The California Supreme Court Historical Society's next program will be presented in San Francisco on the evening of Monday, October 15. Jointly sponsored with the Northern District of California Historical Society, it will feature an "all star" cast of State and federal judges and promises to be one of the most entertaining programs yet. California Supreme Court Justices Marvin Baxter and Kathryn Werdegar, and Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Barry Goode will join U.S. District Court Chief Judge James Ware, Senior Judge Thelton Henderson, and Judges William Alsup and Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in an investigation of federal-state relations in 19th Century California, as illustrated by events in the tumultous life and violent death of California Chief Justice and lawyer David Terry.
David Terry was one of the most colorful and controversial justices of the California Supreme Court. During his tenure on the Court he stabbed a member of San Francisco's 1856 Committee of Vigilance and was imprisoned and tried by the Vigilantes. In 1859, Terry fought a duel with, and killed, United States Senator David Broderick. During the Civil War, Terry fought for the Confederacy as an officer in the Texas Cavalry. After the war, Terry returned to California, resumed the practice of law and , in the 1880's represented Sarah Althea Hill in two notorious trials in San Francisco (one in state court and one in federal court) over her alleged marriage to wealthy U.S. Senator William Sharon. In 1889, Terry physically assaulted U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Field, after Field--while riding circuit--had ruled against Terry in a Sharon lawsuit and then jailed both Terry and Sarah for contempt. During the assault, Justice Field's bodyguard (a federal Marshal) shot and killed Terry, leading to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, In re Neagle, about the immunity of federal officers from state criminal laws.
The October 15th program will feature the Justices and Judges reading from documents written by Terry, Sarah, Field and others. It will also include historical images (photos, drawings, maps) of the events recounted. The program will be narrated by Richard Rahm, a member of the Northern District Society's board of directors and an attorney at the Littler Mendelson law firm.
The program will be held at the Milton Marks Auditorium in the Civic Center State Building in San Francisco at 455 Golden Gate Avenue, starting at 5:30PM and ending at 7PM. Admission is free. MCLE credit will be available, for a charge of $40.
The Law Library hosts a Lunchtime Speaker Program in the Seminar Room. Topics include landlord-tenant law, estate planning, immigration rights, and more.
The Law Library Seminar Room offers workshops and guest speaker programs. The Seminar Room may be rented for legal activities and is available for pro bono and non-profit programs at no charge as well. See the Library Services-Conference Rooms section of this webpage for more information.