Theard v. United States

RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: California State Capitol

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1957-1958)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

CITATION: 354 US 278 (1957)
ARGUED: Dec 13, 1956
DECIDED: Jun 17, 1957

Facts of the case


Media for Theard v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 13, 1956 in Theard v. United States

Earl Warren:

Number 68, Delvaille H. Theard, Petitioner, versus United States of America.

Delvaille H. Theard:

If the Court please.

Earl Warren:

Mr. Theard.

Delvaille H. Theard:

This is a disbarment suit brought in the federal court in which I am, the defendant.

I'm representing myself.

The disbarment suit in the federal court was based on a judgment of disbarment in the state court in accordance with the rules for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

I would like to go back just a bit so that Your Honors may have a short history of the facts of this case.

I was admitted to practice in 1910 into state law and very shortly thereafter, in the federal court.

I practiced law from 1910 until 1936 quite actively.

I also undertook the other matters in line with my professional duties.

I was the editor of the Southern Law Quarterly printed by and published by Tulane University which came to an end at the beginning of the First World War.

And subsequently, after the First World War, I became one of the editors of the Southern Law Quarterly of Tulane which is going on.

I taught at Tulane University in the law school, part time as a gracious act contribution of love for a profession which I cherish without salary of course, for 16 years.

In 1935, I realized myself that my health was impaired.

I found it almost impossible to go on.

I have been very active, trial work over the years.

I had tried many cases.

I couldn't begin to give you an idea of how many.

And I had to give up the law school.

I felt that I couldn't go on, although it was one of the great things in my life.

In the summer of 1936, I collapsed.

There was trouble in my business.

There was trouble in my affairs, and I was moved by my family and my friends to a mental institution.

It is a fact that I remained there as patient for more than 10 years, seven years in De Paul Sanitarium, seven months in the state institution for mentally afflicted at Jackson, Louisiana and about three years in the parish infirmary in the City of New Orleans.

I received fine care, good treatment.

I was taken cared of.

I myself reached the point gradually where I've realized that I must get well and I wanted to get well and that I mustn't hurry my cure.

I reached the point where some charges which had been made against me, there were two charges that were made against me of mishandling of funds, and one of those charges involving a large sum of money, $42,000.

The District Attorney and the Attorney General on the recommendation of a coroner and a committee reached the conclusion that I was well enough to be tried criminally for this embezzlement or alleged embezzlement.

By that time, I was well enough to take care of myself.