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Student Profile
The Honorable Talbot Smith
Class of: 1934

Source: Portrait from the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society website

 
Biography

Talbot Smith served as a Michigan Supreme Court justice from 1955 through 1961.
 
Talbot Smith was born on October 11, 1899, in Fayette, Missouri. His early education was received in various parishes in the western portions of the United States. In 1917, Smith entered the United States Naval Academy. Following his graduation, he began his 14-year Naval career.
 
Smith was graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1934 and practiced law in Detroit and Ann Arbor. In addition, he taught law at the University of California at Berkeley as well as at the University of Missouri. During World War II, Smith served with the Office of Price Administration. He was in charge of civil litigation, as well as serving as a hearing administrator.
Smith was appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court in 1955, was subsequently elected in 1956 and served until 1961. He contributed to various legal periodicals and authored a volume in a Career Book Series on the "Lawyer" in 1961. His writing skills and the use of plain (and somewhat humorous) language can be seen in the way he handed down some of his opinions. When commenting on a child neglect case, Smith wrote, "All of this is straight from outer space. It is pure fantasy. It is unrelated to life on this earth. It requires no treatise on child development to tell us that a child 2 years 8 months of age is as inquisitive as a hornet and as slippery as an eel." (Michigan Supreme Court. Michigan Reports: Cases Decided by the Supreme Court of Michigan. Rochester, N.Y., Lawyers Co-operative Publishing Co., 1949 - 1998, Vol. 437.)
 
One of Smith's former law clerks, Wallace Riley, stated that, "Talbot had the infinite patience of a great teacher. He had the forgiveness of a minister. He had the sternness of a Naval officer. And he had the inspiration of a saint."
 
In 1921, Smith married Lola Hamlen and had two children. In addition to his professional life, Smith was involved in many other community activities. He was on the board of inquiry that investigated the South Michigan Prison Riot. (Michigan Manual: Ed. 1997 - 1998. Legislative Council, State of Michigan: Lansing, Michigan.)
 
--  From the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society website
 
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Additional Information on The Honorable Talbot Smith
 
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Members of Class of 1934
Adair, Helen Arthur
Albertson, Fred W.
Andeer, Jarl Ansgar
Anderson, William Emil
Arthur, Helen Blanchard
Austin, James Elbert
Avery, Willard M.
Bannasch, Irwin E.
Beser, Aaron
Boldt, Clarence J.
Bortner, Palmer Cleatus
Brace, Fredric F.
Brighton, Archibald W.
Campbell, Fred W.
Cashin, John Lewis
Cohen, James Jacob
Coleman, Irving W.
Cooper, Frank Edward
Cooper, Robert McKinney
Crain, Robert M.
Crawford, Robert D.
Crockett, George W.
Crowley, Edward Richard
Dempsey, John Edward
DeYoung, Martin
Diefenbach, Allan B.
Dobbin, Henry Harwood
Eagan, Emmett E.
Eliezer, Edward Brooks
Ellsworth, Edward King
Esling, Dean Arthur
Fant, Howard W.
Fogg, Gordon
Fred, Nathan
French, John Waters
Fuller, Richard Corbin
Gates, Joe P.
Gordon, Donald Rees
Hackenberg, Lawrence Edwin
Hamersma, John
Hartwig, Lawrence E.
Hefferan, Thomas Hume
Heftler, Pierre V.
Henson, A. Lee
Herrick, Walter D.
Hole, Richard E.
Hoover, David Scott
Horwitch, Jack S.
Houck, Kenneth Leon
Hughes, Francis M.
Humbarger, William L.
Isbell, Egbert R.
Jacobs, Cassel
Kaufman, Samuel H.
Kelb, Robert A.
Kipp, Donald P.
Knowles, George H.
Kuppinger, John Eben
Leslie, William R.
Levison, Stanley K.
Levy, Jack I.
Levy, Nathan
Lewis, Bert Amos
Lignell, Steg Joseph
Love, Edward B.
MacChesney, Alfred Brunson
MacChesney, Brunson
Manchester, Elbert Grant
Martin, Raymond O.
McCarroll, Neil Grenfell
Merdzinski, Harry L.
Miltner, Charles H.
Monaghan, Peter Joseph
Moore, Clarence William
Novitsky, Byron Falk
Olsen, Merrill E.
Olwell, Henry Lee
Osuna, Benjamin
Paulson, Thomas A.
Pedersen, Thomas A.
Perkins, Richard A.
Price, C. Emerson
Quinn, William Morris
Rabinowitz, Victor
Ramsey, Mary Louise
Rankin, David Kelly
Robinson, William I.
Roderick, George T.
Roper, Joseph Ayres
Rowe, Carl Sherman
Rupp, Earl Victor
Ruwitch, Joseph F.
Sabin, Brainard S.
Schultz, Carl Emil
Schumann, Paul Richard
Shorts, Bruce
Shroyer, Thomas E.
Silverman, Maurice
Smith, Russell A.
Smith, Talbot
Sprowl, Charles R.
Stanger, Roland J.
Steen, John William
Steffen, Edwin F.
Stewart, Adsit
Sutter, William G.
Swan, James Elmer
Towne, Miron K.
Turner, Roger N.
Upham, Buford Allen
VanValkenburg, Cornelius
Vogt, Arno Rudolph
Watling, John W.
Weiner, Leonard J.
Wellman, Samuel G.
Wendrow, Barney A.
Wilkerson, Beverly S.
Wilson, James Cicero
Winters, Donald Funk
Wunsch, Edward S.
Yeagley, J. Walter
Zahm, Ralph S.
Zehring, Robert Moore
 
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