Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Chief Justice David Terry program on June 25!

You don't know about Chief Justice David Terry (1823-1889)?!
Well then be sure to attend this free program (or $30 if you want MCLE credit) at the 2d District Court of Appeal building in LA, starting at 5:30 p.m., described below:

California Supreme Court Justices Marvin R. Baxter and Kathryn M. Werdegar, Court of Appeal Justice Laurie D. Zelon, and U. S. District Court Judges Andrew J. Guilford, Terry J. Hatter, Jr., and Ronald S.W. Lew, will all participate in a June 25, 2013, historical program about federalism in California, as illustrated by the life and death of one of the California Supreme Court’s first and most colorful members, Chief Justice David S. Terry.
The program, “Chief Justice David S. Terry: A Life and a Doctrine in Three Acts,” is sponsored by four historical societies – the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Historical Society, the California Supreme Court Historical Society, the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society, and the California Historical Society – together with the generous support of Littler Mendelson, P.C.  It will be held at the Ronald Reagan State Office Building’s auditorium in downtown Los Angeles, located at 300 South Spring Street, Los Angeles 90013, beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by a reception at 7:00 p.m.
Terry was elected Associate Justice, and then later became Chief Justice, of the California Supreme Court in the mid-1850s.  During his first year on the Court, he stabbed a San Francisco Vigilance Committee member in the neck with his bowie knife, for which the Committee imprisoned, tried, and almost hanged Terry, before releasing him when the Committee member recovered.  In 1859, Terry shot and killed a sitting U. S. Senator, David Broderick, in a duel held at Lake Merced, then on the outskirts of San Francisco.  Terry returned to Texas and became an officer in the Confederate army during the Civil War.  He eventually returned to California after the War and, in the 1880s, represented (and later wed) Sarah Althea Hill in her various lawsuits over her alleged secret marriage to U. S. Senator William Sharon, then considered to be one of the wealthiest individuals in the country.  When the federal court’s decision went against Hill, he punched a tooth out of a Deputy U.S. Marshal in the courtroom, for which he was sentenced to six months in jail.  Finally, in 1889, another Deputy U.S. Marshal shot Terry dead after he began punching U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Field in the face while he was having breakfast at a train stop near Stockton, California.  The case, In re Neagle, led to one of the broadest statements of federal jurisdiction over state jurisdiction ever made by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The June 25 program will feature the Justices and District Judges reading from historical documents written by Terry, Hill, Field, and others.  It will also include images of persons and places in Terry’s life and death.  The program will be narrated by the program script’s author, Richard Rahm (who is a member of the Northern District of California Historical Society’s board of directors and a shareholder of the Littler Mendelson law firm) and Dan Grunfeld (who is president of the California Supreme Court Historical Society and a partner in the Kaye Scholer law firm).