33 A.B.A. J. 769 (1947)
John Biggs, Jr.: Senior Circuit Judge - Third Circuit

handle is hein.journals/abaj33 and id is 795 raw text is: 5

John Biggs, Jr.:
Senior Circuit Judge-Third Circuit

0 The subject of our cover portrait and
sketch this month, the youngest of the
Senior Circuit Judges in point of years,
presides over the busy Third Circuit. The
States of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and
Delaware constitute this Circuit, but it
also has appellate jurisdiction of the
District Court of the Virgin Islands. The
Circuit contains six districts with nineteen
District Judges and six Circuit Judges.
To the Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit comes much complex litigation in-
volving corporate and financial matters,
patents, and much of the new federal
legislation. Delaware and New Jersey-
States which together have created more
corporations than any other two States-
send up to the Circuit Court for review
cases which affect practirally the whole
corporate structures and industrial econ-
omy of the Nation.
The Circuit consists of Harold H. Bur-
ton, Circuit Justce; John Biggs, Jr., Dela-
ware, Senior Circuit Judge; Albert B.
Maris, Pennsylvania; Herbert F. Goodrich,
Pennsylvania; Gerald McLaughlin, New
Jersey; John J. O'Connell, Pennsylvania;
and Harry E. Kolodner, Pennsylvania.
The District Judges of the Circuit are:
Paul Leahy, Richard S. Rodney, Guy L.
Fake, Phillip Forman, William F. Smith,
Thomas F. Meaney, Thomas M. Madden,
William H. Kirkpatrick, George A. Welch,
Guy K. Bard, J. Cullen Ganey, James P.
McGronery, Albert L. Watson, John W.
Murphy, Frederick V. Follmer, Robert M.
Gibson, Nelson McVicar, Wallace S.
Gourley, and Herman E. Moore.
Retired Circuit Judge in the Circuit is
Joseph Buffington, Pennsylvania.

E John Biggs, Jr. was born in Wil-
mington, Delaware, on October 6,
1895, the son of John arid Rachel
Valentine (Massey) Biggs. He was
born into the law. His father was At-
torney General of Delaware for se-/-
eral years, taving taken office on or
about April 4, 1887. John Biggs, Sr.,
was the chairman of the Constitu-
tional Convention which framed the
1897 Constitution of Delaware. Benj-
amin T. Biggs, father of John Biggs
and grandfather of Judge Biggs, was
a Governor of Delaware, a Member
of Congress from Delaware, and a
Major in the Mexican War. Judge
Biggs' maternal grandfather was
George Valentine Massey, a member
of the Delaware Bar who practiced
at Dover and who subsequently be-
came general counsel for the Pennsyl-
vania Railroad Company.
The Biggs family were in Dela-
ware before the Revolutionary War.
They have always owned farm lands;
the original Biggs farm, just west of
Summit Bridge, in     New   Castle
County, is still in the possession of
Judge Biggs and his sister.
Judge Biggs' preparatory educa-
tion was received at the Hill School,
Pottstown, Pennsylvania. He was
graduated from Princeton University
with the degree of Bachelor of Let-
ters. After serving in the Ordnance
and Tank Corps during World War I,
he entered Harvard Law School and

received the degree of Bachelor of
Laws in 1922.
He then began the practice of law
in Wilmington. In 1926 he was ap
pointed Referee in Bankruptcy by
District Judge Hugh M. Morris, since
resigned. Biggs served also as Civil-
ian Aide to the Secretary of War for
Delaware from 1933 to 1937. Judge
Biggs has been a member of our
Association since 1928, and is also a
member of the Delaware State Bar
Association, the Association of the
Bar of the City of New York, the So-
ciety of Colonial Wars, the Sons of
the American Revolution, and the
American Legion.
Judge Biggs' Early Days
at the Delaware Bar
The allusion-smart as a Philadel-
phia lawyer-has become accepted
as an historic truism. But William
Clarke Mason, one of the present
deans of the Philadelphia Bar and a
member of the Board of Governors
and House of Delegates of our Asso-
ciation, has been reported to have
said to a young lawyer: Be careful
if you find yourself in litigation
where your opponent is one of those
boys from Wilmington, Delaware.
Such a warning has its foundation
in legal history. Many great lawyers
of Delaware have graced its court-
rooms. Among them are Rodney,
Bayard, Bird, Higgins, Wolcott, Hil-
les, Gray, and many others. To meet

August, 1947  Vol. 33 769

Sketch of Judge Biggs' Career

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