Monday, February 18, 2008

John Garber: Eminent Jurist (1833-1908)

John Garber was a renowned attorney and jurist who founded the Garber, Boalt & Thornton law firm. He was born in Virginia in 1833 and moved to San Francisco in 1857 to live with his uncle, Joseph G. Baldwin, a noted author and member of the California Supreme Court. Garber himself would later serve on the Nevada Supreme Court, only to resign in order to make more money in private practice.

Garber moved to Nevada in 1863 where he practiced law and met his wife Julie White, the daughter of an Alabama judge. He returned to California in 1867 only to return to Nevada in 1870. Upon his resignation from the Court he entered into legal partnerships with Colonel Harry I. Thornton, Thomas B. Bishop, Judge John Boalt, Judge Eugene R. Garber, Harry Thornton Creswell, and his son, Joseph Baldwin Garber. One of his most famous cases was his representation of Jane Stanford against the U.S. Justice Department who were going after the $13,000,000 Stanford estate to pay off a $60 million judgment against the Big 4 railroad magnates.

In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him to the Panama Canal Commission, but Garber declined the appointment.

Garber died of typhoid fever at his Berkeley home.

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