Lloyd E. Griffin (February 2, 1895 - July 30, 1978)

Associate Justice, October 1, 1938 - July 25, 1958
Presiding Justice, July 25, 1958 - February 1, 1965


Lloyd E. Griffin was born on a farm at San Luis Rey in San Diego County on February 2, 1895. His grandparents were the first American settlers in San Diego County in 1862, when they came to the San Luis Rey Valley from Texas in an ox-drawn covered wagon. After his father died and his family moved to San Diego when he was 17, the Board of Supervisors of which his father had been chairman gave him a job as a messenger boy at the courthouse at $40 a month. While studying law at night, he quickly moved from messenger boy to assistant law librarian, court commissioner and then to deputy clerk. He was admitted to the California Bar at 21 without the benefit of a formal college education. After serving as deputy District Attorney for several years, he was appointed to the Justice Court in 1923 and later elevated to the San Diego County Superior Court in 1927 - an office he held for 11 years. On October 1, 1938, Governor Frank Merriam appointed him Associate Justice for the Fourth District Court of Appeal and he took the oath of office the same day. He was elevated to Presiding Justice on July 25, 1958, a title he held until his retirement on February 1, 1965. His tenure at the Court is only second to that of his colleague, Presiding Justice Barnard. He served four years on the Judicial Council, as well as four years on the Commission on Judicial Qualifications -- a group he chaired at the time of his retirement. After retiring, he associated with the law firm of Higgs, Fletcher and Mack. Like many of his contemporaries, he was very active in several fraternal orders. He died on July 30, 1978, at the age of 83.