Mack Barham

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mack Elwin Barham
Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court (Place Four)
In office
1968–1975
Succeeded by James L. Dennis
Judge of the 4th Judicial District of Louisiana based in Monroe
In office
1962–1968
Municipal Judge in Bastrop, Louisiana
In office
1948–1962
Personal details
Born (1924-06-18)June 18, 1924
Bastrop, Morehouse Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died November 27, 2006(2006-11-27) (aged 82)
Covington
St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana
Resting place Cremation
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Ann Lavois Barham
Children Bret Lane Barham

Megan B. Richardson

Residence (1) Bastrop, Louisiana

(2) Monroe, Ouachita Parish
Louisiana
(3) New Orleans, Louisiana
(4) Covington, Louisiana

Alma mater University of Colorado

Louisiana State University Law Center

Occupation Judge; Attorney

Mack Elwin Barham (June 18, 1924 – November 27, 2006) was a prominent attorney who served on the New Orleans-based Louisiana Supreme Court from 1968 to 1975.

Background[edit]

A native of Bastrop, the seat of Morehouse Parish, Barham spent his later years in New Orleans. However, after Hurricane Katrina waters destroyed his Lakewood home near the 17th Street Canal, he relocated to nearby Covington, the seat of St. Tammany Parish.

Barham was the son of the late Henry A. Barham and Lockie H. Barham (1884–1973). The family owned Barham's Dairy in Bastrop. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado. He then entered the Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge, where in 1946, he obtained his law license. Two years later, at the age of twenty-four, he was elected municipal judge of Bastrop, a position which he held until 1962, when he was elected as a Democrat to the Monroe-based Fourth Judicial District Court bench on which he served for six years until 1968.

The law and Justice Barham[edit]

On the Supreme Court, Barham and Justice Albert A. Tate, Jr., originally from Opelousas in St. Landry Parish, formed a coalition that led to a 4-3 majority of younger judges who began the implementation of the United States Supreme Court's civil rights decisions.

A member of that new majority, State Supreme Court Chief Justice Pascal F. Calogero, Jr., called Barham "one of the most industrious judges I came to know." Calogero added: "He was very progressive in supporting process changes on the Supreme Court. He was very capable and he contributed to the evolving jurisprudence. He came on the state court when an extremely conservative court was just beginning to respect the U.S. Supreme Court on constitutional matters." Calogero said that he had last seen Barham when the state Supreme Court dedicated the newly renovated courthouse in the 400 block of Royal Street in the French Quarter in 2005.

Subsequent Chief Justice Catherine D. Kimball did not serve with Barham but sat on the bench when former Justice Barham argued cases before the court. "He was extremely well prepared and obviously intelligent in presenting his client's position. It was immediately apparent that he was a true student of the law and mastered even the most difficult of concepts with relative ease. He was indeed a brilliant jurist and lawyer," Kimball said.

U.S. Court of Appeals Circuit Judge James L. Dennis, a Monroe native living in New Orleans, followed Barham to the state Supreme Court in 1975. Dennis described the former justice as "a true and dear friend, but beyond that he was one of the brightest and most courageous judges I have ever known. I was never privileged to serve on a bench with him, but I followed in his path on the district court to the state Supreme Court. He swore me on at every one of those points."

Dennis continued: "I learned from his writings and his examples. He was an outstanding leader in the Louisiana judiciary. He was at the forefront of the civil law renaissance."

After leaving the court, Barham went into the private practice in New Orleans and specialized in appellate practice, administrative law, expropriation, environmental law, and commercial litigation. His last firm was Barham and Arceneaux in New Orleans with his colleague Robert Arceneaux.

One of his most public roles was defending the state of Louisiana in the college desegregation lawsuit, helping negotiate a settlement with the United States Department of Justice that led to enhanced funding for historically black institutions.

Mack Barham was a member of the Order of the Coif, Omicron Delta Kappa, Blue Key, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Alpha Delta, Phi Delta Phi, and authored numerous legal scholarly articles. He also taught at Tulane University Law School in New Orleans. In 1987, Barham wrote an article on the legal contributions of Chief Justice Tate (1920–1986) for the Louisiana Law Review.

A cousin of two state senators[edit]

Barham was a distant cousin of two Republican state senators, Robert J. Barham and Edwards Barham, both form Oak Ridge in Morehouse Parish. Robert Barham described Mack Barham as "a very distant cousin. We were closer friends than relatives. Mack Barham set the bar for integrity, ability and intellectual capability on the state Supreme Court. He was always a gentleman and an inspiration to anyone connected with the legal profession."

Barham's death[edit]

Barham died in a Covington hospital after a lengthy illness. Survivors include his wife, the former Ann Lavois; son, Bret Lane Barham (born 1947), then an attorney in Lake Charles; daughter, Megan Richardson (born 1950) of Covington; a sister, Ertie Mae Bowdon of Birmingham, Alabama; five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Barham was cremated.

References[edit]

http://www.thetowntalk.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061128/NEWS01/611280312&SearchID=73264434337428

http://obits.nola.com/NOLA/DeathNotices.asp?Page=Lifestory&PersonId=20088480

http://www.thenewsstar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061128/NEWS01/611280311

http://pview.findlaw.com/view/2264866_1?noconfirm=0

http://www.fjc.gov/servlet/tGetBib?jid=2340

http://www.webfh.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=105071&fh_id=10802

http://bastrop.townnews.com/articles/2006/11/28/news/news5.txt