Los Angeles County
HON. JOHN PERRY WOOD
A leader of the Los Angeles bar, a prominent civic worker, a very successful attorney, and a man, who has also served with honor as a superior judge of Los Angeles County, is the Hon. John Perry Wood, now practicing law in Los Angeles, with offices in the Rowan Building on Spring Street. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland, March 30, 1879, a son of Rev. John Allen and Ida Lewis (Perry) Wood, and received his academic education in the public schools of Everett, Pennsylvania, where most of his early life was spent. He was later graduated from Dickinson College at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he received his degrees of Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts in 1900. Mr. Wood then entered Yale University and in 1902 was given his degree of LL.B. That same year he came to California and soon opened a law office in Pasadena for the general practice of his profession. He built up a very substantial clientele and in 1906 was appointed city attorney of Pasadena and served for four years. While in that office he conducted the litigations and negotiations establishing the municipal water, and the municipal power and light systems in Pasadena. He also attracted nation-wide attention among corporation lawyers in successfully conducting litigation against the Bell Telephone Company which resulted in the consolidation of the local companies, and established the respective and reciprocal rights and duties of municipalities and franchise holders in the streets of cities in California.
In 1910 Mr. Wood relinquished his private practice to assume the duties of a superior judge of Los Angeles County to which he had been elected by the people and he continued in that high office for a period of fourteen years, resigning in 1925 to again take up private practice. His professional interests cover a wide field and he has been successful in a wide variety of cases. He is an authority on subjects related to decedents’ estates and on judicial reform procedure. He has written many articles relating to methods for improving the administration of law. In 1925 upon the establishment of the Judiciary Council, he was selected by the California Bar Association to argue for a liberal interpretation of the constitutional provisions in order that the Council function effectively in the in the control of the judicial machinery. He has spent a great deal of time endeavoring to bring about a different method of selected judges to the Supreme Court.
On June 17, 1911, Mr. Wood was united in marriage to Miss Claudine Hazen, of New York City, and they became the parents of two sons, Walbridge, now a student of the University of Virginia; and Dana, a high school pupil. Mrs. Wood died in 1932 and in September, 1933, Mr. Wood married Elizabeth (Monroe) Cornell, daughter of James E. Monroe of Berkeley, California. The Judge is a member of, and chairman of the committee of Judicial Selection of the American Bar Association; is one of the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California. From 1924 to 1927 he was chairman of the judicial section of the old California Bar Association. He is also a member of the Los Angeles Bar Association; the International Law Association; the League of Nations Association of Southern California, of which he was president 1923 – 1924; the World’s Court Commission of Southern California; the English Speaking Union; and a director of the American Judicature Society. He is a Mason and his club affiliations are with the University Club, the City Club, the Valley Hunt Club, and the Yale Club, of which he is an ex-president. Judge Wood is the author of the law establishing civil procedure in Municipal courts in the state of California. His political views are Republican on national questions although he has favored Democratic policies at different times. He can always be counted upon to give his support to all projects where the welfare of the people are in question and gives liberally of his time and means to promote the general welfare of state and people.
Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: California of the South Vol. V, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 311-312, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.
© 2012 V. Gerald Iaquinta.