Denman T. Rucker, Esq.
Rucker & Rucker is a family practice founded in the 1930's by the late Denman T. Rucker who is pictured above with the 1940 Arlington County Bar Association. Today his son and grandson continue the family tradition of outstanding client service and resourceful trial advocacy on behalf of their clients throughout Northern Virginia. Denman T. Rucker was always active in the Arlington County Bar and went out of his way to assist other lawyers and clients. It is this tradition that began with Denman T. Rucker and continues today at the law offices of Rucker & Rucker.
The following is based on an article from the book, Bar Nostalgia, Memories and Reflections of the Arlington Legal Community, from the 1950's to the Present, (pictured below) written by the late Ken McFarlane Smith. The book includes a collection of columns from the Journal of the Arlington County Bar Association that were written by Ken McFarlane Smith. One such column was written about our founder, Denman T. Rucker. Portions of the article are being reproduced with the permission of the Arlington County Bar Foundation which published the book.
Denman Rucker: 'The Good Guy' from Bar Nostalgia,
Although I have revealed a rascal or two in the history of the
Arlington Bar Association, generally I have only written about the
good guys (so no one can take offense, "good guys" refers to all
genders of any nature whatsoever). There was one super good guy
I haven't mentioned other than in passing. He was Denman Rucker, father of the lawyer of the same name who still practices in Arlington today. (And grandfather of Jason Rucker who now also practices in Arlington)
Denman Rucker was a handsome, stocky, white-haired, and very pleasant man who somewhat resembled senior circuit court Judge Walter T. McCarthy. Denny was always a player in the Bar Skit, for two reasons: (1) He played the part of our senior Circuit Court judge with style, copying his mannerisms and pronunciations skillfully, and (2) he had a beautiful tenor voice and could really sing. He was always the showstopper when he played the part of "Falter T. Malarkey." Ernie Gearheart, a partner in the firm Jesse, Phillips, Klinge & Kendrick, and I sang with Denman in the Clarendon Baptist Church Men's Choir. Ernie and I were never asked to solo-Denman was asked frequently.
I have had to reconstruct (because I was not in Arlington
yet), but when commonwealth's attorney Lawrence Douglas
resigned, his assistant Denny Rucker was appointed by the Circuit
Court for the remainder of his term. Then in 1948, Denman
ran for and won a four-year term as commonwealth's attorney. I
don't know the details, but sometime during that term there was
an issue concerning certain county officials playing poker. In 1952 Bill Hassan, a sort of newcomer and outsider, ran
against Denman in the Democratic primary and Denman lost his bid for reelection in a close
From the beginning, I liked him very much personally, but soon got a real reading on his character. Millie and I were members of the First Baptist Church of Clarendon. One Sunday in 1955, he asked to talk with me after church. He told me he was considering a run for Commonwealth's Attorney and wanted my support as a very active and involved Young Democrat. He stated that he would commit to me that if I supported him and he won, he would appoint me as his assistant. I revealed to him that I had been asked the same thing by Bill Hassan but that as of that time, I had not committed. I also told him Bill had likewise promised me the next available vacancy. However, I told him I would "like to think it over."
Without missing a beat, Denny put his arm around my shoulder and said, "Don't pass up that opportunity. Hassan is the incumbent and I have not definitely decided to run. You would only be getting a possibility from me in exchange for what could be a sure thing from Bill Hassan." A lesser man might have shaded the truth a little or argued in order to get support. But not Denman! He was too principled for that. Denman's final decision was not to run. I had committed to Bill Hassan, and in 1956 was appointed as an assistant, just as Bill had promised. I have never forgotten Denman's honesty. He was far above deceiving a young lawyer or even running the risk of trying to confuse him politically, his integrity was (in the opinion of practically everyone) beyond question.
. . .
Through all his years, Denman was active in the Bar Association and a credit to our profession. In later years, when his son came to practice with him, he resumed greater interest in our Bar Association. His death had a considerable impact on the then-younger members of the Bar, who knew him since he was so active in his later professional years. There were many kind and considerate attorneys practicing in Arlington at that time, but Denman Rucker was one of the kindest and most considerate. He was a first-class role model for many young lawyers of that time, a thing sorely needed in today's world.