Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Memorial Reception Set to Remember Attorney Kenneth G. Griffin
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A memorial reception will be held Saturday to remember Kenneth G. Griffin, a onetime judicial candidate who died in 2004 after practicing law in Los Angeles for more than 35 years.
Griffin specialized in helping international clients, mostly from Japan, in his downtown business and commercial litigation practice.
Griffin’s widow, Shirley Yap Griffin, told the MetNews that Griffin had “a very special talent for dealing with people from all over the world.”  She said that Griffin studied hard and hired private tutors to become fluent in Japanese, and to understand the culture.
Their life together was very interesting, she said. They entertained at their home such notables as the chief justice of the Supreme Court of India, as well as auto executives from Japan.
She said that she held a memorial reception for him last year, and plans to do so next year.
Griffin grew up in Los Angeles and attended John Burroughs High School in Burbank. He attended Duke University for three years before receiving his undergraduate and law degrees from Stanford University.
Upon graduating from law school in 1964, Griffin worked for Trippet, Yaokun & Ballantyne before joining his father, who graduated from law school after his son, in practice. Griffin then worked as “of counsel” to Harris Nobel & Uhler for five years before becoming a founding partner in Stone, Van Patten, Griffin & Arndt in 1977.
In 1982 he opened his own firm, the Law Offices of Kenneth G. Griffin.
In the early 1980s Griffin authored a series of books to help Japanese  businessmen understand the American legal system. After losing a civil case in Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Reginald A. Dunn’s courtroom, Griffin ran unsuccessfully against the judge in 1996.
Griffin met his future wife, who was a lawyer in the Philippines, while the two attended graduate classes at USC. They married in 1969 and settled in Glendale in 1973. They have two sons, Glenn Griffin and Winston Griffin.
Shirley Griffin said that during a trip to Europe, Griffin became very ill and eventually succumbed to pneumonia.
In addition to the 11 a.m. reception at the Empress Pavillion Restaurant at 988 N. Hill Street, Los Angeles, a memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday at St. Peter’s Italian Catholic Church, 1039 N. Broadway, Los Angeles.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company