Thomas R. Phillips

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Full Name: Thomas R. Phillips
Location: Section:Republic Hill, Section 2 (C2)
Row:S  Number:4
Reason for Eligibility: Judge, 280th District Court; Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Texas 
Birth Date: October 23, 1949 
Burial Date:  

PHILLIPS, THOMAS R. (1949 ~ ). Thomas R. Phillips, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, was born in Dallas on October 23, 1949. He attended Baylor University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts, and Harvard University, where he received a Juris Doctorate.

Following his graduation from law school, Phillips served as a briefing attorney to Supreme Court Justice Ruel C. Walker and later worked as a trial attorney with the Houston law firm of Baker and Botts. In 1981, Governor William P. "Bill" Clements appointed him judge of the 280th District Court in Harris County. He held that position for 8 years.

In 1988, Governor Clements appointed Phillips as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas. He was elected to that position in November, 1988, and has been re-elected three additional times. His current term ends in 2008, which will mark his 20th years as Chief Justice.

As Chief Justice, Phillips chairs both the Texas Judicial Council and Texas Judicial Districts Board. He has also served as president of the Harvard Law School Association of Texas and on several boards and committees at Baylor University. Phillips is a past president of the National Conference of Chief Justices, and past chair of the Board of Directors of the National Center for State Courts. He is a member of the American Law Institute and serves as an advisor to its Federal Judicial Code project. From 1989 to 1996, he served on the Federal-State Jurisdiction Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. He is a director of the American Judicature Society, is a member of both the Philosophical Society of Texas and the Houston Philosophical Society, and is on the board of the Southwestern Legal Foundation.

In 1992, Phillips received the Texas Chamber of Commerce Award of Excellence in Government. He also has received the Outstanding Texas Leader Award from the John Ben Sheppard Public Leadership Forum, and the Houston Outstanding Young Lawyer Award from the Houston Young Lawyers Association. In 1997, he was awarded an honorary L.L.D. from Texas Tech University and, in 1998, was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Baylor University. That next year he was honored with a Distinguished Service Award from the National Center for State Courts.

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