Tribpedia: Wallace Jefferson

Wallace Jefferson, born 1963, is an appellate lawyer and the first black chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court.

Jefferson, a Republican, was appointed as a justice the court in 2001 by Gov. Rick Perry and, in 2002, won a statewide election to the office. Perry in 2004 appointed Jefferson as chief justice, an office to which he won a ...

Analysis: Should We Take Judges Out of the Fundraising Business?

Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals justices listen to Chief Justice Nathan Hecht's State of the Judiciary speech to legislators on Feb. 18, 2015.
Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals justices listen to Chief Justice Nathan Hecht's State of the Judiciary speech to legislators on Feb. 18, 2015.

The U.S. Supreme Court says it's okay for states to bar judges from raising their own campaign cash. A lot of judges (and lawyers, too) think that's a pretty good idea that Texas might want to consider.

Sen. Leticia Van de Putte D-San Antonio, asks question during a Joint Committee Hearing on School Safety in the Senate Chamber on January 28th , 2013
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte D-San Antonio, asks question during a Joint Committee Hearing on School Safety in the Senate Chamber on January 28th , 2013

The Brief: Nov. 14, 2013

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, will take another step toward confirming a run for lieutenant governor by announcing that she will make a "major announcement" Nov. 23.

Sen. Joan Huffman joins moderator James Henson in a discussion of law and order issues in the upcoming 83rd legislative session during the Texas Tribune Festival, 2012.
Sen. Joan Huffman joins moderator James Henson in a discussion of law and order issues in the upcoming 83rd legislative session during the Texas Tribune Festival, 2012.

Hearing on Innocence Commission Bill Draws Heated Testimony

A Senate committee hearing turned explosive on Tuesday when the brother of a wrongfully convicted man who died in prison railed against a senator who opposes the creation of an innocence commission.

Senators John Whitmire, D-Houston, left, and Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, congratulate Michael Morton, right, at a court hearing in Georgetown on April 19, 2013. That day, a judge issued an arrest warrant for former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson, after finding probable cause to believe Anderson withheld critical evidence in Michael Morton's 1987 murder trial.
Senators John Whitmire, D-Houston, left, and Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, congratulate Michael Morton, right, at a court hearing in Georgetown on April 19, 2013. That day, a judge issued an arrest warrant for former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson, after finding probable cause to believe Anderson withheld critical evidence in Michael Morton's 1987 murder trial.

House Shows Support for Innocence Commission Bill

UPDATED: The House on Tuesday endorsed a bill that would create a state panel to investigate wrongful convictions. Similar legislation has been defeated in the past, but this time it has drawn supporters many consider unlikely.

Bed-Mal

Is a hospital bed an integral part of medical care? As a federal judge considers the constitutionality of Texas’ 2003 medical malpractice reform — and Gov. Rick Perry campaigns for more lawsuit restrictions — the state Supreme Court has ruled that hospital injuries seemingly unrelated to doctor error can fall under Texas’ stringent medical malpractice caps. Some legal observers say the decision is a perversion of legislative intent, but tort reform advocates contend the high court simply closed a huge loophole in liability reforms.

Going It Alone

Attorneys, judges, legal aid experts and law librarians gathered last week to strategize about how to create a system that can accommodate an increasing number of self-represented litigants — a problem that some say is going to shut down the court system.

Odor in the Court

Even if 84 percent of Americans believe judges should not hear cases from major campaign contributors, the big Texas law firms that have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to them over the last ten years see nothing wrong with business as usual.

Wallace Jefferson on That Exxon Case

The Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court on the not-quite-settled case that has everyone talking: Exxon v. Emerald, or, as you might prefer to think of it (we do), the biggest oil and gas company on earth vs. one of the state's most mythic ranching families.