Today’s news informs us that retired California Court of Appeal Justice Lynn “Buck” Compton passed away at the age of 90. Apart from his legal career, he was one of the real-life “Band of Brothers” whose exploits in World War II were depicted in the TV series of that name. You can get all the details of his heroic war service in his Los Angeles Times obituary by clicking here. Do so, and do read that obituary that tells the story of a genuine American hero.
We note his passing and pay tribute to his memory, not only because of his outstanding military service, but also to take note of his work as a judge. No, we aren’t going to wax lyrical about the high profile criminal cases in which he was involved, first as a prosecutor and later as a judge. We leave that to the popular press. We do wish to note that “Buck” Compton was one of the few — very few — California appellate judges who would give condemnees an even break, and for that he deservs our, and your thanks. He was tough-looking and blunt, but you knew when you appeared before him on behalf of property owners in an eminent domain case that he would listen to your arguments and give them fair consideration, uinlike so many of his colleagues who made only rudimentary efforts to conceal their disdain for condemnees and their arguments.
R. I. P. Buck.