Michael Fox papers, 1961-1997  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Fox, Michael J. (Michael James), 1944-
Title
Michael Fox papers
Dates
1961-1997 (inclusive)
1971-1974 (bulk)
Quantity
2.28 cubic feet (2 box)
Collection Number
5926 (Accession No. 5926-001)
Summary
Records relating to Michael Fox's role as a United Farmworkers of Washington lawyer
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access.

Languages
English


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Judge Michael James Fox was born in New London, Connecticut in 1944. During the 1960s, he became politically active in the Civil Rights Movement. While attending law school in Georgia, Fox was part of the Legal Aid Society—an organization that provided legal services to people from low-income backgrounds. After law school, his experience with the Legal Aid Society greatly influenced his decision to continue to help underrepresented people. Having also acquired Spanish speaking skills, Fox became interested in working with the large population of Spansih-speaking Latino/a farmworkers. In 1965, the US Congress created the Office of Economic Opportunity which funded the Legal Services Program, a private non-profit corporation providing legal services to people living in poverty. In that same year, a strike of Filipino American grape pickers in Delano, California gained the cooperation of Cesar Chavez and others, who began organizing migrant agricultural workers in California. Using the same organizing model, workers in Washington State organized an independent branch of the United Farm Workers of Washington State in 1967. In 1969, Fox moved to Washington through the Reginald Heber Smith Fellowship, a program that places lawyers in areas to help those who do not have access to legal aid, and discovered that the state had the fourth largest migrant farmworker population in the country. In the following year, the wildcat hop strikes began in the Yakima Valley. Fox connected with the organizers of the hop strikes, Tomás Villanueva and Lupe Gamboa, and offered to provide legal representation to the emerging farmworkers union. As the UFW lawyer, Fox in Garza v. Patnode (1971) argued successfully that farmworkers had the right to organize. In that same year, Fox and Lupe Gamboa were arrested and convicted for trespassing onto the Roger’s Walla Walla labor camp. Their convictions were eventually overturned and the decision confirmed that tenants in labor camps had the right to meet with union representatives and attorneys. Both cases were instrumental to the early efforts of the union (see State v. Fox, 1973 ). Fox continued to provide legal representation to the UFW until 1988. In that year Fox became a King County Superior Court Judge. On the bench, Fox called attention to the treatment of minorities in the legal system, particularly related to drug sentencing. Fox retired in 2011 after a distinguished judicial career.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection traces a series of legal cases arising out of the June 19, 1971 arrest for trespassing of Seattle-King County Legal Services attorney Michael Fox and union organizer Guadalupe Gamboa of the UFW Co-op in Toppenish. Fox and Gamboa visited the Rogers Walla Walla Inc. migrant labor camp following Gamboa’s contact with workers there who had grievances regarding their working and living conditions. When they attempted to meet with workers, Rogers employees refused them entry without their naming the individuals they were meeting with and the purpose of their meeting. Fox and Gamboa refused to provide names, reasoning that employees named would be in potential danger of losing their jobs or worse. Rogers representatives called the sheriff who arrested Fox and Gamboa for trespassing and fined them $25 each. Fox and Gamboa appealed their conviction to the Superior Court of the County of Walla Walla, which affirmed the conviction in December 1971. Fox and Gamboa then appealed to the Washington State Supreme Court, which reversed the finding of the Superior Court in May 1973. This established an important precedent for future organizers and attorneys in the state. The State of Washington sought a hearing in the United State Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case. In Fox v. Klundt [Walla Walla County Sheriff] et al , Fox brought a civil suit against representatives of Rogers Walla Walla for damages and received a settlement of $6,000. Records include legal materials and newspaper articles relating to the court cases. Other records relate to the State of Washington State v. Michael Fox, 1973.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Creator's copyrights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Accession No. 5926-001: Michael Fox papers, 1971-1974, 1994Return to Top

1.14 cubic feet (1 box)

Scope and Content: This collection traces a series of legal cases arising out of the June 19, 1971 arrest for trespassing of Seattle-King County Legal Services attorney Michael Fox and union organizer Guadalupe Gamboa of the UFW Co-op in Toppenish. Fox and Gamboa visited the Rogers Walla Walla Inc. migrant labor camp following Gamboa's contact with workers there who had grievances regarding their working and living conditions. When they attempted to meet with workers, Rogers employees refused them entry without their naming the individuals they were meeting with and the purpose of their meeting. Fox and Gamboa refused to provide names, reasoning that employees named would be in potential danger of losing their jobs or worse. Rogers representatives called the sheriff who arrested Fox and Gamboa for trespassing and fined them $25 each. Fox and Gamboa appealed their conviction to the Superior Court of the County of Walla Walla, which affirmed the conviction in December 1971. Fox and Gamboa then appealed to the Washington State Supreme Court, which reversed the finding of the Superior Court in May 1973. This established an important precedent for future organizers and attorneys in the state. The State of Washington sought a hearing in the United State Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case. In Fox v. Klundt [Walla Walla County Sheriff] et al, Fox brought a civil suit against representatives of Rogers Walla Walla for damages and received a settlement of $6,000. Records include legal materials and newspapers articles relating to the court cases. Other records relate to the State of Washington v. Michael Fox, 1973.

Restrictions on Access: No restrictions on access.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's copyrights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.

Acquisition Info: Michael J. Fox, 2016

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder Accession
1/1-1/15 5926-001
SERIES I: COURT CASES
1971-1974,1994
Box/Folder Accession
1/1 5926-001
Events of June 1971
1971
1/2 5926-001
Walla Walla County Court
1971-1972
1/3 5926-001
Washington State Superior Court, Walla Walla County
1971-1972
1/4 5926-001
Washington State Superior Court, Walla Walla County
1972
1/5 5926-001
Preparation for State of Washington v. Fox
1972
1/6 5926-001
Washington State Supreme Court, State of Washington v. Fox Appeal--Part 1 of 6
1972
1/7 5926-001
Washington State Supreme Court, State of Washington v. Fox Appeal--Part 2 of 6
1972
1/8 5926-001
Washington State Supreme Court, State of Washington v. Fox Appeal--Part 3 of 6
1972
1/9 5926-001
Washington State Supreme Court, State of Washington v. Fox Appeal--Part 4 of 6
1971-1972
1/10 5926-001
Washington State Supreme Court, State of Washington v. Fox Appeal--Part 5 of 6
1972
1/11 5926-001
Washington State Supreme Court, State of Washington v. Fox Appeal--Part 6 of 6
1972-1973
1/12 5926-001
U.S. District Court, Fox v. Klundt--Part 1 of 2
1971-1972
1/13 5926-001
U.S. District Court, Fox v. Klundt--Part 2 of 2
1971-1974
1/14 5926-001
U.S. Supreme Court--State of Washington v. Fox
1973
1/15 5926-001
Additional Materials Related to Court Cases
1974-1994

Accession No. 5926-002: Michael J. Fox papers, 1961-1997 (bulk 1970s)Return to Top

1.14 cubic feet (1 carton)

Scope and Content: This collection is primarily comprised of documents relating to the State of Washington v. Fox court case and appeals process, which spanned from 1971-1974. The case began on June 19th, 1971 when Michael Fox and Guadalupe Gamboa were arrested for trespassing in a migrant workers camp run by the Rogers Walla Walla Company. A transcript from the case relating to the incident is in Box 1, Folder 5. After being found guilty in the District court (Box 1, Folders 10 and 14), Fox and Gamboa took the case through the appeals process where it finally was heard by the Washington State Supreme Court, (Box 1, Folder 21-23). The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Fox and Gamboa and therefore set a legal precedent of the right of lawyers and union organizers to have access to migrant workers on private lands. The collection contains documentation and transcripts from all of the trials as well as the pre-trial correspondence between Fox and various organizations in his effort to secure amicus briefs (Box 1, Folder 13-15). Multiple articles relating to the case have also been placed into this collection (Box 1, Folders 4, 27 and 32). In addition, there are articles about Michael Fox’s career as a judge (Box 1, Folder 37, 38), as well as articles that Fox wrote or that he collected (Box 1, Folders 26, 30, 31, 34 and 35).

Restrictions on Access: No restrictions on access.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's copyrights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.

Acquisition Info: Donated by Michael Fox in March 2016.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Agricultural laborers--Labor unions--Organizing--Washington (State)
  • Agricultural laborers--Labor unions--Washington (State)
  • Agricultural laborers--Washington (State)
  • Labor disputes--Washington (State)
  • Labor movement--Washington (State)
  • Labor union members--Washington (State)
  • Labor unions--Washington (State)
  • Labor--Washington (State)
  • Lawyers--Washington (State)--Archives
  • Migrant agricultural laborers--Labor unions--Organizing--Washington (State)
  • Migrant agricultural laborers--Labor unions--Washington (State)
  • Migrant agricultural laborers--Washington (State)
  • Personal Names :
  • Fox, Michael J. (Michael James), 1944- --Archives
  • Fox, Michael J. (Michael James), 1944- --Trials, litigation, etc
  • Gamboa, Guadalupe
  • Gamboa, Guadalupe--Trials, litigation, etc
  • Corporate Names :
  • United Farm Workers Organizing Committee
  • Washington (State)--Trials, litigation, etc
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Legal instruments
  • Personal correspondence
  • Records (Documents)
  • Other Creators :
    • Corporate Names :
    • Labor Archives of Washington (University of Washington)
    • Labor Archives of Washington (University of Washington),   host institution (creator)