Vermont Bar Journal
YANKEE JUSTICE: THE LIGHTER SIDE OF VERMONT LAW Frank A. Keogh: Refections on Working as Clerk for the Federal Court
THE VERMONT BAR JOURNALVolume 35, No. 3Fall 2009 YANKEE JUSTICE: THE LIGHTER SIDE OF VERMONT LAW Frank A. Keogh: Refections on Working as Clerk for the Federal CourtBy Virginia C. DownsThe following profle of Frank A. Keogh is the thirtieth in a series published in the Journal under the general title of "Yankee Justice." The profles are based on interviews of the members of the bench and bar conducted by free-lance writer and oral historian Virginia Downs in 1978 and 1979. The project was proposed at a meeting of the Vermont Bench and Bar in April of 1978 to tie in with planned bi-centennial celebrations of the state's legal beginnings in 1779. It was in that year that Stephen Bradley and Noah Smith were sworn in as Vermont's frst offcial lawyers. The profles include biographical material and anecdotes from the interviewees' legal activities. Frank A. Keogh was interviewed on October 10, 1978. He worked for the Vermont federal court as department clerk from 1943 until December 29, 1965. *********************
"I recall this incident which was told to me by Pete Garvey who was a post offce inspector. It happened that a certain man got in trouble with the post offce department and he was being brought into court. This man apparently was very well-acquainted not only with Pete Garvey but with Henry Collins, who was the clerk of the court at that time with Judge Howe presiding. It seems that Pete and Mr. Collins got together and were able to get a job for this defendant in New York State. He had no money so Henry Collins, the clerk, agreed to provide this man with $300 in case he had to pay a fne and if Judge Howe would provide him probation. Somehow or another Judge Howe got hold of this story, but told no one. So when the man was brought into court and was found guilty, the judge asked the defendant if he had any money. And he said, 'Yes.' The judge said, 'How much have you got?' He said, '$300.' 'All right,' the judge said, 'I will fne you $300, and sentence you to a year and a day in prison. The condition of the probation is that if you ever pay back this $300 to the man you borrowed it from, you will be brought here and you will have to serve your sentence.' This was told to me by...