KEYNOTE ADDRESS: A CONVERSATION WITH JUSTICE MING W. CHIN
By Cheryl Lee Johnson and Kathleen J. Tuttle1
For the sixth year in a row it has been our good fortune to have a justice of the California Supreme Court as our keynote speaker. At last year’s GSI we welcomed The Honorable Ming Chin who shared with the audience his upbringing, career path, professional experience, and judicial philosophy. The panel is presented in a question and answer format. Two former chairs of our Antitrust Section, Cheryl Lee Johnson and Kathleen J. Tuttle, posed the questions after a brief introduction. What follows is an edited transcript of the conversation.
MS. JOHNSON: It’s a great honor to have with us today California Supreme Court Justice Ming Chin. He is now the longest serving justice on the court. Justice Chin has come a long way from his family’s potato farm in Klamath Falls, Oregon, where he was born the youngest of eight children. As a child, Justice Chin worked seven days a week on the farm, and by the time he was 14, he could operate every piece of equipment on the farmâthe hay bailers, the tractors, the combines. His parents both immigrated to the U.S. from China at a period of time in which the Chinese Exclusion Act was in effect. They bought 80 acres of farmland in 1936, and through hard work, expanded the farm to over 800 acres. It’s still in his family. The parents did not have a formal education, but they always emphasized the value of education, and of course hard work and rotation of crops, right?
JUSTICE CHIN: Of course.