Thursday, January 29, 2004
Senior U.S. District Judge Harry Hupp Dies at 74
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Senior U.S. District Judge Judge Harry L. Hupp of the Central District of California, who served on the state and federal benches for 30 years, has died at age 74.
Hupp was named to the District Court by then-President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and took senior status in 1997. Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr. said yesterday his colleague had been in ill health for several years, recently undergoing dialysis three times a week, but continued to work productively.
“This is such a loss to our court and to me personally,” Hatter said, calling Hupp “just a wonderful judge and an even more wonderful human being.”
He said Hupp suffered a stroke late Tuesday. The judge had recently decided to remain on the court for another year and had just hired a new law clerk, Hatter said.
“This is where he wanted to remain,” Hatter commented. “Everyone was just delighted with that.”
Chief Judge Consuelo B. Marshall noted that Hupp, who joined the federal court soon after she did, was also her colleague on the Los Angeles Superior Court.
“He was just a wonderful colleague,” Marshall said. The social lunches shared by the court’s judges on Wednesdays were Hupp’s idea, and at yesterday’s lunch many of them spoke movingly about him, she said.
“He will really be missed by the whole court,” she commented.
Judge Christina A. Snyder, whose courtroom adjoined Hupp’s, said that when she joined the court in 1997 the older jurist served as a mentor and role model for her. “For me and for every single person who came on the court after he did,” Snyder declared.
“He was a great colleague and we’re all going to miss him,” she added.
Hupp was a “judge’s judge,” she said, adding that while his health in recent years did not permit him to maintain a trial schedule, he still “worked very hard to make this court a better place.”
As a federal judge he ended a 28-year-old racial quota system for hiring Los Angeles County firefighters in 2002, ruling the consent decree which established the system had “outlasted its purpose.” In 2001 he enjoined Al Jardine, a singer and guitarist who was among the founding members of The Beach Boys, from including the term “Beach Boys” in the name of his touring band.
The injunction was later upheld by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Reagan, as governor, appointed Hupp to the Superior Court in 1972. The jurist was honored as Trial Judge of the Year in 1983 by the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
Hupp joined Beardsley, Hufstedler & Kemble shortly after earning his law degree from Stanford in 1955 and remained with the firm until Reagan tapped him for the bench 17 years later. He became a Beardsley, Hufstedler partner in 1961.
Seth Hufstedler, now at Morrison & Foerster, called Hupp “almost an adopted son” to him and his wife, former Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Shirley Hufstedler, who also served as the first U.S. Secretary of Education.
“We spent many years of our life with him,” Hufstedler said, noting that Hupp was the “first lawyer I ever hired.”
The firm then consisted of only the three name partners, he explained, and their new associate was called on to do “a little bit of everything.”
“In those days you didn’t have just litigators and business lawyers—he did a little bit of both.”
Hupp “always had a strong urge for public service,” Hufstedler declared. He remained close to his old partners and after he became a judge insisted, even after many years, on recusing himself from cases involving his former associates.
“So we lost a very good judge,” Hufstedler commented. “People liked him because he was smart, he told them what he was deciding and why, and gave everyone an opportunity to be heard.”
Hupp attended Beverly Hills High School and served in Japan and Korea during the Korean War after undergraduate work at Pomona College. He chaired the LACBA delegation to the State Bar Conference of Delegates in 1971, capping a decade of service as a delegate, and twice served as president of the San Gabriel School District Board of Education.
The court’s statement noted that Hupp’s staff last year feted the judge at his home in honor of his completion of 30 years of judicial service.
He is survived by his wife, sculptor Patricia “Tita” Hupp, with whom he celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary in September, and by four children and two grandchildren.
Services have not yet been scheduled.
Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company