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UH Law Center alumnus Wilson ’77 enjoying rigors of appellate work after appointment to 14th Court of Appeals

Justice Randy Wilson of the 14th Court of Appeals, a 1977 alumnus of the University of Houston Law Center.

Justice Randy Wilson of the 14th Court of Appeals, a 1977 alumnus of the University of Houston Law Center.

April 6, 2021 – After spending several years as a partner at Susman Godfrey, Randy Wilson a 1977 graduate of the University of Houston Law Center, has returned to a familiar role as a judge.

He was appointed to the 14th Court of Appeals on Dec. 21, 2020 by Gov. Greg Abbott to replace Tracy E. Christopher, who was elevated to Chief Justice. Part of his responsibilities include reviewing appeals from court verdicts and orders as well as jury verdicts from 10 Texas counties of various categories of the law, such as civil, criminal, family, probate and business. Wilson also rules on original proceedings, such as requests for mandamus, and opines on cases.

“Pretty much everything that comes out of the trial courts in this multi-county area is going to go through the Court of Appeals,” Wilson said. “I am having to learn family law and criminal law, and it is intellectually stimulating.”

Because the courts of appeals possess only appellate jurisdiction and do not hold trials, working remotely has not posed a challenge. In fact, Wilson discovered that doing hearings via Zoom has been enjoyable, and technological advances such as audible and visible communication, screen sharing and an ease to give and receive data has made virtual hearings just as effective.

Wilson began his legal career at Susman Godfrey where he was a trial lawyer for 26 years. In 2003, then-Gov. Perry appointed Wilson to the 157h District Court in Harris County where he served for 15 years.  In 2019, he returned to Susman Godfrey for a brief stint and now is back on the bench as an appellate justice.

Wilson was valedictorian of his class and a previous editor of Houston Law Review. He is board-certified in civil trial law and an elected member of the State Bar of Texas, Houston Bar Association, American Bar Association, American Board of Trial Advocates and the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists.

“I loved going to law school,” Wilson said. “I managed to finish No.1, but it was a lot of work. I also taught as an adjunct professor one course on Ethics and Professional Responsibility.”

Married for 47 years with two children, Wilson works to provide opportunities for individuals struggling to turn their lives around. He has served as president and chairman for the LifeHouse of Houston and as a former board member of both the Star of Hope and Main Street Ministries.