- LL.B., Stanford University, 1962, Board of Editors, Volumes 13 and 14, Stanford Law Review
- B.A., Stanford University, 1955
- U.S. Supreme Court
It is with great sadness that Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP reports that Don Hibner, a long-time partner who had been with the firm since 1962, passed away on February 11. Don was a nationally known practitioner in antitrust law litigation and economics for more than 40 years, and often consulted by other antitrust lawyers because of his legal and economic expertise.
In 2002, Don became Of Counsel at the firm 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. However, Don was not one to settle down. Continuing to come into the office almost every day until last year, 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 LA County Bar Association – Attorney-Client Mediation & Arbitration Services. He held about 2-3 arbitrations a year here in the Los Angeles Office. The last Arbitration he did was on October 19, 2017.
Don was always concerned about teaching young lawyers about the profession and mentoring their careers. He often told the young lawyers assigned to him, ”It is my job to raise you up and kick you out of the nest so you can fly on your own.”
Don was also a judge in the UCLA Law School Moot Court program for over ten years. In a 2015 memo to the UCLA Law School Moot Court Board, Don sent a summary after editing briefs. “My common observation is that many sentences in the briefs are much too long, and need to be shortened. It also brings to mind what was beaten into us when I was the editor of the Stanford law review. An outline of any legal argument should be (1) Introduction and Statement of facts: Tell them what you are going to tell them. (2) Argument: Tell them. (3) Conclusion: Tell them what you told them.”
Don arrived in California from Boone, Iowa, when he was three months old. He described himself as "almost a native Californian." Don was a graduate of Palo Alto High School, Stanford University (major in Philosophy) and Stanford Law School. He had an enduring allegiance to "the Farm" and the Law School. Don married his wife Scarlett Chambers (Stanford '61) in 1962. Together Don and Scarlett engaged in support of national level horse sports. They 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. From 1970 to 1990 Don and Scarlett traveled to eastern and southern Africa, a total of eight months, on photo safaris to view wildlife, considered by both to be the most enjoyable thing that they had ever done! Subsequently their foreign travel concentrated on western Europe and usually included attending a major international equestrian competition; every four years they rejoined a contingent of friends for the World Equestrian Games and a tour of the host country.
In 1974 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Valley Water Company, the largest purveyor to properties in La Canada Flintridge, and served as its President from 2003 to the present. He was always ready to help the La Canada Flintridge Trails Council and contribute to trails development and open space for the City in Cherry Canyon.