Waco Court of Appeals
Tex. App. [10th Dist]
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Waco Court of Appeals [10th Dist.]


Official Homepage for Waco Court of Appeals
Page featuring biographies of the members
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Place 1: Chief Justice Tom Gray
Term ends 2012

Place 2: Rex Davis         
6 year term ends 2014

Place 3: Justice Al Scoggins
Felipe Reyna
6 year term ends 2016  


Official Bio: Chief Justice Tom Gray  [from court's web site as of 9/9/09]

Chief Justice Tom Gray

Chief Justice Tom Gray Tom Gray was born in Madisonville, a rural Texas town, in 1956. He
attended public school in Conroe, Texas. He received a BBA from Sam Houston State University
in Huntsville, Texas in 1978, graduating with honors. In 1979, he received an MBA in accounting
from Texas A&M University. He practiced public accounting in Houston with the "big 8" firm of
Deloitte Haskins & Sells from 1980 to 1983. He received his JD degree from Baylor University
School of Law in 1985, where he again graduated with honors.

Upon graduation he worked in Corsicana, Texas for Dawson & Sodd, a local law firm (six
partners and one associate) for three years. He then worked out of the Dallas office of Fulbright
& Jaworski, an international law firm, for the next 10 years. His experience in practice was
primarily civil litigation and appeals with a wide range of cases including business litigation,
estate litigation, personal injury, wrongful employment termination, and professional malpractice.
He represented both plaintiffs and defendants.

In 1998 he left Fulbright & Jaworski to run for election to the Tenth Court of Appeals, which sits
in Waco, Texas. During 1998 he was appointed municipal judge for the City of Rice, where he
served until the end of 1998. He was elected to the court of appeals and was sworn into office
on January 1, 1999. In 2003 he was appointed to the Supreme Court Advisory Committee. The
committee advises the Texas Supreme Court on rules of procedure and administration for all
courts in Texas.

On December 4, 2003, Governor Rick Perry appointed him Chief Justice of the Tenth Court of
Appeals District of the State of Texas. This is the same court that he had served for almost five
years as Justice. He took the Oath of office on December 9, 2003. He ran in 2004 in a special
election for the two years remaining on Former Chief Justice Davis’s term. The election for a full
term will be in 2006.

Chief Justice Tom Gray and his wife, Pam, moved from Corsicana to be closer to the court in
2000 and now reside in Crawford, Texas. They have a daughter and a son, and two

Chamber Staff:
Staff Attorney
Jill Durbin
Pauline Stevens

Official Bio of Justice Rex Davis (from the court's website as 9/9/09)
Place 2

Justice Rex Davis pursued undergraduate studies at Temple Junior College and University of
Texas at Austin. He received his J.D. degree from Baylor University School of Law, Cum Laude,
in May, 1974. He initially came to the Tenth Court of Appeals in May, 1996, after practicing in
the trial courts of Central Texas from 1974 until 1996. He was named Outstanding Young
Lawyer for 1982 by the Waco-McLennan County Bar Association. He is a past president of the
Waco-McLennan County Bar Association. He served as Chief Justice of the Tenth Court of
Appeals from 1996 until 2003.

In the fall of 1998 and 2002, he served as a Justice by temporary designation on the Supreme
Court of Texas. In 1999-2000, he was Chair of the Council of Intermediate Chief Justices. He
was a board member, Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas from 1999-2002.

From 2003 until 2008 he returned to and practiced law in Central Texas. In 2008 he was elected
to a six (6) year term as a Justice on the Tenth Court of Appeals.

He is a Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation and Bar Member, College of the State Bar of Texas and
has been a Lecturer at the Baylor Law School for nine years.

He is married to the former Donna Barnes and they have three sons and two daughters-in-law.
He is a member and teacher at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church, Waco. He is also a Rotarian
and former Little League coach and school board member.

Chamber Staff:
Staff Attorney
Stephen W. Kotara
Casey Kent

Official Biography of Justice Al Scoggins (from court's website as of 9/25/11)
Place 3

Justice Al Scoggins was born in 1955 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He attended and graduated from
Pine Bluff High School in 1973, later earning a BBA in accounting from Baylor University in 1977.
In 1979, Justice Scoggins received his JD degree from Baylor University School of Law. After law
school, he moved to Ennis, Texas and began practicing law in Ellis County with the firm of
Young, Connaway and Scoggins until 1983 when he began his public service by being
appointed as Ellis County Judge at age 28. He was elected to that position in 1984 and served
in that capacity until March 1, 1985 when he was appointed as Judge of the Ellis County Court
at Law where he tried criminal, civil and probate cases. He was reelected to that office in three

In 1995, the 378th District Court was created to serve Ellis County and Justice Scoggins was
selected by Governor George W. Bush as the first judge of that court. After four elections to the
378th District Court and after beginning his 27th year as trial judge, he was elected by the
voters to a six (6) year term as a Justice on the Tenth Court of Appeals.

Justice Scoggins is married to the former Monica Novak. They have one daughter, Annie, who is
a college student. They still live in the Ennis area and Justice Scoggins commutes to the Court
in Waco.

Chamber Staff:
Staff Attorney
Rachelle Gee
Rick Bradley

Bio of [former] Justice Felipe Reyna (from court's website as of 9/9/09)
Place 3

A Boy with a Dream as Big as Texas

From Humble Beginnings

Felipe Reyna was born in Texas in 1945. His father was a migrant worker, so his family followed
the harvest every year from South Texas to the Panhandle. Although he was not an educated
man, Felipe’s father knew that if his children were to escape a life of poverty, they must pursue
their educations.

Felipe, the oldest of five children, not only became the first person in his family to graduate from
high school, he was also the valedictorian of his class. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree
from Baylor University in 1968 and a Juris Doctorate Degree in Law from Baylor Law School in
1972. To pay his way through law school, Felipe took a full-time job as a clerk and janitor for the
10 th Court of Appeals cleaning the courtroom, the justice’s chambers and the bar association

After hours, he would take his books into the courtroom to study for class and dream about one
day serving as a justice. After law school, Felipe worked as a criminal prosecutor and, in 1977,
was appointed as the McLennan County Criminal District Attorney. A year later, he was elected
to serve a four-year term in the same office. In 1983, Felipe and his wife, Cheryl, founded the
firm Reyna & Reyna, P.C. where he practiced law until late 2003, when his dream finally came
true, and he was appointed to the 10 th Court of Appeals by Governor Rick Perry. On March 9,
2004, Justice Reyna won the Republican Primary nomination, in a contested primary. On
November 2, 2004 in the General Election, Justice Reyna was elected to a six year term, by an
overwhelming vote, over his opponent.

Justice Reyna is married to the former Cheryl Elizabeth Ivy from Conroe, and they now reside in
Lorena. They have four (4) sons: Darin Brock; Steve Brock, Daniel Reyna, and Abel Reyna; and
five (5) grandsons.

They are members of the United Methodist Church in Lorena.

Justice Reyna served in the United States Naval Reserve from April 1963 until April 1969 when
he received his Honorable Discharge.
Chamber Staff:

Staff Attorney
E. Alan Bennett
Keri Hunt

Bio of [former] Justice Bill Vance (form court's web site as of 4/2/08)
Place 2

Justice Bill Vance is the first person elected from Brazos County to serve on the Tenth Court of
Appeals since it was created in 1923. He was elected in a contested election in 1990 and re-
elected in 1996 and 2002 without opposition.

Justice Vance was born in Bryan on December 19, 1939, and graduated from Bryan High
School in 1957. After receiving a B.A. in Economics from Texas A & M University, he attended
the University of Texas School of Law, graduated in 1963, and was licensed to practice law in
Texas . He was awarded a Master of Laws in the Judicial Process (LLM) in 1995 after completing
the University of Virginia Law School's Graduate Program for Judges.

Justice Vance was the Assistant County Attorney for Brazos County from 1964 to 1967 and
served as County Judge of Brazos County from 1967 through 1978. While County Judge,
Justice Vance organized and served as Chairman of the seven-county Brazos Valley Mental
Health-Mental Retardation Board of Trustees. He also served as a director and Chairman of the
Board of the Brazos Valley Development Council (council of governments) and as President of
the Texas Association of Regional Councils.

From 1979 to 1990, Justice Vance was engaged in the private practice of law and founded the
Bryan firm of Vance, Bruchez & Goss in 1982. He was admitted to practice before the U.S.
Supreme Court in 1971, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1981, and the U.S. District Courts
for the Southern, Western and Northern Districts of Texas.  He is a member of the Brazos
County Bar Association, having served as president in 1968, the Waco-McLennan County Bar
Association, the American Bar Association, the American Judicature Society, a member of the
Waco Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and a member emeritus of the Judge
Abner V. McCall American Inn of Court.

From 1982 to 1985, Justice Vance served as the Citizen Member of the State Depository Board,
and from 1985 to 1986 as a member of the State Finance Commission, both by appointment of
the Governor of Texas. In 1988, he was elected as President of the Bryan-College Station
Chamber of Commerce, after serving two years as Treasurer of the twin-city organization.

Justice Vance has been Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal
Specialization since 1981. In 1985, his fellow lawyers elected him to represent them as a District
Director of the State Bar Board of Directors, one of thirty such members. He was a member of
the District 8-A Grievance Committee of the State Bar of Texas from 1982 until 1986, and was
its Chairman in 1985-86. He is a Sustaining Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.

Bill is married to the former Barbara Thomas of McKinney, and they now reside in Waco. He has
three (3) children: Bill Vance, Jr., Dr. Karen Atkinson, and Brett Vance. They are members of
the United Methodist Church.

Chamber Staff:
Staff Attorney
Stephen W. Kotara
Law Clerk
Sophia Lecky