In 1981, Judge Arthur K. Marshall was the first recipient of the Award bearing his name. The Award was presented to him at a luncheon at the Biltmore Hotel, which most of the probate bench and bar attended. Judge Marshall received his undergraduate degree from the City University of New York, his law degree from St. John’s University, and after service in the Army Judge Advocate Corps during World War II, a master’s degree in law from USC. Before being appointed as a court commissioner of the Los Angeles County Superior Court in 1953, he worked as counsel for the Veteran’s Administration, the California State Board of Equalization and the State Controller’s Office, Inheritance Tax Division. He was appointed as a Municipal Court Judge in 1962 and elevated to the Superior Court in 1963.
During his service on the Superior Court, he was the Presiding Probate Judge and also handled complex civil matters. The most publicized case, which Judge Marshall’s name is associated with, is his Marvin divorce “rehabilitation” decision. In the probate and trust area, he is remembered for the 1965 decision limiting the requirement of survivorship to a reasonable period, his handling of the Weingart conservatorship, and a series of inheritance tax rulings. Judge Marshall was known for his gentlemanly demeanor and frequently self-effacing comments.
In 1961 he wrote California Probate and Procedure, which he continued to edit until 1994. He also wrote texts on taxation and pretrial procedure and was an acting assistant professor of Probate and Trust Law at UCLA and a frequent lecturer on Taxation and Probate Procedure at the USC Law Center. He was the founding president of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law Counselors and was a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He served on the California Law Revision Commission from 1984 through 1998, and, along with Ann E. Stodden (Award recipient in 1986), he worked on the complete revision of the California Probate Code.
After he retired from the bench, Judge Marshall acted as a private judge and mediator, as well as being appointed to several special panels by the governor. He died in November 1999.
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