Hamblen, Lapsley Walker, Jr.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012
The Honorable Lapsley Walker Hamblen, Jr., 85, retired judge of the United States Tax Court, died September 10, 2012 at his home in Falls Church, Virginia from cardiac disease. 

He was born in Chattanooga, on December 25, 1926. His parents were Lapsley Walker Hamblen, Sr. and Libbey Shipley Hamblen. He was a graduate of the McCallie School in Chattanooga and the University of Virginia, receiving a B.A. in Economics in 1949 and an LLB from its Law School in 1953.

He served in the United States Navy during World War II. During his college years he was a member of the football and boxing teams, Phi Delta Theta fraternity, which he served as President in 1948, Eli Banana and IMP Society. He served as President of his Law Class and was elected to the Order of the Coif, Omicron Delta Kappa and the Raven Society. He was admitted to the Bar of Virginia, Ohio and West Virginia and was a partner in the Lynchburg, Virginia Law Firm of Caskie, Frost, Hobbs and Hamblen and predecessor firms which he joined in 1957. He was listed in the first edition of the Best Lawyers in America (Tax) and also Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Law. Prior to 1957, he served as a lawyer in the Regional Counsel Office of the Internal Revenue Service in Atlanta, Georgia, as a Law Clerk to Judge Craig Atkins, of the United States Tax Court, and law firms in Charleston, WV and Dayton, Ohio. In 1982, he was appointed a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice, in Washington, DC, and later that year he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to be a Judge of the United States Tax Court in Washington, DC. In 1992, he was elected by his colleagues on the Court to be Chief Judge until he attained Senior Status in 1996. Judge Hamblen retired from the Court in 1999. 

During his practice of law, Judge Hamblen was a member of the Virginia State Bar and the American Bar Association and its Tax Section. He was a former chairman of the Virginia State Bar Committee on Taxation and the Committee on Co-operation with the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants. He was a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. 

Judge Hamblen was a former co-director of the Annual Virginia Conference on Taxation at the University of Virginia and was an emeritus trustee of the Southern Federal Tax Institute in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to his return to government service, Judge Hamblen was vice president and assistant treasurer, and a member of the board of directors of Carter Glass and Sons Publishers, Inc., Lynchburg, Virginia and served one year as president of the Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce. He was a founding member of Jefferson National Bank in Lynchburg, Va., which was merged into Virginia National Bank, which now is part of Bank of America. Judge Hamblen was a member of the Metropolitan Club of the City of Washington, DC. He was a member of the National Presbyterian Church and served as a Stephen minister. 

Judge Hamblen is survived by his wife of 41 years, Claudia Terrell Hamblen of Falls Church, Va.; and two sons from a previous marriage, James Allen Murdock Hamblen of Lynchburg, Va., and William Shipley Hamblen of Richmond, Va. 

He was predeceased by his son, Lapsley Walker Hamblen, III in 2011. 

He is survived by three granddaughters, two grandsons and four great-granddaughters. 

Interment will take place on Sept. 20, at 11 a.m. at Spring Hill Cemetery, Lynchburg, Va. 

A memorial service will be held on Oct. 11, at 11 a.m. at the National Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the McCallie School, memo line: The Hamblen Fund, 500 Dodds Avenue, Chattanooga, Tn. 37404 or to The University of Virginia Law School Foundation, 580 Massie Road, Charlottesville, Va. 22903.

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