Ethics Explorer A Guide to the Financial Interests of Elected Officials

Supreme Court Justice Paul Green (R)

Industry
Lawyer, State Government
Education
B.A., The University of Texas at Austin; J.D., Saint Mary's University
Financial Statements

Sources of Income

  • A former San Antonio attorney, Green served on the state's 4th Court of Appeals before being elected to the high court in 2004.

  • Green’s wife, Courtney, is an attorney for CF Jordan Construction Co.

Property

No properties listed

Analysis

  • The Texas Supreme Court in 2007 issued an opinion in Entergy Gulf States v. John Summers protecting industrial plants and refineries from some types of liability claims by contract workers. The court ruled that a general contractor providing workers' compensation insurance to a subcontractor is protected from negligence claims that may be brought by a subcontractor’s injured employee. Energy and chemical companies, which stood to benefit from the decision, had donated a combined $82,225 to Green’s campaigns from 2001 to 2006, according to a review by the left-leaning money-in-politics group Texans for Public Justice. Neither Summers nor his attorneys appear to have donated to Green's campaigns. In 2009, the Entergy decision was revised to be a 6-3 vote, and Green wrote the new majority opinion. 

  • In 2011, Green and a majority of the court sided with pharmaceutical company Merck & Co., overturning a jury verdict and Court of Appeals decision in favor of the family of Leonel Garza, who died of a heart attack while taking Vioxx. Green had received $11,000 in campaign contributions from Baker Botts, the law firm representing Merck & Co. The Garza family and their attorneys were not found to have donated to any Supreme Court justices' campaigns. The decision favoring Merck was 7-0. The justices determined that expert testimony from an epidemiologist was not sufficient to prove that taking Vioxx caused Garza's heart attack.

  • Green did not respond to multiple calls requesting comment.