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Finding aid of Peirson M. Hall papers
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection consists of Judge Peirson M. Hall's personal and professional papers.
Background
Peirson Mitchell Hall was an American judge based in Los Angeles, California. He was born on July 31, 1894, in Armour, South Dakota. Before moving to Los Angeles in 1912, Hall and his mother lived in various places in Nebraska. To pursue a career in law, Hall enrolled in the University of Southern California night Law School and was admitted to the California Bar in 1916. He was in private practice from 1916 to 1924. In 1925 Hall was elected to the Los Angeles City Council and served until 1929. During his tenure in the City Council Hall served as chairman of the Water and Power Committee, a body that eventually formed the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California in 1928. Councilman Hall also was instrumental in the city’s acquisition of Mines Field, the site of the future Los Angeles International Airport. In 1929, Hall ran unsuccessfully for Los Angeles City Attorney. In 1933 President Roosevelt appointed Hall as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California, in recognition of his services to the Democratic Party. As a U.S. Attorney, Hall was considered one of the top federal prosecutors in the country for his efficiency in handling cases. In 1937 Hall was denied reappointment as U.S. Attorney, an unpopular act largely influenced by U.S. Senator William G. McAdoo, of California. In the following year Hall prepared to challenge McAdoo for the Senate seat but instead withdrew to join Sheridan Downey’s Senate campaign in exchange for a promised federal judgeship. In 1939 Hall was appointed by California Governor Culbert Olson to the Superior Court, a judgeship he held until 1942. During his tenure on the Superior Court Hall also served as Head of the Selective Service System in Southern California. In 1942 Hall was appointed and assumed the office of U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of California. He served as Chief Judge from 1959-1964. He was reassigned to Central District in 1966 and assumed senior status in 1968, a post he retained until his death in 1979. Hall was known in the legal community for his expertise in law concerning water rights, patents, and especially aviation, an area in which he heard many lawsuits concerning air disasters and their multi-jurisdictional intricacies. In addition, Hall was chairman of the Uniform Air Crash Legislation Committee of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference in the late 1970s. Hall was also a member of the U.S. Reparations Mission to Japan following World War II. He has two daughters from his third marriage to Gertrude Mary Hall.
Extent
Approximately 22,229 items
Restrictions
In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the curator of this collection for further information.
Availability
The collection is open for qualified researchers.