Roger J. Traynor
|23rd Chief Justice of California|
September 1, 1964 –February 2, 1970
|Appointed by||Pat Brown|
|Preceded by||Phil S. Gibson|
|Succeeded by||Donald R. Wright|
|Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court|
August 13, 1940 –September 1, 1964
|Appointed by||Culbert Olson|
|Preceded by||Phil S. Gibson|
|Succeeded by||Stanley Mosk|
|Born||February 12, 1900|
Park City, Utah, U.S.
|Died||May 14, 1983 83) (aged|
Berkeley, California, U.S.
Madeline E. Lackman(m. 1933)
|Children||Michael J. Traynor, Joseph M. Traynor, and Stephen C. Traynor|
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley (B.A., M.A. Ph.D., J.D.)|
Roger John Traynor (February 12, 1900 – May 14, 1983) served as the 23rd Chief Justice of California from 1964 to 1970, and as an Associate Justice from 1940 to 1964. A nationally respected jurist, Traynor's 30-year career as California's 77th Justice coincided with tremendous demographic, social, and governmental growth in California and in the United States of America, and was marked by a belief (in the words of his biographer, G. Edward White) that "the increased presence of government in American life was a necessary and beneficial phenomenon."
A jurist is someone who researches and studies jurisprudence. Such a person can work as an academic, legal writer or law lecturer. In the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and in many other Commonwealth countries, the word jurist sometimes refers to a barrister, whereas in the United States of America and Canada it often refers to a judge.
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.
A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, often a state.
Traynor was born and raised in Park City, Utah, then a hardscrabble mining town, at the turn of the century by Felix and Elizabeth Traynor. His parents were impoverished Irish immigrants from Hilltown in Ireland.
Park City is a city in Summit County, Utah, United States. It is considered to be part of the Wasatch Back. The city is 32 miles (51 km) southeast of downtown Salt Lake City and 20 miles (32 km) from Salt Lake City's east edge of Sugar House along Interstate 80. The population was 7,558 at the 2010 census. On average, the tourist population greatly exceeds the number of permanent residents.
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an ore body, lode, vein, seam, reef or placer deposit. These deposits form a mineralized package that is of economic interest to the miner.
The Irish are a nation and ethnic group native to the island of Ireland, who share a common Irish ancestry, identity and culture. Ireland has been inhabited for about 12,500 years according to archaeological studies. For most of Ireland's recorded history, the Irish have been primarily a Gaelic people. From the 9th century, small numbers of Vikings settled in Ireland, becoming the Norse-Gaels. Anglo-Normans conquered parts of Ireland in the 12th century, while England's 16th/17th-century (re)conquest and colonisation of Ireland brought many English and Lowland Scots people to parts of the island, especially the north. Today, Ireland is made up of the Republic of Ireland and the smaller Northern Ireland. The people of Northern Ireland hold various national identities including British, Irish, Northern Irish or some combination thereof.
In 1919, upon the advice of a high school teacher, he entered the University of California, Berkeley, though he had only $500 in savings to finance his college education.Fortunately, he won a scholarship at the end of his first year due to his excellent grades, and went on to earn a B.A. in 1923, an M.A. in 1924, and a Ph.D. in 1926; all these degrees were in political science. He also earned a J.D. from Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley's law school, in 1927. He earned the two latter degrees at the same time, while also teaching undergraduates and serving as editor-in-chief of the California Law Review . He was subsequently admitted to the State Bar of California that same year.
The University of California, Berkeley is a public research university in Berkeley, California. It was founded in 1868 and serves as the flagship campus of the ten campuses of the University of California. Berkeley has since grown to instruct over 40,000 students in approximately 350 undergraduate and graduate degree programs covering numerous disciplines.
A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further their education. Scholarships are awarded based upon various criteria, which usually reflect the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award. Scholarship money is not required to be repaid.
A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus should not be confused with baccalaureatus, which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in some countries.
At Boalt Hall, Traynor wrote groundbreaking articles on taxation, while serving as editor-in-chief of the California Law Review, and became a full-time professor in 1936.He also acted as a consultant to the California State Board of Equalization from 1932 to 1940, and to the United States Department of the Treasury from 1937 to 1940. He took a leave of absence from the University in 1933 to work full-time for the Board of Equalization, and another leave in 1937 to help the Treasury Department draft the Revenue Act of 1938.
Professor is an academic rank at universities and other post-secondary education and research institutions in most countries. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences, a teacher of the highest rank.
A consultant is a professional who provides expert advice in a particular area such as security, management, education, accountancy, law, human resources, marketing, finance, health care, engineering, science or any of many other specialized fields.
The Department of the Treasury (USDT) is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government. Established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue, the Treasury prints all paper currency and mints all coins in circulation through the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint, respectively; collects all federal taxes through the Internal Revenue Service; manages U.S. government debt instruments; licenses and supervises banks and thrift institutions; and advises the legislative and executive branches on matters of fiscal policy.
Before the Great Depression, nearly all California governmental functions were funded only through a general property tax on both real and personal property. This proved unworkable when property values collapsed. Through his work for the Board of Equalization, Traynor was responsible for creating much of California's modern tax regime, including the vehicle registration fee (1933), sales tax (1933), income tax (1935), use tax (1935), corporate income tax (1937), and fuel tax (1937).He served as the first administrator of the California sales tax and supervised its deployment across 200,000 retailers.
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries, it started in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the world's economy can decline.
A vehicle registration plate, also known as a number plate or a license plate, is a metal or plastic plate attached to a motor vehicle or trailer for official identification purposes. All countries require registration plates for road vehicles such as cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Whether they are required for other vehicles, such as bicycles, boats, or tractors, may vary by jurisdiction. The registration identifier is a numeric or alphanumeric ID that uniquely identifies the vehicle or vehicle owner within the issuing region's vehicle register. In some countries, the identifier is unique within the entire country, while in others it is unique within a state or province. Whether the identifier is associated with a vehicle or a person also varies by issuing agency. There are also electronic license plates.
A sales tax is a tax paid to a governing body for the sales of certain goods and services. Usually laws allow the seller to collect funds for the tax from the consumer at the point of purchase. When a tax on goods or services is paid to a governing body directly by a consumer, it is usually called a use tax. Often laws provide for the exemption of certain goods or services from sales and use tax. A value-added tax (VAT) collected on goods and services is similar to a sales tax.
In January 1940, he started working part-time as a Deputy Attorney General under California Attorney General Earl Warren (who later became Chief Justice of the United States).He also started serving as Acting Dean of Boalt Hall at UC Berkeley, where he had earned his law degree.
Earl Warren was an American politician and jurist who served as the 14th Chief Justice of the United States (1953–1969) and earlier as the 30th Governor of California (1943–1953). The Warren Court presided over a major shift in constitutional jurisprudence, with Warren writing the majority opinions in landmark cases such as Brown v. Board of Education, Reynolds v. Sims, and Miranda v. Arizona. Warren also led the Warren Commission, a presidential commission that investigated the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He is, as of 2019, the last Chief Justice to have served in an elected office.
The chief justice of the United States is the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States, and as such the highest-ranking officer of the federal judiciary. Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution grants plenary power to the president of the United States to nominate, and with the advice and consent of the United States Senate, appoint a chief justice, who serves until they resign, are impeached and convicted, retire, or die.
On July 31, 1940, Traynor was nominated to the Supreme Court of California by Governor Culbert Olson.He was unanimously confirmed by the Qualifications Committee on August 13 and was sworn in the same day. In December 1940, he was retained by the voters in the election. In August 1964, Chief Justice Phil S. Gibson stepped down from the bench, and Governor Pat Brown appointed Traynor to the post.
Traynor has generally been viewed by the American legal community as the single greatest judge in the history of the California judiciary, and one of the greatest judges in the history of the United States.His obituary in the New York Times noted that "Traynor was often called one of the greatest judicial talents never to sit on the United States Supreme Court."
His 1948 opinion in Perez v. Sharp was the first instance of a state supreme court striking down a statute prohibiting miscegenation. Traynor also wrote a 1952 opinion that abolished the defense of recrimination in the context of divorce and paved the way for the social revolution of no-fault divorce. But his most significant and well-known contribution to contemporary American law is probably his 1963 creation of true strict liability in product liability cases. An earlier generation of judges had cautiously experimented with legal fictions like warranties to avoid leaving severely injured plaintiffs without any recourse. Traynor simply threw those away and imposed strict liability as a matter of public policy.
To those skeptical of government's power to redress social wrongs, Traynor's extraordinary work is notable for the degree to which it asserted the judiciary's power to resolve difficult issues of public policy, and to redefine the boundaries of corporate and governmental liability. In his biography of Traynor, White wrote: "If California was a testing ground for governmental theories of modern liberalism, Traynor was an architect of a judicial role compatible with the activities of the modern liberal state."
During his long and distinguished career, Traynor authored more than 900 opinions, and he gained a reputation as the nation's leading state court judge.During his tenure, the decisions of the Supreme Court of California became the most frequently cited by all other state courts in the nation. Several of Traynor's decisions were majority opinions that transformed California from a conservative and somewhat repressive state into a progressive, innovative jurisdiction in the forefront of American law.
Traynor was also noted for the quality of his writing and reasoning,and was honored during his lifetime with membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (a rare honor for a judge). Many of his opinions are still mandatory reading for American law students. Also, Traynor did not uniformly join all opinions that could be characterized as "liberal" or "progressive" during his time on the Court; for example, he filed a two-sentence dissent in the landmark case of Dillon v. Legg (1968), which was a major step towards the modern tort of negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The liberal tendencies of much of Traynor's work has since made him the subject of extensive criticism from American libertarians and conservatives, and tort reformers have often grouped Traynor together with Earl Warren as examples of judicial activists. For example, the conservative magazine National Review attacked Traynor's reasoning in the Pacific Gas and Electric Company case (Pacific Gas & Elec. Co. v. G. W. Thomas Drayage Co., 69 Cal. 2d 33 (1968)) in a 1991 cover story.
In 1998, Regulation (the Cato Institute's journal) published a harsh critique of the California tort law system by Stephen Hayward. He claimed that "rather than protecting life, liberty, and property, [it] has ... become a threat to these."In blunt language, Hayward identified Roger Traynor's liberalizing influence on the Court's view of liability as "the first breach":
In the 1944 case of Escola v. Coca Cola Bottling Co.... Traynor introduced the idea of broad social fault. "I believe," Traynor wrote, "the manufacturer's negligence should no longer be singled out as the basis of a plaintiff's right to recover in cases like the present one." .... "Even if there is no negligence," Traynor wrote further, "public policy demands that responsibility be fixed wherever it will most effectively reduce the hazards to life and health inherent in defective products that reach the market." Note the appeal to the demands of public policy, rather than law .... While this line of reasoning might be the basis for a legislative debate over which public policies should be adopted to allocate and compensate for risk, Justice Traynor's opinion represents a clear case of legislation by judicial fiat.
In a 1966 essay addressed to both the legal community of his time and future generations, Traynor defended his judicial philosophy:
There are always some who note with alarm any appellate opinion that goes beyond a mechanical canvass of more or less established precedents. They include the diehards, dead set against all but familiar routines. They include the slothful, who would rationalize their own inertia. They also include carpers hostile toward any enlightenment, who would knowingly impair judicial vigil by keeping the visibility low. Slyly they equate justice with the blindfold image without articulating the corollary that decision would then be reduced to a blind toss of the coin. They do not state how problematic are the problems that reach the Supreme Court, and how great the need for judicial reasoning beyond formulas.
On January 2, 1970, Traynor announced his retirement in order to avoid losing eligibility for retirement benefits under a California law that stripped judges of most benefits if they chose to remain on the bench past age 70.He became chairman of the National News Council, concerned with freedom of the press. Afterwards, he retired to Berkeley and subsequently died there in his home from cancer.
In July 1983, the California Law Review gave over all its space in issue 4, volume 71 to publishing eloquent tributes to Justice Traynor from several esteemed judges, law professors, and politicians, including Warren Burger, Henry Friendly, and Edmund G. Brown.
On August 23, 1933, Traynor married Madeleine Emilie Lackman, a woman who shared his love of learning: she already held a M.A. in political science from UC Berkeley and would go on to earn a J.D. in 1956.They had three sons: Michael, Joseph, and Stephen. Michael followed his father into law; he attended Harvard Law School, became a partner with Cooley Godward Kronish LLP, and has served as president of The American Law Institute.
Roger J. Traynor, on leave from the University of California law school, was named division chief yesterday.
Roger J. Traynor, an internationally respected jurist
the membership of the court, which included such unusually gifted jurists as Roger J. Traynor
Phil S. Gibson
| Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California |
August 13, 1940 – September 1, 1964
| Chief Justice of California |
September 1, 1964 – February 2, 1970
Donald R. Wright
Product liability is the legal liability of manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others arising from producing or selling a faulty product, who are held responsible for the injuries those products cause. Although the word "product" has broad connotations, product liability as an area of law is traditionally limited to products in the form of tangible personal property.
The Supreme Court of California is the highest and final court in the courts of the State of California. It resides in the State Building in San Francisco in Civic Center overlooking Civic Center Square along with City Hall. It also holds sessions in Los Angeles and Sacramento. Its decisions are binding on all other California state courts.
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Perez v. Sharp, also known as Perez v. Lippold or Perez v. Moroney, is a 1948 case decided by the Supreme Court of California in which the court held by a 4–3 majority that the state's ban on interracial marriage violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Escola v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co., 24 Cal.2d 453, 150 P.2d 436 (1944), was a decision of the Supreme Court of California involving an injury caused by an exploding bottle of Coca-Cola. It was an important case in the development of the common law of product liability in the United States, not so much for the actual majority opinion, but for the concurring opinion of California Supreme Court justice Roger Traynor.
Erskine Mayo Ross was an American attorney and jurist from California. He served as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and of the United States Circuit Courts for the Ninth Circuit and previously was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California and a Justice of the Supreme Court of California.
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Greenman v. Yuba Power Products, Inc, was a California torts case in which the Supreme Court of California dealt with the torts regarding product liability and warranty breaches. The primary legal issue of the case was to determine whether a manufacturer is strictly liable in tort when an article he places on the market proves to have a defect that causes injury to a human being. The case was originally heard in a San Diego district court where the verdict was against the manufacturer. This verdict was appealed by the manufacturer to the Supreme Court of California which was presided by Gibson, C. J., Schauer, J., McComb, J., Peters, J., Tobriner, J., and Peek, J., and the opinion was delivered by Judge Roger J Traynor.
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