, and I decided to enlarge it. At that time, we were only talking about
spending money in segregated places. We had in our building in Tampa, which
was a building owned by the bank that was our biggest client in Tampa, the
Exchange National Bank, on top of that building was the Tampa Club. It had
been formed by the Tampa people about seven or eight years before that. One of
my dearest partners and one of my dearest friends, John Germany, and other
senior people in the Tampa office who had helped form the club which was right
upstairs, used all kind of arguments, like if we have to go out of the building and
walk and get in the car and go to a restaurant or something, it takes us thirty
minutes more than it does to go up one flight to go up to the Tampa Club. We
started it. I was the first president. They were my friends. I voted against any
segregation and told them that I did, but I lost the vote. I am going to keep trying
to fight to make it non-segregated, but, if you bar me from going up there from
my club that I started and was the first president, I just cannot do that. So, we
changed it to the second Saturday to vote whether we were opposed to
segregation in all of its factors and would we actively try to become a diversified
firm in which all segments of mankind were represented. Again, about six hours,
but we won that time. John Germany, eventually, because of the whole
implication, said all right, he would get out of his club. He said he was willing to
go along with it and he thought we ought to do it. But, it was very hard. That was
1969. The first woman, who was hired while I was president of the ABA, was
Martha Barnett, and that was in 1973, four years later. The first African-American
was hired in 1981. That was Marilyn Hollyfield. Both of them are great
successes today, but both of them look back with horror on their beginning days.
They could not get clients, and nobody in the firm would give them clients or get
clients. They both loved me unlimitedly because I did. I helped them get clients,
and nobody else would give them clients. Martha, right now, if she has a fault, it
is that she loves clients so that she will not give them up to go do the duties she
has full time as president of the American Bar Association. I am fussing at her. I
do not think it is going to win. She cannot quite forget how hard it was to get
them, and she did not get them quite as fast as Marilyn even though she came
seven years sooner than Marilyn.

P: I remember Martha in her interview telling a story. When she first came to work
for the firm, she got a bad evaluation and she came in and sort of cried to you,
and you sort of took her under your wing and coached her and helped her. She
has never forgotten that.

S: That was true, but the evaluations were not to criticize anybody. They were to
help them and point out things they needed to work on and go. They did not say
anything except ways to help her, but she did not like to be criticized and not be
perfect. She cried and everybody said, well, she is a woman; they all do that, you
know? Eventually, they found out that they do not all do that. A lot of other
things. Martha did not tell you this story but, before I came home from the ABA (it









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had already happened), in addition to that where she was evaluated, her
husband was in Vietnam. He is an architect. One day, totally unexpected, she got
a wire that he was in Honolulu on R & R, and he had thirty days; meet me in New
York tomorrow night, Saturday night; we are going to Europe to stay that thirty
days out of Vietnam. Well, it happened to be-again, you know enough about
this-the Georgia-Florida day. This was back in the 1970s, and all of the damn
Gator partners in the Lakeland office had gone to Jacksonville for the game
Friday afternoon, and she could not even find anybody to give her work to. She
had to meet her husband Saturday to go to Europe on Sunday, and she was not
going to see--she wrote a bunch of memorandums and left it for people, turned
over all her work, and did not get permission from anybody and went to Europe.
Because of the Vietnam War, most people were willing to excuse that, but--she
came home pregnant! Everybody said, women; goddamn women. She was the
first woman in there. She takes off, and she comes home pregnant. Now, she
has to have this baby, you know, and so on. So, it was tough, some of those
things. They are no longer problems, but they were talking about that, that she
was pregnant, when I came home from the ABA. Burke Kibbler, who had hired
her as the hiring partner, thought that she was having all this trouble and said,
she ought to work for me [Smith]. He said, there is a 50 percent chance that you
will like him as good as anybody in the world, and said, there is a 50 percent
chance that you will hate him more than anybody in the world, and, do you want
to do it? She said, she would try. She does not tell about the pregnancy and
those things.

P: I would not think so. This was an all male profession, basically, was it not?

S: White.

P: And white, yes.

S: And most of it old Floridians, the Gators. The first fourteen lawyers we had in the
firm were Gators.

P: The attitude had to be very defensive about any change.

S: It was all over the state. It was not us alone but, certainly, we were like the rest. It
was hard. I told you we had those two debates on whether to hire African
Americans. Now, the reason for that, and you ought to understand this, it was not
the firm. They had debated it, and they had reached a resolution. We made
offers to about, I have estimated, forty. I do not know how many, but they turned
us down. They did not like Tampa. Tampa is an old southern city. They would
have come to Miami, maybe, more. We did not have a Miami. But, they got good
offers. If they were an affirmative action Harvard law graduate, they got
affirmative action from Boston or New York or Washington or Chicago firms, and









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they wanted to go there, not Tampa. So, we would make them an offer to come,
and they would say no. They were turning us down for years. We affirmatively
approved about forty in those eleven years, about four a year, and they turned us
down.

P: That is a pretty significant number.

S: It helped some for them to turn us down. I mean, it helped people get a little
better.

P: This concludes the interview for January 14.

We are in Miami, and this is March 9, 2000, part two with Chesterfield Smith.
Let's talk about your work as chairman of the Florida Constitutional Revision
Commission in 1968. Who appointed you to that job, and why did you take it?

S: I was president of the Florida Bar in 1964-1965. In the 1965 legislature, the
Florida Bar sponsored the creation of a statutory constitutional revision
commission charged with studying the entire Florida constitution and redrafting a
total[ly] new constitution. The Commission was however, not constitutionally
created, but was by statute, and it was to report back to the legislature. The
legislature could accept the report in whole or in part and submit it to the people.
It had to be voted on if it was to be constitutionally enacted. I had little to do with
that proposal, except that the Florida Bar and the board of governors approved it
and I helped get it through the legislature and knew all about it. But it was not
necessarily my creation or my biggest thought. It was passed by the legislature in
the spring of 1965. Haydon Burns was governor of Florida [1965-1967]. He had a
two-year term because [his tenure] was in-between some revisions and change
in term limits there. He came in before it went to the legislature [and] was there
when it did. After the legislature, in the fall, he asked me to serve. That
constitutional commission had thirty-six members, and of them, I think nine were
appointed by each legislative house, the speaker and the president, I assume, or
somebody else in those houses, which was eighteen. There were five appointed
from the Florida Bar, which I or my board of governors could appoint. That is
twenty-three, and there were twelve appointed by the governor and, one, the
attorney general served. If there were thirty-six, that is all. If there were
thirty-seven, there was one appointed by the Supreme Court. So I appointed five
people who I thought would be good. They passed the legislation, and I
appointed my five. I went out of office in June and it just had passed, but I talked
with my successor. Together, we agreed on and appointed them. Right after I
appointed them, Governor Burns called me up and he asked me if I would serve
as one of the twelve members that he was entitled to appoint. I told him no, that I
had just appointed five people myself, from the Bar, and that I was not really
interested. I had been away from the law firm a long time doing that bar work and









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I was not interested, but I told him I would be interested in being chairman. He
said, well, I already have somebody I have asked to be chairman, and I said, that
is good [and] I hope they do a good job, but I do not want to be a member, thank
you. About ten days later, he called me back and said, I have been thinking
about it, [and] I want you to be chairman. I said, okay, I will be. So, in the fall,
October or November, I will say, he appointed me as chairman. He appointed a
chairman from his twelve members--that was in the act. I started thinking about it
a little bit and what to do and how to do it. I had not been that heavily involved
yet. They had a very good membership. The legislative members were good.
Many of them were close friends of mine. The governor's appointees were
first-rate people. I did not have anything much to do with them. He selected them
all. I only had much to do with those five whom I picked. The attorney general
was a good friend of mine. There were two justices on the court who got there,
but I do not know how they got there. They could have gotten on any of those
appointments. We started working and I decided to call the first session of that
court in January of 1966. We were created in the 1965 legislature, and our report
was due in the 1967 legislature. In those years, it was two-year sessions. They
just had one session every two years. So, we had about eighteen months after
we were appointed to do our work, and we sat down and drafted schedules. I
created a bunch of committees and thoughts, including prime advisors to me,
including an executive committee and other things, and we started to work on it.

P: Were there any blacks or women on the commission?

S: There was one woman, a wonderful senator, Beth Johnson from Orlando, who
was the first woman senator, I think, that we had in the legislature. There was
another Senator Beth Johnson about three years later from Melbourne, but this
one was real good from Orlando.

P: What percentage were lawyers?

S: A high percentage. Almost everybody on there. They were casual friends, at
least. Right now, I do not remember but they probably were all known to me,
because there were thirty-six of us as far as I know and I do not remember
anybody whom I did not know whom they appointed. Of course, Florida was then
a little smaller and I had been active.

P: Who would have been the most important members out of that thirty-seven?

S: There were two groups. A drafting committee I formed had whom I thought was
among the most talented member and one whom I really was close to, John [E.]
Mathews [Jr.], Jack Mathews, from Jacksonville. He had been a Florida senator
and had already been a candidate for governor and had been defeated by
Haydon Burns. He ran for governor again in 1970 and got defeated by Reubin









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Askew [Florida governor, 1971-1979]. He was a brilliant lawyer, and he was the
best legislator I have ever known or seen, to this extent. He would not have
been, I think, as good a governor as I think Reubin Askew was, but Reubin
Askew was not near as good a legislator or constitutional revision man as
[Mathews] was. In a collegial body like legislators, you have to achieve the
possible. If you stand ramrod-firm for your idea, you will lose a lot of it and you
[will] not get anything through. Mathews could work it out, [and] he would get the
maximum. He always had total goals that seemed to satisfy me tremendously.
He would push and push and push until we got one vote more than half, to get
the best he could. If he had to make a compromise, he would not let it die and go
away. He would get it through. Reubin Askew would let it die. Reubin, when he
got to be a governor, was a man of great principle and integrity and did right. I do
not mean Jack Mathews was not, but Jack was a supreme legislator, [while]
Reubin was a great executive but not that good a legislator. The other member
whom I relied on totally was a judge from Miami, a young judge named Tom
Barkdall. He served for many years. He is now retired. He is, roughly,
seventy-three or seventy-four. He served thirty-five years on the bench. He has
been on all three constitutional revision commissions, mine and the two that we
have had since then. [He has been] the only one, I think, who so served. He] is
something like solicitor general in the attorney general's office right now. The
third guy on the drafting committee was a brilliant, old, savvy, wise trial judge
from Quincy, Florida. Of course, his jurisdiction included Tallahassee, and he had
a lot of the hard, tough cases, and they all three acted as draftsmen. The rules
committee was really an executive committee, and I made Barkdall also
chairman of that. It contained a lot of other people who were my friends, and I
had a lot to do with its work. Mathews was on it. Barkdall was on it. The judge
was not on it. But I added others. I added Bill O'Neill, who lived in Marion County,
out in Williston. He had been a lawyer in Ocala. A big Gator. John Crews, who
was a judge in Gainesville and a big Gator.

P: When you started, what were your goals or what were your instructions? What
were you setting out to do when you revised the constitution?

S: We were to rethink it almost like we were a beginning. We were to redo a
constitution, not to take away anything on purpose or not to get rid of anything,
but the constitution by over amendments had become full of garbage. I believe,
and I will not rely on these statistics because my memory is not so good, that
there had been somewhere around 165 amendments adopted by the people and
put into the constitution since 1887. It was first drafted in Port St. Joe. The state
was totally different then. The first one was drafted in 1845, and it was changed
twice during the Civil War. Then it was redrafted in 1887, but then they amended
it and amended it, and a lot of it was garbage [that] should have been statutes,
not constitutional amendments]. It was long. If I am not mistaken, there were
seven times more words in it than there then were in the U.S. Constitution as a









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state constitution. It maybe needed to be a little longer because it structured the
government more than the Federal Constitution, but it was very long and there
were a few contradictions. It had all kinds of things that had been declared
unconstitutional, such as segregation, [which] was in there, and other things that
the U.S. Supreme Court had overridden for all practical purposes, but not totally.
It still was written in our constitution. We were to rewrite the thing. So I appointed
committees charged with having hearings, studying, and proposing new things
for us. I had eight committees. I divided the constitution, one of them into the
preamble to the constitution which, in large measure, also relates to individual
rights and things that had blossomed and boomed in the country. Florida was not
bad, but we got to be very, very good: If you will look at our constitution today,
there are few, if any, states that exceed us in individual rights for people who are
protected in [there. We put in things that never had been in there before, some of
them, like privacy. We did not get equality for women totally. We eliminated some
things that seemed to make women different, but we did not get anything
adopted. They have since adopted it.

P: Now, when you were doing this, you knew that this document would have to be
approved by the legislature and then by a vote of the people, so it is a political
exercise as well?

S: Right, and I played politics all the way through on that. I will get into that some, if
you want me to. But I divided up into seven substantive areas of the constitution:
one, the legislature; two, executive; three, local government; four, financing and
bonds; and on down. I had seven committees of that, and I had one for the
declaration of rights that went on it, B.K. Roberts was chairman of the Bill of
Rights. He was chairman of that committee, and I had a lot of people watching
him.

P: Was he on the Supreme Court then?

S: Yes, so I had him and Steve [C.] O'Connell, and I had another former Supreme
Court justice, Harold Sebring. I used a rules committee, and I had all of my
friends. I had a later law partner of mine, who had been my classmate, Warren
Goodrich. He, at that time, was chairman of the Democratic party and a
Bradenton lawyer. I had Bill O'Neill who, I told you, had been born in my own
town, Arcadia, but he lived out at Williston and was a state representative from
Marion County. John Crews, who was from Macclenny but also involved in
Gainesville and became a circuit judge and moved to Gainesville later, was a
state representative.

P: Let me go by the structure of the branches of government. What changes did you
make to the executive branch? For example, the governor can serve...?









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S: Two terms.
P: You set up lieutenant governor's office. Why was that? Because Florida had
never had a lieutenant governor before. What was the thinking behind that?

S: It worked better to have somebody from the same philosophy and the same
politics continue for the unexpired term if something happened to the governor
than it did to have somebody, who may even be from a different party [come] in
as a legislative leader, which is what we had before. The legislative leaders took
over. We were becoming a two-party state, though we were primarily Democratic
at that time. I had at least five out of the thirty-seven who were Republicans,
maybe even a few more. One of them was the Republican leader in the state
Senate, Bill Young, who is now a congressman, and the other one was the
Republican House leader, Don [H.] Reed, who was a House member from Boca
Raton in Palm Beach County. They were on there. Don Reed became a very
good part of my establishment. We were not partisan or anything, and he was
very interested in having a good constitution. We did not have partisanship. He
was not just to get votes. He was a good thinker, a good lawyer, and I picked
him. He was on that committee with Barkdall and Mathews and John Crews and
Bill O'Neill and me. I had about eight that was like an executive committee.

P: Why give the governor the opportunity to have a second term?

S: Well, we did not feel that you could build an empire or a dictatorship out of two
terms, and we thought if he was doing good and going good...we had just been
through a fine example of LeRoy Collins [Florida governor, 1955-1961], who got
to serve two years on a term of a governor who died. As you remember, Dan
McCarty [Florida governor, 1953] died, and Charley Johns [Florida governor,
1953-1955] as president of the Senate took it over for the second year, really [for]
what was maybe thirteen or fourteen months. Somebody had to run again for the
unexpired term of two years. The people amended the constitution to let Roy
Collins run for another term, so he served six years. He was a great governor. He
did not do anything bad, and it seemed like a good thing. I think it is. Just like it
works for the United States. If they could stay four terms, I think it would not
work.

P: The governor ended up having more power because you did away with the
budget committee and gave him more control over departments and budgets.

S: I tried myself, as the leader, to abolish the cabinet system that many Floridians
bragged about so much. Obviously, I wanted him to have a cabinet, but I wanted
him to be like the federal government, in that the cabinet [would be] appointed by
him, not elected by the people, serve with him and be responsible to him. I was
unable to get it through. That argument was the only time I left the presiding
podium and stayed a day on the floor arguing for it. I only got about ten or eleven









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votes out of the thirty-seven, twelve maybe.
P: Should it be completely eliminated?

S: In my judgement, and I think they have whittled away from it ever since then. No
longer does [the cabinet] really collegially run much of the government. Some of
them who are elected, and that is not in my mind very good either, but they are
elected [and] operate their own departments still about like they did in some
ways. But, collegially, they used to have a lot more authority on making rules and
regulations and laws, and it has gone away a lot.

P: You also gave the governor the power, along with three members of the cabinet,
to pardon criminals.

S: I do not know. That was not there before. I do not remember. A lot of things, we
did not change of course, but we examined every period, every word. We did not
feel restricted. If something was there before it [and] it is what we thought was
best, we kept it.

P: Why the shift to annual legislative sessions?

S: Because the state was becoming bigger. Two-year sessions were no longer
enough. The people would do better if they had people who [had] more oversight
than legislators were doing. Most legislators never went to Tallahassee in those
days except for sixty days. They did not have an office anywhere, including in
their home district or in Tallahassee. They did not have secretaries. They just
really worked when the legislation was in session.

P: And you allowed the legislature to increase their pay, because at that time it was
something like, $1,200. That was all they were paid.

S: They already could do it, but we did.

P: And you reduced the Senate from forty-eight to forty. Why was that?

S: We had a lot of talk. We thought we ought to have one person, one vote, and that
a smaller Senate would be more effective and efficient for its purpose. The
two-house legislature, of course, is not needed. You could make a great
argument for a single legislative district. But we thought it was a control, that the
government is entitled to rights, the government is entitled to speak for the
people, but, sometimes, they can get out of hand and there ought to be two
bodies that can balance it.


P: Did you address the issue of reapportionment?









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S: Yes, all kinds of ways.
P: That had been to some degree taken care of by the Swann case and by Baker v.
Carr.

S: Sure. We had one-person-one-vote in front of us when we had to do [the
constitution]. We talked about unicameral legislature. We talked about how small
or how big the Senate should be. We basically decided to try to create to some
extent two different type bodies. The House was to be large and was to represent
the people, so to speak, more. The senators had a longer term. They were to be
smaller. They could study things more. Each person got to debate more just by
time alone and that kind of stuff. So we studied all of that a great deal. We had
an eight-person committee appointed by me that studied that. We had another
eight-person committee appointed by me that studied the governor. We had
another eight-person committee appointed by me that studied the judiciary
system, the court system.

P: You never did make any changes in the court system, did you?

S: We were not successful. We did make some. We were not successful in getting
the legislature to adopt it and send it to the people. They left it open. The
chairman of my committee was a young legislator named Reubin Askew. He later
became somebody more significant. In 1971, after our constitution was adopted
in 1968, we got through, I will say, 90 percent of what we had tried to do in what
we had drafted. [The legislature] looked at it. They had modified it some. But, in
the legislative committees, [Talbot] "Sandy" D'Alemberte was a chairman of the
House Judiciary committee. He was not on my commission. He was later
chairman of the next commission. But he adopted that thing that Reubin Askew,
who now was governor, had drafted when he had been chairman of the
committee, and they used our proposal, which was not adopted by the legislature
and sent to the people. The people did get to vote on it in 1971. The Legislature
adopted that as their point of departure, and while they made some small
modifications, in truth I think it was still the one that we had primarily drafted in
1966.

P: And what was the essence of your changes in the judiciary?

S: We strengthened the chief justice some. We made appellate courts more
important and flexible. We changed the way that appellate judges were
nominated and appointed and continued their tenure. We were not able to get
that through for trial judges, though we debated it at great length in our
commission. The legislature did not get it through either, and it still is up now,
finally, for the vote. Whether the people will adopt it, I do not know. It is always a
hard one. We did a lot of things about appeals and rules and court
independence. I have a lot of files on what I did. I made reports to the press. I









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made reports to the commission often. I made reports to the legislature several
times in joint session.

P: Did the issue of allowing the state to have an income tax ever come up?

S: We discussed it. We decided that there was substantial support for it on the
commission, possibly a majority, but, pragmatically, we decided that if that was in
there, the people were not going to accept it and that it would hurt other parts of
the constitution, and we did not want them to start voting negatively.

P: Was that a mistake?

S: Well, I think you ought to always do the right thing and I think a majority of us did
think it [a state income tax] was the right thing, so I will say it was a mistake. But,
it was a pragmatic mistake in which we were trying to achieve multiple other
things that were more urgent, perhaps.

P: You also agreed, and I do not know how dangerous this is, to have the
constitution reviewed every ten years.

S: No. Ten years the first time, because we thought after you had a total review, you
could overlook something and make an error, and ten was long enough, but the
normal time for review now is twenty years. So, we reviewed it. That was
adopted in 1968, they reviewed it in 1978, and then they reviewed it twenty years
later, in 1998.

P: Another issue is the reduction of state agencies, from 150 to 22.

S: Well, they were proliferating too much. We wanted to have three branches of
government. We had at that time, as you remember, the collegial cabinet that
was in charge of some of those agencies. We put them back all under the
governor or an elected cabinet officer but nothing for a collegial body.

P: After you finished this revision, you sent it to the legislature and you reported to
them. What changes did they make?

S: Some interesting things. We studied mainly and had public hearings mainly on
subjects and through committees. We did not have too many meetings of the
commission at first. We had a report from all of those that we then put into a
single proposed new constitution. We said the whole commission would go
through that. We finally scheduled a three-week meeting in December. I think it
started December 5, and it went right up almost to Christmas. We had [the
meeting] in Tallahassee to consider the product that these committees had put
together, and we had drafted together through a proposed drafting committee.









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Governor Haydon Burns had been defeated, and a new governor had been
elected, Claude Kirk [Florida governor, 1967-1971]. Claude Kirk was a
Republican. He was not known to me. He had run in the previous election before
he was elected governor against my partner, United States Senator Spessard [L.]
Holland, for senator and had been badly beaten. Part of his election grew out of
[the fact that] Haydon Burns was not real popular [and] Bob High, the mayor of
Miami, was not real popular, and [Florida was] becoming more and more
Republican anyway. So Claude Kirk got elected. There were virtues that Claude
Kirk had for me, but my personal judgement is that nobody has ever been
elected, or ever will be, who knew less about the governmental structure of the
state than he did initially. He was elected on a Tuesday, and the following
Monday, we started our convention, at which we were going to the whole
constitution to see what we could do. He came to the session. I introduced him,
talked to him. I did not know him real well. We were in the old Senate chambers
in the State Capitol building, sitting in there doing [the session]. I asked him to sit
up on the podium with me, and damned if he did not stay thereafter, for our entire
session. Often, I did not do too good a job presiding because I was trying to
explain to him the simplest things about what this really was and what the
Proposal would do to government. He did not know anything. But, as perhaps
you would guess, we got along fine enough and he got interested in the
constitution. He did not know much about it. I mean, he did not really get the
other side either. I was pumping him and telling him why it was good or bad. He
got there, and we finally adopted a whole constitution and he knew something
about it. He was to be inaugurated somewhere like January 5 or 6 or 7,
somewhere in there. We had done all of that in 1966. I was appointed in 1965.
We started work in January, 1966, and we finished in December of 1966, so we
worked on it a year. It had to go to the 1967 legislature for approval, rejection or
[modification]. I went down to see Governor elect Kirk in Palm Beach with the
Republican leader of the House of Representatives, Don Reed from Boca Raton,
was been a member of my commission and part of my rules committee. We went
down to talk to Governor Kirk in West Palm Peach about the timing. I suggested
that he call the legislature into session immediately when he became governor at
his Inaugural] Address, not to wait until session itself, to consider our constitution,
to start studying it and pass it, and he did. He surprised everybody, and it made a
tremendous impact on him. He cooperated with me very thoroughly. I have
reservations about other things he did, but it just worked perfectly. He did not
know much about the constitution and he learned everything from basically sitting
and me talking to him forever. I was not too good at presiding because people
would have to raise their hands three times as I was trying to explain to the
Governor-elect about what was happening.

P: Let me interrupt you because Claude Kirk, when I talked to him, gave you great
praise for the information [that you provided him]. He said it was extremely
valuable, and that you were one of the most brilliant writers we have ever had in









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this state.
S: Well, I thank you. As I said, he was pleasant to work with. I initially had
reservations about him, but it was lucky, kind of. He at his inaugural called the
session in from somewhere like January 18. To get the short story there, the
legislature went into a special session to consider our product [on the same day
a three-judge federal court said they had to have one-man-one-vote, and they
had to have new elections before acting. So, eventually, they first got to hear it in
the regular session, which was in April and May. It was some time, but we
worked on it. Claude Kirk was a problem to me to this extent: I asked him, I
begged him, I talked to him, stay out of this; do not go to the people for this or
against it. I do not want it to become a Republican/Democrat thing. The state was
still Democrat. You are the governor. I do not want you to take it over. He agreed
to it. I had a little more trouble, but I did the same thing with the cabinet
members, all of whom were Democrats at that time. I tried to get them to stay out
of it, and they did basically stay out of it. We created a commission after the
legislature approved [the constitutional revisions] called the ABC Commission,
which was A Better Constitution. Now, for the first time, I appointed it outside. We
did have the first state-wide African-Americans [and] we did have women,
perhaps not as good as we would have today, but if I remember rightly, I
appointed a thirty-five ABC Commission about the same size as the commission.
I remember two African-Americans from Miami who made major contributions.
One was Theodore Gibson, and the other was Garth Reeves. And we appointed
several women, a lot of them, who made substantial contributions. The League of
Women Voters had a president who later became a state senator who knew as
much about that constitution as anybody did, including Jack Mathews or me. She
was not a lawyer, but she was a great student. She is still alive over there in St.
Petersburg--Jean Malcolm.

P: You, yourself, did not go around the state promoting this, did you?

S: After the legislature did, I promoted the ABC committee I created, and I did speak
for it often. But they arranged it. I was not the leader. I was trying to make them
the leader.

P: What were the major criticisms of the constitution after it came from the
legislature?

S: Well, a lot of us were lawyers. We thought the justice system needed substantial
improvement, and we were very mad that the legislature would not pass it and
put it in. They also left out another section that I will call miscellaneous. It had
things like statute of limitations, government, reorganization, zoning. We tried to
eliminate local bills and some other things that the legislature did not like.


P: But they did not make too many changes.









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S: They made hardly any substantial changes. They simply refused to then submit
some of it to the people.

P: In the vote to ratify this constitution, I was a little bit surprised that it was a very
close vote. Why, do you think?

S: We were nervous about it, and I still think that I would not have gotten it through
if there had been any organized opposition. I quieted the Democratic cabinet and
I quieted the Republican governor, and we did not have any real opposition. The
people are apprehensive about anything new. Things like one-person-one-vote, if
you live in Chipley, you do not feel the same way as if you live in Miami. Things
like that, they did not go through to the mayors. I just like it like it is, they would
say, or something like that.

P: When this was finished and approved by the voters, a lot of historians and
political scientists say that this was the birth of modern Florida. Would you agree
with that?

S: I think when they adopted the first constitution in 1845 and then in 1885 and
1887 at St. Joe, those were the births, too, of a modern Florida. A modern Florida
is what is happening now, and I think it is true. I thought we did a good job, a very
good job. Could we have done better? Well, I was trying to achieve the possible.
So I did not like everything that was in there as good as I could have liked it, but I
thought we really did one hell of a job in achieving the possible. We got a lot
through.

P: That is the key to me. There were a significant number of substantial changes.

S: I agree.

P: When you change a document that dramatically, it is tough to get it through.

S: I was lucky that the legislature left out those two articles.

P: It might have caused the defeat.

S: It may have caused the defeat, but they did get adopted in 1971 when Governor
Reubin Askew still pushed it.

P: Probably the legislature felt they had to withhold something. They had to
demonstrate their authority.

S: We had a lot of good legislators. Like, from near here, we had Ralph [D.]









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Turlington. He was both speaker and member of my commission. He,
incidentally, was negative to a lot of things I was for. I was surprised. I had
considered him always a very progressive legislator, [but] he was one of the
more negative members of my constitutional revision commission. He was the
speaker-designate for the 1981 session, and he told us, take that out; if you do
not, I am going to get it; I am going to get you and hurt you in the legislature.
That is another speech I made. I made that one from the podium. I said, to hell
with him. He is trying to do the best he can; we are trying to do the best we can.
If we are not going to approve the constitution, we are not going to approve it.
Let's pass it if we believe in it. If he kills it, he kills it. It is his responsibility. He
later tried to kill it and did not. He said he was going to, though. Let me finish one
more thing about the constitution. I would say that we were extremely innovative
in having the periodic constitutional revision by a commission that is not elected.
It is appointed. So far, all three appointed commissions have had some
businessmen, some academicians, some politicians, some members of the
legislature, some members of the judiciary and some lawyers and other things.
But no group so far has dominated one of those constitutional revision
committees. There is no other state that was doing that when we did that. That
was totally innovative in the entire world, as far as I know.

P: Nobody else had undertaken a task that dramatic.

S: I do not know either, so that is one of the proudest things I did. I remember four
or five people who were just monumental in that. Jack Mathews was one. Tom
Barkdall was one. Richard [A.] Pettigrew, who was a great, great speaker, was a
young member of the legislature. He was leading the charge on that periodic
revision, and he got the mumps when we were taking it up in commission and
that's why I had to leave the podium to come down and speak. He also wanted to
abolish the cabinet and I came down, for him, to speak and lost that one. One
other thing, I did a good job in my judgement as chairman. Before long, they
accepted me as their leader. One way that I did it, at about the fifth or sixth
meeting we had which was to review committee reports, not to vote and take
action yet, one of our members who was a damn good member, and I really liked
[him], but had missed four straight meetings. His name was Bill Baggs, and he
was the editor of the Miami News, the only newsperson we had out of our
thirty-seven. I asked for the entire commission to listen carefully to me, to be
silent, [as] I had something I wanted to say. My statement was, Bill Baggs is here
today; he has missed three straight meetings; I want to announce for the record
that I personally like Bill Baggs but that his contribution to Florida and
constitutional revision up to now has been zero. He came to every commission
meeting after that. He never missed a one. He was a good guy. He was one of
the good people who voted, but he was not paying enough attention to it at first.
He was worried about running the Miami News.









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P: You were elected president of the American Bar Association in 1973. Why did
you decide to run for that office, and how do you go about getting elected
president of the ABA?

S: It is hard. Usually, most people come up through the organization, and, that had
been true in the past up to my time. I had never been to the American Bar
Association as a member until I was elected president of the Florida Bar,
president-elect actually. I was elected president, as president-elect, I went to that
[ABA meeting] and felt some small interest. I liked it better than I thought I would.
The president [of the ABA] that year was a talented and attractive fellow who had
a great impact on me, Lewis Powell [U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1972-1987].
Lewis Powell came down to a convention that I had at the Fountainbleu Hotel for
the Florida Bar to speak, as often ABA presidents do, and he liked me. I did not
know he liked me as much as he turned out to. But he went back and I went out
of [FBA] office in May, and he was going out in August, but he created in August
as he went out of office a new revolutionary committee on trying to change the
structure of law and the legal profession so that all people, not just wealthy
people in the economy, could have the advantages of the law and the
advantages of lawyers. He called it the committee on the availability of legal
services, and he appointed just an absolutely wonderful committee and I was on
it. There were three older than me and three younger than me. All six of them
had a material impact on my life. Lewis Powell did too in some ways, but they
had even more. We met once a month for two years, in Chicago at the airport,
and worked like dogs trying to devise ways to restructure the legal profession to
make lawyers available to whoever needed a lawyer, to change the economics.
We did some things that were successful and some things that were not too
successful. We did nothing totally revolutionary, except we got lawyers as a
whole and the profession worrying about that and they started moving back into
wanting to do public service. They have again gone the other way now
[emphasizing making] money. They did all kinds of things. Of the three older
people, there was a wonderful guy named Bill Avery, who was manager of the
largest law firm in Chicago, Sidley & Austin. The second one was Paul
Carrington from Dallas. Gosh, I love Paul Carrington. His son, of the same name,
has retired as dean of Duke Law School not long ago. Paul Carrington was a
wonderful guy. He worried about structures of law firms. He believed in equality
of partners instead of having seniority and all that. The third one was a guy
named Teddy Voorhies, from a large Philadelphia Quaker-type law firm, very
righteous and indignant. But, more than most rich lawyers, and he was a rich
lawyer, he kept worrying about poor people who could not get lawyers [because]
they could not afford them. Then I was in the middle. Of the other three, the
chairman of the committee was a wonderful lawyer named Bill McAlpin, who had
graduated from Harvard only one year after I graduated from Florida. He was
chairman, and he was great. Ever since then, he has twice been appointed by
various presidents as chairman of the Legal Service Corporation. He cared about









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that. Our committee initially thought up all of that, that has gone into federal law.
The next two, one of them was Dick Nahstal, who was an innovative, thoughtful,
wonderful lawyer from Oregon, who wanted to revise, and did have more impact
than anybody else I know [on], legal education and law schools and admissions.
The last one was a guy named Bobby Kutac. He rewrote legal ethics. He later
died when he was only, like, forty-one or forty-two, but he built a huge law firm. It
started when he was thirty-five and grew to have over 100 lawyers, which in
those days was very big. He did bond work, but he cared about ethics and he
rewrote the whole code of ethics. We studied things like specialization and group
services. In the 1960s, nobody specialized. People were wanting specialties, but
if you had a twenty-man firm, you knew who was best at a particular thing, but
you did not even hold him out as a specialist; he had clients in almost every area.
We studied group legal service plans, where people could get together and make
small contributions and hire a lawyer who would represent any of them so that
they were all paying part of the legal fees.

P: Were these like an HMO?

S: Somewhat like that. We did things like where we were the first people who came
up with prepaid legal insurance, somewhat not unlike Blue Cross/Blue Shield or
something. We came up with ombudsmen. Though we adopted it from the
Scandinavian countries originally, we brought it over here and made it local. We
did things like where the Bar, itself, will reimburse somebody if a lawyer steals
from his client. Lawyer-guaranty funds, they call them. We guarantee that they
will not get taken. We did things like we dreamed up, thought up, proposed to the
president, proposed to the Congress such as the Legal Service Corporation like
we have now. Sargent Shriver [Kennedy in-law and head of various federal
agencies] was head of the OEO Office of Economic Opportunity in 1964-1965.
Later in 1978, when he ran for president for a little while, I was his national
campaign chairman. We were great friends and still are today. I got him to do
approve some of those things that committee had suggested. The third or fourth
year in it, I began to be somebody in the American Bar real quick, and I decided
to run for ABA president. I would say most people would never run for president
until they had been active in the ABA fifteen or twenty years. I decided to run in
my third year. I knew I was going to be elected. I was elected in my sixth year,
and I served as president in the seventh and eighth year that I first went to the
ABA. The greatest things that I have done in my life: Watergate, because I had
tremendous pressure; second, the constitutional revision; third is that damn
committee. That committee is still great today. I love the Legal Service
Corporation. My own law firm talks [about] pro bono all the time and does it, and
they talk about helping people who do not have lawyers. People did not do that at
all when I was a young lawyer.


P: How do you get votes for the ABA? Do you actually campaign?









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S: I campaigned. I almost was innovative. A lot of them, why they waited so long,
they go to two meetings annually and they last several days, and they work on
committees and in groups and get to be friends. I campaigned. I went to see
them. Now, others do, too. Like always, if something works, other people adopt it.
I went around the United States and talked. The ABA constitution, or whatever
you call it, provides a specified number of votes. While it is not quite
one-person-one-vote, they are allocated to the state bar somewhat on the basis
of size, with some small states getting more than their share somewhat like they
do federally in senators, because they just do not have enough lawyers. You
have to have at least one representative, so if California has twenty times more
people in it than Idaho does, Idaho gets one, [and while] California will not get
twenty, they may get thirteen or something like that. In addition to that, which
makes up for it, there are roughly 490 people in the House of Representatives,
which is like the House of Representatives in Congress. We call it the House of
Delegates, from various elements. They represent the states. They represent
local bars. For example, like Miami would have a representative, [but] Gainesville
will not [because] it is not big enough. The state has five or six from Florida.
Gainesville has furnished some. I succeeded Lance Lozonby, after he committed
suicide, on the board of governors. And those people have a chairman who is
called the state delegate, who is now also called a member of the voting
commission. So that means that every state has more than one member on the
nominating committee. In addition, they have specialty groups like corporate
lawyers or criminal lawyers or tax lawyers or young lawyers or retired elder
lawyers and others who have elected representatives. They are, kind of,
special-purpose groups. They get together, and they are not too representative
but they are representative. They go up and down, and they get to elect
members to the nominating committee. There are sixty-five members on the
nominating committee with each state having at least one, and one from Puerto
Rico and one from the other territories. There are only thirteen of them from
those other groups and they represent to try to make it closer to one-person-
one-vote, and they nominate [the ABA President]. It then goes to the House, and
the House is a lot better than that because we have twenty-four sections of the
ABA that are made up of specialty area lawyers, the biggest one of all being
young lawyers, the second biggest one being litigation, the third one being
corporate lawyers, and they have on down to intellectual property or tax or
admiralty or other things. They all elected [the ABA President], and I started
going to see those state delegates. I toured the United States. I had some
knowledge about things, like from constitutional revision. I had represented the
Florida phosphate industry before the state legislature and knew about lobbying
and campaigning, and I got the votes. I had some wonderful people helping and
eventually I had no opposition, but five different people, at one time or another,
announced that they were running against me. After a while, they counted the









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votes and dropped out. Two of those guys later became president, and they
learned something from me. They were people like, and you may even have
heard of or known some of them, Bert Jenner, who was the minority counsel for
the House Committee in the impeachment of [Richard M.] Nixon [U.S. president,
1969-1974]. He was [from] a large firm, Jenner & Block, in Chicago. It is still a big
law firm. He ran against me a while. He announced three different times. He was
a very well-known ABAer and talented, but I had the votes. I had some others
like that who ran against me a little while.

P: If we eliminate Watergate, what were your greatest achievements as president of
the ABA?

S: Without eliminating Watergate, I will say that my presidency would have been
materially different if it had not been for Watergate. All good presidents, and most
presidents of the ABA are at least pretty talented people or experienced, they are
president-elect for a year and spend a great amount of that planning their year
and what they are going to do and their accomplishments. They get organized
help and tell this person that I am going to make you chairman of my committee;
start working on it and thinking about it. I thought of some things that I wanted to
accomplish that spread out the ABA some and related to that committee that
Lewis Powell had put me on and other things. But, eventually, I got to do damn
little of them because Watergate dominated my activities. Now I did some of
them. For example, we fought and got through the Legal Service Corporation, not
in my year but it started in my year. I testified before Congress several times, as I
told you. I was great friends with Sargent Shriver. I was great friends with others
who helped draft and develop and create that thing and some other things like
that. But, most of them, it took a few years to get through, and I did not get to
work them as hard. I also wanted to make the state bars more dominant in the
ABA than they were, that I did not get to do much about that.

P: One area you were interested in is help for the mentally disabled.

S: I did help to get that started. I created a commission. That William McConnell
Clark Foundation-I forget what they do; they sell beauty products, I think,
house-to-house-they gave us $3,000,000, to me, at the ABA, and we created a
mental health commission to see how we could improve the law, as it relates to
inmates in mental health institutions, and how we could bolster those institutions
in their assigned tasks of respecting the rights of those people and trying to make
their lives as decent as possible and perhaps cure them in some ways, or
mitigate their damages. We did do that. I also did the same kind of thing with the
Foundation's help in [regards to] prisoners.

P: In dealing with the mentally disabled, you would have to work with the Baker Act.
How has that worked?









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S: The Baker Act was a Florida law only. When I was working with it, we had to
worry about it a little bit and similar statutes in some other places. I did not work
in Florida, when I was ABA president; I worked nationally.

P: You had some interest in helping Vietnam vets with their legal problems, and I
think you referred to the war as a national mistake.

S: I did refer to that, and that was when I was president-elect, I think, of the Bar,
before I took over, but perhaps, the most monumental of all, I was heavily
involved in Watergate and the Ervin Commission and then, eventually, the House
of Representative inquiry into Nixon after the tapes had been revealed and their
possible impeachment of him. I went out of office [around] August 5, 1974. My
final convention was in Hawaii, in Honolulu. My board of governors was meeting
on Maui, but the convention itself was in Honolulu. While my board of governors
was meeting, preparing for all of our positions and budget and all this stuff that a
governing body has to do, on the Friday that Richard Nixon resigned. I was
devastated. Our convention was going to open up on Saturday, and the official
convention opened on Monday. We were leaving Maui. We had closed our
meeting down and we were playing golf Friday, actually, but we were leaving and
going over to Honolulu. I was devastated. All my speakers including Justice
[Warren] Burger [Warren Burger, Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court, 1969-1986]
called me. He had been going to make a speech for the opening of the whole
convention. He could not leave Washington. The Attorney General could not
come out. All kinds of people, senators, could not come out, and all kinds of
speakers. They had to stay in Washington. I decided then, on Friday afternoon to
do something. A great friend of mine who was a great Federal appeals judge
named Shirley Hufstadter, who later became] secretary of education, helped me
and we stayed in and near my room [while] my wife went to social functions. We
wrote my opening speech. It is not unlike the president of the United States
would give to Congress opening; it was supposed to tell them what all we had
done and what we were doing. I covered basically what I thought our present
position was, insofar as Nixon was concerned. I said our country needs to put
things behind us, we need to get on, we need to do new and good things, [and]
we need to quit worrying anymore about things that do not now matter. I asked
[that] the new President [Gerald R.] Ford [1974-1977] pardon Richard Nixon. I
also asked that the new President Ford pardon all of the Vietnam veterans in
Canada and elsewhere, that right or wrong, the war was basically over. Nixon
was out of it and gone. We needed to restore our country and get back into
working to make it better. So I did come out. I was about the first person who
asked Ford to pardon Nixon. I did not think it would serve any further purpose for
the people to put him in jail. I thought we had finally proved that he was a criminal
and that it would not help us any to pursue it. A lot of people liked good things
that he had done, and I thought we ought to stabilize the country. That was a









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monumental thing. That speech is one of the better speeches that I have given.
P: In retrospect, pardoning Nixon was the right thing for the country, but it hurt
Gerald Ford politically.

S: Sure.

P: So it took a lot of courage for him to do that.

S: Well in my opinion, he was never a great political leader in the country.

P: Let me take you through Watergate. Let's start with the Saturday Night
Massacre. After Nixon fired Archibald Cox, you came out and gave a speech
criticizing Nixon for failing to obey the law and for attacking the law. What
motivated that speech?




S: Well, I had only been president of the ABA about six or seven weeks, I think.
That was around October 20. I had become president in the middle of August, so
it was a little more than that. It was maybe fifty or sixty days I had been president.
I had known and had followed the Sam Ervin committee. It was already operating
some, and they had started those fabulous hearings. Obviously, they had not
discovered the tapes and other things that gave emphasis to it, but they had
been talking and hearing. Sam Ervin was a friend of mine. He first was to come
out to my ABA convention, and he did--he was the only speaker that I had
scheduled--he was to give a prayer breakfast. He was the only speaker,
nationally, that I had asked to come out to Honolulu who continued to come after
the resignation of Nixon. Of course, it was almost a year after the Ervin hearings
because I was talking about it when I was president-elect of the ABA when a lot
of that stuff came out first. I do not know where I was on Friday, but I think I was
working in Washington. I had an apartment where I lived in Chicago because that
was where the ABA office was. Nobody had ever done that before, but I lived in
Bartow. [There was] no airport. I drove to Tampa, which was fifty miles, or to
Orlando, which was sixty miles, to catch planes. My [law] offices were in Polk
County too. We [Holland & Knight] did not have a Tampa office yet or a
Tallahassee office. So, I took an apartment up there, and I, generally, went home
to the Chicago apartment on Saturday. There was a meeting of the section on
legal education of the ABA on the night of the Saturday Night Masacre, which is
basically law professors and deans but [also] others interested in the educational
section, including a lot of lawyers who like to work in it just like they like to work in
the university or something [but] had no official position. They were having an
annual meeting at a hotel out near the airport in Chicago, and they asked me to
speak out there on Saturday night. I started listening and hearing a little about it









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on television and in the papers, but I did not know too damn much about what
was happening with the federal court and with Archibald Cox and what they were
doing. I did know they existed. The Saturday afternoon firing of Archibald Cox
and then the takeover Saturday night of his offices and all the records and
everything by Nixon, which was called the Saturday Night Massacre, was on the
minds of everybody. There were other people there, lawyers, and everybody
wanted to talk to me. While I was to speak in a little while with professors and
deans and lawyers and judges, they were talking, and I would describe it as an
attitude of total despair, in which they thought, this is America; this cannot be
happening in America; the president cannot fire somebody, [and] he cannot tell a
judge that he cannot go ahead with hearings or report something; he cannot lock
and put the FBI out where nobody else can see the records or see what is being
involved; and, this is a banana republic, this is not America. People used words
like banana republic a great deal. It just swamped the audience. I made a speech
that was moderate enough but in which I did not give as much my conclusions
as, say, how shaken I was by it. And we certainly needed to look into it. We
cannot have our nation called a banana republic; we have to look at it. That was
the first real expression that I had done about Watergate. I knew I was
president-elect. I had contacts with Senator Ervin because my law partner
Senator Holland had been his senate mentor. They had been friends, and he had
a lot of experience that Ervin did not, and Ervin would ask [questions]. In fact,
[Senator] Dick Russell from Georgia, according to Sam Ervin, said, now Sam,
you got a chance to be a good senator, and I am going to put you right behind
Spessard since Spessard studies, he works, he works hard; everything that
comes up that you do not know anything about, you need to ask Spessard or
watch what he does, and do what he did. Sam Ervin told me that. But, I knew
Sam Ervin, and through Sam Ervin, I had met the president's counsel, a young
lawyer named John Dean. When I was still president-elect, Warren Burger had
asked me over to a reception at the State Department for some judges from
England. I got over there, and I had been asked by Warren Burger to sit with him
and Sam Ervin and some others. There were maybe thirty people. John Dean
and his wife were there, and he asked me to sit with them. I was excited because
I thought, now when I become ABA president, I can get access into the White
House if I have proposals, like for the Legal Service Corporation or something
else. I tried to make friends with John Dean, and I went over and told the Chief
Justice [Burger], and Sam too, that I was not going to sit with them after all if they
did not mind, [that] I was going to sit over there [because] I wanted to meet this
young guy. This was on a Wednesday or something, and I met him. I never did
work with him after that. But I worried about it. The day after the Saturday Night
Masacre, a wonderful lawyer, young, whom I had hired out of the University of
Florida on the recommendation of Dick Julin, named Bill McBride, who is now the
managing partner of my firm, and I went to a football game. He had a girlfriend,
an airline stewardess, and my wife did not like football games, so the three of us
went out to watch the Chicago Bears play the New England Patriots at Soldier









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Field in Chicago on a Sunday afternoon. I read papers, mainly, on Sunday
morning. As soon as I got there, he kept saying to me, Mr. Smith, what are you
going to do? He said, people are waiting for you to do something; what are you
going to do? I had not thought enough about it. I kept thinking. I was really upset
the night before about everybody saying banana republic. Eventually, about
halftime, I told him, I am going to call my wife; you take and get rid of your girl,
[and] meet me down at the taxi line; we are going out to the ABA; I am going to
call the executive director, Bert Early, and get the chief ABA senior staff, and we
are going to talk about this and what we ought to do; I want their thoughts. We
got out there about three-thirty or four, and we stayed until midnight, on Sunday. I
had fourteen staff members who were there with me. We started calling lawyers
all over the country, and lawyers started calling us. Teddy Kennedy called me
and said, what are you going to do about this Saturday Night Massacre? Ralph
Nader called me. What are you going to do? We had people who were
conservative businessmen and clients. We had all kind of lawyers at all kind of
levels who called us there, and they had talked to other members of the staff.
Some of the members of the staff were senior and had been there a long time.
We started drafting a statement, and it is one of the more eloquent things, at
least to me, that I have ever done. I drafted a statement finally. We would read it
to people who called us, like Teddy Kennedy or Ralph Nader or somebody else.
We would then make additions and edit it when they would suggest something
and do something, but, eventually, we sent it out that night as a release. It was
published eventually in thirteen national daily newspapers under my signed
by-line, including the New York Times and the Washington Post and the Chicago
Tribune, but others too. Then, it was picked up as a news item world-wide.
Basically, the first sentence was, no person is above the law, and President
Nixon, you are not above the law; you have to either appeal Judge [John J.]
Sirica's order or comply with it; you cannot ignore it; you can not send somebody
down and lock the courthouse; you cannot tell the prosecutor he cannot do that;
you are not above the law. That was the way it started. That was the first time,
maybe, that somebody had gotten total attention, international and otherwise,
about the removal of Nixon. I went out. I had press conferences three and four
times a day after that. I decided that I would call the ABA into session to take a
position on that on Monday morning. I found out that I could not alone call the
ABA into session, that the board of governors of the ABA, which then had
nineteen members, had to do it. They were representative of elements
throughout there and the country. I will say they were awful close to from
eighteen states, but there may have been two from New York or two from
California or two from the District [of Columbia] or somewhere. There were not
many. They were representative though. So I called them into a session. I had to
give them three days notice, and I called them on Monday into session in
Chicago on the next Saturday. I had speeches and other things that I was to do,
so I wrote some more. I wrote a speech on the airplane on the way out to San
Diego to speak to the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, NLADA,









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which relates a lot to public defenders and relates a lot to legal aid societies and
other things that defend poor people, and they all loved it. When I got out there, it
was pandemonium. I felt like I was somebody much more than I had ever been.
Everywhere I went, people would stand up and clap. Some would cry. Some
would say banana republic. It was being said more and more because I had used
it in a few press conferences. I made a speech out there, and it was the first
emotional speech I had ever made or been involved in that the audience was
crying all the time I was talking. Senior people, like judges, like lawyers, from
large law firms but also lawyers who represented poor people in all kinds of
things, and the press was overwhelming. I went back to Chicago that Tuesday
night. I had gone out there in the morning, spoke at noon, and I went back. When
I got home, I was about two hours late. I got in at eleven-thirty and waiting at my
door-she had been waiting for four hours-was Barbara Walters [network
television news correspondent], and she had the camera--I mean, I am just
telling you how big [the situation] was--at my apartment upstairs. My wife was
kind of scared to go out. They were all out there and had a crew of ten, waiting
for a statement from me. I gave it, and I went to sleep. The next morning, I got up
at seven and headed for Harvard, where I was scheduled to speak. I went to
Harvard and, so help me God, I could not believe..the students cried when I
spoke. They were so frightened about the Saturday Night Massacre that the
president was taking over, that he thought he was above the law, that he could
lock the doors on the courthouse if they were investigating him. And it went on.
Eventually, I went to another place, I forget where, on Friday to speak. Friday
night, we went back to Chicago and we had the [ABA] board of governors
assembled. The board of governors, I wanted them to be unanimous, right away.
If there were twenty-one or nineteen, I do not remember exactly [and] I had all
[except] about two to three votes. I could get it through. I could get it adopted. But
I wanted them to be unanimous, and we fought and fussed about it. Finally, two
guys honestly did not believe that the ABA should do that and get involved, and
they thought there was some partisanship against Nixon and other things [and]
did not want to do it. They finally voted, if they could make a statement that, one,
they had great affection and respect for me in that I had asked them, two, that
this was not a conclusion but was an investigation that they voted for. So I got it
unanimous eventually. They were good guys, in other words, but they were
partisan; they almost admitted that they were deep Republicans and they did not
want their president to be removed. That happened, and so we called the House
of Delegates into session in 30 days. Eventually, of course, you had to give thirty
days notice before you could call the [ABA] House of Delegates, which is 480 or
so, together, and I called it for thirty days away. In about two weeks, Nixon
appointed my predecessor, a friend, Leon Jaworski, to succeed Archibald Cox.
He had fired, of course, Elliot Richardson [Attorney General of the U.S.] because
he would not fire Cox. Then, he fired Bill Ruckelshaus, who was deputy attorney
general, because he would not fire Cox. Then, he got Robert Bork, who was third
in seniority in the department; he was the solicitor general. He [Bork] did lure Cox









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because he thought it was the proper and best way for the justice system to work
to have somebody continue to look at it. Later, I was testifying in favor of
something that was not thoroughly worked out, but like another independent
counsel before the House Judiciary committee. When I came out, there were
forty something television reporters and news reporters out there, and they said,
did you know that Leon Jaworski is at the White House talking? I said, yes, I
knew he was in town and was going over there, but he said he could not tell me
why. We were good friends. They said, well, the president has just announced
that he was appointing him as special investigator to take Archibald Cox's place.
Of course, that should be somebody. I now think that the Congress is the best
system. But, right away, I thought it was horrible, for Jaworski to take over, and I
said something of the general nature that, well, it will not really help the situation
a lot. Leon Jaworski is a close friend of mine. I consider him wholly honorable,
wholly intellectual, just a great guy. But if he finds Nixon innocent, people are
going to say, that does not mean a damn thing; Nixon appointed him to
investigate him and, in his own mind, find him innocent. And, if Jaworski finds
Nixon guilty, well, what can he do? If he finds [Nixon] innocent, they will not
believe him. If he finds [Nixon] guilty, well, [Nixon] can remove him if he now can
get away with firing Cox. This does not mean anything. We need somebody with
greater power [and] greater responsibility who can investigate and find out what
the president has done. While I do not want to stop impeachment, there are other
things an investigation can lead people who are reluctant to do so to get involved
in impeachment. The reporters even clapped when I got through with that. So I
will say for the next 120 days, I was totally involved in speaking and talking and
testifying before Congress, giving news things. Now, I had some duties, of
course. My board of governors would meet every sixty days, and the House of
Delegates met twice a year and that kind of stuff. You had to prepare for a lot of
other things, you had budgets and things, but Watergate was an overwhelming
operation of mine. Eventually, I testified before the Ervin Committee. The Ervin
Committee quit. We went into impeachment and, while I probably should not
exactly say this and I did not for years, Chief Justice Warren Burger told me,
Chesterfield, I know what you are doing. He said, I cannot talk about some
things, but I like what you are doing. He told me that. Leon Jaworski, who had
been my predecessor, said, Chesterfield, you know what I have been doing
every day and I know what you have been doing every day, and you are as good
a man as I know in the world. People like that, all the time. Sam Ervin told me
things like that. Bert Jenner, who I told you had been going to run against me
twice, he was the lawyer for the House Minority, the Republicans. He was a
Republican, and he was representing the House Minority--he told me that. Of
course, after all those tapes came out, even those who opposed impeachment
were for it before long, and that is why Nixon resigned.


P: In the beginning, did you call for his resignation?









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S: No, I did not call for his resignation. Nobody was above the law, I said simply. He
had to either appeal Judge Sirica's order or comply with it. Judge Sirica's order
was simply he had to turn the tapes over.
P: What do you think about Bork? Bork went ahead and fired Cox. Do you think that
affected him when he was nominated to the Supreme Court?

S: I was casual friends with Bork, and I sometimes went to lunch with him. Part of
that was I was a new guy coming in [and] a guy that sometimes he was going to
have to work with. I will say I wanted to know him, so I had been stroking him a
little bit. I admit that. But, we were only casual friends. When he was nominated
later to be on the U. S. Supreme Court, I testified against him, and I believe that
he dislikes me now very much. I sat by him at a head table, one time, and he was
right next to me and he turned his back on me and did not even say hello. We
had, up to then, been casual friends. He may dislike me now since I testified
[against] him, and I did testify strongly against him as I could to Congress that he
should not be on the Supreme Court.

P: For ideological reasons?

S: Well, yes. Now, he was obviously intellectually brilliant, but I did not think he
would make a Supreme Court judge. I thought he would decide things for
partisan reasons, would construe cases of relating things, like Cox, in favor of his
political philosophy. He has a strong political philosophy, and I do not appreciate
him even yet.

P: After the tapes came out, did you ever learn Nixon's reaction to your speech?

S: I do not think so. Alexander Haig [U.S. Army Colonel and White House Chief of
Staff] had a Sunday press conference, and he said I was an unethical lawyer
who talked all the time about things I did not really know the facts on and that he
thought I ought to be disbarred. He said that. However, Nixon never did say
anything about me that I have heard.

P: Was this the greatest constitutional crises in American history?

S: No. I do not know what is. Of course, my involvement in it, to me, makes it the
significant chapter in my life. It is funny to walk down the hall to go to the toilet,
and nineteen newspaper people follow you, but it happened several times and I
was only a little country lawyer from Bartow and Arcadia, Florida.

P: What was your view of Jaworski as a special prosecutor?

S: Good. My opposition to him is that he let Nixon appoint him. I would have done
like Elliot Richardson. He had said, you have to stay out of this, Mr. President.









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P: What about the idea of special prosecutor? Do you think the day of that office is
over now?
S: Yes, for several [reasons]. Now, there may be some new system, and I do not
know now what it is, but partisanship has crept into it a great deal. The
prosecution is abnormal. If you do Whitewater, and you do not find enough to do
it, then you go and look at girlfriends that he had as governor. Then, before long,
you start checking in the White House and, eventually, you get into the Monica
Lewinsky issue. No prosecutor I know, say a United States attorney in
Gainesville, Florida, when he looks into investigating somebody, if he does not
find that there is sufficient evidence to bring you to trial, he does not say, I have
got to find something else; does anybody know anything; tell me something. That
is wrong. That is not the way the president should be done. However, Congress
can do that. Congress can do all things, only they are not criminal. They do not
have constitutional standards over there. They can remove him from office if the
people want to. If the people do not approve of what they do, they will remove
them from office the next time. So, they worry a little about partisanship, but there
is nothing wrong with that if they are in there and looking at it to do it. They do not
always do it as well. They were not acting back then as close because the
majority were Democrats. After the tapes came out, there was no problem about
impeachment anymore. Republicans were for impeachment [and] Democrats
were for impeachment, because they saw that he was doing some awful things
on those tapes. The Congress is the best body to investigate the President.

P: Your view of U.S. v. Nixon, which required him to turn over those tapes? Do you
think that was the correct court decision?

S: Yes.

P: Because it was a criminal matter?

S: No, because they had the authority to investigate and look at whether it was a
criminal matter.

P: When does executive privilege apply?

S: I do not think executive privilege applies anytime a court thinks that it does, but I
do think that the president is the boss. The president appoints the attorney
general. The attorney general appoints Jaworski and Archie Cox. Right now, it is
kind of mixed up. We have supervising judges. In fact, at the present time, as I
understand it, one of the judges was appointed by Ronald Reagan [U.S.
president, 1981-1989], and one of them was appointed by Gerald Ford, and the
third one is a Democrat. Three judges, and they appoint special prosecutors. I
think that the president is the boss. We have separate departments, and they are









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all to be equal. I do not think the judiciary system can take over it. They do limited
things. The legislative, they cannot take over. They do impeachment, and they
can do that. But, the president is in charge of the Justice Department, and you
cannot keep him. If he and Elliot Richard and Bill Ruckelshaus and Bork had
really believed that Archie Cox was incompetent, it is his job to fire him, [and] not,
is he doing right? But, he ought not to fire him because he is protecting himself
for something. So, what happens? The people are the only ones who can
remove that president, and they can do it within impeachment through their
elected representatives.

P: Would you have preferred that Nixon go on trial rather than resign?

S: At that time, I would have. I think I was wrong then. I later decided that only
impeachment...now, he never was impeached. The House was going to impeach
him though, and it would have been all right, then, to go on trial. I did think, I told
you a while ago, that nothing would further serve the country by having a trial,
finding him guilty and possibly even sending him to jail. I think that is not a big
enough lie. Most lies like that, you would not send people to jail, the first time at
least.

P: In retrospect, what is the significance of Watergate in American history?

S: Well, it showed that very talented presidents who did a lot of good things could
have bad feelings and thoughts and ambitions about over-enhancing their role
and staying on too long and controlling things that they did not have to control,
including the courts. They control the executive branch, not the courts.

P: So, in the end, your earlier statement was correct, no man is above the law, and
this was eventually demonstrated.

S: Right.

P: Do you think that this has changed anything, that Watergate led to a period of
more morality or better control?

S: Sure, I think it was much better, for about five years. In different ways, not for
personal things but for political positional things. In the Iran-contra [scandal],
Ronald Reagan started doing some things that I am quite convinced he did that
he should not have done. He was doing it to advance the country, not to advance
special interests exactly, like Nixon was.

P: So, how would you assess Nixon as a president?

S: I think he did some remarkable executive services but that he, like other talented









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people, waived and wandered and diminished his contributions in many areas by
not having high personal moral standards.
P: Who were the heroes of Watergate? Obviously, we would count Chesterfield
Smith as one of them.

S: Well, I do not know whether you would count me or not, but Sam Ervin was and
Sam Dash, in that investigation. We did not have [a hero] for Clinton['s scandals]
like that, you know [and] we did not have one for Reagan['s scandals] like that,
but they made a real contribution all over national television in those days and
they were heroes. I think Elliot Richardson; God knows I have never known a
greater man. He died, you know, just recently. He was a political person, but he
did what he thought was right.

P: It took a lot of courage to do that.

S: Yes, and I think Bill Ruckelshaus did the same thing. I do not think Bork was
terrible, because I think he thought he was doing it for intellectual reasons. I do
not really think myself that they were for intellectual reasons; I think they were for
partisan reasons. John Sirica was a wonderful judge who did what a judge
should do, no more, no less; he stood firm. The guy who appointed him was
Richard Nixon, and he did what he was supposed to do. So, there were a lot of
people who did well in that. Congress did well, [and] the chairman of the House
committee from New Jersey.

P: Peter Rodino.

S: Yes. As I told you, the counsel for the minority was Bert Jenner, who had run
against me for ABA President, and I liked [him] a great deal. I loved the way that
the Supreme Court handled it.

P: And Nixon had appointed, what, four of those members of the court?

S: Yes.

P: He thought they might split, and he did not understand the independence of the
judiciary. You have gotten a lot of honors in your life. I just wanted to mention a
couple. The American Bar Association medal for distinguished service. This is
given to Oliver Wendell Holmes and Charles Evans Hughes, and it is an
extraordinary honor. What is your reaction to receiving that award?

S: I love being given it. I was given it pretty fast. I was given it in the sixth year after
I went out of the presidency, which, I do not know many people who got it that
quick and I have only had two ABA presidents since then who have gotten it.
They give it to other people whom I think they should. I have just nominated









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somebody. So has my partner, Martha Barnett, nominated an opposing one. But,
I consider it the greatest honor that an ordinary practicing lawyer or judge can
receive.

P: What would you consider your greatest achievement in your career?

S: I would say the greatest pressure I had was Watergate. You look at things that
are national. As I told you, I thought three things that I made unique contributions
to. The Florida constitution was another one, but Watergate was more unique. I
mean, we have had two constitution revisions in Florida since then. While the
next one did not appear to be doing so well, they did a lot of thinking and
researching and, ultimately, it has now been adopted by other people, [which]
originated with the Sandy D'Alemberte's commission. This last commission, I
liked Dexter Douglas, the chairman well enough, but the greatest achievements
they did was to wind out and smooth some of the constitution, especially as it
relates to constitutional rights, like women's rights, and the chairman may not be
in favor of all of that. The commission did some of it over him.

P: How would you like to be remembered?

S: The most important thing in my life is my law firm, Holland & Knight. You know I
told you I joined a two-person law firm in Bartow in 1950. We now have about
1,030 or 1,040 lawyers. We now claim to be a national law firm, and indeed we
plan to be a global law firm. Well, we still have some growth to do in those two
areas, but we are the fourth-largest law firm in the United States, and with two
people starting in Bartow as practicing lawyers that is pretty good. That is at least
what I think. I ran the firm for twenty-seven years.

P: It seems to me, in reading about your career, one of the things that stands out is
your commitment to making sure that the poor get legal representation, pro bono
work.

S: To some extent. Now, I will not say that those feelings were not inside of me, but
Lewis Powell put me on them. I told you that those six men of that Committee
had a tremendous impact on me. All of them were marvelous in slightly different
ways in slightly different things, but Lewis Powell who appointed us was
marvelous. I loved him. He was a conservative and I am a liberal, but I loved him.
He was a great conservative. He was like all conservatives ought to be.

P: Is there anything else you would like to talk about or discuss before we finish up?

S: No. I do not mind if you want to wait to do any more.


P: Well, let's stop right there.









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[End part one of the interview]
P: We are in Miami, and this is March 9, 2000, part two with Chesterfield Smith.
Let's talk about your work as chairman of the Florida Constitutional Revision
Commission in 1968. Who appointed you to that job, and why did you take it?

S: I was president of the Florida Bar in 1964-1965. In the 1965 legislature, the
Florida Bar sponsored the creation of a statutory constitutional revision
commission charged with studying the entire Florida constitution and redrafting a
total[ly] new constitution. The Commission was however, not constitutionally
created, but was by statute, and it was to report back to the legislature. The
legislature could accept the report in whole or in part and submit it to the people.
It had to be voted on if it was to be constitutionally enacted. I had little to do with
that proposal, except that the Florida Bar and the board of governors approved it
and I helped get it through the legislature and knew all about it. But it was not
necessarily my creation or my biggest thought. It was passed by the legislature in
the spring of 1965. Haydon Burns was governor of Florida [1965-1967]. He had a
two-year term because [his tenure] was in-between some revisions and change
in term limits there. He came in before it went to the legislature [and] was there
when it did. After the legislature, in the fall, he asked me to serve. That
constitutional commission had thirty-six members, and of them, I think nine were
appointed by each legislative house, the speaker and the president, I assume, or
somebody else in those houses, which was eighteen. There were five appointed
from the Florida Bar, which I or my board of governors could appoint. That is
twenty-three, and there were twelve appointed by the governor and, one, the
attorney general served. If there were thirty-six, that is all. If there were
thirty-seven, there was one appointed by the Supreme Court. So I appointed five
people who I thought would be good. They passed the legislation, and I
appointed my five. I went out of office in June and it just had passed, but I talked
with my successor. Together, we agreed on and appointed them. Right after I
appointed them, Governor Burns called me up and he asked me if I would serve
as one of the twelve members that he was entitled to appoint. I told him no, that I
had just appointed five people myself, from the Bar, and that I was not really
interested. I had been away from the law firm a long time doing that bar work and
I was not interested, but I told him I would be interested in being chairman. He
said, well, I already have somebody I have asked to be chairman, and I said, that
is good [and] I hope they do a good job, but I do not want to be a member, thank
you. About ten days later, he called me back and said, I have been thinking
about it, [and] I want you to be chairman. I said, okay, I will be. So, in the fall,
October or November, I will say, he appointed me as chairman. He appointed a
chairman from his twelve members--that was in the act. I started thinking about it
a little bit and what to do and how to do it. I had not been that heavily involved
yet. They had a very good membership. The legislative members were good.
Many of them were close friends of mine. The governor's appointees were









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first-rate people. I did not have anything much to do with them. He selected them
all. I only had much to do with those five whom I picked. The attorney general
was a good friend of mine. There were two justices on the court who got there,
but I do not know how they got there. They could have gotten on any of those
appointments. We started working and I decided to call the first session of that
court in January of 1966. We were created in the 1965 legislature, and our report
was due in the 1967 legislature. In those years, it was two-year sessions. They
just had one session every two years. So, we had about eighteen months after
we were appointed to do our work, and we sat down and drafted schedules. I
created a bunch of committees and thoughts, including prime advisors to me,
including an executive committee and other things, and we started to work on it.

P: Were there any blacks or women on the commission?

S: There was one woman, a wonderful senator, Beth Johnson from Orlando, who
was the first woman senator, I think, that we had in the legislature. There was
another Senator Beth Johnson about three years later from Melbourne, but this
one was real good from Orlando.

P: What percentage were lawyers?

S: A high percentage. Almost everybody on there. They were casual friends, at
least. Right now, I do not remember but they probably were all known to me,
because there were thirty-six of us as far as I know and I do not remember
anybody whom I did not know whom they appointed. Of course, Florida was then
a little smaller and I had been active.

P: Who would have been the most important members out of that thirty-seven?

S: There were two groups. A drafting committee I formed had whom I thought was
among the most talented member and one whom I really was close to, John [E.]
Mathews [Jr.], Jack Mathews, from Jacksonville. He had been a Florida senator
and had already been a candidate for governor and had been defeated by
Haydon Burns. He ran for governor again in 1970 and got defeated by Reubin
Askew [Florida governor, 1971-1979]. He was a brilliant lawyer, and he was the
best legislator I have ever known or seen, to this extent. He would not have
been, I think, as good a governor as I think Reubin Askew was, but Reubin
Askew was not near as good a legislator or constitutional revision man as
[Mathews] was. In a collegial body like legislators, you have to achieve the
possible. If you stand ramrod-firm for your idea, you will lose a lot of it and you
[will] not get anything through. Mathews could work it out, [and] he would get the
maximum. He always had total goals that seemed to satisfy me tremendously.
He would push and push and push until we got one vote more than half, to get
the best he could. If he had to make a compromise, he would not let it die and go









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away. He would get it through. Reubin Askew would let it die. Reubin, when he
got to be a governor, was a man of great principle and integrity and did right. I do
not mean Jack Mathews was not, but Jack was a supreme legislator, [while]
Reubin was a great executive but not that good a legislator. The other member
whom I relied on totally was a judge from Miami, a young judge named Tom
Barkdall. He served for many years. He is now retired. He is, roughly,
seventy-three or seventy-four. He served thirty-five years on the bench. He has
been on all three constitutional revision commissions, mine and the two that we
have had since then. [He has been] the only one, I think, who so served. He] is
something like solicitor general in the attorney general's office right now. The
third guy on the drafting committee was a brilliant, old, savvy, wise trial judge
from Quincy, Florida. Of course, his jurisdiction included Tallahassee, and he had
a lot of the hard, tough cases, and they all three acted as draftsmen. The rules
committee was really an executive committee, and I made Barkdall also
chairman of that. It contained a lot of other people who were my friends, and I
had a lot to do with its work. Mathews was on it. Barkdall was on it. The judge
was not on it. But I added others. I added Bill O'Neill, who lived in Marion County,
out in Williston. He had been a lawyer in Ocala. A big Gator. John Crews, who
was a judge in Gainesville and a big Gator.

P: When you started, what were your goals or what were your instructions? What
were you setting out to do when you revised the constitution?

S: We were to rethink it almost like we were a beginning. We were to redo a
constitution, not to take away anything on purpose or not to get rid of anything,
but the constitution by over amendments had become full of garbage. I believe,
and I will not rely on these statistics because my memory is not so good, that
there had been somewhere around 165 amendments adopted by the people and
put into the constitution since 1887. It was first drafted in Port St. Joe. The state
was totally different then. The first one was drafted in 1845, and it was changed
twice during the Civil War. Then it was redrafted in 1887, but then they amended
it and amended it, and a lot of it was garbage [that] should have been statutes,
not constitutional amendments]. It was long. If I am not mistaken, there were
seven times more words in it than there then were in the U.S. Constitution as a
state constitution. It maybe needed to be a little longer because it structured the
government more than the Federal Constitution, but it was very long and there
were a few contradictions. It had all kinds of things that had been declared
unconstitutional, such as segregation, [which] was in there, and other things that
the U.S. Supreme Court had overridden for all practical purposes, but not totally.
It still was written in our constitution. We were to rewrite the thing. So I appointed
committees charged with having hearings, studying, and proposing new things
for us. I had eight committees. I divided the constitution, one of them into the
preamble to the constitution which, in large measure, also relates to individual
rights and things that had blossomed and boomed in the country. Florida was not









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bad, but we got to be very, very good: If you will look at our constitution today,
there are few, if any, states that exceed us in individual rights for people who are
protected in [there. We put in things that never had been in there before, some of
them, like privacy. We did not get equality for women totally. We eliminated some
things that seemed to make women different, but we did not get anything
adopted. They have since adopted it.

P: Now, when you were doing this, you knew that this document would have to be
approved by the legislature and then by a vote of the people, so it is a political
exercise as well?

S: Right, and I played politics all the way through on that. I will get into that some, if
you want me to. But I divided up into seven substantive areas of the constitution:
one, the legislature; two, executive; three, local government; four, financing and
bonds; and on down. I had seven committees of that, and I had one for the
declaration of rights that went on it, B.K. Roberts was chairman of the Bill of
Rights. He was chairman of that committee, and I had a lot of people watching
him.

P: Was he on the Supreme Court then?

S: Yes, so I had him and Steve [C.] O'Connell, and I had another former Supreme
Court justice, Harold Sebring. I used a rules committee, and I had all of my
friends. I had a later law partner of mine, who had been my classmate, Warren
Goodrich. He, at that time, was chairman of the Democratic party and a
Bradenton lawyer. I had Bill O'Neill who, I told you, had been born in my own
town, Arcadia, but he lived out at Williston and was a state representative from
Marion County. John Crews, who was from Macclenny but also involved in
Gainesville and became a circuit judge and moved to Gainesville later, was a
state representative.

P: Let me go by the structure of the branches of government. What changes did you
make to the executive branch? For example, the governor can serve...?

S: Two terms.

P: You set up lieutenant governor's office. Why was that? Because Florida had
never had a lieutenant governor before. What was the thinking behind that?

S: It worked better to have somebody from the same philosophy and the same
politics continue for the unexpired term if something happened to the governor
than it did to have somebody, who may even be from a different party [come] in
as a legislative leader, which is what we had before. The legislative leaders took
over. We were becoming a two-party state, though we were primarily Democratic









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at that time. I had at least five out of the thirty-seven who were Republicans,
maybe even a few more. One of them was the Republican leader in the state
Senate, Bill Young, who is now a congressman, and the other one was the
Republican House leader, Don [H.] Reed, who was a House member from Boca
Raton in Palm Beach County. They were on there. Don Reed became a very
good part of my establishment. We were not partisan or anything, and he was
very interested in having a good constitution. We did not have partisanship. He
was not just to get votes. He was a good thinker, a good lawyer, and I picked
him. He was on that committee with Barkdall and Mathews and John Crews and
Bill O'Neill and me. I had about eight that was like an executive committee.

P: Why give the governor the opportunity to have a second term?

S: Well, we did not feel that you could build an empire or a dictatorship out of two
terms, and we thought if he was doing good and going good...we had just been
through a fine example of LeRoy Collins [Florida governor, 1955-1961], who got
to serve two years on a term of a governor who died. As you remember, Dan
McCarty [Florida governor, 1953] died, and Charley Johns [Florida governor,
1953-1955] as president of the Senate took it over for the second year, really [for]
what was maybe thirteen or fourteen months. Somebody had to run again for the
unexpired term of two years. The people amended the constitution to let Roy
Collins run for another term, so he served six years. He was a great governor. He
did not do anything bad, and it seemed like a good thing. I think it is. Just like it
works for the United States. If they could stay four terms, I think it would not
work.

P: The governor ended up having more power because you did away with the
budget committee and gave him more control over departments and budgets.

S: I tried myself, as the leader, to abolish the cabinet system that many Floridians
bragged about so much. Obviously, I wanted him to have a cabinet, but I wanted
him to be like the federal government, in that the cabinet [would be] appointed by
him, not elected by the people, serve with him and be responsible to him. I was
unable to get it through. That argument was the only time I left the presiding
podium and stayed a day on the floor arguing for it. I only got about ten or eleven
votes out of the thirty-seven, twelve maybe.

P: Should it be completely eliminated?

S: In my judgement, and I think they have whittled away from it ever since then. No
longer does [the cabinet] really collegially run much of the government. Some of
them who are elected, and that is not in my mind very good either, but they are
elected [and] operate their own departments still about like they did in some
ways. But, collegially, they used to have a lot more authority on making rules and









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regulations and laws, and it has gone away a lot.

P: You also gave the governor the power, along with three members of the cabinet,
to pardon criminals.

S: I do not know. That was not there before. I do not remember. A lot of things, we
did not change of course, but we examined every period, every word. We did not
feel restricted. If something was there before it [and] it is what we thought was
best, we kept it.

P: Why the shift to annual legislative sessions?

S: Because the state was becoming bigger. Two-year sessions were no longer
enough. The people would do better if they had people who [had] more oversight
than legislators were doing. Most legislators never went to Tallahassee in those
days except for sixty days. They did not have an office anywhere, including in
their home district or in Tallahassee. They did not have secretaries. They just
really worked when the legislation was in session.

P: And you allowed the legislature to increase their pay, because at that time it was
something like, $1,200. That was all they were paid.

S: They already could do it, but we did.

P: And you reduced the Senate from forty-eight to forty. Why was that?

S: We had a lot of talk. We thought we ought to have one person, one vote, and that
a smaller Senate would be more effective and efficient for its purpose. The
two-house legislature, of course, is not needed. You could make a great
argument for a single legislative district. But we thought it was a control, that the
government is entitled to rights, the government is entitled to speak for the
people, but, sometimes, they can get out of hand and there ought to be two
bodies that can balance it.

P: Did you address the issue of reapportionment?

S: Yes, all kinds of ways.

P: That had been to some degree taken care of by the Swann case and by Baker v.
Carr.

S: Sure. We had one-person-one-vote in front of us when we had to do [the
constitution]. We talked about unicameral legislature. We talked about how small
or how big the Senate should be. We basically decided to try to create to some









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extent two different type bodies. The House was to be large and was to represent
the people, so to speak, more. The senators had a longer term. They were to be
smaller. They could study things more. Each person got to debate more just by
time alone and that kind of stuff. So we studied all of that a great deal. We had
an eight-person committee appointed by me that studied that. We had another
eight-person committee appointed by me that studied the governor. We had
another eight-person committee appointed by me that studied the judiciary
system, the court system.

P: You never did make any changes in the court system, did you?

S: We were not successful. We did make some. We were not successful in getting
the legislature to adopt it and send it to the people. They left it open. The
chairman of my committee was a young legislator named Reubin Askew. He later
became somebody more significant. In 1971, after our constitution was adopted
in 1968, we got through, I will say, 90 percent of what we had tried to do in what
we had drafted. [The legislature] looked at it. They had modified it some. But, in
the legislative committees, [Talbot] "Sandy" D'Alemberte was a chairman of the
House Judiciary committee. He was not on my commission. He was later
chairman of the next commission. But he adopted that thing that Reubin Askew,
who now was governor, had drafted when he had been chairman of the
committee, and they used our proposal, which was not adopted by the legislature
and sent to the people. The people did get to vote on it in 1971. The Legislature
adopted that as their point of departure, and while they made some small
modifications, in truth I think it was still the one that we had primarily drafted in
1966.

P: And what was the essence of your changes in the judiciary?

S: We strengthened the chief justice some. We made appellate courts more
important and flexible. We changed the way that appellate judges were
nominated and appointed and continued their tenure. We were not able to get
that through for trial judges, though we debated it at great length in our
commission. The legislature did not get it through either, and it still is up now,
finally, for the vote. Whether the people will adopt it, I do not know. It is always a
hard one. We did a lot of things about appeals and rules and court
independence. I have a lot of files on what I did. I made reports to the press. I
made reports to the commission often. I made reports to the legislature several
times in joint session.

P: Did the issue of allowing the state to have an income tax ever come up?

S: We discussed it. We decided that there was substantial support for it on the
commission, possibly a majority, but, pragmatically, we decided that if that was in









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there, the people were not going to accept it and that it would hurt other parts of
the constitution, and we did not want them to start voting negatively.
P: Was that a mistake?

S: Well, I think you ought to always do the right thing and I think a majority of us did
think it [a state income tax] was the right thing, so I will say it was a mistake. But,
it was a pragmatic mistake in which we were trying to achieve multiple other
things that were more urgent, perhaps.

P: You also agreed, and I do not know how dangerous this is, to have the
constitution reviewed every ten years.

S: No. Ten years the first time, because we thought after you had a total review, you
could overlook something and make an error, and ten was long enough, but the
normal time for review now is twenty years. So, we reviewed it. That was
adopted in 1968, they reviewed it in 1978, and then they reviewed it twenty years
later, in 1998.

P: Another issue is the reduction of state agencies, from 150 to 22.

S: Well, they were proliferating too much. We wanted to have three branches of
government. We had at that time, as you remember, the collegial cabinet that
was in charge of some of those agencies. We put them back all under the
governor or an elected cabinet officer but nothing for a collegial body.

P: After you finished this revision, you sent it to the legislature and you reported to
them. What changes did they make?

S: Some interesting things. We studied mainly and had public hearings mainly on
subjects and through committees. We did not have too many meetings of the
commission at first. We had a report from all of those that we then put into a
single proposed new constitution. We said the whole commission would go
through that. We finally scheduled a three-week meeting in December. I think it
started December 5, and it went right up almost to Christmas. We had [the
meeting] in Tallahassee to consider the product that these committees had put
together, and we had drafted together through a proposed drafting committee.
Governor Haydon Burns had been defeated, and a new governor had been
elected, Claude Kirk [Florida governor, 1967-1971]. Claude Kirk was a
Republican. He was not known to me. He had run in the previous election before
he was elected governor against my partner, United States Senator Spessard [L.]
Holland, for senator and had been badly beaten. Part of his election grew out of
[the fact that] Haydon Burns was not real popular [and] Bob High, the mayor of
Miami, was not real popular, and [Florida was] becoming more and more
Republican anyway. So Claude Kirk got elected. There were virtues that Claude









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Kirk had for me, but my personal judgement is that nobody has ever been
elected, or ever will be, who knew less about the governmental structure of the
state than he did initially. He was elected on a Tuesday, and the following
Monday, we started our convention, at which we were going to the whole
constitution to see what we could do. He came to the session. I introduced him,
talked to him. I did not know him real well. We were in the old Senate chambers
in the State Capitol building, sitting in there doing [the session]. I asked him to sit
up on the podium with me, and damned if he did not stay thereafter, for our entire
session. Often, I did not do too good a job presiding because I was trying to
explain to him the simplest things about what this really was and what the
Proposal would do to government. He did not know anything. But, as perhaps
you would guess, we got along fine enough and he got interested in the
constitution. He did not know much about it. I mean, he did not really get the
other side either. I was pumping him and telling him why it was good or bad. He
got there, and we finally adopted a whole constitution and he knew something
about it. He was to be inaugurated somewhere like January 5 or 6 or 7,
somewhere in there. We had done all of that in 1966. I was appointed in 1965.
We started work in January, 1966, and we finished in December of 1966, so we
worked on it a year. It had to go to the 1967 legislature for approval, rejection or
[modification]. I went down to see Governor elect Kirk in Palm Beach with the
Republican leader of the House of Representatives, Don Reed from Boca Raton,
was been a member of my commission and part of my rules committee. We went
down to talk to Governor Kirk in West Palm Peach about the timing. I suggested
that he call the legislature into session immediately when he became governor at
his Inaugural] Address, not to wait until session itself, to consider our constitution,
to start studying it and pass it, and he did. He surprised everybody, and it made a
tremendous impact on him. He cooperated with me very thoroughly. I have
reservations about other things he did, but it just worked perfectly. He did not
know much about the constitution and he learned everything from basically sitting
and me talking to him forever. I was not too good at presiding because people
would have to raise their hands three times as I was trying to explain to the
Governor-elect about what was happening.

P: Let me interrupt you because Claude Kirk, when I talked to him, gave you great
praise for the information [that you provided him]. He said it was extremely
valuable, and that you were one of the most brilliant writers we have ever had in
this state.

S: Well, I thank you. As I said, he was pleasant to work with. I initially had
reservations about him, but it was lucky, kind of. He at his inaugural called the
session in from somewhere like January 18. To get the short story there, the
legislature went into a special session to consider our product [on the same day
a three-judge federal court said they had to have one-man-one-vote, and they
had to have new elections before acting. So, eventually, they first got to hear it in









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the regular session, which was in April and May. It was some time, but we
worked on it. Claude Kirk was a problem to me to this extent: I asked him, I
begged him, I talked to him, stay out of this; do not go to the people for this or
against it. I do not want it to become a Republican/Democrat thing. The state was
still Democrat. You are the governor. I do not want you to take it over. He agreed
to it. I had a little more trouble, but I did the same thing with the cabinet
members, all of whom were Democrats at that time. I tried to get them to stay out
of it, and they did basically stay out of it. We created a commission after the
legislature approved [the constitutional revisions] called the ABC Commission,
which was A Better Constitution. Now, for the first time, I appointed it outside. We
did have the first state-wide African-Americans [and] we did have women,
perhaps not as good as we would have today, but if I remember rightly, I
appointed a thirty-five ABC Commission about the same size as the commission.
I remember two African-Americans from Miami who made major contributions.
One was Theodore Gibson, and the other was Garth Reeves. And we appointed
several women, a lot of them, who made substantial contributions. The League of
Women Voters had a president who later became a state senator who knew as
much about that constitution as anybody did, including Jack Mathews or me. She
was not a lawyer, but she was a great student. She is still alive over there in St.
Petersburg--Jean Malcolm.

P: You, yourself, did not go around the state promoting this, did you?

S: After the legislature did, I promoted the ABC committee I created, and I did speak
for it often. But they arranged it. I was not the leader. I was trying to make them
the leader.

P: What were the major criticisms of the constitution after it came from the
legislature?

S: Well, a lot of us were lawyers. We thought the justice system needed substantial
improvement, and we were very mad that the legislature would not pass it and
put it in. They also left out another section that I will call miscellaneous. It had
things like statute of limitations, government, reorganization, zoning. We tried to
eliminate local bills and some other things that the legislature did not like.

P: But they did not make too many changes.

S: They made hardly any substantial changes. They simply refused to then submit
some of it to the people.

P: In the vote to ratify this constitution, I was a little bit surprised that it was a very
close vote. Why, do you think?









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S: We were nervous about it, and I still think that I would not have gotten it through
if there had been any organized opposition. I quieted the Democratic cabinet and
I quieted the Republican governor, and we did not have any real opposition. The
people are apprehensive about anything new. Things like one-person-one-vote, if
you live in Chipley, you do not feel the same way as if you live in Miami. Things
like that, they did not go through to the mayors. I just like it like it is, they would
say, or something like that.

P: When this was finished and approved by the voters, a lot of historians and
political scientists say that this was the birth of modern Florida. Would you agree
with that?

S: I think when they adopted the first constitution in 1845 and then in 1885 and
1887 at St. Joe, those were the births, too, of a modern Florida. A modern Florida
is what is happening now, and I think it is true. I thought we did a good job, a very
good job. Could we have done better? Well, I was trying to achieve the possible.
So I did not like everything that was in there as good as I could have liked it, but I
thought we really did one hell of a job in achieving the possible. We got a lot
through.

P: That is the key to me. There were a significant number of substantial changes.

S: I agree.

P: When you change a document that dramatically, it is tough to get it through.

S: I was lucky that the legislature left out those two articles.

P: It might have caused the defeat.

S: It may have caused the defeat, but they did get adopted in 1971 when Governor
Reubin Askew still pushed it.

P: Probably the legislature felt they had to withhold something. They had to
demonstrate their authority.

S: We had a lot of good legislators. Like, from near here, we had Ralph [D.]
Turlington. He was both speaker and member of my commission. He,
incidentally, was negative to a lot of things I was for. I was surprised. I had
considered him always a very progressive legislator, [but] he was one of the
more negative members of my constitutional revision commission. He was the
speaker-designate for the 1981 session, and he told us, take that out; if you do
not, I am going to get it; I am going to get you and hurt you in the legislature.
That is another speech I made. I made that one from the podium. I said, to hell









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with him. He is trying to do the best he can; we are trying to do the best we can.
If we are not going to approve the constitution, we are not going to approve it.
Let's pass it if we believe in it. If he kills it, he kills it. It is his responsibility. He
later tried to kill it and did not. He said he was going to, though. Let me finish
one more thing about the constitution. I would say that we were extremely
innovative in having the periodic constitutional revision by a commission that is
not elected. It is appointed. So far, all three appointed commissions have had
some businessmen, some academicians, some politicians, some members of the
legislature, some members of the judiciary and some lawyers and other things.
But no group so far has dominated one of those constitutional revision
committees. There is no other state that was doing that when we did that. That
was totally innovative in the entire world, as far as I know.

P: Nobody else had undertaken a task that dramatic.

S: I do not know either, so that is one of the proudest things I did. I remember four
or five people who were just monumental in that. Jack Mathews was one. Tom
Barkdall was one. Richard [A.] Pettigrew, who was a great, great speaker, was a
young member of the legislature. He was leading the charge on that periodic
revision, and he got the mumps when we were taking it up in commission and
that's why I had to leave the podium to come down and speak. He also wanted
to abolish the cabinet and I came down, for him, to speak and lost that one.
One other thing, I did a good job in my judgement as chairman. Before long, they
accepted me as their leader. One way that I did it, at about the fifth or sixth
meeting we had which was to review committee reports, not to vote and take
action yet, one of our members who was a damn good member, and I really liked
[him], but had missed four straight meetings. His name was Bill Baggs, and he
was the editor of the Miami News, the only newsperson we had out of our
thirty-seven. I asked for the entire commission to listen carefully to me, to be
silent, [as] I had something I wanted to say. My statement was, Bill Baggs is here
today; he has missed three straight meetings; I want to announce for the record
that I personally like Bill Baggs but that his contribution to Florida and
constitutional revision up to now has been zero. He came to every commission
meeting after that. He never missed a one. He was a good guy. He was one of
the good people who voted, but he was not paying enough attention to it at first.
He was worried about running the Miami News.

P: You were elected president of the American Bar Association in 1973. Why did
you decide to run for that office, and how do you go about getting elected
president of the ABA?


S: It is hard. Usually, most people come up through the organization, and, that had
been true in the past up to my time. I had never been to the American Bar









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Association as a member until I was elected president of the Florida Bar,
president-elect actually. I was elected president, as president-elect, I went to that
[ABA meeting] and felt some small interest. I liked it better than I thought I would.
The president [of the ABA] that year was a talented and attractive fellow who had
a great impact on me, Lewis Powell [U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1972-1987].
Lewis Powell came down to a convention that I had at the Fountainbleu Hotel for
the Florida Bar to speak, as often ABA presidents do, and he liked me. I did not
know he liked me as much as he turned out to. But he went back and I went out
of [FBA] office in May, and he was going out in August, but he created in August
as he went out of office a new revolutionary committee on trying to change the
structure of law and the legal profession so that all people, not just wealthy
people in the economy, could have the advantages of the law and the
advantages of lawyers. He called it the committee on the availability of legal
services, and he appointed just an absolutely wonderful committee and I was on
it. There were three older than me and three younger than me. All six of them
had a material impact on my life. Lewis Powell did too in some ways, but they
had even more. We met once a month for two years, in Chicago at the airport,
and worked like dogs trying to devise ways to restructure the legal profession to
make lawyers available to whoever needed a lawyer, to change the economics.
We did some things that were successful and some things that were not too
successful. We did nothing totally revolutionary, except we got lawyers as a
whole and the profession worrying about that and they started moving back into
wanting to do public service. They have again gone the other way now
[emphasizing making] money. They did all kinds of things. Of the three older
people, there was a wonderful guy named Bill Avery, who was manager of the
largest law firm in Chicago, Sidley & Austin. The second one was Paul
Carrington from Dallas. Gosh, I love Paul Carrington. His son, of the same name,
has retired as dean of Duke Law School not long ago. Paul Carrington was a
wonderful guy. He worried about structures of law firms. He believed in equality
of partners instead of having seniority and all that. The third one was a guy
named Teddy Voorhies, from a large Philadelphia Quaker-type law firm, very
righteous and indignant. But, more than most rich lawyers, and he was a rich
lawyer, he kept worrying about poor people who could not get lawyers [because]
they could not afford them. Then I was in the middle. Of the other three, the
chairman of the committee was a wonderful lawyer named Bill McAlpin, who had
graduated from Harvard only one year after I graduated from Florida. He was
chairman, and he was great. Ever since then, he has twice been appointed by
various presidents as chairman of the Legal Service Corporation. He cared about
that. Our committee initially thought up all of that, that has gone into federal law.
The next two, one of them was Dick Nahstal, who was an innovative, thoughtful,
wonderful lawyer from Oregon, who wanted to revise, and did have more impact
than anybody else I know [on], legal education and law schools and admissions.
The last one was a guy named Bobby Kutac. He rewrote legal ethics. He later
died when he was only, like, forty-one or forty-two, but he built a huge law firm. It









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started when he was thirty-five and grew to have over 100 lawyers, which in
those days was very big. He did bond work, but he cared about ethics and he
rewrote the whole code of ethics. We studied things like specialization and group
services. In the 1960s, nobody specialized. People were wanting specialties, but
if you had a twenty-man firm, you knew who was best at a particular thing, but
you did not even hold him out as a specialist; he had clients in almost every area.
We studied group legal service plans, where people could get together and make
small contributions and hire a lawyer who would represent any of them so that
they were all paying part of the legal fees.

P: Were these like an HMO?

S: Somewhat like that. We did things like where we were the first people who came
up with prepaid legal insurance, somewhat not unlike Blue Cross/Blue Shield or
something. We came up with ombudsmen. Though we adopted it from the
Scandinavian countries originally, we brought it over here and made it local. We
did things like where the Bar, itself, will reimburse somebody if a lawyer steals
from his client. Lawyer-guaranty funds, they call them. We guarantee that they
will not get taken. We did things like we dreamed up, thought up, proposed to the
president, proposed to the Congress such as the Legal Service Corporation like
we have now. Sargent Shriver [Kennedy in-law and head of various federal
agencies] was head of the OEO Office of Economic Opportunity in 1964-1965.
Later in 1978, when he ran for president for a little while, I was his national
campaign chairman. We were great friends and still are today. I got him to do
approve some of those things that committee had suggested. The third or fourth
year in it, I began to be somebody in the American Bar real quick, and I decided
to run for ABA president. I would say most people would never run for president
until they had been active in the ABA fifteen or twenty years. I decided to run in
my third year. I knew I was going to be elected. I was elected in my sixth year,
and I served as president in the seventh and eighth year that I first went to the
ABA. The greatest things that I have done in my life: Watergate, because I had
tremendous pressure; second, the constitutional revision; third is that damn
committee. That committee is still great today. I love the Legal Service
Corporation. My own law firm talks [about] pro bono all the time and does it, and
they talk about helping people who do not have lawyers. People did not do that at
all when I was a young lawyer.

P: How do you get votes for the ABA? Do you actually campaign?

S: I campaigned. I almost was innovative. A lot of them, why they waited so long,
they go to two meetings annually and they last several days, and they work on
committees and in groups and get to be friends. I campaigned. I went to see
them. Now, others do, too. Like always, if something works, other people adopt it.
I went around the United States and talked. The ABA constitution, or whatever









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you call it, provides a specified number of votes. While it is not quite
one-person-one-vote, they are allocated to the state bar somewhat on the basis
of size, with some small states getting more than their share somewhat like they
do federally in senators, because they just do not have enough lawyers. You
have to have at least one representative, so if California has twenty times more
people in it than Idaho does, Idaho gets one, [and while] California will not get
twenty, they may get thirteen or something like that. In addition to that, which
makes up for it, there are roughly 490 people in the House of Representatives,
which is like the House of Representatives in Congress. We call it the House of
Delegates, from various elements. They represent the states. They represent
local bars. For example, like Miami would have a representative, [but] Gainesville
will not [because] it is not big enough. The state has five or six from Florida.
Gainesville has furnished some. I succeeded Lance Lozonby, after he committed
suicide, on the board of governors. And those people have a chairman who is
called the state delegate, who is now also called a member of the voting
commission. So that means that every state has more than one member on the
nominating committee. In addition, they have specialty groups like corporate
lawyers or criminal lawyers or tax lawyers or young lawyers or retired elder
lawyers and others who have elected representatives. They are, kind of,
special-purpose groups. They get together, and they are not too representative
but they are representative. They go up and down, and they get to elect
members to the nominating committee. There are sixty-five members on the
nominating committee with each state having at least one, and one from Puerto
Rico and one from the other territories. There are only thirteen of them from
those other groups and they represent to try to make it closer to one-person-
one-vote, and they nominate [the ABA President]. It then goes to the House, and
the House is a lot better than that because we have twenty-four sections of the
ABA that are made up of specialty area lawyers, the biggest one of all being
young lawyers, the second biggest one being litigation, the third one being
corporate lawyers, and they have on down to intellectual property or tax or
admiralty or other things. They all elected [the ABA President], and I started
going to see those state delegates. I toured the United States. I had some
knowledge about things, like from constitutional revision. I had represented the
Florida phosphate industry before the state legislature and knew about lobbying
and campaigning, and I got the votes. I had some wonderful people helping and
eventually I had no opposition, but five different people, at one time or another,
announced that they were running against me. After a while, they counted the
votes and dropped out. Two of those guys later became president, and they
learned something from me. They were people like, and you may even have
heard of or known some of them, Bert Jenner, who was the minority counsel for
the House Committee in the impeachment of [Richard M.] Nixon [U.S. president,
1969-1974]. He was [from] a large firm, Jenner & Block, in Chicago. It is still a big
law firm. He ran against me a while. He announced three different times. He was
a very well-known ABAer and talented, but I had the votes. I had some others









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like that who ran against me a little while.

P: If we eliminate Watergate, what were your greatest achievements as president of
the ABA?

S: Without eliminating Watergate, I will say that my presidency would have been
materially different if it had not been for Watergate. All good presidents, and most
presidents of the ABA are at least pretty talented people or experienced, they are
president-elect for a year and spend a great amount of that planning their year
and what they are going to do and their accomplishments. They get organized
help and tell this person that I am going to make you chairman of my committee;
start working on it and thinking about it. I thought of some things that I wanted to
accomplish that spread out the ABA some and related to that committee that
Lewis Powell had put me on and other things. But, eventually, I got to do damn
little of them because Watergate dominated my activities. Now I did some of
them. For example, we fought and got through the Legal Service Corporation, not
in my year but it started in my year. I testified before Congress several times, as I
told you. I was great friends with Sargent Shriver. I was great friends with others
who helped draft and develop and create that thing and some other things like
that. But, most of them, it took a few years to get through, and I did not get to
work them as hard. I also wanted to make the state bars more dominant in the
ABA than they were, that I did not get to do much about that.

P: One area you were interested in is help for the mentally disabled.

S: I did help to get that started. I created a commission. That William McConnell
Clark Foundation-I forget what they do; they sell beauty products, I think,
house-to-house-they gave us $3,000,000, to me, at the ABA, and we created a
mental health commission to see how we could improve the law, as it relates to
inmates in mental health institutions, and how we could bolster those institutions
in their assigned tasks of respecting the rights of those people and trying to make
their lives as decent as possible and perhaps cure them in some ways, or
mitigate their damages. We did do that. I also did the same kind of thing with the
Foundation's help in [regards to] prisoners.

P: In dealing with the mentally disabled, you would have to work with the Baker Act.
How has that worked?

S: The Baker Act was a Florida law only. When I was working with it, we had to
worry about it a little bit and similar statutes in some other places. I did not work
in Florida, when I was ABA president; I worked nationally.

P: You had some interest in helping Vietnam vets with their legal problems, and I
think you referred to the war as a national mistake.









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S: I did refer to that, and that was when I was president-elect, I think, of the Bar,
before I took over, but perhaps, the most monumental of all, I was heavily
involved in Watergate and the Ervin Commission and then, eventually, the House
of Representative inquiry into Nixon after the tapes had been revealed and their
possible impeachment of him. I went out of office [around] August 5, 1974. My
final convention was in Hawaii, in Honolulu. My board of governors was meeting
on Maui, but the convention itself was in Honolulu. While my board of governors
was meeting, preparing for all of our positions and budget and all this stuff that a
governing body has to do, on the Friday that Richard Nixon resigned. I was
devastated. Our convention was going to open up on Saturday, and the official
convention opened on Monday. We were leaving Maui. We had closed our
meeting down and we were playing golf Friday, actually, but we were leaving and
going over to Honolulu. I was devastated. All my speakers including Justice
[Warren] Burger [Warren Burger, Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court, 1969-1986]
called me. He had been going to make a speech for the opening of the whole
convention. He could not leave Washington. The Attorney General could not
come out. All kinds of people, senators, could not come out, and all kinds of
speakers. They had to stay in Washington. I decided then, on Friday afternoon to
do something. A great friend of mine who was a great Federal appeals judge
named Shirley Hufstadter, who later became] secretary of education, helped me
and we stayed in and near my room [while] my wife went to social functions. We
wrote my opening speech. It is not unlike the president of the United States
would give to Congress opening; it was supposed to tell them what all we had
done and what we were doing. I covered basically what I thought our present
position was, insofar as Nixon was concerned. I said our country needs to put
things behind us, we need to get on, we need to do new and good things, [and]
we need to quit worrying anymore about things that do not now matter. I asked
[that] the new President [Gerald R.] Ford [1974-1977] pardon Richard Nixon. I
also asked that the new President Ford pardon all of the Vietnam veterans in
Canada and elsewhere, that right or wrong, the war was basically over. Nixon
was out of it and gone. We needed to restore our country and get back into
working to make it better. So I did come out. I was about the first person who
asked Ford to pardon Nixon. I did not think it would serve any further purpose for
the people to put him in jail. I thought we had finally proved that he was a criminal
and that it would not help us any to pursue it. A lot of people liked good things
that he had done, and I thought we ought to stabilize the country. That was a
monumental thing. That speech is one of the better speeches that I have given.

P: In retrospect, pardoning Nixon was the right thing for the country, but it hurt
Gerald Ford politically.


S: Sure.









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P: So it took a lot of courage for him to do that.

S: Well in my opinion, he was never a great political leader in the country.

P: Let me take you through Watergate. Let's start with the Saturday Night
Massacre. After Nixon fired Archibald Cox, you came out and gave a speech
criticizing Nixon for failing to obey the law and for attacking the law. What
motivated that speech?




S: Well, I had only been president of the ABA about six or seven weeks, I think.
That was around October 20. I had become president in the middle of August, so
it was a little more than that. It was maybe fifty or sixty days I had been president.
I had known and had followed the Sam Ervin committee. It was already operating
some, and they had started those fabulous hearings. Obviously, they had not
discovered the tapes and other things that gave emphasis to it, but they had
been talking and hearing. Sam Ervin was a friend of mine. He first was to come
out to my ABA convention, and he did--he was the only speaker that I had
scheduled--he was to give a prayer breakfast. He was the only speaker,
nationally, that I had asked to come out to Honolulu who continued to come after
the resignation of Nixon. Of course, it was almost a year after the Ervin hearings
because I was talking about it when I was president-elect of the ABA when a lot
of that stuff came out first. I do not know where I was on Friday, but I think I was
working in Washington. I had an apartment where I lived in Chicago because that
was where the ABA office was. Nobody had ever done that before, but I lived in
Bartow. [There was] no airport. I drove to Tampa, which was fifty miles, or to
Orlando, which was sixty miles, to catch planes. My [law] offices were in Polk
County too. We [Holland & Knight] did not have a Tampa office yet or a
Tallahassee office. So, I took an apartment up there, and I, generally, went home
to the Chicago apartment on Saturday. There was a meeting of the section on
legal education of the ABA on the night of the Saturday Night Masacre, which is
basically law professors and deans but [also] others interested in the educational
section, including a lot of lawyers who like to work in it just like they like to work in
the university or something [but] had no official position. They were having an
annual meeting at a hotel out near the airport in Chicago, and they asked me to
speak out there on Saturday night. I started listening and hearing a little about it
on television and in the papers, but I did not know too damn much about what
was happening with the federal court and with Archibald Cox and what they were
doing. I did know they existed. The Saturday afternoon firing of Archibald Cox
and then the takeover Saturday night of his offices and all the records and
everything by Nixon, which was called the Saturday Night Massacre, was on the
minds of everybody. There were other people there, lawyers, and everybody









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wanted to talk to me. While I was to speak in a little while with professors and
deans and lawyers and judges, they were talking, and I would describe it as an
attitude of total despair, in which they thought, this is America; this cannot be
happening in America; the president cannot fire somebody, [and] he cannot tell a
judge that he cannot go ahead with hearings or report something; he cannot lock
and put the FBI out where nobody else can see the records or see what is being
involved; and, this is a banana republic, this is not America. People used words
like banana republic a great deal. It just swamped the audience. I made a speech
that was moderate enough but in which I did not give as much my conclusions
as, say, how shaken I was by it. And we certainly needed to look into it. We
cannot have our nation called a banana republic; we have to look at it. That was
the first real expression that I had done about Watergate. I knew I was
president-elect. I had contacts with Senator Ervin because my law partner
Senator Holland had been his senate mentor. They had been friends, and he had
a lot of experience that Ervin did not, and Ervin would ask [questions]. In fact,
[Senator] Dick Russell from Georgia, according to Sam Ervin, said, now Sam,
you got a chance to be a good senator, and I am going to put you right behind
Spessard since Spessard studies, he works, he works hard; everything that
comes up that you do not know anything about, you need to ask Spessard or
watch what he does, and do what he did. Sam Ervin told me that. But, I knew
Sam Ervin, and through Sam Ervin, I had met the president's counsel, a young
lawyer named John Dean. When I was still president-elect, Warren Burger had
asked me over to a reception at the State Department for some judges from
England. I got over there, and I had been asked by Warren Burger to sit with him
and Sam Ervin and some others. There were maybe thirty people. John Dean
and his wife were there, and he asked me to sit with them. I was excited because
I thought, now when I become ABA president, I can get access into the White
House if I have proposals, like for the Legal Service Corporation or something
else. I tried to make friends with John Dean, and I went over and told the Chief
Justice [Burger], and Sam too, that I was not going to sit with them after all if they
did not mind, [that] I was going to sit over there [because] I wanted to meet this
young guy. This was on a Wednesday or something, and I met him. I never did
work with him after that. But I worried about it. The day after the Saturday Night
Masacre, a wonderful lawyer, young, whom I had hired out of the University of
Florida on the recommendation of Dick Julin, named Bill McBride, who is now the
managing partner of my firm, and I went to a football game. He had a girlfriend,
an airline stewardess, and my wife did not like football games, so the three of us
went out to watch the Chicago Bears play the New England Patriots at Soldier
Field in Chicago on a Sunday afternoon. I read papers, mainly, on Sunday
morning. As soon as I got there, he kept saying to me, Mr. Smith, what are you
going to do? He said, people are waiting for you to do something; what are you
going to do? I had not thought enough about it. I kept thinking. I was really upset
the night before about everybody saying banana republic. Eventually, about
halftime, I told him, I am going to call my wife; you take and get rid of your girl,









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[and] meet me down at the taxi line; we are going out to the ABA; I am going to
call the executive director, Bert Early, and get the chief ABA senior staff, and we
are going to talk about this and what we ought to do; I want their thoughts. We
got out there about three-thirty or four, and we stayed until midnight, on Sunday. I
had fourteen staff members who were there with me. We started calling lawyers
all over the country, and lawyers started calling us. Teddy Kennedy called me
and said, what are you going to do about this Saturday Night Massacre? Ralph
Nader called me. What are you going to do? We had people who were
conservative businessmen and clients. We had all kind of lawyers at all kind of
levels who called us there, and they had talked to other members of the staff.
Some of the members of the staff were senior and had been there a long time.
We started drafting a statement, and it is one of the more eloquent things, at
least to me, that I have ever done. I drafted a statement finally. We would read it
to people who called us, like Teddy Kennedy or Ralph Nader or somebody else.
We would then make additions and edit it when they would suggest something
and do something, but, eventually, we sent it out that night as a release. It was
published eventually in thirteen national daily newspapers under my signed
by-line, including the New York Times and the Washington Post and the Chicago
Tribune, but others too. Then, it was picked up as a news item world-wide.
Basically, the first sentence was, no person is above the law, and President
Nixon, you are not above the law; you have to either appeal Judge [John J.]
Sirica's order or comply with it; you cannot ignore it; you can not send somebody
down and lock the courthouse; you cannot tell the prosecutor he cannot do that;
you are not above the law. That was the way it started. That was the first time,
maybe, that somebody had gotten total attention, international and otherwise,
about the removal of Nixon. I went out. I had press conferences three and four
times a day after that. I decided that I would call the ABA into session to take a
position on that on Monday morning. I found out that I could not alone call the
ABA into session, that the board of governors of the ABA, which then had
nineteen members, had to do it. They were representative of elements
throughout there and the country. I will say they were awful close to from
eighteen states, but there may have been two from New York or two from
California or two from the District [of Columbia] or somewhere. There were not
many. They were representative though. So I called them into a session. I had to
give them three days notice, and I called them on Monday into session in
Chicago on the next Saturday. I had speeches and other things that I was to do,
so I wrote some more. I wrote a speech on the airplane on the way out to San
Diego to speak to the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, NLADA,
which relates a lot to public defenders and relates a lot to legal aid societies and
other things that defend poor people, and they all loved it. When I got out there, it
was pandemonium. I felt like I was somebody much more than I had ever been.
Everywhere I went, people would stand up and clap. Some would cry. Some
would say banana republic. It was being said more and more because I had used
it in a few press conferences. I made a speech out there, and it was the first









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emotional speech I had ever made or been involved in that the audience was
crying all the time I was talking. Senior people, like judges, like lawyers, from
large law firms but also lawyers who represented poor people in all kinds of
things, and the press was overwhelming. I went back to Chicago that Tuesday
night. I had gone out there in the morning, spoke at noon, and I went back. When
I got home, I was about two hours late. I got in at eleven-thirty and waiting at my
door-she had been waiting for four hours-was Barbara Walters [network
television news correspondent], and she had the camera--I mean, I am just
telling you how big [the situation] was--at my apartment upstairs. My wife was
kind of scared to go out. They were all out there and had a crew of ten, waiting
for a statement from me. I gave it, and I went to sleep. The next morning, I got up
at seven and headed for Harvard, where I was scheduled to speak. I went to
Harvard and, so help me God, I could not believe..the students cried when I
spoke. They were so frightened about the Saturday Night Massacre that the
president was taking over, that he thought he was above the law, that he could
lock the doors on the courthouse if they were investigating him. And it went on.
Eventually, I went to another place, I forget where, on Friday to speak. Friday
night, we went back to Chicago and we had the [ABA] board of governors
assembled. The board of governors, I wanted them to be unanimous, right away.
If there were twenty-one or nineteen, I do not remember exactly [and] I had all
[except] about two to three votes. I could get it through. I could get it adopted. But
I wanted them to be unanimous, and we fought and fussed about it. Finally, two
guys honestly did not believe that the ABA should do that and get involved, and
they thought there was some partisanship against Nixon and other things [and]
did not want to do it. They finally voted, if they could make a statement that, one,
they had great affection and respect for me in that I had asked them, two, that
this was not a conclusion but was an investigation that they voted for. So I got it
unanimous eventually. They were good guys, in other words, but they were
partisan; they almost admitted that they were deep Republicans and they did not
want their president to be removed. That happened, and so we called the House
of Delegates into session in 30 days. Eventually, of course, you had to give thirty
days notice before you could call the [ABA] House of Delegates, which is 480 or
so, together, and I called it for thirty days away. In about two weeks, Nixon
appointed my predecessor, a friend, Leon Jaworski, to succeed Archibald Cox.
He had fired, of course, Elliot Richardson [Attorney General of the U.S.] because
he would not fire Cox. Then, he fired Bill Ruckelshaus, who was deputy attorney
general, because he would not fire Cox. Then, he got Robert Bork, who was third
in seniority in the department; he was the solicitor general. He [Bork] did lure Cox
because he thought it was the proper and best way for the justice system to work
to have somebody continue to look at it. Later, I was testifying in favor of
something that was not thoroughly worked out, but like another independent
counsel before the House Judiciary committee. When I came out, there were
forty something television reporters and news reporters out there, and they said,
did you know that Leon Jaworski is at the White House talking? I said, yes, I









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knew he was in town and was going over there, but he said he could not tell me
why. We were good friends. They said, well, the president has just announced
that he was appointing him as special investigator to take Archibald Cox's place.
Of course, that should be somebody. I now think that the Congress is the best
system. But, right away, I thought it was horrible, for Jaworski to take over, and I
said something of the general nature that, well, it will not really help the situation
a lot. Leon Jaworski is a close friend of mine. I consider him wholly honorable,
wholly intellectual, just a great guy. But if he finds Nixon innocent, people are
going to say, that does not mean a damn thing; Nixon appointed him to
investigate him and, in his own mind, find him innocent. And, if Jaworski finds
Nixon guilty, well, what can he do? If he finds [Nixon] innocent, they will not
believe him. If he finds [Nixon] guilty, well, [Nixon] can remove him if he now can
get away with firing Cox. This does not mean anything. We need somebody with
greater power [and] greater responsibility who can investigate and find out what
the president has done. While I do not want to stop impeachment, there are other
things an investigation can lead people who are reluctant to do so to get involved
in impeachment. The reporters even clapped when I got through with that. So I
will say for the next 120 days, I was totally involved in speaking and talking and
testifying before Congress, giving news things. Now, I had some duties, of
course. My board of governors would meet every sixty days, and the House of
Delegates met twice a year and that kind of stuff. You had to prepare for a lot of
other things, you had budgets and things, but Watergate was an overwhelming
operation of mine. Eventually, I testified before the Ervin Committee. The Ervin
Committee quit. We went into impeachment and, while I probably should not
exactly say this and I did not for years, Chief Justice Warren Burger told me,
Chesterfield, I know what you are doing. He said, I cannot talk about some
things, but I like what you are doing. He told me that. Leon Jaworski, who had
been my predecessor, said, Chesterfield, you know what I have been doing
every day and I know what you have been doing every day, and you are as good
a man as I know in the world. People like that, all the time. Sam Ervin told me
things like that. Bert Jenner, who I told you had been going to run against me
twice, he was the lawyer for the House Minority, the Republicans. He was a
Republican, and he was representing the House Minority--he told me that. Of
course, after all those tapes came out, even those who opposed impeachment
were for it before long, and that is why Nixon resigned.

P: In the beginning, did you call for his resignation?

S: No, I did not call for his resignation. Nobody was above the law, I said simply. He
had to either appeal Judge Sirica's order or comply with it. Judge Sirica's order
was simply he had to turn the tapes over.

P: What do you think about Bork? Bork went ahead and fired Cox. Do you think that
affected him when he was nominated to the Supreme Court?









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S: I was casual friends with Bork, and I sometimes went to lunch with him. Part of
that was I was a new guy coming in [and] a guy that sometimes he was going to
have to work with. I will say I wanted to know him, so I had been stroking him a
little bit. I admit that. But, we were only casual friends. When he was nominated
later to be on the U. S. Supreme Court, I testified against him, and I believe that
he dislikes me now very much. I sat by him at a head table, one time, and he was
right next to me and he turned his back on me and did not even say hello. We
had, up to then, been casual friends. He may dislike me now since I testified
[against] him, and I did testify strongly against him as I could to Congress that he
should not be on the Supreme Court.

P: For ideological reasons?

S: Well, yes. Now, he was obviously intellectually brilliant, but I did not think he
would make a Supreme Court judge. I thought he would decide things for
partisan reasons, would construe cases of relating things, like Cox, in favor of his
political philosophy. He has a strong political philosophy, and I do not appreciate
him even yet.

P: After the tapes came out, did you ever learn Nixon's reaction to your speech?

S: I do not think so. Alexander Haig [U.S. Army Colonel and White House Chief of
Staff] had a Sunday press conference, and he said I was an unethical lawyer
who talked all the time about things I did not really know the facts on and that he
thought I ought to be disbarred. He said that. However, Nixon never did say
anything about me that I have heard.

P: Was this the greatest constitutional crises in American history?

S: No. I do not know what is. Of course, my involvement in it, to me, makes it the
significant chapter in my life. It is funny to walk down the hall to go to the toilet,
and nineteen newspaper people follow you, but it happened several times and I
was only a little country lawyer from Bartow and Arcadia, Florida.

P: What was your view of Jaworski as a special prosecutor?

S: Good. My opposition to him is that he let Nixon appoint him. I would have done
like Elliot Richardson. He had said, you have to stay out of this, Mr. President.

P: What about the idea of special prosecutor? Do you think the day of that office is
over now?

S: Yes, for several [reasons]. Now, there may be some new system, and I do not




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