Baker Botts LLP

Thomas R Phillips

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Practice Areas

Appeals, legal issues, and alternative dispute resolution.


State District Judge, Harris County, 1981-88; Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Texas, 1988-2004; Visiting Professor, South Texas College of Law and SMU Law School, 2004-05; Partner, Baker Botts LLP, 2005-present.

Awards and Recognitions:

Pro Texana Meritorious Achievement Award, Baylor University, 2013

Outstanding Mentor Award, Texas Young Lawyers, 2010

Carrico Judicial Innovation Award, National Center for State Courts, 2005

Champion of Children Award, Dallas CASA, 2004

Kleinman Award, Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation, 2004

Professionalism in Law Award, Burton Awards for Legal Achievement, 2004

Professional Memberships

Board Certified Civil Trial Law; American Law Institute; American Academy of Appellate Lawyers; CPR Texas Panel of Distinguished Neutrals; Conference of Chief Justices (Past President); Texas Judicial Selection Commission; Bipartisan Texas Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee.


“The Merits of Merit Selection,” 32 Harv. J. L. Pub. Pol. 67 (2009); “The Constitutional Right to a Remedy,” 78 NYU L Rev. 1309 (2003); “State Supreme Courts: Local Courts in a Global World,” 38 Tex. Int'l LJ 557 (2003); “Judicial Recusal in a Post-White World,” 55 Drake L Rev 691 (2007).


BA, Baylor 1971; JD, Harvard, 1974, Honorary D.H.L., St. Edward’s University, 1998, Honorary LL.D., Texas Tech University, 1997.