JUDGE SHOOK: The Court will recognize Mr. Alger Barbee.
REMARKS BY MR. BARBEE
MR. BARBEE: Judge Shook and other Honorable members of the Bench, Mr. President, members of the Bar Association of Montgomery County, ladies and gentlemen:
Indeed it is a sorrowful and saddened event to find on this agenda of this annual occasion the name of Kenneth Lyddane.
He was a great friend of mine, a great friend of the Bench, a great friend of the Bar Association and many, many people in Montgomery County.
Kenny was born in Montgomery County on a farm in Germantown, and I call him Kenny, because everybody else calls him Kenny.
He was born there seventy-three years ago in 1897 in the month of May on his father’s farm. He was a farmboy, and he worked on the farm which was operated by his father, Charles Lyddane; and his mother was Ida Lyddane.
He was a member of a family consisting of five brothers and one sister, all of whom did predecess him.
Kenny was educated in the elementary school in Germantown and then went to the very distinguished school in Montgomery County, Raleigh Hall located in Poolesville.
He graduated among a list of very notables, and, of course, among the notables was someone very close to us who was an instructor there before he was judge here. That was Judge Woodward.
After his graduation, he became an assistant clerk of this Court serving with Clayton K. Watkins. The Clerk then I believe was Mr. Cooley.
Thereafter he served as a Clerk in the State’s Attorneys’ Office which was the only assistant then that the State’s Attorney has in any form.
Someplace along the line Kenny became accomplished in shorthand reporting, which was a great asset to his office in the State’s Attorneys’ Office, but more so an attribute and a contribution to the Bar, because thereafter he became a court reporter and examiner. He was the sole examiner in divorce cases, contested and uncontested. He heard practically all. The only exception was when there was a petition to have an open court hearing; and the it came into the Circuit Court. Otherwise, it was virtually tried by Mr. Lyddane; that is, he took all the testimony. He transcribed it all and made a recommendation to the Circuit Court.
He had a wide practice of law, very general, every kind of a civil case that you can encounter. He got a vast criminal practice.
He conducted them all with success. He particularly became renowned in Montgomery County and the District of Columbia and elsewhere as being the authority and the great divorce lawyer in Montgomery County.
Indeed Kenny was a walking digest of authority of divorce law in Maryland; and with that equipment, Kenny was always most willing to lend his assistance in that field particularly or in the other fields in which he was well qualified. He was always so helpful to the young lawyer, and many times the elder lawyer who needed advice in that field based on his experience and age.
Unfortunately, Kenneth passed away late in the year 1969, December 31. Kenny was graduated from his law school in 1922 and thereafter passed the Bar.
He took his Bar Examination with Stedman Prescott and Walter - - Wally - - Dawson; and as we well know, Judge Prescott recently became Chief Judge of our Court of Appeals. Wally Dawson was elected more than any one man in Montgomery County to the offices of State’s Attorney once, or more than once, the Legislature, and for thirty some years I believe the State Central Committee, all three having now been again joined in the great beyond.
Kenny was a most kind, gentle man. He was considerate and particularly sympathetic and anxious to help the unfortunate.
He was a wakened historian of almost every event in Montgomery County; and in his good humor, it was enlightening to sit down and reminisce with Kenny.
It is too bad that he did not write a book, because it would be most interesting to read.
In summary, Kenneth Lyddane, Paul Kenneth Lyddane, but known as Kenny, was a credit to his profession and to his community.
His passing away is a great loss to the entire County. After this occasion and as time passes, his great tributes will be forgotten by things to come; but his memory will remain with us as a great experience of profession and life, and will cherish forever his memory.
JUDGE SHOOK: Judge Pugh will respond for the Court.
REMARKS BY JUDGE PUGH
JUDGE PUGH: Kenneth Lyddane was a fixture in this Court for more than thirty odd years. He was, when I came to the Bar here in 1931, the only Examiner in Chancery that we had.
He was also the only lawyer in this County who practically controlled all of the divorce business. He was able. He was conscientious, and he was a good lawyer in his field.
In addition to some of his duties as a divorce lawyer, he participated in someof the biggest trials that were ever held in this courtroom. One of the trials involved a conspiracy to murder.
He was assitant counsel to Judge Prescott who defended the defendant in that case. That case gained nationwide publicity. It resulted in a hung jury here, and the case was then moved to Hagerstown where it was retried and the verdict was not guilty.
Kenneth Lyddane was the backbone for the preparation of the trial of that case, and Judge Prescott was the one who defended him.
He was very capable and thorough in his investigations in that case. The case turned on expert testimony, and Kenneth Lyddane handled the expert testimony in that case.
There are only a couple of lawyers in this courtroom that would remember that case. That was back in 1936.
In addition, I saw Kenneth Lyddane in this courtroom on an occasion where a man was charged with murder. He was being defended by one of the most outstanding lawyers of this Bar who immediately prior to trial became incapacitated.
The case had been set for trial on two or three occasions. Judge Woodward and Judge Willard were sitting here.
Judge Willard was from Frederick County. This was a murder charge against a colored man.
The lawyer who was to defend that man was unable to proceed with the trial, and the Judges insisted that the trial go on.
I can very easily see now what took place. I was seated in the front seat here, in the chair where the State’s Attorney used to sit; and Kenneth Lyddane was over here on the grand jury bench.
Kenneth Lyddane stepped up and aksed the Court if he couldn’t enter his appearance for the defendant in that case. His appearance was entered in the case. The disabled lawyer was excused and taken out of the courtroom, and Kenneth Lyddane defended that man for murder, that took a two-day trial. The result was that he was found guilty of manslaughter.
He stepped into that case without any previous preparation knowing nothing about the case but came to the rescue and aid and assistance of his disabled brother lawyer.
Kenneth Lyddane was a very kind man. He was a very thoughtful man. He knew almost everything that went on around the courthouse, and he was very friendly.
He was a man that the Court could rely on and who always respected the Court and the judges in the manner in which the Courts were conducted.
I will miss him. He used to stop by my chambers frequently just to chat. He had retired about two years before he died; but he would frequently come in and just say hello and talk about things in general.
Kenneth Lyddane was a good, conscientious lawyer and one who attended his profession with honor and dignity.
I will miss him, and I am sure that those members of the Bar that were in close contact with Kenneth Lyddane will miss him also.
JUDGE SHOOK: The Court will now adjourn in memory of William P. Helm, Paul Cuddy, and Kenneth Lyddane.
(Whereupon, at 2:35 o’clock, p. m., Court adjourned.)