Obituary: Don T. Hibner Jr.

Don T. Hibner Jr.

Don T. Hibner Jr., a resident of La Cañada Flintridge since 1965, peacefully passed away at home on Feb. 11. Don was born in Boone, Iowa, on April 5, 1934, and three months later was brought to California by his parents Don Telfer Hibner and Thirza Hull Hibner. Don was a graduate of Palo Alto High School, Stanford University (’55 majoring in philosophy) and Stanford Law School (’62). He had an enduring allegiance to “the Farm” and especially to Stanford Law School.
Don joined the Los Angeles law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton in the fall of 1962 and became the 14th extant partner in 1968. At the present time, the firm has grown from that single office to 15 offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia and has 820 lawyers.
Don was a nationally known practitioner in antitrust law litigation and economics for more than 40 years, often consulted by other antitrust lawyers because of his legal and economic expertise. He was a prolific author on scholarly subjects. Beginning in the early 1970s, Don contributed to more than 10 antitrust treatises, published numerous law review articles and co-authored a book on antitrust litigation. When blogs became the new medium, Don immediately jumped in and wrote more than 60 antitrust law blog posts starting in 2005 and continuing into 2017. He was a speaker and lecturer at dozens of attorney conferences and conventions.
In 2002, Don became Of Counsel at Sheppard Mullin and was selected as “Antitrust Lawyer of the Year” by the California State Bar Antitrust Section. According to Don, this was generally believed to be in the nature of a “the light burns brightest before it goes out” award (typical of his humor, which has been commented upon by so many of his friends and colleagues). Nevertheless, he continued to come into the office almost every day until very recently. Don testified as an expert witness in antitrust malpractice cases, and consulted on vertical restraint distribution strategies, particularity in toys, batteries, cameras and golf clubs and accessories. Don was also an Arbitrator for the L.A. County Bar Association — Attorney-Client Mediation & arbitration Services. He held several arbitrations a year in the firm’s Los Angeles office, his last Arbitration concluding on Oct. 19, 2017.
Don was always concerned about teaching young lawyers about the profession and mentoring their careers. He participated as a judge in the UCLA Law School Moot Court program for more than 10 years and paid particular attention to his task of reviewing the written briefs submitted by the law students.
Don married Scarlett Chambers (Stanford ’61) in 1962. She had told him, “It’s not just me; there’s also a horse.” They moved to La Cañada in 1965 to have a horse-keeping property. They then joined the Flintridge Riding Club in 1970, where Don was elected to the board of directors for three terms and was three times president of the club. They had horses at home for trail riding, and also bred and raised five foals, four of which eventually competed as jumpers.
Don has been a residential member of the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce since 1969. He has been elected to the board of directors of the Valley Water Co. each year from 1974 and has additionally served as its president since 2003. Don was always ready to help the La Cañada Flintridge Trails Council and to contribute to the development and preservation of trails and open space, especially in Cherry Canyon.
In addition to his professional interests and community activities, from 1970 to 1990 Don traveled with Scarlett to eastern and southern Africa, a total of eight months, on six photo safaris to view wildlife, considered by both of them to be the most enjoyable thing they ever did. Their interest in wildlife continued in the U.S., Canada and their own backyard. Their interest in supporting national and international equestrian competition merged with an interest in European history such that their tourist travels became concentrated in Europe and frequently centered around attending a major equestrian competition.
Don was predeceased by his elder brother John of Pioneer, California, and is survived by his wife, Scarlett. No services are planned.

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