I was born in 1935. Jack Borden graduated from law school at the University of Texas a year after I was born. Both of us are still practicing law, except I am seventy five and Jack is one hundred and one. He goes to his office in Weatherford, Texas five days a week. He is the oldest practicing member of the Texas Bar. "If I were to go home and sit down, I wouldn’t live another year. I come down here (to his office) really to live." In 2003 a book was written about him Boots to Briefcases: Jack Borden County Lawyer. He served as the District Attorney, as two term mayor of the town and once as special agent of the FBI. He came from poverty. His father wore underwear "made from flour sacks" During law school he worked as a soda jerk and as a janitor. He still chews tobacco.
Jack was an old fashioned lawyer who represented clients in both civil and criminal cases. Everything from drunk driving to murder. He served as a prosecuting attorney earning three thousand dollars a year. Borden says he never had his clients sign contracts and charged reasonable fees. He finally gave up litigation about thirty years ago and now does real estate and probate work.
Borden says "I learned early on that first you sell yourself to the jury; then you sell your client’s interests." Since 1974 his nephew John Westhoff does the trial work in the office. Jack said his nephew was worried about negative evidence in a case. "He was scared of the jury’s reaction. I told him not to hold anything back – to tell the jury the truth. Then ask jurors, ‘ Would you hold that against her?" The jury later found for John’s client and I attribute this to diplomacy."
While the nephew uses all of the modern technology Jack says he is still trying to figure out the calculator. Borden was named Texas and America’s Outstanding Oldest worker by Experience Works, a national organization. He still puts in a forty hour week with time for fishing.
Jack’s story is inspirational and one answer to the question: "When are you going to retire."