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Richard J. Putnam Federal Case Records

Collection 203

Putnam, Richard J. (1913–2002). Federal Case Records, 1960s–1970s

15 ½ feet

Judge Richard J. Putnam was born 27 September 1913 in Abbeville, Louisiana. After graduating from Abbeville High, Judge Putnam attended Springhill College in Mobile, Alabama and received a Bachelor of Science degree. He then went to Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans and graduated in 1937 ranked among the top five in his class. He married Dorothea Gooche in 1940. They had four children together, two boys and two girls.

Judge Putnam opened his first law office in Abbeville in 1937. He joined the United States Naval Reserve in 1942 and was discharged as lieutenant on 7 December 1945. In 1947 he was elected district attorney for the 15th Judicial District (comprising Lafayette, Vermilion and Acadia parishes) for a six-year term. He was then elected without opposition to the office of state district judge for the 15th Judicial District. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed Judge Putnam to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette Division. He assumed senior status in 1975 but continued to work until his death.

The Democrat belonged to many organizations: the Knights of Columbus; local, district, and state bar associations; and the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Judge Putnam was also President of Vermilion Parish Bar Association and on Board of Directors of the first Judicial District Bar Association. He belonged to the National Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, and the St. Thomas Moore Club, and served on the first Executive Board. Putnam was Chairman of the Cub Scout Committee of Vermilion Parish and Chairman of the Boy Scout Court of Honor.

As federal judge, Judge Putnam handled many desegregation cases involving school systems in Louisiana and elsewhere. He also played a significant role in the development of maritime law as it applies to the offshore oil and gas industry.

This collection consists of federal cases mainly from Louisiana. Many of the cases deal with school desegregation. There are also cases from other states as well. Also included are correspondence, reports, publications, clippings, and court orders. This collection is arranged alphabetically by parish within Louisiana, and then by other state.


A. Acadia Parish 1-01 through 2-03
B. Baton Rouge Parish 2-04 through 2-05
C. Bienville Parish 2-06
D. Bossier Parish 2-07 through 2-08
E. Caddo Parish 2-09 through 2-12
F. Calcasieu Parish 2-13 through 2-14
G. Claiborne Parish 2-15 through 2-17
H. Concordia Parish 2-18 through 2-20
I. De Soto Parish 2-21 through 2-22
J. East Carroll Parish 2-23
K. Evangeline Parish 2-24 through 2-27
L. Grant Parish 2-28 through 2-29
M. Iberia Parish 2-30 through 2-42
N. Jackson Parish 2-43 through 2-44
O. Jefferson Parish 2-45 through 2-47
P. Lafayette Parish 2-48 through 4-31
Q. La Salle Parish 4-32 through 4-34
R. Madison Parish 4-35 through 4-37
S. Natchitoches Parish 4-38
T. Ouachita Parish 4-39 through 4-42
U. Plaquemines Parish 4-43 through 4-44
V. Rapides Parish 4-45 through 5-07
W. Red River Parish 5-08
X. St. Charles Parish 5-09
Y. St. Helena Parish 5-10 through 5-11
Z. St. Landry Parish 5-12 through 5-19
AA. St. Martin Parish 5-20 through 5-38
BB. St. Mary Parish 5-39 through 5-48
CC. Union Parish 6-01 through 6-02
DD. Vermilion Parish 6-03 through 6-28
EE. Vernon Parish 6-29
FF. Webster Parish 6-30
GG. West Feliciana Parish 6-31
HH. Winn Parish 6-32 through 6-34
II. Miscellaneous Parishes 6-35 through 7-03
JJ. State Cases
1. Alabama 7-04 through 7-25
2. Arizona 7-26
3. Colorado 7-27
4. Florida 7-28 through 7-31
5. Georgia 7-32 through 7-42
6. Indiana 7-43
7. Kansas 7-44
8. Louisiana 7-45 through 8-13
9. Mississippi 8-14 through 8-34
10. New Jersey 8-35
11. Pennsylvania 8-36
12. Texas 8-37 through 9-13
13. Virginia 9-14 through 9-15
KK. Federal Cases 9-16 through 9-28
LL. Louisiana State Law Institute 9-29 through 10-20
MM. Reports 11-01 through 11-11
NN. Publications 11-12 through 11-17
OO. Clippings 11-18
PP. Correspondence 11-19
QQ. Miscellaneous 11-20 through 11-21
RR. Maps Map Case 24-08


Putnam, Richard J. (1913-2002). Federal Case Records, 1960s-1970s (PDF)