IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
M E M O R I A L S E R V I C E
May 12, 1972
In Memory of: Lewis A. Dille
Official Record of the Circuit Court
Montgomery County, Maryland
HONORABLE JAMES H. PUGH
HONORABLE WALTER H. MOORMAN
CHARLES W. WOOWARD, President,
Montgomery County Bar Association
ANDREW W. STARRATT, JR., Chairman
JUDGE PUGH: This Court convenes today in the Memorial Services for those members of the Bar who died during the past year.
The Court will recognize the President of the Bar Association, Mr. Charles W. Woodward.
MR. WOODWARD: If it please Your Honors, it is in the highest tradition of the Bench and Bar that we suspend our usual activities and take time to honor the memory of those members of the Bar who have passed on.
Today we honor the memory of Robert L. McCloskey, Frederick O. Louden, John M. McInerney, Harold C. Smith, Sr., and Lewis A. Dille. At this time I would like to present Mr. Andrew A. Starratt, Jr., the Chairman of the Memorial Committee of the Montgomery County Bar Association.
MR. STARRATT: On behalf of the Bar Association, Your Honors please, I would like to move that the remarks of these proceedings be spread upon the Minutes. It has been reported that five of our colleagues have departed, all of them having contributed much to the Bar and to everyone who they came in contact with throughout their lives, and I would like Your Honors to recognize Mr. George Molnar who will deliver some remarks concerning Mr. Lewis Dille.
MR. MOLNAR: If it please the Court, members of the Montgomery County Bar, ladies and gentlemen. I have the pleasure of speaking in the memory of a very gentle man, Lewis A. Dille, who first travelled around the world, just about did everything besides being a merchant seaman. He was even a cook. And in 1964 he retired from the Justice Department as a trial lawyer.
What I wish especially to speak to is thereafter he contacted me and asked me if he could cme to my office and just see what I am doing because he couldn’t stay retired as a lawyer. I was please.
I had met Lewis Dille back about 1950 and he was always interested in law, especially young people who were just beginning the law. We have a new fraternity known as Delta Theta Phi. While Lewis Dille was going to law school at Catholic University Law School, at that time known as Columbus University Law School from which he graduated in 1952, he was a member of Delta Theta Phi law fraternity and of course he was working also while attending law school and he had his chance at that time to meet with many younger people and significantly in the law profession we especially admire lawyers who take the time to talk to young students who are just aspiring to become lawyers, then to talk to young lawyers who are just making their way, giving them precious advice, counselling, and this was one of the wonderful things about Lewis Dille who was nearly twice as tall as I am. He was a tall man, but as tall and as big as he was he was so gentle, he was really a compassionate man, almost unbelievable to have a man like that in this area of activity.
Generally we lawyers are adversary minded. We are aggressive people; however, as you know, you can accomplish many things in different ways, and Lou Dille did his accomplishment in a gentle way, persuasion.
I have papers here in which during the 16 years he was trial attorney for the Department of Justice he was commended by the Court of Claims down in Washington, D. C., and I would like to read for you just a short paragraph which is dated April 7, 1972, which is signed by our present Assistant Attorney General, Patrick Gray. He had written this to Mrs. Dille who is present here today and I quote: “Lou was an excellent attorney and his legal work for the Court of Claims Section of the Civil Division greatly enhanced the reputation of the Civil Division and the Department of Justice. His expertise in the area of transportation law as reflected in the decision of the Court of Claims is his legacy to the legal profession; just as important were his traits as a man. He will be remembered by his colleagues and his friends as a compassionate and admired person, a real gentle man.
As I indicated, Lou Dille came to me and I was associated with him for about two and one-half years, and at that time he was approximately 65 years of age and never did he ever tell that, well, he would take it easy or not go to this hearing or ask me to fill in for him. It was the other way around. He actually filled in for me, taking rather long trips out to Upper Marlboro or coming up to Rockville after he had gotten down town.
I think these are some ways I am trying to talk about his memory to you. You will find it easy if I tell you that he was a devote Roman Catholic and for his church he couldn’t do enough. He was ready, he was the able and he was the willing man. Everyone in his parish would tell you Lou Dille is the one who is doing this.
He acted as a lecturer which just recently required that he rise early in the morning, while most of us are still sleeping he is up and attending to duties that he held and performed in the same expertise that Mr. Gray spoke of him from the quotation I read.
Now, Lou was a member of the D. C. Bar, Maryland State Bar, Montgomery County Bar Association, as well as the member of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Just recently I had an excerpt from the record of the United States Court of Claims dated Wednesday, April 5, 1972 in which Chief Judge Wilson Kyle had inserted upon that Court’s records on that date, so that I read what the reporter had transcribed upon the record, and I so read it now. Upon the convening of court this date the Chief Judge recognized Thomas J. Lynan, Chife of the Court of Claims Section Civil Division, Department of Justice, who called the Court’s attention to the recent death of Lewis A. Dille on March 29, 1972, and presented a memorial tribute to him. The Chief Judge responded on behalf of the Court in recognition of Mr. Dille’s service tot he Court over the years and on behalf of the United States and directed that Mr. Lynan’s statement would be included in the Court’s journal and that when the court adjourned this date, it would do so in memory of Lewis A. Dille. At 3:13 p.m. the Court ordered the adjournment until Thursday, April 6, 1972, 10:00 a.m. in honor of the memory of Lewis A Dille. End of quotation.
I would just like to say in closing that he also may not have been well known by his fellow brother lawyers of the Montgomery County Bar Association, but I am sure they saw him as a tall gentle person moving around in a fashion not to intrude, not to push, and in accomplishing as an officer of the Court in a very fine way the duties of a lawyer, fully in behalf of his clients and always in service for the law.
JUDGE PUGH: On behalf of all of the judges of this Court I respond to the several memorials that have been presented here today.
The other members of this Court are, most of them are attending the retirement exercises of Chief Judge Hall Hammond in Towson this afternoon and therefore were unable to be here.
The purpose of these memorial services is to spread upon the Minutes of the Court in a Special Docket, the Memorial to the Deceased Members of the Bar, tht is a permanent docket and has been so since the beginning of this Court.
These memorial services record the end of the legal career before this Court of the five officers of the Court whose memorials have today been presented to it. Most of these deceased members of the Bar were active practitioners before this Court and were personally known to each and every member of the Bench.
I can say on behalf of the Bench that these practitioners upheld the law, recorded among their own records and the records of this Court their abilities as members of the Bar and as officers of the Court.
We mourn their decease, but the Memorials will be placed among the permanent records of this Court, so that they may be viewed at any time by the public.
In behalf of the members of this Bench I wish to express the sympathy of all the judges of this Circuit Court on the demise of our brother officer, Lewis A. Dille.
The motion to spread upon the Minutes of this Court the remarks made by Mr. George A. Molnar will be granted.
Court is adjourned.