Courthouse Ceiling


Terry Jennings Awards

Independent Arbitrator and Mediator

Work History

Independent Arbitrator and Mediator, 2019 to present
Senior Judge (appellate and trial), Texas, 2019 to present
Justice, First Court of Appeals, Texas, 2001 to 2018
Harris County Assistant District Attorney (Houston, Texas), 1990 to 2000


During a distinguished career of 18 years as a state intermediate appellate court justice in the nation’s fourth largest city, authored over 1200 opinions on the merits on one of the busiest courts of appeals in the United States. Also, in working on three-judge panels, joined and participated in the writing of thousands of other reasoned opinions resolving thousands of other cases. Resolved multiple civil disputes with amounts in controversy of several million dollars, including one dispute concerning a jury award of over $60 million. Extensive experience in construing statutes and complex contracts, deciding evidentiary and procedural issues, and evaluating the legal and factual sufficiency of evidence.

Civil cases involved a broad range of sophisticated and complex disputes and issues arising under the United States and Texas Constitutions and federal and state law, including arbitration (arbitrability, compelling arbitration, Federal Arbitration Act, and Texas Arbitration Act), admiralty and maritime law (Jones Act), business organizations and corporate law, commercial and banking disputes, construction, contracts, domestic and family relations, eminent domain, employment and discrimination, First Amendment, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, fraud, general business, health care, indemnity and subrogation, insurance coverage, intellectual property rights, negligence, non-compete agreements, oil and gas royalties, pension, personal injury, piercing the corporate veil, pipeline, products liability, professional and medical malpractice, punitive damages, real estate, securities, shareholder actions, tax, theft of trade secrets, tortious interference with contracts, wills and trusts, and wrongful death.

Litigants included persons and entities in the fields and industries of Agriculture, Architecture, Banking and Financial Services, Construction, Education, Energy (Electric, Natural Gas, and Oil), Environmental, Healthcare, Insurance, Legal Services, Manufacturing, Media, Pharmaceuticals, Real Estate, Taxation, Technology, and Transportation.

As an Assistant District Attorney for over 10 years, prosecuted over 1000 criminal cases and tried over 100 cases to verdict. In the Trial Bureau. prosecuted everything from misdemeanor to murder cases. In the Major Fraud Unit of the Special Crimes Bureau, prosecuted white-collar crime cases, including aggregate theft, breach of computer security, embezzlement, fraud, insurance fraud, intellectual property crimes, misappropriation of property, money laundering, and organized crime. Extensive experience in preparing for and trying cases, assessing the strength and weaknesses of cases, testing and judging the credibility of witnesses, and evaluating financial forensic evidence.

Honors and Awards

  • Appellate Judge of the Year, Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists (all members Board Certified in Civil Trial or Civil Appellate Law), 2008 and 2017
  • Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, since 2009
  • Public Sector Achievement Award, University of Houston Law Alumni Association, 2016
  • Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee, “served with distinction,” 2003 to 2014, Texas Rules of Evidence and Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure Subcommittees
  • Elected a Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation, 2013
  • “Houston’s Best Appellate Judge,” Houston Press, 2011
  • NASA Award for First Successful Prosecution of Breach of Computer Security at the Johnson Space Center, 1999

Professional Licenses and Associations

  • Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, since 2009
  • State Bar of Texas, admitted November 1988
  • Texas Bar Association, ADR and Appellate Sections
  • Houston Bar Association, ADR and Appellate Sections
  • Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists
  • Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation


  • J.D., University of Houston Law Center, 1988 Associate Editor, Houston Law Review; Outstanding Law Review Candidate of 1987
  • B.A., Government, University of Texas at Austin, 1982