Through Their Eyes, 0321 ALBJ, Vol. 82 No. 2 Pg. 192 (June, 2021)

AuthorBy Robert L Humphrey, III and Ian R. Ross
PositionVol. 82 2 Pg. 192

THROUGH THEIR EYES: Jane Dishuck and Louise Turner

No. Vol. 82 No. 2 Pg. 192

Alabama Bar Lawyer

March, 2021

By Robert L Humphrey, III and Ian R. Ross

Jane Dishuck, nee Kimbrough, grew up the daughter of an attorney in Clark County during the Great Depression. Despite the social norms of the time, Jane's father told her she could be whatever she wanted to be, but he hoped that the apple wouldn't fall too far from the tree and that she would become an attorney. That hope would be fulfilled.

In 1945, Jane enrolled at the University of Alabama School of Law. There, she met her soon-to-be husband, Frank Dishuck. Frank was in the class above Jane, a 2L at the time of her enrollment.

Prior to law school, Frank had been involved in a car accident that left him completely blind. As a result, he was unable to complete his assigned readings alone. To help, the school posted a job offer for a fellow student to be Frank's reader. Jane, being a classically strapped-for-cash student, jumped at the opportunity. She got the job, and every day, Jane and Frank would meet up and she would read aloud each assigned case for his classes. Of course, Jane was also responsible for reading her own first-year coursework. Despite this large workload, Jane f ound a way and essentially completed two years of law school coursework in her first year.

The two eventually fell in love. But Frank came as a package deal: him and his seeing-eye dog, a German Shepherd named Falcon. After Jane's graduation in 1947, the couple eloped and were married. The newlyweds wasted no time getting to work. Roughly 19 years before women were allowed to serve on juries, Jane joined practice with Frank (and Falcon) and opened a firm in Tuscaloosa, becoming the first practicing female attorney there.

Tragically, Frank passed away a few years later after suffering a heart attack in the courtroom. On the same day that Frank died, a local lawyer attempted to buy her firm at a discounted rate. She was offended. And she declined.

Over the next 30 years, Jane would successfully maintain and grow the practice, all while raising three children by herself. She routinely tried cases to all-male juries. Later, she had the satisfaction of representing the aforementioned local lawyer's ex-wife in a divorce proceeding. The ex-wife received a favorable outcome, and the local lawyer learned a valuable lesson: Don't mess with Jane Dishuck.


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