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Former UT Law School Dean and Extraordinary Law Teacher John Sutton Dies
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John F. Sutton, former dean of University of Texas at Austin School of Law, and longtime professor, died old and full of years last Friday, at the ripe old age of 95. Cause of death regarded complications due to old age, said Sutton’s son, John E. Sutton, and he is survived by his wife of 72 years, Nancy, their son and daughter, four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and his legacy as a great lawyer, teacher, and dean.

Sutton was born on Jan. 26 1918, in Alpine, Texas and was proud to be a Texan. He graduated in 1941 from UT Law School where he met his wife and practiced law alongside his wife and his father, but not before he served as special agent for the FBI at the beginning of WWII and then US Army Reserves as 1st Lt. in the Judge Advocate General’s corps during the Korean War, as the Statesman detailed.


He later went on to join the faculty of UT Law, and according to his son, who attended his father’s classes, “What set dad apart as a teacher was he … had some real world life experiences that he loved to share, he made things come alive. He gave the law relevance.”

He went on to become dean, though he didn’t want to be an administrator, and Bill Powers, University of Austin president, said he led with distinction. “He was a dear friend for more than three decades, a first-rate teacher and evidence scholar, and most important, a tremendous colleague in the law school community.” His work including helping the American Bar Association to draft its Model Rules of Professional Conduct, and serving on the State Bar of Texas Professional Ethics Committee for years.

His memorial service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church in San Angelo. Arrangements have been made with Johnson Funeral Home.

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