In Memoriam: Charles E. Rickershauser, Jr. (1928-2014)

Charles (“Chuck”) E. Rickershauser, Jr., a former name partner and one of the first corporate lawyers at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, passed away on Oct. 8, 2014. He was 86.

“We are profoundly saddened by Chuck’s passing,” said name partner Ronald L. Olson. “He was one of California’s most distinguished and respected corporate lawyers, and the values he instilled within our firm still guide us.”

Mr. Rickershauser joined as name partner of the firm, then named Munger, Tolles, Hills & Rickershauser, in 1965. Having served previously as special adviser to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Corporation Finance Division and as the California Commissioner of Corporations, he helped launch the firm’s corporate practice. Among Mr. Rickershauser’s earliest clients at the firm was Warren Buffett’s then-nascent investment firm, Buffett Partnership Ltd., which evolved into the conglomerate now known as Berkshire Hathaway.

Charles T. Munger, fellow former partner and vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, described Mr. Rickershauser to the Daily Journal as “a great man and important in my life.”

In 1984, Mr. Rickershauser became of counsel with the firm to accommodate his role as chairman and CEO of the Pacific Stock Exchange. In 1985, he left the firm and continued to build an impressive career, including serving, among other roles, as chairman and CEO of PS Group Holdings and as a partner in a New York-based law firm.

Mr. Rickershauser also held positions on a number of corporate and nonprofit boards. Among these, he served as a director of The Vons Companies and a board member of Lee Enterprises, Inc., City National Corporation and its subsidiary City National Bank. He also sat on the board of directors of the Constitutional Rights Foundation and the Robert J. and Claire Pasarow Foundation.

A member of UCLA School of Law’s first graduating class, Mr. Rickershauser began his storied career as a clerk for Justice William O. Douglas of the U.S. Supreme Court. His relationship continued for many years with Justice Douglas, who in later years asked him to represent an indigent criminal defendant in an argument before the Supreme Court, which Mr. Rickershauser did with distinction.

Mr. Rickershauser was survived by his wife, Robin; his daughter, Janet Rickershauser and her husband, of Boston; and a grandson.

A memorial service will be held at the Santa Barbara Yacht Club on Oct. 20, 2014 at 3 p.m.