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Peirson Mitchell Hall (July 31, 1894 – December 8, 1979) was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California and the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Peirson Mitchell Hall
Peirson-M-Hall-in-1929.tiff
Hall in 1929
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California
In office
September 30, 1968 – December 8, 1979
Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California
In office
September 18, 1966 – September 30, 1968
Appointed byoperation of law
Preceded bySeat established by 80 Stat. 75
Succeeded byDavid W. Williams
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California
In office
1959–1964
Preceded byBenjamin Harrison
Succeeded byWilliam Carey Mathes
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California
In office
July 3, 1942 – September 18, 1966
Appointed byFranklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded byGeorge Cosgrave
Succeeded bySeat abolished
Personal details
Born
Peirson Mitchell Hall

(1894-07-31)July 31, 1894
Armour, South Dakota
DiedDecember 8, 1979(1979-12-08) (aged 85)
EducationUSC Gould School of Law
read law

Contents

Education and careerEdit

Born on July 31, 1894, in Armour, South Dakota,[1] Hall attended two years of high school in Tecumseh, Nebraska.[Note 1][2] He lived in a Nebraska orphanage for a period of time before moving to Los Angeles to study law.[Note 1][2] He took a one-year course at Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles.[Note 1][2] He attended the USC Gould School of Law, then read law in 1916.[1] He entered private practice in Los Angeles, California from 1916 to 1925.[1] He was a city councilman for Los Angeles from 1925 to 1929.[1] In 1929, Hall ran for election as Los Angeles city attorney but lost to Erwin P. Werner in the June final, 152,566 to 82,444.[citation needed] He returned to private practice in Los Angeles from 1929 to 1934.[1] He was the United States Attorney for the Southern District of California from 1934 to 1937.[1] He resumed private practice in Los Angeles from 1937 to 1939.[1] He was a Judge of the Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles from 1939 to 1942.[1] He was head of the Selective Service System for Southern California in 1941.[Note 1][2]

City Council serviceEdit

See also List of Los Angeles municipal election returns, 1925, 1927 and 1929

Hall was elected to the Los Angeles City Council to represent District 11 in 1925 and was reelected in 1927. The 11th District originally encompassed an area south of Downtown, bounded on the north by Sixth Street, on the south by Pico Boulevard, on the west by Hoover Avenue and on the east approximately by San Pedro Street.[3][4] Hall, along with Clifford W. Henderson and Henry G. Bakes, "persuaded the city to lease a 640-acre bean and barley patch then known as Mines Field," which became the Los Angeles International Airport.[5]

Federal judicial serviceEdit

Hall was nominated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 17, 1942, to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of California vacated by Judge George Cosgrave.[1] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 30, 1942, and received his commission on July 3, 1942.[1] He served as Chief Judge from 1959 to 1964.[1] Hall was reassigned by operation of law to the United States District Court for the Central District of California on September 18, 1966, to a new seat authorized by 80 Stat. 75.[1] He assumed senior status on September 30, 1968.[1] His service terminated on December 8, 1979, due to his death.[1]

Notable casesEdit

  • Trial of an army officer charged with stealing $106,000 in Japanese gold missing since the surrender of Formosa (Taiwan) to U.S. forces at the end of World War II.[6]
  • Jailing of 10 people for refusal to answer questions in a grand jury proceeding about Los Angeles Communist leaders and organizations.[7][8]
  • Freeing of war crimes suspect Andrija Artukovic, former interior minister in Croatia, when Hall ruled that no extradition treaty existed between the United States and Yugoslavia, which had sought Artukovic for trial.[9]

Aviation lawEdit

Hall was considered[according to whom?][Note 1] the foremost authority of aviation law among the nation's 500 federal judges.[2]

PersonalEdit

Hall was married five times. He and his first wife were divorced in 1929, and Hall sued journalist Fred H. Girnau for libel when Girnau printed a two-column article asserting that testimony at the divorce proceedings showed that Hall "used the pretty face of his wife for a punching bag." Hall's attorney declared the statement untrue and Mrs. Hall said the report was false and malicious.[10] The longest marriage was to Gertrude May Engel, beginning in 1930. They had two daughters, Mary and Suzanne, and were divorced in 1956 after court battles that lasted several years. She died in 1964. His fourth wife was Kathryn Kyle Black, whom he married in Kansas City, Kansas, in November 1956. She died in 1970. Next he married Mari Bahn, who died in February 1973.[Note 1][2][11][12][13][14]

Memberships and deathEdit

Hall, who had been a Mason and an Elk,[Note 1][2] died on December 8, 1979.[1]

NoteEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g The reference trailing this statement is a library record and does not identify where the library obtained this information, therefore this should be considered a weak reference.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Peirson Mitchell Hall at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Los Angeles Public Library file" (PDF).
  3. ^ "First Map Showing City Council's Districts," Los Angeles Times, January 16, 1925, page 1
  4. ^ "Here Are the Hundred and Twelve Aspirants for the City's Fifteen Councilmanic Seats," Los Angeles Times, May 3, 1925, page 7
  5. ^ Burt A. Folkart, "Pioneer of L.A.'s Aviation Age Dies," Los Angeles Times, March 28, 1984
  6. ^ "Jap Gold Looting Case Opens in Federal Court," Los Angeles Times, November 13, 1947, page 9
  7. ^ "Judge Denies Pleas in Red Case Jailing," Los Angeles Times, October 29, 1948, page A-1
  8. ^ "Red Contempt Case Calls U.S. Attorney, Los Angeles Times, November 5, 1948, page 2
  9. ^ "Artukovic Ouster Balked by Court," Los Angeles Times, July 15, 1952, page A-1
  10. ^ "Libel Charged to Campaigner," Los Angeles Times, June 1, 1929, page A-3
  11. ^ "Judge Peirson M. Hall's Wife Granted Divorce," Los Angeles Times, May 22, 1952, page 26
  12. ^ "Hall v. Hall - 42 Cal.2d 435 - Thu, 03/04/1954 - California Supreme Court Resources". scocal.stanford.edu.
  13. ^ "Judge Hall's Ex-Wife Dies, Suspect Held," Los Angeles Times, November 2, 1964, page 2
  14. ^ Obituaries, Los Angeles Times, February 25, 1973, page B-6

Further readingEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Predecessor missing
Los Angeles City Council 11th District
1925–1929
Succeeded by
J.C. Barthel
Legal offices
Preceded by
George Cosgrave
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California
1942–1966
Succeeded by
Seat abolished
Preceded by
Benjamin Harrison
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California
1959–1964
Succeeded by
William Carey Mathes
Preceded by
Seat established by 80 Stat. 75
Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California
1966–1968
Succeeded by
David W. Williams