The Naming of The Hon John C. Ford Inn of Court

On October 11, 2000, the Honorable John C. Ford American Inn of Court in Dallas, Texas was chartered. The Inn formed for lawyers specializing as bankruptcy practitioners, is named for United States Bankruptcy Judge John C. Ford, deceased.

John Calvin Ford was born in Cooke County, Texas on April 11, 1917. He attended the University of Texas, graduating in 1941 with degrees of B.B.A. and L.L.B. He remained a life long supporter of the University. At one time, he owned a car painted in U.T.'s orange and white. After his death, a well funded endowment to provide scholarships for U.T. law students was established in his name.

Following graduation from U.T. and in the early days of World War II, Judge Ford joined the U. S. Navy serving as a gunnery officer aboard destroyers in combat in the South Pacific. He was discharged from active duty with the Navy in 1946. Thereafter, he remained in the Naval Reserve ultimately retiring with the rank of Commander.

In 1946, Judge Ford began a legal career in what would become four decades of dedicated public service. First, as an attorney for the City of Dallas. Then he served as Assistant U. S. Attorney in Dallas from 1953 to 1958. He was Assistant Regional Administrator of the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1958 to 1961. He was appointed U. S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Texas at Fort Worth in 1961, where he served until 1972 when he transferred to the Dallas Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District until his retirement in 1985. In 1986, he was recalled to serve as interim Bankruptcy Judge in Fort Worth and retired a second time in 1987. Judge Ford died on June 8, 1993.

He was at heart an unpretentious man preferring honor to honors. Whenever strangers inquired as to his identity, his stock reply was Ford, F-O-R-D, just like the car. He refused to refer to himself by his title of judge. He was a man of faith whose moral compass always pointed him in the direction of right and he took to heart the Biblical injunction to do justice and love kindness. He was patient and encouraging with new lawyers practicing before him. His warm and ebullient nature and love for people provided his innumerable friends unconditional and enduring support. Not only did he never meet a person he didn't like, he rarely if ever met a person who didn't like him, even those who had been on the unfavorable end of his rulings.

The founders of the John C. Ford American Inn of Court appropriately chose to name their Inn for a man of faith, who was just and kind; a man who spent his life in the service of his country and others; one who promoted fellowship and good-will; both a gentleman and a gentle person, who nurtured and encouraged new lawyers; a man who had the courage to stand by his moral convictions. Judge John C. Ford will be a continuing example for all lawyers, especially the Inn's members.