Justice Richard Huffman was appointed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal for the State of California by Governor George Deukmejian in October of 1988 following his tenure as a Judge of the Superior Court for San Diego County since April of 1985.
Prior to his appointment to the bench, Justice Huffman served as Chief Deputy District Attorney for over 10 years and as Assistant District Attorney for the remainder of his 14 years service with the San Diego County District Attorney's Office. In those positions he was responsible for the overall supervision of a staff of 450, while at the same time personally taking to trial a number of complex and sensitive cases. His contributions to the administration of justice and his trial skills brought him four singular honors: "Outstanding Prosecutor of the Year" by the California District Attorneys Association, "Outstanding Public Lawyer" by the San Diego County Bar Association, "Prosecutor of the Year" by Citizens for Law and Order, and selection for membership in the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was also the recipient in 1988 of the San Diego Trial Lawyers Association's "Trial Judge of the Year Award." In 2012 Justice Huffman was presented with the Ronald M. George Award for Judicial Excellence by the Judicial Council of California.
Justice Huffman was admitted to the State Bar of California in January of 1966 following his graduation with a J.D. degree from the University of Southern California. He began his legal career with the State Attorney General's Office. For three of his five years there, Justice Huffman headed the Attorney General's Special Prosecutions and Organized Crime Unit for Southern California, also serving in a cross-designated capacity as Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern and Central Districts, as well as being a member of the Federal Strike Force on Organized Crime in Los Angeles.
Additionally, Justice Huffman is a former Vice President of the San Diego Bar Association, served two terms on the State Bar of California's commission evaluating judicial nominees, and continues to serve as a law professor and a regular lecturer at programs for judges and attorneys. He has been a member of the adjunct faculty of the University of San Diego law school since 1972, and has served as a faculty member and as director of the University's International and Comparative Law programs in Guadalajara, Mexico, Oxford, England and Dublin, Ireland. He is a Judicial Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an honorary diplomate of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a member of the Board of Governors for the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, a founding director of the San Diego Inn of Court and a Master of the American Inns of Court.
Justice Huffman was a member of the California Judicial Council from 1997 to 2011, and served as chair of its Executive and Planning Committee. He is currently chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care, and chair of the Financial Accountability and Efficiency Committee for the Judicial Council. He has also served as co-chair of the Tribal Court/State Court Forum, chair of the Riverside Criminal Backlog Reduction Task Force, chair of the Criminal Law Advisory Committee, a member of the Appellate Advisory Committee, and chair of the Task Force on Photography, Broadcasting & Recording in the Courtroom (Rule 980 Task Force).
A native Californian, Justice Huffman and his wife Caroline have resided in San Diego since 1971. They have one son, Richard.