The Federalist Society

Hon. Thomas R. Phillips

Partner, Baker Botts LLP
Thomas R. PhillipsThomas R. Phillips, retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, joined the Austin office of Baker Botts in September 2005, after nearly a quarter-century of judicial service.

Since returning to private practice, he has represented more than forty clients in appeals to state and federal appellate courts on a wide variety of commercial, personal injury, regulatory and constitutional issues. 

After graduating from law school, Mr. Phillips clerked for Justice Ruel C. Walker of the Supreme Court of Texas and practiced law in the trial department of the Houston office of Baker Botts. From 1981, he served as judge of the 280th District Court in Harris County, Texas, and from 1988 to 2004, he was chief justice. Initially appointed to both judicial offices by Governor William P. Clements, he was elected without opposition to the district bench in 1982 and 1986 and elected in contested races to the Supreme Court in 1988, 1990, 1996 and 2002.

Education

  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1974
  • B.A., political science, Baylor University, 1971
  • Honorary D.H.L., St. Edward's University, 1998
  • Honorary LL.D., Texas Tech University, 1997

Publications

The Merits of Electing Our Judges - Event Audio/Video
University of Michigan Student Chapter
March 7, 2008

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