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Memorial--Davis, James B.
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James B. Davis
December 27, 1914 – July 7, 1961 

 By Edward L. Foster, President of the Montgomery County Bar Association: If the Court please, James. B. Davis also passed away during the year last past and to present a Motion on his behalf, I would like to present to the Court Mr. Victor Crawford. 

     BY MR. CRAWFORD: On behalf of the Bar Association of Montgomery County, Maryland, it is my privilege to petition this Court that a resolution be passed to the memory of James Bernard Davis, renowned attorney from Rockville, Maryland. 

     Jim Davis was born to Timothy and Mary Davis in Altoona, Pennsylvania, on December 27, 1914. He attended primary school and graduated from Altoona High School in 1932. He attended Shippensbury State Teachers College for two years and then moved to the Washington area. He attended George Washington University night school and received his B.A. Degree from that institution in 1938. He married the former Nadine Moon in 1941, and moved to New York State in 1943, where he was employed as a builder at Sampson Naval Base in that State until 1949. Jim Davis returned to Montgomery County in 1949 and became Taxi-cab Inspector for this County. While working for this County at that job, he attended night school at National University Law School in 1953, at the age of thirty-nine years. He was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar in March of 1954 and to the Maryland Bar in September of 1954. At this time he had a wife and five children, but he opened his own law offic eint he Professional Building and started a practice of law in this County as a novice. He opened his office with Mr. Irving Abb, and between them they had one desk and two chairs. He practiced for ess than seven years, but in this time he became a phenomenal success in the practice of law. Among his more famous cases were the Hall murder case, and the Contee rape case. During this period of time he tried over seven hundred cases, almost one-third of which were jury trials.

      On July 7, 1961, near the eighteenth hole of the Falls Road Golf Course, he died. He was only forty-six years old at the time of his death. He left behind him his wife, Mrs. Nadine Davis, and six children, two boys and four girls. His sons are Pete Davis and Mike Davis, and his daughters are Judy, Mary, Aimy and Anny. Among his other activities, Jim Davis was very active in the Republican Party, being a former precinct chairman in the Silver Spring Area. He was past President of the Holy Name Society, Montgomery County President of St. Vincent de Paul Society, a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Maryland Bar, a member of the Montgomery County Bar Association, and of the Maryland State Bar Association.

     However, this is only one-half of the story of Jim Davis. The other half, all who knew him realize. He was a man of magnetic personality, who lived hard and worked hard. He was a trial lawyer, in the true sense of the word, taking a case regardless of the consequences as to public opinion and adverse publicity. When he took a case he fought long and hard; he gave no quarter andhe asked for none. Many time he took cases without fee, because he thought that an injustice had been done. He was an outstanding example to the younger members of the Bar, who will, I think, miss him the most. Many times I can recall younger members of the Bar visiting his office to ask for advice, both personal and legal. Of the many problems which beset an attorney in the practice of the law, Jim Davis was always ready and willing to lend his aid and advice in order to help an attorney solve these problems. He was a respected member to all who knew him, and this Court Room is less than complete without his presence.

     Therefore, on behalf of the Montgomery County Bar Association, I move that this Motion be spread upon the minutes of this Court, as permanent record of the achievements of James B. Davis, and that a copy of this Motion be sent to his survivors.

 Respectfully submitted, Edward L. Foster, President of the Montgomery County Bar Association.

     BY MR. EDWARD PALAMERO: If it please the Court, your Honors, it was just a month over two years ago that I first met Jim Davis, right outside this Court Room. I had been newly admitted to the Bar and I asked Jim if he had any room in his office, and as Mr. Crawford has said and I can verify, and I am sure all the other members of the Bar knew Jim. I cannot speak and I do not think it would be proper for me to speak as to what type of lawyer he was, as a man senior to me, and I will leave that to the Court and the Bench, but I will speak as to the type of person and the type of a friend he was to me. I was a young attorney, atarting into practice, and Jim took me by the hand I was associated withhim for about seven months. During that time I can say that Jim Davis had his own Legal Aid Society, as Mr. Crawford pointed out. He took cases regardless of any fee or toher remuneration and one of the remarks he said to me was “You msut remember that you are in a profession, and not a business man. Help those who need help.” When I left Jim Davis a year ago last April he took a great interest in me. At my first trial by myself he walked into the Court and made sure everything would go along all right. Since that time he has always been, until his untimely death, a very close friend of mine. He advised me both personally and legally. He has been an inspiration for younger members of the Bar because we did look upon him as a shining example of phenomenal success. I don’t know what the final analysis of my legal career will be, but if it is anything worthwhile, or anything good, ikt is because Jim Davis made it so.  

     BY ROBERT C. HEENEY: May it please the Court, I think that of all the attributes that a trial lawyer likes to have himself described by other people is that he is a fighter; he is ethical and he is a fighter, and I think that the family of James Davis can be very, very proud of these seven years that he was fighting in this Court. He served his clients well, honorably and fairly and fought all the way. I understand that one of his sons wants to be a lawyer and I think one of his sons is going to take the desk that Jim practiced at. Just remember that Jim played the game according to the rules and that he was fair. He also had a very fine Catholic faith. You know you have heard him argue to this jury or judge, and say something aobut “to a moral certainty, beyond any reasonable doubt” and it must be very comforting to his family to know that now he knows of the existence of God to a moral certainty and beyond any reasonable doubt.

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