Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, August 26, 2003


Page 1


Retired Judge William P. Hogoboom Dies at 84; Memorial Service Friday


By a MetNews Staff Writer


A memorial service will be held Friday for former Los Angeles Superior Court Presiding Judge William P. Hogoboom, who died Sunday of heart failure at 84.

Hogoboom was appointed to the court in 1968 by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan and served until 1983. After retiring from the court he became the first general counsel at USC, where he remained until 1989, and then was active until recently in private judging.

He served on the boards of the Western Justice Center and the Constitutional Rights Foundation and as president of the latter.

Senior Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Dorothy Nelson, a former Dean of USC Law School, remembered Hogoboom yesterday as “the ideal of what a judge should be.”

“I cannot think of a finer, more dedicated public servant,” Nelson said, recalling that as a law professor she took her students to observe Hogoboom in the courtroom.

“He was dedicated to making this world a better place,” Nelson declared, noting that he served on the board of the Western Justice Center for over 15 years and was one of its original members.

Nelson is organizing the Friday memorial service, which will take place at the Western Justice Center next to the Ninth Circuit’s Pasadena headquarters at 4 p.m.

Nelson and others who worked with the judge remembered Hogoboom as a mentor. Retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Christian E. Markey Jr., who succeeded Hogoboom as USC general counsel, called him “one of the grand people that ever walked the face of the earth.”

Markey added:

“He had a good long life.  He got his money’s worth every minute.”

Constitutional Rights Foundation Executive Director Todd Clark recalled that Hogoboom became involved with that organization, which promotes civic awareness in the schools, in the 1970s. Clark said the judge “set a standard for ethical and intelligent leadership that would be very hard to equal,” and added that he was “one of the most effective masters of ceremonies I have ever seen.”

Former Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lester Olson remembered working extensively with Hogoboom in 1969 to complete a practice guide for the wholesale revision to the Family Law Act that became effective the following year.

“He was a wonderful writer in addition to everything else,” Olson said.  “In addition to his brilliance, what stood out about him was his tremendous sense of humor.”

Under Hogoboom’s leadership, Olson recollected, the induction ceremony for new Superior Court judges became a “good natured roast” spiced with information about the inductees that Hogoboom managed to ferret out. Later presiding judges found him a “hard act to follow,” Olson commented.

Olson noted that Hogoboom was co-author of the Rutter Group and CEB family practice guides.

Hogoboom graduated from Hollywood High School and Occidental College and earned a masters degree in public administration at USC before attending USC Law School. He was in private practice in Los Angeles from 1950 to 1968 and was a partner at Iverson & Hogoboom, specializing in corporate and business law, before being appointed to the bench.

Hogoboom served during WWII as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He was a licensed pilot and a skier, golfer and tennis player.

He is survived by his wife Katherine, two sons, and two daughters.


Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company