Ethics Explorer A Guide to the Financial Interests of Elected Officials

Supreme Court Justice Jeff Brown (R)

Industry
Lawyer
Education
BA University of Texas at Austin; JD University of Houston
Spouse
Susannah
Financial Statements

Sources of Income

  • Before serving on the high court, he had been a justice on Houston's 14th Court of Appeals.

  • From 2001 into 2007 he served as judge of the 55th District Court. 

  • Before becoming a judge, he practiced at Baker Botts LLP in Houston, trying jury cases throughout Southeast Texas. Before joining Baker Botts, he was a briefing attorney to Justices Jack Hightower and Greg Abbott on the Texas Supreme Court.

  • Brown has been an adjunct law professor at the University of Houston. He has also taught for the National Judicial College.

  • His wife, Susannah, is a schoolteacher with the Hays Consolidated ISD

  • Brown reports income from his work as a freelance author. He also reports business interests held under his wife’s name in the United States Natural Gas Fund.

Property

  • Residence in Hays County valued at $255,400

Analysis

  • A report by the left-leaning Center for American Progress in September 2016 found that the Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of corporate defendants in 69 percent of 26 cases studied from 2011 to 2016. The Center for American Progress reported that Brown, along with fellow incumbents, was re-elected with the support of financial contributions from corporations, oil and gas companies, and corporate law firms. Two of the top three donors to Brown are the Texas Oil and Gas PAC and Ryan Texas PAC respectively. The Ryan Texas PAC represents a tax firm that helps secure tax breaks for corporations under state incentive programs. The Center for American Progress also reported that the largest donor to the justices seeking re-election in 2014 was Texans for Lawsuit Reform, a group that advocates for tort reform laws that limit injured plaintiffs’ ability to sue. According to filings with the Texas Ethics Commission, Texans for Lawsuit Reform has contributed more than $40,000 to Brown.