Texas Supreme Court Justice Dale Wainwright (pictured) announced today that he will resign from the court effective Sept. 30 to join Bracewell & Giuliani’s Austin office. Wainwright was first elected to the court in 2002 and is currently its third most senior member.
Wainwright did not immediately return a call for comment.
A press release quotes Wainwright as saying, “My service on the Court has been profoundly satisfying.”
“Over the last decade, I have worked with outstanding jurists at the Court in the development of the law and have made and solidified life-long friendships. I greatly enjoyed private practice, and it is time to return to it.”
Before joining the high court, Wainwright served almost four years as a Harris County district court judge. He came to the bench after private practice with Haynes and Boone and Andrews Kurth in Houston, notes the release.
Wainwright’s term expires at the end of 2014.
“We are losing a great friend,” the release quotes Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson as saying. “Dale’s scholarship, his attention to the administration of justice and his dedication to the Court are all part of a legacy that will long outlive his years of service.”
UPDATE: Reached on the telephone, Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson says, “It’s a huge loss. Dale has been rock solid on the court not only on the substantive work that we do but importantly on our obligation to justice,” and he notes that Wainwright previously served as the court’s liaison to the State Bar of Texas, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct and the Texas Board of Law Examiners.
“And just on a human scale, he will be dearly missed,” says Jefferson.
With Wainwright's resignation, Justice David Medina will become the court's third most senior member. When Medina leaves the court at the end of this year, Justice Paul Green will take Medina's chair on the court as its third most senior member.
“Justice Wainwright has been very valuable to the court, and I’ve enjoyed sitting next to him at the conference table and on the bench,” Green says. “He’s done so well for the institution of the court and served the citizens of the state very well, and it’s a great loss to the court.”
Note: The above blog was updated to note when Medina and Green will become the court's third most senior member.
-- John Council