Jack Dalton of Dodge City was the first attorney in Kansas to try a case in which in-court photography was included, and now he has written a novel about the experiences of a country lawyer.
"It was the first time that cameras were allowed in court," explained Dalton, who served as Kansas Bar Association president in 1976-77, and was honored by the Kansas Bar in 1983 for "continuous, longstanding service on behalf of the legal profession, the public, and the association."
book, aptly named A Country Lawyer, was published Dec. 9, 2009 by Strategic Book Publishing
in New York.
, 81, began the book after he
retired from law 17 years ago.
admits that his
book is autobiographical as well as fictional.
"A friend read it, and said, 'I can't tell what's true in it and what isn't.'" With a grin, Dalton
admitted: "It's a novel and an autobiography!"
The truth in the book - as in Dalton's life - is as exciting as the fiction.
has handled all kinds of cases, and traveled the world in his
pursuit of his
hobby of scuba diving.
experience from both endeavors is expertly woven throughout the book.
"My interest in scuba diving began in 1974, and by 1980, I became intensely interested," Dalton
"My wife, Jane, was very tolerant!
I went all the way to the Fiji Islands, always with a scientist, professors, or photographers on board.
I began the book in Hawaii, and it took me nine years to write it."
Dalton, who graduated from Kansas University law school in 1953, has had his share of real excitement from the cases he handled in Jetmore for 12 years and in Dodge City for 28 years.
The case dragged on, until the day Dalton
received a call from the opposing attorney asking to meet with him.
"I had decided to settle for a million," Dalton
The other attorney offered $2.2 million before Dalton opened his mouth.
"I told him I would think about it for a while!"
One of Dalton's criminal cases involved a 21-year-old who was drinking with other young men on a city street.
took a night stick away from a policeman, and hit him in the head," Dalton
is known locally for suing the City of Dodge City and Ford County, asking the District Court of Kansas to direct the city and county to build the special events center that voters had approved as part of the Why Not Dodge? package.
won this case, which he
filed as an individual citizen.