Wednesday, October 4, 2006
Former State Bar President Shallenberger’s Cause of Death Still Undetermined
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Riverside County Coroner’s Office said yesterday it has not determined the cause of former State Bar of California President Garvin F. Shallenberger, who was found dead Saturday night at his vacation home in Palm Desert.
“They are still taking some tests,” a coroner spokesperson said. “Cases like this, it takes about six to eight weeks.”
Shallenberger, who was president of the State Bar in 1977, had a primary residence in Orange County. He was 85.
The circumstances of Shallenberger’s death were reportedly suspicious, but a Riverside sheriff’s spokesperson was not available for comment yesterday, and Dennis Shallenberger, the decedent’s son, declined to comment on behalf of the family.
Dennis Shallenberger said no decision has been made on services for his father. “We’re leaning toward a family-only service., but we haven’t finalized any arrangements,” Dennis Shallenberger told the MetNews.
Shallenberger, a Montana native, was a civil litigator and partner in the Orange County firm of Rutan and Tucker before retiring a decade ago.
He graduated from the University of Montana in 1942, then served in World War II, leaving the Army as a captain, with his last assignment at Fort Winfield Scott in San Francisco. He stayed in the Bay Area, earning his law degree from Boalt Hall before being admitted in 1949.
He came to Southern California to practice, he once told a reporter, because Montana was “too cold.”
He served as president of the Orange County Bar Association and chaired State Bar committees before becoming State Bar President in September 1977.
As president, Shallenberger, who once described himself as politically moderate and fiscally conservative, was an outspoken supporter of the retention of then-Chief Justice Rose E. Bird. Bird narrowly survived a retention vote in November 1978, just after Shallenberger left the State Bar presidency, but was ousted when she sought a full term in 1986.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company