Lucien Shaw

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Lucien Shaw
Lucien Shaw
18th Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court
In office
November 14, 1921 – January 13, 1923
Appointed byGovernor William Stephens
Preceded byFrank M. Angellotti
Succeeded byCurtis D. Wilbur
Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court
In office
January 5, 1903 – November 14, 1921
Appointed byElected
Preceded byCharles H. Garoute
Succeeded byWilliam H. Waste
Personal details
Born(1845-03-01)March 1, 1845
Vevay, Switzerland County, Indiana, U.S.
DiedMarch 19, 1933(1933-03-19) (aged 88)
Glendale, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican

Lucien Shaw (March 1, 1845 – March 19, 1933) was the 18th Chief Justice of California and a prominent Republican politician in California during the early 20th century.


Shaw was born on a farm in Vevay, Switzerland County, Indiana, and attended public schools. Shaw studied for one year at the Indianapolis Law College, graduating in March 1869.

After graduation, Shaw engaged in private practice in Greene County, Indiana. In December 1883, he moved to Los Angeles and then Fresno for two years. In October 1885, he was admitted to the California bar.[1] In September 1887, Shaw became a director of the county law library.[2] Shaw maintained law firms first in Fresno and then, after 1886, in Los Angeles with J. M. Damron in Shaw & Damron. Shaw's partner was elected to the State Assembly, and put forward Shaw's name for appointment to the bench.[3] In March 1889, Governor Robert Waterman appointed Shaw to a new seat on the Los Angeles County Superior Court.[4] On the trial bench, Shaw served with future Supreme Court justice Walter Van Dyke.[5] The following year, in November 1890, Shaw ran and won election for a term of six years. In 1896, he was re-elected to another six-year term to the Superior Court.

In November 1902, Shaw was elected after a nomination by the Republican Party to fill an open seat as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California. At the same time, Frank M. Angellotti was elected on the Republican ticket. In November 1914, Shaw was re-elected to another 12-year term.[6] In January 1915, Angellotti became Chief Justice, serving six years until resigning to resume private practice in November 1921. To fill the position, Governor William Stephens appointed Shaw as Chief Justice, and he was sworn in on November 15, 1921.[7] He held the seat until expiration of his term in January 1923, when he stepped down. Shaw was an expert in water law,[8] and his notable cases include Palmer v. The Railroad Commission (1914),[9] Duckworth v. Watsonville Water Company (1915),[10] and Katz v. Walkinshaw (1903),[11] concerning the rights of common users of aquifers.

After Shaw retired from the court, he engaged in private practice and joined the Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company's Board of Directors.[12] In 1922, he received an honorary LL.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.[6]

Personal life[edit]

On July 29, 1873, Shaw married Hannah J. Hartley, in Raisin City, Michigan, and they had one child. Shaw resided in Hermosa Beach, California, and died on March 19, 1933 in Glendale, California. Shaw's son, Hartley, was a judge on the Los Angeles Superior Court from 1923.[13]


  1. ^ "The Supreme Court". Daily Alta California (39 (13002)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 19 October 1885. p. 2. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  2. ^ "The Law Library". Los Angeles Herald (27 (162)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 14 September 1887. p. 2. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  3. ^ "Shaw and Wells Selected". Los Angeles Herald (31 (108)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 18 January 1889. p. 1. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  4. ^ "State Legislature". Daily Alta California (80 (73)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 14 March 1889. p. 8. Retrieved July 13, 2017. The Governor has appointed Lucien Shaw and J. W. McKinley additional Judges of the Superior Court for Los Angeles county.
  5. ^ "Court Rules, A New Set Adopted by the Superior Judges". Los Angeles Herald (31 (176)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 29 March 1889. p. 3. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Johnson, J. Edward (1966). History of Supreme Court, Vol 2, Justices, 1900-1950 (PDF). San Francisco, CA: Bancroft-Whitney Co. p. 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 25, 2017. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  7. ^ "New Chief Justice to Hold First Session". Los Angeles Herald (12). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 15 November 1921. p. B7. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  8. ^ "Chief Justice Tells Of Rights to Water". Madera Mercury (133). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 31 August 1922. p. 1. Retrieved July 13, 2017. Chief Justice Lucien Shaw of the California supreme court said in an address before the American Bar association at San Francisco recently
  9. ^ Palmer v. The Railroad Commission, 167 Cal. 168 (1914).
  10. ^ Duckworth v. Watsonville Water Company, 170 Cal. 425 (1915).
  11. ^ Katz v. Walkinshaw, 141 Cal. 116 (1903).
  12. ^ "The Pacific Mutual LIfe Insurance Co". Livermore Journal (6 (25)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 6 March 1925. p. 3. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  13. ^ "Shaw family papers held at The Huntington Library". Online Archive of California. Retrieved July 14, 2017.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Frank M. Angellotti
18th Chief Justice of California
1921 – 1923
Succeeded by
Curtis D. Wilbur
Preceded by
Charles H. Garoute
Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court
1902 – 1921
Succeeded by
William H. Waste