About Tom Gray
Tom has the right qualifications, both the training and the experience, to serve as Chief Justice of the Tenth Court of Appeals. At the end of the current term he will have served on the Court for 14 years. The office of Chief Justice has two primary functions: judicial and administrative.
The judicial duties are the disposition of appeals by authoring opinions. The role of each justice is to review the judgments of the district and county courts for legal errors. It is not his task to decide what he would have done if he had been the trial court judge or the legislature. The Chief Justice is responsible for the disposition of the same number of proceedings as any other justice on the Court. Tom works very hard to make sure that all of the Court's opinions follow the rule-of-law. Until recently the Waco Court of Appeals has been the most frequently reversed Court of Appeals in Texas. Now, under Tom’s leadership, it is among the least frequently reversed.
As Chief Justice, Tom is also responsible for the financial management of the Court. The Court has cut expenses without a reduction in service and has usually been able to return money to the State's treasury. And the Court has done this while continuing to reduce the number of pending cases on the Court's docket!
• Chief Justice, 10th Court of Appeals-2003-Present
• Supreme Court Advisory Committee, Member 2003-Present
• Justice, 10th Court of Appeals 1999-2003
• JD- Baylor University School of Law (1985, with honors)
• MBA- Texas A&M University (1979)
• BBA- Sam Houston State University (1978, with honors)
• CPA- Three years of auditing, accounting and consulting experience with a “Big Eight” international accounting firm.
• Practicing Attorney- 13 years experience in a wide range of cases including business litigation, estate litigation, condemnation, personal injury, wrongful employment termination and malpractice. He has represented both plaintiffs and defendants.
• Municipal Court Judge- City of Rice.
• Tom is a conservative Republican who has worked to improve the efficiency and speed of the judicial process without abandoning common sense or well reasoned decisions.
• Tom believes in “judicial restraint”. He feels that judges should follow the law, not legislate from the bench.
• Tom believes in the constitutionally guaranteed rights of those accused of crimes, but also recognizes the rights of the State and the victims of crimes as well.
• Tom believes that all persons have the right to have their legitimate complaints resolved in a system of justice which has procedures and rules designed to efficiently discover the truth and to have the disputed facts decided by a jury.
• However, no person has the right to use the judicial system as a means to coerce a settlement through a wholly frivolous lawsuit.
• To Tom, "equal protection under the law" is more than just a nice sounding slogan because it is the touchstone of a judicial system that is consistent and that does not give special favor based on status or position.
• As Chief Justice, Tom is responsible for the office and financial management of the Court which is the "business" side of the Court.
• These administrative duties include the preparation and presentation of the Court's budget to the legislature which is a process that he has now completed four times while serving as Chief Justice.
• Tom has also had to guide the Court through the process of budget cuts when the legislature has been compelled to seek the return of funds already appropriated to the Court. Due to his leadership the Court has been able to make the reductions necessary without having to fire any staff or otherwise reduce the services provided by the court or the speed at which the Court issued its opinions.
• Although the population in this district makes the Court the seventh largest court of appeals in Texas, the Court is the lowest funded of the 14 courts of appeals in Texas and the Tenth Court of Appeals does not have revenue from charging additional filing fees as do all the other courts of appeals across the State.
• In very tough economic times, under his stewardship, the Court has cut expenses without a reduction in service and has consistently been able to return money to the State's treasury.
• First Republican ever elected to 10th Court of Appeals in an open seat contested election.
• In the past Tom has provided financial support to or been a member of:
o Rick Perry Campaign
o Governor Bush Committee
o Bush for President
o Steve Ogden Campaign
o Kay Bailey Hutchison Campaign
o Gregg Abbott Campaign
o Susan Combs Campaign
o Tom Phillips Campaign
o Terry Means Campaign
o Nathan Hecht Campaign
o Arlene Wolgemuth Campaign
o David Dewhurst Campaign
o Joe Barton for Congress
o Texas Federation of Republican Women
o Republican Party of Texas
o Republican National Senatorial Committee
o Republican Presidential Legion of Merit
o Republican Presidential Task Force
o Republican National Committee
o Team 1000 (Phil Gramm)
o The Federalist Society
o The Texas Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism
o Republican Party and/or club of Navarro, McLennan, Brazos, Johnson, Ellis, Robertson, Madison, Bosque, Coryell, Hamilton, Walker, Somervell, Falls and Burleson Counties