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Richard H. Chambers Edit Profile

federal judge

Richard H. Chambers, American federal judge. Bar: Arizona 1932. Recipient Law medal Gonzaga University, 1974. Served from captain to major United States Army Air Force, 1942-1945. Member American Law Institute, American Bar Association, Phi Gamma Delta.

Background

Chambers was born to William Rock and Lida Chambers in Danville, Illinois. Three months later, the family moved to Solomonville, Arizona, where his father worked as clerk of the district court of Graham County.

Education

In 1924, Chambers graduated as class president from Safford High School, Safford, Arizona and then earned an A.B. in economics from the University of Arizona in 1929, where he served as editor-in-chief of the school newspaper.

Career

Chambers received an LL.B. from Stanford University in 1932. He practiced law in Tucson, Arizona, 1932–1942 and 1945–1954, and served as a United States Army Air Corps Major from 1942 to 1945. Chambers served as chief judge from 1959 to 1976, the longest-serving chief judge in the history of the Ninth Circuit.

When Chambers assumed senior status on December 31, 1976, he was the "longest-tenured chief of any circuit, ever." The United States Court of Appeals Building in Pasadena, California, bears his name. But four other historic courthouses in the Ninth Circuit—in San Francisco, Portland, Tacoma, and San Diego—also owe "their survival and resurrection" to Chambers' "vision and tenacity." Chambers died on October 21, 1994. Chambers dedicated himself to writing judicial prose that was succinct, folksy, even quirky, believing that in writing accessible decisions, his court could more effectively create legal precedent, provide popular accountability, and produce a usable historical record.

Achievements

  • Bar: Arizona 1932.

Religion

On April 6, 1954, Chambers was nominated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to serve as a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Membership

Served from captain to major United States Army Air Force, 1942-1945. Member American Law Institute, American Bar Association, Phi Gamma Delta. Clubs: Old Pueblo (Tucson).

Personality

Chambers "had something of a coarse exterior" as well as a "slow, low, and deliberate speaking style" that he himself described as "halting speech." The gruff appearance only lightly concealed "a mischievous sense of humor." For instance, Chambers frequently wrote memoranda to his colleagues under the pseudonym, "Tom Chambers," the name of his palomino horse. Chambers dedicated himself to writing judicial prose that was succinct, folksy, even quirky, believing that in writing accessible decisions, his court could more effectively create legal precedent, provide popular accountability, and produce a usable historical record.

Connections

Married Mary Martin, November 24, 1945 (deceased October 1987). Children: Martha Chambers Froese, Janet Chambers Crews (deceased). Married Eileen A. Engett, September 16, 1989.

father:
William R. Chambers

mother:
Lida J. (Spencer) Chambers

spouse:
Mary Martin

spouse:
Eileen A. Engett

child:
Martha Chambers Froese Chambers

child:
Janet Chambers Crews Chambers (deceased)