Texas SC justice announces return to private practice

Chris Rizo Aug. 17, 2009, 3:23pm

Scott Brister

Harriet O'Neill

AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) - Texas Supreme Court Justice Scott Brister said Monday he is resigning from the high court to return to private law practice.

Brister, who said he will leave the bench Sept. 7, will join the Austin law offices of Andrews Kurth LLP. He will lead the firm's appeals division.

He practiced in the litigation section of Andrews Kurth's Houston office from 1981 to 1989.

"When I decided it was time to return to private practice, my first thought was to talk to Andrews Kurth," Brister said in a statement. "The firm's outstanding trial and appellate practice and all the terrific lawyers made this an easy decision."

A former Harris County judge and state appeals court justice, Brister was appointed to the nine-member state Supreme Court in November 2003 by fellow Republican Gov. Rick Perry, and won election to the post in 2004.

"Scott's extensive trial experience, coupled with his service on all three levels of the state judicial system, makes him ideal for our clients' needs," said Bob Jewell, Andrews Kurth managing partner.

A second Texas Supreme Court justice, Harriet O'Neill, has said she won't seek reelection when her current six-year term expires in 2010.

O'Neill, the only female serving in the Texas Supreme Court, has said she has not decided what she might do next but, there is speculation that she may make a run for Texas attorney general.

O'Neill was elected to the Texas Supreme Court in 1998 and re-elected to a second term in 2004.

Justice Jim Moseley of the 5th Texas Court of Appeals in Dallas said he will run in the GOP primary for O'Neill's seat.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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