Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, February 18, 2005


Page 1


Retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Jack Ryburn Dead at 81


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Jack T. Ryburn has died.

Ryburn, a judge from 1970 to 1989, died Jan. 26 at age 81 after a lengthy illness. No public memorial service has been planned.

A native of Visalia, Ryburn earned his undergraduate and law degrees from USC following service in World War II. He received the Bronze Star and Combat Infantry Badge during his service in Europe.

He began practice in 1950 with the Pasadena firm of Ross, Woodson, Millard, Ryburn & Burke and remained there until then-Gov. Ronald Reagan appointed him to the Superior Court in 1970.

He began in criminal law before moving on to serve in various other assignments, including civil, family law, law and discovery, writs and receivers, and juvenile court. Ryburn served as supervising judge in family law in 1973 and 1974, and served terms as chair of the Family Law, Probate, and Personnel and Budget committees of the court.

He spent his last 12 years at the court hearing complex civil litigation, including the coordinated cases resulting from an incident in which a disgruntled ex-employee of now-defunct Pacific Southwest Airlines—the carrier had been acquired by U.S. Air—smuggled a gun on a plane and shot the crew, causing the plane to crash near Paso Robles with the loss of 43 lives.

He also heard the Big Rock Landslide, Mojave Explosion, and Film Lab cases.

He sat on the Court of Appeal by assignment on two occasions and was honored as Trial Judge of the Year by the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association for the year prior to his retirement.

An active member of the Pasadena community, he served as president of the Pasadena Junior Barristers, the Pasadena Legal Aid Society, the University Club of Pasadena, and the Pasadena Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association. He was also on the boards of the Pasadena Kiwanis Club and Pasadena Bar Association.

After leaving the bench, he served as a private judge with JAMS.


Copyright 2005, Metropolitan News Company