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Our History

The Hathaway Law Firm was established in 1961, by Julien Hathaway, Robert Shaw and Robert Soares, all attorneys from the Ventura District Attorney’s Office.  Both Robert Shaw and Robert Soares were later appointed as Ventura Court Judges.  The Firm’s office was first located on Santa Clara Street in downtown Ventura so that it would be in close proximity to the Courthouse.  The legacy of Julien Hathaway and the other two founders of the Hathaway Law Firm has established a continuing practice of integrity and good management that has provided stability for The Hathaway Law Firm for over 50 years.  The Hathaway Law Firm maintains an AV Rating with Martindale Hubbell.

In 1974, Julien Hathaway supervised construction of a new professional building near the new Courthouse, and the Law Firm moved to its present location at 5450 Telegraph Road, Ventura, California.  The Firm now occupies the entire second floor of The Hathaway Building.  There are presently 6 partners, 2 of counsel attorneys, 1 associate attorney, 4 certified paralegals and 8 other support staff at the Firm.

New partners joined the Firm over the years.  E.E. Clabaugh, Jr. joined the founding partners in 1964.  Michael F. Perrett became a partner in 1966.  John R. Webster came to Hathaway and became a partner in 1971.  John was one of our AV rated Attorneys who recently passed away in 2017.  Paul D. Powers came to the firm from the Ventura District Attorney’s Office, as did Joseph C. Chrisman.  Additional partners have joined the firm over the past 25 years.  They are: Alejandro P. Gutierrez, Steven S. Feder, Robert A. Bartosh, Greg W. Jones, Jeanne M. Kvale and Daniel A. Higson.

For over 50 years, the attorneys of the Hathaway Law Firm have represented many of Ventura County’s family business owners, family farmers, family partnerships, and large land owners and have provided continuous and stable transitions of assets, wealth and business entities from generation to generation.  The Firm has long time experience in its representation of water districts, school districts, teacher’s unions, teachers and harbor districts.

Julien Hathaway

Julien Hathaway died at 87 years old, the oldest practicing attorney in Ventura County.  Julien’s background is an interesting part of the history of Ventura County’s law community.

Julien graduated from Ventura High School.  In 1922, he entered the Foreign Service and spent three years as Vice-Counsel in Wellington, New Zealand.

Julien returned home to Ventura and from 1927 to 1937 he was Ventura’s Chief Deputy County Clerk and began his studies for the California State Bar.  Julien had no formal legal education.  He studied for and passed the Bar in 1933 in the time-honored way of reading with the help of a Judge and another attorney.  At that time he was only the third person to pass the California State Bar exam without attending law school.

From 1937 to 1961, Julien Hathaway was the Chief Deputy and Assistant District Attorney.  He acted as legal advisor to all the county school Trustees and Administrators, and played a key role in the founding of the Ventura Community College.

A legacy of Julien’s life is the elementary school in Oxnard that bears his name, The Julien G. Hathaway Elementary School, and the building where The Hathaway Law Firm is located at 5450 Telegraph Road, Ventura, California, called The Hathaway Building.

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