George W. Latimer papers, 1926-2007  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Latimer, George
George W. Latimer papers
1926-2007 (inclusive)
10.25 linear feet
Collection Number
The George W. Latimer papers (1926-2007) consists of records and papers of civil court and court-martial cases handled by Latimer. Of particular interest are the files regarding the My Lai Massacre and Lieutenant William L. Calley, whom Latimer defended in 1974. Latimer was a lawyer and judge. He was elected as Utah State Supreme Court justice in 1946 and was a judge on the U.S. Court of Military Appeals in 1951.
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections.
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT
Telephone: 801-581-8863
Access Restrictions

Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

George W. Latimer was born in Draper, Utah, to John and Petria Jensen Latimer on 28 November 1900. He studied law and received his Doctor of Laws from the University of Utah in 1924. From 1924-1940 Latimer practiced law in Salt Lake City, Utah. He married the former Rhoda Carroll on 5 October 1929. In 1932, Latimer joined the Utah National Guard. During the second world war, Latimer served his country as a Colonel in the 40th Invantry Division of the United States Army (1942-1943). The following two years from 1944-1945 he was the Cheif-of-staff of the 40th Infantry Division. Following his war service, Latimer returned to his law practice until he was appointed a Justice of the Utah Supreme Court a position he held from 1946-1951. Following his tenure as a Justice, Latimer served as a Judge of the United States Court of Military Appeals. In 1961 he returned to private practice as a partner in the firm of Parsons, Behle and Latimer. From 1969-1974 he represented Lt. William Calley in a capital court case.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The George W. Latimer papers (1926-2007) consists largely of materials connected with Latimer's defense of William Laws Calley in his trial for murder in connection with the 1968 My Lai incident in Vietnam. Included are correspondence between the members of the defense counsel and the government prosecution; court orders, motions and petitions; materials related to the government investigation, such as depositions taken by the military investigative team; and hearings reports, trial records, and appellant exhibits. Also present are materials from the post-court martial appeals, including correspondence, motions, petitions, drafts, exhibits, statements, briefs, and government replies. Other materials relating to the trial of Calley include correspondence seeking Presidential clemency and consideration of the Calley case by the military Parole and Clemency Board; correspondence with people supporting Calley either morally or financially; information on two civil suits by Calley and one against him by the Buddhist Congregation of Vietnam; correspondence concerning articles or books to be written about Calley and drafts of the articles by John Sacks written from interviews with the lieutenant for publication in Esquire magazine; and news clippings about the trial. Additional documents regarding other court cases that involved Latimer are in the collection, as are briefs from court cases in which Latimer's law firm was involved.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The library does not claim to control copyright for all materials in the collection. An individual depicted in a reproduction has privacy rights as outlined in Title 45 CFR, part 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). For further information, please review the J. Willard Marriott Library’s Use Agreement and Reproduction Request forms.

Preferred Citation

Initial Citation: George W. Latimer papers, MS 0237, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Following Citations: MS 0237.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Calley Case Pre-trialReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1-9
Legal Correspondence
Letters exchanged between members of the defense counsel concerning the petitions and motions to be presented to the military court-martial in behalf of Lt. William L. Calley. Also included are letters from the Army prosecution panel relaying necessary information about witnesses and evidence.
1 10
Press Briefing
Transcript of a press briefing held at the Pentagon on 17 December 1969 with Major General K. J. Hodson the Judge Advocate General regarding military justice.
1 11
Westmoreland Statement
Statement concerning events at My Lai by US Army Chief of Staff, General William C. Westmoreland, before the Special Subcommitte on Son My of the House Committee on Armed Services.

Court Orders, Motions, Petitions, RepliesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
2 1
Miscellaneous information about military trials, including regulations governing court-martial.
2 2
Court Orders
Orders governing conduct of the witnesses and the trial.
2 3
Motions to Dismiss
Motions filed in December of 1969 giving defense reasons to dismiss all charges against Lieutenant Calley. Including a copy of the motion to dismiss "all charges and specifications because the Court-martial lacks jurisdiction over the person of the accused.
2 4-14
Motions to Dismiss
2 15
Bill of Particulars
2 16-19
Moton for Production of Information
2 20-24
Motions, Petitions, and Replies
Various defense motions and petitions seeking relief from the charges, access to witnesses and evidence and other legal material. Also included are the government replies to many of these motions.
2 25
Brief on Constitutional Questions
Brief which presents the defense view that a continuation of the proceedings would deny Lt. Calley his constitutional rights.
2 26
Brief on Command Control
Brief describing what the defense feels in unfair influence exercised by military authorities or the influence of statements of military commanders of the military court martial.
2 27
Notes, Summaries
Handwritten notes regarding the case and possible arguments, and summaries of witness depositions.
2 28
Calley's Statements
Drafts of statements made by Lt. Calley concerning the events at My Lai.

Witnesses and Accused StatementsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
3 1
Company Roster
Roster for Company C of the 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, 11th LIB, the American Division which was involved in Task Force Barker, the assault on My Lai.
3 2-26
Witnesses and Accused Statements, A-O
Depositions taken by military investigators concerning the events at My Lai. The statements, arranged alphabetically, range from heresay evidence, to remarks made by men involved in the assault force.
4 1-13
Witnesses and Accused Statements, P-W
4 14
My Lai Maps
Maps drawn by witnesses to illustrate and show locations of events in and around My Lai.

Investigations, Trial RecordReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
5 1
Investigation, Trial Record
Report of the investigation of the Department of the Army Inspector General on the "incident of 16 March 1968 My Lai (4), RVN.
5 2-5
Criminal Investigations Report
The report itself is not included, only the "case progress forms" making up enclosures 6 through 14.
5 6-7
Article 39 (a) Sessions
Transcripts of the hearings of 20 January and 23 October 1970.
5 8
Article 32a Investigation
List of written witness testimony offered at the Article 32 investigation hearing.
5 9
Charge Sheets
This document details the charges brought by the United States Government against Lt. William Laws Calley.
5 1
Report of Investigation Bound Volume
Volume 1, Transcript of Testimony (Quintuplicate) Report of Article 32 Investigation.
5 2
Trial Record Bound Volume
Volume 1, Book 1. Article 32 Investigation, Allied Papers of the investigation hearings.
Trial Record
Volume 1 books 2-3 Included of the Article 32 Investigation.
7 1
Trial Record Volume 1, Book 2
Allied papers of the investigation hearings.
7 2-3
Trial Transcript Volume 3, Books 3-4
Trial Transcript Volume 3 Books 3-4
Trial Transcipt Volume 3, Books 5-6
Trial Transcript Volume 3, Books 7-8
Trial Transcript Volume 3, Books 9-10
Trial Transcript Volume 3, Book 11

Accused Copy TranscriptReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
13 1
Volume I, Trial Transcript
13 2-12
Volume I, Appellant Exhibits
Appendices 1-7 and exhibits 1-22.

Legal Correspondence, Court Orders, Motions, PetitionsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
14 1
Legal Correspondence
14 2
Court Orders
14 3-5
Legal Correspondence
14 6-10
Appeal Preparations, Motions and Motion Drafts
14 11-12
Petition for New Trial
Assignment of Errors, Statements and Brief
Assignment of Errors and Hearing
Government reply to assignment of errors and correspondence, motions, and information on the hearing.

Grant of ReviewReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
17 1
J. Houston Gordon, Correspondence
17 2
Petition for Grant of Review
17 3-19
17 20-26
Government Reply
17 27
Court Order

Review and ReplyReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
18 1-4
Incomplete Review Brief
18 5
Final Draft Review Portions
18 6-7
Incomplete Government Review Reply

Petitions, Cross-AppealReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
19 1-12
Petition for Write of Habeas Corpus
19 13
Petition for Revocation of Stay
19 1
19 14-19
Circuit Court Appeal Appendix, Volumes 1-4
Includes extracts from district court record, testimony transcript, and some appellate, prosecution, and defense exhibits.

Parole and Clemency Board, Correspondence, Allied Cases, MiscellaneousReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
21 1-2
Parole and Clemency Board, Correspondence and Petitions
21 3-11
21 12-17
Calley vs. Talbott
21 18
Buddist Congregation vs. Calley
21 19
Calley vs. LaVerne
circa 1973
21 20
Incomplete Legal Documents
21 21
South Vietnam Chronology
21 22
Crime and Delinquency, Vol. 15, No. 1
21 23
James Houston Gordon, Resume

Articles and News ClippingsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
22 1-7
Esquire Interviews, Correspondence and Article Drafts
22 8
Norman J. Weber Article
Draft, letter, and press release.
22 9
News Clippings

Latimer Court CasesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
23 1-17
United States vs. Fleener
Trial record, exhibits, and appeal process materials.
23 18
United States vs. Borys
Includes United States Court of Military Appeals opinion.
23 19-22
Allen vs. VanCanfort
Appendix for a writ of habeas corpus.

Seminar, Competition, MiscellaneousReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
24 1-5
Senior Seminar on the Laws of War
Course description, reading list, and case examples.
24 6-8
National Moot Court Competition
Rules and respondent and petitioner briefs.
24 9
United States Steel Corporation vs. Industrial Commission of Utah, Plaintiff's Brief
24 10
Kennecott Copper Corp. vs. Industrial Commission of Utah, Defendant's Brief
24 11
Diana L. Jones vs. Magna Oil Corp., Plaintiff Memorandum
24 12
Miscellaneous Court Cases
24 13
Physicians Drug Manual
24 14
George Latimer, Biographical Material

Personal and Trial MaterialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
25 1
Biographical Materials
25 2-3
25 4
News Clippings
25 5
Civilian Life, Manuscript
25 6
Judicial Career, Manuscript
25 7
Lt. Calley's Case, Manuscript
25 8
Military Career, Manuscript
25 9
Utah National Guard
25 10-13
Lt. Calley Trial
News clippings, media dialog, and periodicals.

My Lai TrialReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
26 1
Turkish Criminal Code
26 2
Hearing Aid Dealers Committee and Board Minutes
1982; 1984
26 3
Personal Materials
News articles, retirement and military records, and miscellaneous.
26 4-5
News Articles
26 6
Statements, Briefings, and Documents

Weyman E. WootenReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
27 1
Memos and Correspondence
27 2
Legal Documents
Affidavits, case summary, brief, and records proceedings.
27 3
Court of Appeals Documents
Motions, appeals, orders and answers.

Personal MaterialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
28 1
Various Typewritten Family Histories
28 2
Handwritten Family History
28 3
Death Documents
28 4
Personal Information and Mementos
28 5-7
28 8-9
Correspondence, Lt. William Calley Incident
28 10
28 11
Awards and Citations
28 12
Statements of G.W. Latimer Contained in Hearings Before the Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations
28 13
Military Appointments and Various Documents
28 14
28 15
The Calley Case-Research and Reflections
28 16-17
Newspaper Clippings
29 1
29 2
29 3
Family Histories and Genealogical Records: Latimers and Carrols
29 4
Manuscript, Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL
29 5
Newspaper Clippings

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • My Lai Massacre, Vietnam, 1968--History--Sources
  • Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--Atrocities
  • Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--Public opinion--United States
  • Personal Names :
  • Calley, William Laws,1943---Trials, litigation, etc.
  • Latimer, George--Archives