[PHOTO CREDIT: Provided]
(Publisher’s Favorite Articles from Past Issues, Mixed with Occasional New Stuff.)
Back in the second Issues of Lake Legal News (February, 2010), we were able to publish a 1956 letter which had been preserved by Lake County, Florida, attorney Morton “Mort” D. Aulls. To this day it is still one of the most comical things I have ever read! (To be truthful, I got a bit dizzy just trying to type it out, below). You will see that as commentary, Aulls added his recollections regarding the letter’s author, attorney Clayton J. Weir. We begin with Aulls’ thoughts, followed by the letter’s text. It is a true blast-from-the-past.
By Aulls:Clayton Weir was an attorney down in Groveland starting back in the 40s, and he was a fine old gentleman. Back then the old title company—which had been around forever—was Lake Abstract (run by Mr. Burleigh), and the new title company was called Inland Title. Inland was run by Mr. May, who too was a fine man, but he was always as nervous as a rat. He had a bad back and he always walked around on his toes and kind of shuffled everywhere he went while he searched the titles over–and–over to make sure everything was exactly right; if John May searched your title and he said it was good, it was good. At any rate, this hilarious (but true) 1956 letter is one written by attorney Clayton to Mr. May, attempting to straighten out a title problem.
By Weir (in text form):We received the Chain of Title (re order No. A-1732) on [the] Joe Smith, Jr. property, and there was a lot of extraneous material in this chain of title. Somehow or other there will have to be some kind of affidavit prepared that will clarify some of this. Joe Smith Jr. is not Joseph Smith. Mary Smith, wife of Joseph Smith, who obtained a divorce, was not the same person as Mary Smith, the wife of Joe Smith, Jr., who also obtained a divorce. Neither was the Mary Smith, present wife of Joseph Smith that was adjudged insane, either one of the other two Mary Smiths. In other words, Mary Smith, the wife of Joseph Smith was not the same as Mary Smith, the wife of Joseph Smith, Jr. Then after the original wife of Joseph Smith obtained a divorce he married another Mary Smith, who was adjudged insane. I wish you would tell me how to straighten this out on the record. You can gather from this two Joes were married to three Marys. You figure it out and let me know what to do. Also, Joe Smith, Jr. is not a junior at all. He merely uses the name junior to distinguish him from the other Joe or Joseph Smith. They are cousins of a sort. Locally, they are known as Joe and “Crazy” Joe, although “Crazy Joe” isn’t crazy.
James Hope is a Florida Bar Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer who has been practicing criminal law in Tavares, Florida, since 1987. He has also been the Publisher and Executive Editor of Lake Legal News since 2009. He may be contacted at LakeLegalNews@gmail.com, or through his website at www.AttorneyJamesHope.com. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]