Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Contents Note

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Personal and Biographical

Correspondence

Activities and Organizations

Conferences, Meetings, and Other Engagements

Subject Files, 1980-2002

Litigation, 1991-2002

Private Law Practice, 1966-1975

107th Judicial District of Texas, 1973-1982

United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, 1980-2004

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 1980-2002

United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, 2002-2003

Various, 1980-2004

Radio Spots, Speeches, Photographs, and Audiovisual, 1988-2004, N.d.

Oversized

The Benson Latin American Collection

Filemon Bartolome Vela Papers, 1952-2004



Descriptive Summary

Creator Vela, Filemon Bartolome
Title Filemon Bartolome Vela Papers
Dates: 1952-2004
Abstract Personal archives documenting the life and career of Judge Filemon Bartolome Vela, including correspondence, legal documents, court orders, opinions, clippings, scripts, notes, photographs, and audiovisual recordings.
Accession No. 2007-02
OCLC Record No.
Extent 20.5 linear feet
Language English and Spanish
Repository Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Long time jurist, civic leader, and education advocate dedicated to serving the people of South Texas, Filemon Bartolome Vela was born in Harlingen, Texas on May 1, 1935. He was the eighth of nine children born to Roberto and Maria Luisa Vela. At the age of eleven his mother passed away. His father supported the family by running a small grocery store and as a notary public. In his youth Filemon attended both Catholic and public schools, and graduated from Harlingen High School in 1954.

In preparation for entering law school Vela attended Texas Southmost College in Brownsville, Texas from 1954 to 1956, and The University of Texas from 1956 to 1957. He then postponed his studies to join the army. He served on active duty from 1957 to 1959. Upon leaving active duty in 1959, Vela entered St. Mary?s University School of Law in San Antonio. He attended from 1959 to 1962 and received his Bachelor of Laws degree, subsequently converted to a Doctor of Jurisprudence.

On January 26, 1962, shortly after receiving his degree, he married San Benito teacher Blanca Sanchez. Despite knowing each other since they were youngsters, they did not start dating until Filemon was in law school. They would have three children: Filemon Bartolome, Jr., Rafael Eduardo, and Sylvia Adriana.

Vela's initial entry into the legal profession was to work with his brother Moises Vicente Vela in Harlingen in the firm known as Vela and Vela. He worked with his brother from February 1962 to November 1963. He received his license to practice before the courts of Texas in April, 1962. Two years later he was admitted to practicing law before the Federal Court. Vela moved to Brownsville in November 1963 and opened his own office. He represented clients in both civil and criminal matters. He practiced law until his departure for the bench of the 107th District Court of Texas in January 1975. Of note from this period was the 1970 civil rights case Lucinda Escalante v. La Feria Independent School District. Vela acted as local counsel and assisted the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) attorney Mario G. Obledo. The case was instrumental in establishing the pursuit of due process by governmental bodies. It was among the first of its type of civil case to hit South Texas.

Around the same time Vela entered private practice with his brother he had become an active member of the Political Association of Spanish-Speaking Organizations (PASO). As an organization PASO sought to place Hispanics in political office. Vela volunteered to run for office. In May 1964 he ran in the Democratic primary against Cameron county Texas House of Representative incumbent Menton J. Murray. He was defeated in his first bid for elected office.

Vela was General Counsel for the Cameron County Child Welfare Unit of the Texas Department of Public Welfare from 1971 to 1973. In addition, in 1971 he won his first elected office, becoming City Commissioner of Brownsville for a two year term that lasted from November 1971 to December 1973.

In November 1974 Vela was elected to serve as judge of the 107th Judicial District Court of Cameron and Willacy Counties, Texas. Before taking office he attended training at the First Texas College of the Judiciary in Austin, Texas. His first 4 year term began in January 1975. Judge Vela presided over both criminal and civil cases in the court of general jurisdiction. Reelected in 1978, his second term started in January 1979.

In August 1979 Senator Lloyd Bentsen put forth the name of Filemon B. Vela as a possible candidate to replace the recently promoted Judge Reynaldo G. Garza. Informed that he had been nominated by President Carter, Vela and his wife flew to Washington to appear before a congressional judiciary committee. Only a few questions were asked by the committee before it recommended his confirmation by the full Senate. He was confirmed by the U. S. Senate on June 25, 1980. The investiture of Judge Vela occurred on July 3, 1980 at a ceremony in Harlingen, Texas.

As a federal judge of the Southern Region of Texas, Brownsville Division, Vela held sway over both federal civil and criminal cases in the southernmost parts of Texas. Due to the large number of drug and immigration related cases the Southern District was one of the busiest federal districts in the country. In his twenty years on the federal bench Judge Vela heard thousands of cases and made just as many decisions. Three stand-out cases from his years on the federal bench included: In 1981 was the Espinos v. Besterio case, which determined that a school district must provide special services for each disabled student so that they can benefit from the education services given to them. In this case an air conditioned cubicle was not considered sufficient as it did not allow for interaction with the teacher or with other students. In a 1989 decision Vela ordered the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to lift travel restrictions on asylum seekers entering the United States. No longer limited to points of entry or border regions, refugees continued on to their destinations. Reaction was swift from both pro and anti-immigrant forces. In U.S. v. Juan Raul Garza, the defendant was convicted under the 1988 federal Anti-Drug Abuse Act which allowed for the imposition of the death penalty. Found guilty, Garza?s death sentence was the first for a federal prisoner since 1963. Due to many appeals and a higher priority being put on the execution of Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh, Juan Raul Garza ended up being executed on June 19, 2001 eight days after McVeigh.

Among all his official duties the one that brought the most joy to Judge Vela was administration of the oath of allegiance to new citizens. In addition to judicial duties Judge Vela was a member of U.S. Sentencing Commission and the Judicial Conference Committee on the Administration of the Federal Magistrate System. He also participated in many judicial conferences throughout Latin America promoting a better understanding of the differing judicial systems found in each country. On May 1, 2000 he retired and took on the status of senior judge. He continued to serve the court until 2004.

Outside of his professional and judicial activities Vela was heavily involved in his community. Throughout his legal career his support of civic activities and organizations continued unabated. He was both mentor and leader of many youth programs. He was founder of the La Esperanza Home for Boys in the 1970s and chairman of the Rio Grande Marine Institute in 1980s and 1990s. In 1972 he started co-hosting Despacho Jurídico, a legal-oriented radio program, with his friend Rogelio Botello Rios. In the program Vela and Rios discussed and answered many questions dealing with different aspects of the law. The program was popular in South Texas and northern Mexico and would continue to be broadcast for many years. Judge Vela also participated in over 200 recording sessions for the radio program Enriquezca Su Vida, Termine Sus Estudios which encouraged young people to stay in school. As part of his ongoing anti-drug effort Vela would bring convicted drug offenders to local schools and have them speak to the students. In January 1992, in honor of his leading role in the community and his support of educational causes, the Brownsville School District renamed the Paredes Line Ninth Grade School as the Filemon B. Vela Middle School. In 2003 he started the Filemon B. Vela Pre-Law Academy at the University of Texas at Brownsville. It was a two week preparatory program for those interested in studying law. Judge Vela was only able to participate in the Academy?s inaugural year. Many of the programs and institutions he created during his lifetime have and will continue have to an impact on the lives of current and future South Texas citizens.

In 2003 Judge Vela was diagnosed with stomach cancer, and he died on April 13, 2004.

On June 29, 2005, President George W. Bush signed into law bill H.R. 483, designating the federal courthouse in Brownsville, Texas as the Reynaldo G. Garza and Filemon B. Vela United States Courthouse.

References:

Alvarado, Antonio. 2001. "Well, Let's Talk About That Next Week". Texas Bar Journal.64 no.1:49.

Burford, Katie. 2000. "His Honor: Vela's vigil extends beyond the bench." Brownsville Herald, March 19. sec. C.

H.R. 483, 109th Congress (2005): An Act to Designate a United States Courthouse in Brownsville, Texas, as the "Reynaldo G. Garza and Filemon B. Vela United States Courthouse".

Rozeff, Norman. Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Vela, Filemon Bartolome" http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/VV/fve21.html (accessed August 15, 2008).

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Scope and Contents Note

Arranged into thirteen series, the documents that comprise this collection reflect the life of Filemon B. Vela as both private citizen and public servant. The series provide the framework upon which this collection is organized. The collection is arranged into the following divisions: Personal and Biographical, Correspondence, Activities and Organizations, Conferences, Subject Files, Litigation, Private Law Practice, 107th Judicial District of Texas, United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, Various, and Photographs and Audiovisual. A detailed listing follows.

The first series,   Personal and Biographical, is comprised of documents that provide detail on the life of Filemon B. Vela as an individual. One finds documents about the middle school named in his honor and the Outstanding Jurist Award in the sub-section Awards, Honors, and Certificates. The sub-series Education is primarily made up of documents concerning class reunions and alumni associations. Here one will find alumni lists, photographs, correspondence, and a commencement address. Stocks, student loans, income tax returns, insurance claims, and annuities are found in the sub-series Financial Documents. Also located in this section are papers dealing with Vela?s immediate family, his siblings, as well as other family members.

The second section,   Correspondence, contains letters and other correspondence of both a personal and professional nature. This series is divided into a number of sub-sections. The first section consists an alphabetical listing of correspondence by individuals. Here one will find letters being sent by individuals ranging from chief judges, to convicts, to children. Letters run the gamut from highly technical arguments supporting a legal position, opinion, or an order, to stick-figure drawings depicting a recent field trip to Judge Vela?s courtroom by young children. The sub-groups Conferences and Workshops, Meetings and Receptions, and Speaking Engagements deal primarily with professional gatherings that Vela attended or was invited to. In addition to invitations and thank you letters, correspondences in these groups also cover requests for reimbursement, hotel reservations, and travel itineraries. Attachments include applications, city guides, and meeting agendas. Also among the larger group is a sub-series consisting of Letters of Recommendation written by the judge. Finally, there is the sub-series Subject. Correspondence in this section is about a particular subject, topic, or person, such as attorney professional misconduct, the railroad relocation project, or individuals like Christopher A. Ferris.

Materials documenting Vela?s association with various groups and activities, both as leader and participant, are found in the third series,   Activities and Organizations. Listed are both professional and civic organizations, including the Cameron County Bar Association, the Rio Grande Marine Institute, and the Texas Business and Education Coalition. Agendas, minutes, flyers, newsletters, scripts, and related correspondence are among the types of documents found in this section.

Documents from conferences, meetings, and seminars that Judge Vela participated in are located in the series   Conferences, Meetings, and Other Engagements. This is followed by a collection of   Subject Files.

Briefs, orders, petitions, correspondence, motions, writs, opinions and any other documents relating to any legal action in which the Judge Vela is named are in the sixth series,   Lawsuits and Litigation. In the case Dollar vs. U.S., Judge Vela is accused of having violated the constitutional rights of the plaintiff. Vela is one of the named individuals in H. L. Watkins many lawsuits against the State of Texas and the United States of America. Filemon B. Vela is just one of many federal judges listed as plaintiffs in the case Anderson vs. U.S.. The case deals with application of social security taxation on the wages of federal judges and the later repayment of lost wages.

Documents in the following five divisions provide detail on the life of Filemon B. Vela as a jurist, from his years as a practicing attorney, through his years a state judge, to finally his period as a federal judge. For the most part the series in this part of the collections are organized in chronological order. The sole exception to this was when he was asked to serve temporarily on the panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. It occurred concurrently while he was serving as federal district judge in the Texas. Vela had already attained the status of senior judge when was asked to help in the federal district of New Mexico.

The few open documents in the series on Vela's   Private Law Practice, are administrative in nature. Following the University's confidentiality guidelines, no client files are available for research.

Case files, jury charges, financial statements, and campaign materials are among the many types of documents that makeup the eighth series,   107th Judicial District of Texas.

Documents found in the ninth series,   United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, cover the more than twenty years of Vela?s federal judgeship. Arranged alphabetically, sub-series are organized by activity, subject, title, or document type. Documents related interns and law clerks that worked for Judge Vela are restricted following University guidelines for privacy and confidentiality. Travel vouchers and calendars are arranged by year. The sub-series Orders and Memorandum Opinions, consists not only of the named bench documents, but also motions, findings of fact, and warrants. This sub-series is arranged by division, such as Brownsville or McAllen, and then chronologically within each division. In addition to his regular duties Judge Vela was assigned to be the court?s representative on the committee to oversee the design and construction of the new courthouse. Thus, there are materials covering the design, construction, and opening of the new building, including directories, meeting summaries, monthly status reports, numerous studies, photographs, and correspondence running from the early inceptions of building a new courthouse to the grand opening of the new building. Also located here are documents from the numerous naturalization ceremonies that Judge Vela performed. Finally, papers detailing the certification of Judge Vela to senior status are found in the sub-series Senior Judge.

  United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and   United States District Court for the District of New Mexico are the tenth and eleventh series. Although they vary in size both series are very similar in composition. Both series are composed primarily of case files and correspondence. In the case of the Fifth Circuit, correspondence is divided into two parts, general correspondence and correspondence directly related to Vela?s duties as a visiting judge.

Documents that do not fit into any of the other categories are found in the twelve series,   Various.

The last series,   Radio Spots, Speeches, Photographs, and Audiovisual, includes information on Vela's radio programs Despacho Jurídico and Enriquezca su vida, including recordings of Despacho. Other materials include notes for speeches, photographs of Vela and his family, and various recordings of Vela and of his memorial ceremony in 2004.

Lastly, there is the series Oversize Materials. The sole item found in this series is a cloth banner depicting the Virgin de Guadalupe.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

All case files from Vela's private practice, as well as files on Law Clerks and Interns and Letters of Recommendation are restricted until 2050 following University guidelines for privacy and confidentiality. These files are not open to research.

Use Restrictions

Standard copyright restrictions apply.

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Index Terms

The Filemon Bartolome Vela Papers are classified under the following Subject Headings in the University of Texas Libraries catalog:
Vela, Filemon Bartolome, 1935-2004--Archives
Reynaldo G. Garza and Filemon B. Vela United States Courthouse (Brownsville, Tex.)
Rio Grande Marine Institute
United States. District Court (Texas : Southern District)

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Filemon Bartolome Vela Papers, Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin.

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Box and Folder Inventory

 

Personal and Biographical

box
1 Awards, Honors and Certificates
Filemon B. Vela Middle School:
1 Campus Plan 1992-1993, 1992
2 Dedication Ceremony, 1991-1992
3 Faculty Handbook 1992-1993, 1992
Golf Tournaments
4 1998
5 1999
6 Homeroom Skills Period, 1990
7 Miscellaneous, 1993-1999
8 The Rising Eagle, 1993
9 Vela Chess Club, 1998, 2001
Outstanding Jurist Award:
10 Correspondence, 1993
11 Miscellaneous, 1993
12 Nomination, 1993
13 Plaque, Mexican American Bar Association (MABA), 1999
14 Various Certificates of Appreciation, 1980's, 1990's
15 Biographical Sketch, [2000-2003]
Education
16 Harlingen High Class of 1954 Reunion, 1994, 1999
17 St. Anthony?s Class of 1949 Reunion, 2003-2004
St. Mary?s University School of Law
Alumni Barbecues
18 1985
19 1987
20 Commencement address, 1981
21 Hispanic Law Alumni Association 2000 Mentor Program
22 Photographs, 2002-2003
23 Valley Area Alumni List, 2004
University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College (UTB/TSC)
24 Distinguished Alumnus UTB/TSC, 1998
box
2 Family
1 Vela, Blanca Sanchez, 1997
Vela, Filemon B., Jr.:
Georgetown University
2 Miscellaneous, 1984-1985
3 Notecards, [1980's]
Seminar: Rights of Privacy and Personhood
4 Notebook, 1984
5 "Rights of Privacy and Association: Regulation of the Household", 1984
6 University of Texas Graduation Ceremony Program, 1987
7 Vela, Rafael E., 1985-1987
8 Vela, Sylvia A., 1988-1989,1993-1995, 2003
9 Vela, Carlos, [1968]
10 Vela, Eva F. 1992, 2000-2001
11 Vela, Teresa (Tere), 1996
12 Vela, Reynaldo R., 2002
13 Vela Family Information Form, N.d.
Family Ranch:
14 Laguna Seca Ranch, 2002, N.d.
15 Fiesta y Baile, 2000
16 Historical Marker, 1997-1998
Financial
17-20 Various Financial, 1968-1999
21 Memorial and Obituaries, 2004

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Correspondence

box folder
3 1 A, 1980-2004
2 B (Ba-Bi), 1983-2000
3 B (Bl-Bu), 1980-2003
4 Bentsen, Lloyd (U.S. Senate), 1981-1992
5 Berta Cabaza Middle School (San Benito CISD), 1996
6 Black, Norman W. Chief Judge, United States District Court, Southern District of Texas [USDCSDT]), 1985-1996
7 Brewster, Louis G. (Chief Probation Officer, USDCSDT), 1984-1995
8 Bunton, Lucius D. (Chief Judge, USDCWDT) 1982-1996
9 Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority Resolution, 2001
10 C (Ca-Cl), 1980-2001
box folder
4 1 C (Co-Cz), 1977-2001
2 Carson, James P., 1981, 1983-1984
3 Clark, Charles (chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [USCA5]), 1982-1990
4 Clark, Jesse E. (Clerk, USDCSDT), 1981-1991
5 Comberrel, Lydia G. (Circuit Executive, USCA5), 1982-1993
6 Crixall, Alfred V. (Supervising Probation Officer, USDCSDT), 1981-1986
7 D, 1981-2002
8 De La Garza, Eligio ?Kika? (U.S. House of Rep.), 1981-1989
9 DeAnda, James (Chief Judge, USDCSDT), 1981-1996
10 Orders and Opinions, 1981-1984, 1988
11 E, 1987-2003
box folder
5 1 F, 1980-2003
2 Foley, William E. (Director, Administrative Office of the United States Courts [AOUSC]), 1984-1985
3 G(Ga), 1980-2004
4 G((Ge-Gu), 1981-2002
5 Garza, Fidencio G. (Magistrate Judge, USDCSDT), 1989, 1990's
6 Garza, Mary F., 1986, 1990s, 2000-2003
7 Godbold, John C. (Director, Federal Judicial Center [FJC]), 1987-1988
8 H, 1981-2003
9 Hatch, Orrin G. (U.S. Senate), 1996
10 Head, Hayden W. (Judge, USDCSDT), 1981-2001
11 Hittner, David (Judge, USDCSDT) 1996-1997, 2002
12 Hoyt, Kenneth M. (Judge, USDCSDT) 1996, 2000-2002
13 Hughes, Lynn N. (Judge, USDCSDT), 1985-1989, 1997-1999, 2001-2002
14 I, 1977,1981,2003
box folder
6 1 J, 1982-2002
2 J. T. Canales Elementary School, 1988
3 James Pace H.S. (Brownsville Independent School District [BISD]), 1998, 1999
4 Judson High School(Converge, Texas), 2000
5 K, 1980-2003
Kazen, George P. (Chief Judge, USDCSDT)
6 1980-1996
7 1997
8 1998
9 1999
10 2000
11 2001
12 2002
13 2003
14 Orders, 1998-1999, 2001-2003
15 Kent, Samuel B. (Judge, USDCSDT), 1998, 2002
box folder
7 1 L, 1981-2002
2 Lamar Elementary School (Harlingen, Texas), 1987
Letters of Recommendation, 1981-2004
Letters of Recommendation are restricted until 2050 following University guidelines.
3 Levin, A. Leo (Director, FJC), 1980-1987
4 M (Ma-Mc), 1981-2003
5 M (Me-My,) 1980-2003
6 Mardis, Lourdes T. (secretary) 1982-1987
7 Mecham, L. Ralph (Director, AOUSC)
Milby, Michael N. (clerk, USDCSDT):
8 1993-1998
9 1999-2004
10 N, 1977, 1981-2002
11 Nowlin, James R. (Judge, USDCWDT), 1986-1987
12 O, 1983-2001
13 Ortiz, Solomon P. (U.S. House of Rep.) 1980s, 1990's
box folder
8 1 P, 1981-2004
2 Pajaro Rojo, 1978
3 Peña, Federico (Secretary of Transportation)
4 Persin, Jeremy (American Bar Association [ABA]-Judicial Division), 1998
5 Philbin, Phillip B. (Haynes and Boone), 1993,1997,2001
6 Piatt, Bill (Dean, St. Mary?s University, School of Law), 1998, 2000-2004
7 Politz, Henry A. (Chief Judge, USCA5), 1992, 1994
8 R (Ra-Rh), 1980-2003
9 R (Ri-Ry), 1979-2003
10 R.L. Martin Elementary School (BISD), 1988
11 Rainey, John D. (Judge, USDCSDT), N.d., 1990-1991
12 Reavley, Thomas M. (Senior Circuit Judge, USCA5, 1991-1992, 1998
13 Reynolds, George D. (Staff Counsel, Office of the Committee on Financial Disclosure), 2000, 2003, 2004
14 Rio Grande City High School, 1987
15 Rostow, Victor A.D. (Office of the General Counsel, United States Department of Justice [USDJ], INS), 1982
16 Rouvnoski, Judith RR. ([Arizona People?s College of Law]), 1984-1985
17 S (Sa-Si), 1980-2003
18 S (Sk-Sw), 1980-2003
box folder
9 1 Sanchez, A. R. ?Tony?, 1982-2003
2 Scott, Josefina, 2000-2001
3 Sharp Elementary School (BISD), 1999
4 Singleton, John V. (Chief, Senior Judge, USDCSDT), 1980-1992
5 Solomn M. Coles Elementary School (Corpus Christi ISD.), 1998
6 Stell Intermediate school (BISD), 1987
7 Stone, David L. (Consul, U.S. Consulate Matamoros), 2001, 2003
8 T, 1980-2003
9 Tagle, Hilda G. (Judge, 148th DC, Texas)
10 U, 1980-1999
11 USDCSDT (All Judges), 1992-1999
12 V, 1977-2003
13 W, 1977-2003
14 West Publishing, 1980-1997
15 Wilson Elementary(McAllen ISD), N.d.
16 Worthington Park Elementary. (Worthington School District), 1990
17 Y, 1984-1993
18 Z,
19 Unsigned and Miscellaneous Correspondence

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Activities and Organizations

box
10 American Marine Institute:
1 Board of Trustees List, 1990-1993
2 Chair Council Meetings (summary), 2001
3 Miscellaneous, 1980s-1990s
4 Newsletters, Various, 1987-1997
Rio Grande Marine Institute:
5 Board of Trustees, 1988-1995
6 Bylaws, Resolutions, and Contracts, 1991,1993,N.d.
Correspondence:
7 1985-1988
8 1989-1991
9 1992-1995
10 1996-1998
box folder
11 1 Golf and Fishing Tournament, 1996-1997
2 Golf and Fishing Tournament ? Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, 1995
3 Minutes and Agendas, 1986-1998
4 Operations and Finances, 1986-1989,1995
5 Sponsors, 1989
6 Artificial Reef Committee, 1988
7 Bar Liaison Committee, 1982-1983
8 Brownsville Cultural District No.1, Inc., 1999-2001
Cameron County Bar Association (CCBA):
9 Bar Committee, 1980-1999
10 Miscellaneous, 1997
Newsletters:
11 Bar Facts, 1995-1996
12 Newsletter,, 1988-1989, 1994-1995
13 President's Newsletter, 1989, 1991-1993
14 Rios, Rogelio Botellos, 1997
15 Catholic Lawyers Guild, 1975-1977
16 Catholic Lawyers Retreat, 1976,1980,1982-1984
17 Catholic War Veterans, 1964
18 Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, 2003
19 Criminal Justice Advisory Committee. UTB/TSC, 1992-'95
20 District Judges Association of the 5th Circuit 1981,1984
box folder
12 1 Freedom Fest (4th of July celebration), 2001
2 Hidalgo County Bar Association Pro Bono Project, 1993
3 International Seaman?s Center, 1976-1978,1986,1992
Judicial Conference Committee on the Administration of the Federal Magistrate System:
4 Agendas, 1986-1987, 1990
Correspondence
5 1985-1989
6 1990-1991
7 Law and Research Committee (San Benito CISD), 1999
8 Little League Baseball, 1973, N.d.
9 Minor Teams' Roster, N.d.
10 Mary Mother of the Church, 1978-1982
Mexican American Bar Association (MABA):
11 Hispanics and Other Minorities, 1993
12 Oblate School of Theology, 2002-2004
box folder
13 1 "Prisoner Program", 2001
2 Pro Bono Project of Cameron County, 1992
3-4 Project GRAD
5 Rio Grande Council, Boy Scouts of America, 1975, 1990, N.d.
6 South Texas Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, 1997-1999
7 State Bar of Texas, 1993-2004
Texas Business and Education Coalition (TEBC):
Correspondence
8 1989
9 1990
10 1991
11 Miscellaneous, 1989-1991
12 Texas Conference of Churches, 1980
13 Texas Hispanic Administration of Justice Association, 1981
14 Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA), 1989-1991
box folder
14 1 U.S. Constitution Bicentennial Judicial Speakers Committee, 1986-1987
1 United States Sentencing Commission (USSC), 1986-1987, 1991, 2001
University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College:
Filemon B. Vela Pre-Law Academy
2 2003
3 2004
4 Futures Commission, 2003-2004
5 Graduate and undergraduate catalogs, 2001-2002
"Graduate School"
Institutional Dynamics of the American Legal System
6 2003
Assignments
7 A-Mo
box folder
15 1 Mu-S
2 Various
3 2004
4 "Let's Bond" Campaign, 2002

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Conferences, Meetings, and Other Engagements

box
15 Conferences, Meetings, and Other Engagements by title:
5-6 United States Information Agency (USIA) American Participant Program- U.S. Constitution (Mexico/Ecuador), 1987
7 Texas Headstart Association, 1988
8 Pan American University and Texas Southmost College (mock Trial), 1989
9 Judicial Conference (Puebla), 1992
Money Laundering Seminars:
10 Santiago, Chile, 1994
11 Lima, Peru, 1995
12 Caracas, Venezuela, 1995
Central American Regional Drug Enforcement Seminar (San Jose, Costa Rica), 1996:
13 Articles
14 Bank Secrecy Act
box folder
16 1 Lists of Terms
2 Miscellaneous
3 Note cards
4 Schedule
5 Travel documents
6 United States Code Annotated
7 Moot Court (Mexico City), 1996
8 "Ejecución de Sentencias Extranjeras en los Estados Unidos" (Austin), 1998
9-10 Conference and Mock Trial (Monterrey, N.L.), 1999
11 Association of Trial Lawyers of America(ATLA) Winter Convention (San Antonio), 1999
box
17 University of Texas at Austin. U.S. Law Program:
1 Seminar (Jalapa, Veracruz), 1999
2 Money Laundering (Austin), 1999
3 Money Laundering 1995 Criminal Procedure Seminar for Federal Judges. Mark j. Biros, 1995
Border Courts Conference (Albuquerque, New Mexico), 2000:
4 Crises on the Border
5 Border Courts Conference
6 Miscellaneous
Mock Trial (Monterrey, N.L.), 2000:
7 Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon
Universidad Regiomontana
8 "Acoso sexual y discriminacion laboral"
9 Congreso fldm. (Monterrey, N.L.), 2000
10 World Bank 2000 (Mexico City), 2000
box folder
18 1 Univesidad Autonoma de Tamaulipas (Ciudad Victoria), 2001
2 Tom Slick Symposium, UT Austin, 2001
3 Money Laundering Seminar (Caracas, Venzuela), 2001
4 Trial Advocacy Course (Albaqurque, NM), 2002
5 Simlacro de Juicio en Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, 2002
U.S. Judicial System in Criminal Matters(Puebla),:
6 Correspondence, 2002
7 Instructional materials, 2002
8 Miscellaneous, 2002
box folder
19 1 ?Via Veritas, Definiendo el Rumbo de La Nacion? XIV Congreso Internacional de Derecho (Cholula, Puebla), 2003
Conferences and Workshops by date:
2 1980
3 1981
4 1982
5 1983
6 1984
7 1985
8 1986
9 1987
10 1988
11 1989
12 1990
13 1991
14 1992
15 1993
16 1994
17 1995
box folder
20 1 1996
2 1997
3 1998
4 1999
5 2000
6 2001
7 2002
8 2003-2004
Meetings and Receptions by date:
9 1982-1984
10 1985-1988
11 1989
12 1990
13 1991
14 1992-1994
box folder
21 1 1995-1996
2 1997
3 1998
4 1999
5 2000
6 2001
7 2002
8 2003
9 2004
Speaking Engagements by date:
10 1983-1987
11 1988
12 1989
13 1990
14 1991
box folder
22 1 1992
2 1993
3 1994 (Jan.-Jun.)
4 1994 (Jul.-Dec.)
5 1995
6 1996
7 1997
8 1998
box folder
23 1 1999
2 2000
3 2001
4 2002
5 2003

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Subject Files, 1980-2002

box folder
23 6 Attorney professional misconduct, 1980
7 Border patrol, 1999-2000
8 Customs Officers (mock trials participants), 1992
9 Daveway Electronics (Cameron County Bridge System), 1993
10 Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award, 1990-1995
11 Elevator plans (old court building), 1983-1987
12 Externship program, 1985-1999
13 Ferris, Christopher A., 1992-1993
14 Heart surgery, 2000
15 Independence day celebration and citizenship ceremony, 2002
16 Judicial Yellow Book, 1997-2002
17 Lott, City of, 1983
18 Newblatt, Stewart A., 1995-2000
19 Miscellaneous, 1990s
20 Travel vouchers, 1995-2000
box folder
24 1 Railroad relocation project, 1996-1999
2 Refugee case, 1989
3 Rodriguez Gonzalez, Oscar Mauro, 1987
4 School dropouts, 1987-1988
5 Yates, Bobby, 1985-1986

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Litigation, 1991-2002

box folder
24 6 Gordon L. Dollar vs US. Et al, 1991-1992
7 Request under Freedom of Information Act, 1994
Social Security Tax Litigation (Anderson vs. U.S.)
8 1996 (Jan.-Mar.)
9 1996 (Apr. ? Oct.)
10 1996 (Nov.-Dec.)
11 1997
box folder
25 1 1998-1999
2 2000
3 2001
4 2002
5 Anderson vs. U.S., 1996-1997, 2000, 2002
6 Hatter vs. U.S., 1996, 2000
Watkins, H.L. (Horace Lamar)
7 Watkins Case, 1996-1997
box folder
26 1 Watkins Case, 1998
2 Watkins vs. Sitgreaves, 2000
3 Watkins vs. Vela, 1999-2000

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Private Law Practice, 1966-1975

Most Private Law Practice files, including licenses, wills, and case files, are restricted until 2050 following University guidelines.
box folder
26 4 Los Ebanos Properties Subdivision 1973,1975
5 Miscellaneous, 1966-1975
6 Wage and tax statements, 1968-1974

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107th Judicial District of Texas, 1973-1982

box folder
26 7 Assignment to Jim Hogg County, 1976
Cases:
8 Garcia, Amelia (State of Texas vs. Garcia), 1976
9 Morin, Matias (State of Texas vs. Morin), 1974-1975
Origin, 206th District Court
10 Mostyn, Alfredo N., 1977-1980
11 Other cases 1973-1980
Jury Charges:
12 107th Judicial District of Texas, [1975-1979]
13 197th Judicial District of Texas, [1975-1977]
14 Other State (Texas) Courts, [1975-1980], 1982
box
27 Miscellaneous:
1 Ceremony for Judge Myrlin O. Johnson, 1981
2 Custody Reports, 1974-1975
107th and 197th District Courts
3 Financial Statements, 1974-1980
4 Other Documents, various dates 1977-2001
State and county court documents
5 Political Campaigns, 1967-1979
6 Signage

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United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, 1980-2004

box
27 Calendars
7 1980
8 1981
9 1982
10 1983
11 1984
12 1985
13 1986-1989
14 1990-1991
box folder
28 1 1992-1993
2 1994-1996
3 1997-2002
4 2003-2004
5 Miscellaneous Schedules and Calendars, 1985-1988
Interns and Law Clerks, 1980-2004
Files related to interns and law clerks are restricted until 2050 following University guidelines.
Meetings of the Court
6 1989
7 1991
8 1992
9 1993
10 2002
Naturalization
Ceremonies:
11 1982-1988
12 1990-1999
box folder
29 1 2001-2002
2 2003-2004
3 Miscellaneous, 1984, 1992-1997
New Federal Courthouse:
4 Architect/Engineer Selection Panel, 1994
5 Art-in-Architecture Committee, 1996-1999
Correspondence
6 1992
7 1993
8 1994
9 1995 (Jan.-May)
10 1995 (Jun.-Dec.)
11 1996
12 1997
box folder
30 1 1998
2 1999
3 Courthouse List, 2001
4 Dedication of the Property and Groundbreaking Ceremony, 1996-1997
5 Meeting Summaries, 1992-1997
6 Michael Lloyd's oath of citizenship (first official act), 1999
7 Miscellaneous, 1994-2003
8 Monthly Project Status Reports, 1996-1999
9 New Courthouse Layout, 1998
Open House and Dedication Ceremony:
10 Correspondence, 1999
11 Invitations and Programs, 1999
12 List of Attendees, 1999
13 List of Invitees, 1999
14 Photographs, 1999
15 Reception honoring Chief Justice Carolyn Dineen King, 1999
16 Preliminary Report, 1992
17 Project Team Directory, 1995
18 Punch List and Close-Out Schedules, 1998-1999
19 Seminar on Courthouse Design and Construction, 1996
box
31 Studies:
95% Submission Prospectus Development Study (GSA), 1992
1 New Federal Building - Courthouse Brownsville, Texas, 1992
2 Project Costs Summary - English, 1992
3 Project Costs Summary - Metric, 1992
Prospectus Development Study, 1992
4 Executive Summary for Prospectus Development Study, 1992
5 New Federal Building-Courthouse Brownsville, Texas, 1992
6 Project costs Summary - English for Design/Build Delivery, 1992
7 Project Costs Summary - Metric for Design/Building Delivery, 1992
8 Project Costs Summary - English for Traditional Delivery, 1992
9 Project Costs Summary - Metric for Traditional Delivery, 1992
10 Value Engineering Study, N.d.
Orders and Memorandum Opinions:
Brownsville
11 1980
12 1981 (Jan.-Jun.)
box folder
32 1 1981 (Jul.-Dec.)
2 1982
3 1983
4 1984
5 1985
6 1986
7 1987 (Jan.-Jun.)
8 1987 (Jul.-Dec.)
9 1988
10 1989
11 1990
12 1993
13 U.S. vs. Juan Raul Garza, 1993
box folder
33 1 1994
2 1995
3 1996
4 1997
5 1998
6 1999
7 2000
Del Rio:
8 2000
9 Houston, 1983, 1984, 1990, 2003
Laredo:
10 2001
11 2002
12 2003 (Jan.-Jun.)
13 2003 (Jul.-Sep.)
14 2003 (Oct.-Dec.)
15 2004
McAllen:
16 1988
17 1997
18 1999
19 2000
20 2001
21 Rodriguez v. Bridgestone/Firestone
box folder
34 1 2002
2 2003
3 2004
San Antonio, 2000-2004
Other Documents:
5 10th Anniversary (U.S. District Judge), 1979, 1990, 1995
6 Christmas Parties, 1986, 1992, 1993, N.d.
Compensation:
7 Salary, 1980-1988, 1992
8 William B. Foley vs. James Earl Carter, 1980
9 Court Dockets, 1987, 1998-1999
10 Designation to sit outside home district, 1985-1996, 2000
11 FJC Directions, 1993
12 Federal Court System, 2000
13 Federal Money Laundering Cases, 1999
14 Financial Disclosure Report, 1981
15 Government Transportation Requests, 1980-1991
box
35 Instructional Materials:
1-3 Money Laundering and Mock Trial Materials, various dates 1995-2001, N.d.
4 Speech Note Cards, N.d.
5 Investure of The Honorable Filemon B. Vela (program), 1980
6 Judicial investures, 1984, 1990-1999
7 Judicial Robes, 1996-1998, N.d.
8 Judicial Security, 1983-1984,1991, N.d.
9 Junior Law Clerk ?Daily Duties, 1982
Library:
10 Brownsville Briefs, 1991, 1994
11 Rules, 1982
12 Local Rules, 1980,1982,1989
13 Memorandum Establishing Policy (Material Witnesses), 1997
box
35b Nomination to federal judgeship, 1979
1 Financial Disclosure Report
2 Minority Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees
3 Miscellaneous
4 Personal Data Questionnaire
5 Notes, N.d.
6 OMC Industries, Inc. (plaques), 1987-2004
box folder
36 1 Outstanding Court Reporter transcripts, 1987,1992
2 Preliminary Draft of Proposed Amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, 1992
3 Senate Judiciary Committee (judicial survey), 1996
4 Third Branch, 1993
5 U.S. Magistrates (Southern District of Texas), 1980-1992
6 Various, 1981-2002
7 Williams, Susan Reese (part time magistrate -McAllen), 1982
8 Work Orders, 1982-1992
9 Work Orders, 1997-2003
Reports and Statistics:
10 Civil Justice Reform Act Report, 2003
11 Monthly Reports of Trials and Other Court Activity, 2002-2003
12 Monthly report of Visiting Judge Activity 2000-2001
13 Non-case related travel Reporting sytem, 2000-2004
14 Report on persons in custody, 1980
15 Statistics Regarding the status of the Docket, 1980
16 Trials overseen by Judge Vela (1980-2003), 2004
Senior Judge
Banquet celebrating assumption of senior status and twenty-five years of judicial service.
17 Correspondence, 2000
18 Invitations and program, 2000
19 Law clerks and staff celebration, 2000
box folder
37 1 Miscellaneous, 2000
2 Designation of senior district judge for service, 2000-2003
3 Senior Judge Certification, 2000-2004
4 Senior status, 2000
Travel Vouchers:
5 1980-1982
6 1983-1984
7 1985-1986
8 1987
9 1988
10 1989
11 1990
12 1991
box folder
38 1 1992
2 1993
3 1994
4 1995
5 1996
6 1997
7 1999
8 2001
9 2002
10 2003
11 2004

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United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 1980-2002

box folder
39 1 5th Circuit District Judges Newsletter, 1996, 1998, 1999
Correspondence:
2 1986-1988
3 1995-1999
4 2000-2002
5 Fifth Circuit Judicial Conference, 1986
6 Miscellaneous, 1985, 1986
7 Orders, Various 1980-2002
Visiting Judge:
Cases
8 Beeman vs. FDIC, 1991
9 Carnival Leisure vs. Aubin, 1991
10 Crawford vs. Formosa Plastics, 2000
11 Grayson Joint Venture, No. 1 vs. Dow Chemical, 2001
12 Harris vs. Southern Pacific, 2000
13 Hill vs. City of Seven Points, 2000
14 Mascarella vs. USF & G, 2001,2003
15 Mathews vs. Graham, 2000
16 Nix vs. Cain, 2001
17 Turan vs. Universal, 2000-2001
18 U.S. vs. Bethley, 2000
19 U.S. vs. Thomas, 2001
20 U.S. vs. Urrabazo, 2000
21 U.S. vs. West, 2001
22 Warren vs. Miles, 2000
23 Other Cases/Opinions, Various dates 1982-2000
24 Williamson vs. U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Brownsville Division, 2000-2001
box folder
40 1 Correspondence, 2000
2 Miscellaneous, 2000
Workshop for Judges of the Fifth Circuit:
3 1980
4 1986

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United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, 2002-2003

box folder
40 5 Cases, 2002-2003
6 Correspondence, 2002
7 Court Calendar, 2002

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Various, 1980-2004

box folder
40 8 50th Anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education (Powerpoint CD), 2004
9 Biographical Sketches and Obituraries, 1994, N.d.
10 Continental One Pass, 1996-1998
11 Golf Tournaments, Various 1986-2003
12 Guest Sign-in Book, N.d.
13 Hilton HHonors, 2000-2003
box folder
41 1 Newsclippings, 1980-2003
2 Newsletters, 1986, 1991-1993
3 Receipts-Professional Literature, 2000
4 Various Documents, [1980-2003]

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box
41 Radio Spots, Speeches, Photographs, and Audiovisual, 1988-2004, N.d.
Radio Programs:
Despacho Juridico:
5 Photographs, 1997
6 Press, 1999-2001
7 Recordings: See AV Oversized
Enriquezca Su Vida Termine Sus Estudios :
8 Correspondence - Futuro Hispano, 1992
9 Correspondence - Sabado Gigante, 1988
10 Press - Newsclipping, 1990
Radio Spot Texts:
11 Radio Spots 1-171, 1998
12 Radio Spots Drafts 1-60
box folder
42 1 Radio Spots Drafts 61-120
2 Radio Spots Drafts 121-172+
3 Typed and hand written drafts, N.d.
4 Speech Notes, N.d.
5 Speech Notecards, N.d.
6 Photographs of Judge Vela, N.d.
7 Young Leaders Conference, N.d.
8 Family and other photographs, N.d.
box
43 Audio and Video:
1 Video of Filemon Vela, Sr. [VHS], N.d.
2-3 Judge Filemon B. Vela Speech to Students, Corpus Christi, TX [VHS], N.d.
2 copies
4 In Memory of Honorable Filemon B. Vela, May 1, 1935 - April 13, 2004 [VHS]
5 "The Eagle Speech" [DVD]
6 Speech to Students, Corpus Christi, TX [DVD]
7-8 In Memory of Filemon Vela, May 1 1935 - April 13, 2004 [2 DVDs]
9 (Despacho) Contratos [cassette tape], 1988
10 In the Child's Best Interest: A Judicial Perspective [cassette tape], 1999

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Oversized

box
44-45 Despachos Jurídicos [reel-to-reel tapes]
box folder
46 1 "Virgencita Bendice Nuestro Hogar Familia Vela"
Banner depicting an image of the Virgin de Guadalupe

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