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March 11, 2009

Tarlton Law Library publishes oral history interviews with James W. McCartney and John F. Sutton Jr.

The Tarlton Law Library at the University of Texas School of Law recently published the oral history interviews of two of its distinguished alumni: James W. McCartney, ’52, and John F. Sutton, Jr., ’41.

These interviews continue to fulfill the initial mission of Tarlton’s oral history program to document the history of the School of Law and the legal history of Texas and the United States.

The project began in 1986, when a grant from the Texas Sesquicentennial Commission enabled the law library to conduct five oral history interviews. Since that time, more than fifteen interviews have been published with School of Law faculty and alumni, and the library is arranging for more. For a complete listing of oral histories in the Tarlton Law Library Oral History Collection, see

James W. McCartney: An Oral History Interview. 2009. Tarlton Law Library Oral History Collection. 14 pages. Interview by Sheree Scarborough. Available online only, free download at:

McCartney, who grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1952, and then joined the law firm of Vinson & Elkins, eventually becoming a senior partner. As an attorney for Vinson & Elkins, he specialized in oil and gas law and arbitration law in Houston. McCartney, now retired, currently serves on the board of the University of Texas Foundation.

In this oral history, McCartney discusses his law professors at UT; the McDougal-Haber casebook controversy; Heman Sweatt, Virgil Lott, and some early female law students; his family’s connection to the School of Law and the Law School Foundation; the growth of the Law School and its disagreements with the State Legislature; and important cases he worked on during his career.

John F. Sutton, Jr: An Oral History Interview. 2009. Tarlton Law Library Oral History Series No. 10. 41 pages. $20. Interview by William J. Chriss.

Sutton is the A. W. Walker Centennial Chair Emeritus at the University of Texas School of Law. Born in Alpine, Texas, in 1918 and raised in San Angelo, Sutton received his law degree in 1941 from the University of Texas at Austin. After serving as dean of the law school from 1979 to 1984, he taught for another twenty years, retiring in January 2004. Professor Sutton is co-author of Cases and Materials on Professional Responsibility (West, 1989) and Cases and Materials on Evidence (West, 8th ed., 1996). During the course of his career, he served on a multitude of committees—often on ethics.

In this oral history, Sutton discusses his experiences as a law student in the 1930s; working as an FBI agent and later as a practicing attorney in Texas; his return to academia as a law professor and dean; working with the American Bar Association on legal ethics; and the changes that the Law School has gone through during his lifetime.

To purchase John Sutton’s oral history or to find out about the other publications of the Tarlton Law Library contact, or:

Publications Coordinator
Tarlton Law Library
Jamail Center for Legal Research
University of Texas School of Law
727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, Texas 78705
Phone: 512.471.7241
Fax: 512.471.0243

Or click on the Publications link on the library’s website at

Related links:

Tarlton Law Library

Tarlton Law Library Oral History Collection

Sofia Chamberlain, Tarlton Law Library, 512.471.7735,