Vernon Robert Pearson

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The Honorable
Vernon Robert Pearson
Justice of the Washington Supreme Court
In office
1982 (1982) – 1989 (1989)
Appointed by Governor John Spellman
Preceded by Floyd Hicks
Succeeded by Richard P. Guy
Personal details
Born (1923-09-17)September 17, 1923
Bantry, North Dakota, U.S.
Died February 4, 2013(2013-02-04) (aged 89)
Gig Harbor, Washington, U.S.
Nationality American
Residence Tacoma, Washington
Alma mater Jamestown College (BA), University of Michigan Law School (LLB)
  • judge

Vernon Robert Pearson (September 17, 1923 – February 4, 2013) was an American jurist.


Born in Bantry, North Dakota, Pearson served four years in the U.S. Navy prior to graduating from Jamestown College in 1947.[1] He received his law degree from University of Michigan Law School in 1950.[2]

From 1951 to 1952, he was attorney-advisor for the federal Economic Stabilization Agency in Seattle, working for William J. Steinert, a former justice of the state Supreme Court. Afterwards, Pearson engaged in the private practice of law with Davies, Person, Anderson and Pearson in Tacoma. In 1963, Pearson served as president of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association,[3] and as a governor of the Washington State Bar Association in 1969.

Pearson served as a Washington state superior judge and was then appointed by Governor Daniel J. Evans to the newly created Washington Court of Appeals. In 1969, Pearson authored the first Court of Appeals opinion in the initial volume of the appellate reports, State v. Tate, 1 Wn. App. 1 (1969).[4]

In 1982, Governor John Spellman appointed Pearson as an associate justice of the Washington Supreme Court.[5] He served as an associate justice from 1982-1987 and then chief justice from 1987-1989.

He died in Gig Harbor, Washington.[6][7]


  1. ^ "Alumni Hall of Fame". Jamestown University. Retrieved June 7, 2017. 
  2. ^ Proceedings of the Board of Regents of University of Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan. 1948. p. 541. Retrieved June 7, 2017. First November Meeting, 1949: Fellowship and Scholarship Recipients 
  3. ^ "Past Presidents". Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association. Retrieved June 7, 2017. 
  4. ^ Fuller, Tim. "'The Most Accurate and Useful Law Books Possible,' Wash. Terr., Wash., Wn.2d, and Wn. App. Milestones of Official Case Reporting in Washington". Washington State Courts. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  5. ^ Sheldon, Charles H. A Century of Judging. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. pp. 171–172. ISBN 0295803290. Retrieved June 7, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Former Washington Supreme Court Chief Justice Vernon Robert Pearson dies". Oregonian. Associated Press-Tacoma News Tribune. February 14, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2017. 
  7. ^ Washington Supreme Court, Biographical Sketch of Vernon R. Pearson Archived August 31, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.

Selected publications[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Floyd Hicks
Justice of the Washington Supreme Court
Succeeded by
Richard P. Guy