10th Court of Appeals


Tom Gray


Conroe High School 1974 BBA, Cum Laude, Sam Houston State University, 1978 MBA, Texas A&M University, 1979 JD, Cum Laude, Baylor School of Law 1985

Professional Experience

1980-1983; CPA with Deloitte, Haskins, and Sells (Big Eight public accounting firm) in their Houston, Texas office. 1985-1988; Attorney with Dawson & Sodd in Corsicana, Texas. 1988-1998; Attorney with Fulbright & Jaworski in Dallas, Texas. 1998; Municipal Judge, City of Rice, Texas. 1999-present; Justice and Chief Justice, Tenth Court of Appeals, Waco, Texas.

Dates and titles of previously held elected offices

1999-2003; Justice, Tenth Court of Appeals 2003-present; Chief Justice, Tenth Court of Appeals

Civic, and other Memberships

Several educational/academic (not Greek or Social) fraternities like Beta Gamma Sigma and Alphi Chi (Business and Accounting fraternities). Board of directors of the Salvation Army in Corsicana. Member, Elder, and Trustee of the Central Christian Church in Corsicana. I have been a member of the Supreme Court Rules Advisory Committee since 2003 and have just recently been appointed to the comparable committee for the Court of Criminal Appeals. As Chief Justice of the Tenth Court of Appeals I am a member of the Council of Chief Justices of Texas. There are some other organizations such as Republican Clubs across the district and the Federalist Society of which I have been members that are simply too numerous to list in the space provided.

Why I Am Running for Public Office

I have served the citizens of the Tenth Court of Appeals District since 1998 and would like the opportunity to continue to do so. It is my belief that I have helped bring greater predictability to the cases appealed from the 18 counties in this district by strictly following the rule of law. I hope to continue to do so for at least the next 6 years and beyond. The time that I have served gives me a great deal of experience that I use for the benefit of Court and the parties appearing before us to efficiently dispose of proceedings brought before us.

Judicial Experience

Prior to election to this court in 1998, I served at the municipal judge for the City of Rice, Texas for approximately one year. I now have over 19 years of experience on this Court, the last 14 of which have been as Chief Justice of the Court.

Judicial Philosophy

Get it right for the right reason. Explain the reason for the result as clearly as possible. Answer only the legal issues properly presented that are necessary to the result. Follow clearly established precedent. Recognize that I am neither the first or the last judge that will be asked to review this issue. Recognize that I make mistakes because I am human. Work hard. Work efficiently. Many judges will say we should not legislate from the bench; a general statement that is widely misunderstood. Our primary task is to act as gap fillers when the law does not address the specific fact pattern presented. We must research the law and determine how the existing rule of law should be applied to the issue presented. We do not make up the answer and rule as we would like the law to be but have well established rules that we follow in interpreting the law and applying it to the case before us.

Judicial Education

I have attended hundreds of courses in legal education, some of which are specific to judges (Annual Judicial Conferences and two writing conferences for appellate court judges) and many that are related to particular fields of law. The courses include criminal and civil trial, criminal and civil appeals, family law, constitutional law, firearms law, health care law, and probate law, just to name a few of the broad categories. Most of these programs were provided though the Texas Center for the Judiciary or the State Bar of Texas, although some were presented by law schools like the University of Texas and Baylor. I have taken more than the minimum continuing judicial education hours and have received recognition for having completed the judicial education course by the Texas Center and the College of the State Bar of Texas.

Legal Experience - Nonjudicial

In the 13 years of practicing law before I was elected to the Tenth Court of Appeals, I was a general civil litigation trial attorney. I handled a wide range of cases including condemnation, accounting malpractice, employment, contested probate, probate administration, and various types of contract disputes. Most of my practice was in the Dallas and East Texas areas. In conclusion, I hope this entire summary, as brief as it may be, has been helpful to you in learning a little bit about me. I would appreciate your vote.