Lynne Liberato in The Appellate Advocate: Interview of Past Appellate Section Chair

09/29/2015

The following is an excerpt of an interview of Lynne Liberato (LL) conducted on April 23, 2014, by JoAnn Storey (JS). The interview is part of an ongoing effort by the State Bar of Texas and the Appellate Section to preserve and document matters of historical interest to members of the bar...

JS: Tell us how you became the first Chief Staff Attorney for the First Court of Appeals.

LL: I actually was the first Staff Attorney—at the time, there was no “Chief” to it. When I started with the Court in 1981, the courts of appeals recently had been given criminal jurisdiction. That is when the Courts of Civil Appeals became the Courts of Appeals.

Our Court went from six justices to nine, but that wasn’t enough to make up for the thousands of criminal cases that were coming in. The Legislature provided funding for one full-time staff attorney for the Court. Justice Frank Evans—with whom I had worked to raise money for neighborhood justice centers during my employment with Shell—offered me the position. I stayed with the Court for nine and one-half years. Pennzoil vs. Texaco came to the Court during my tenure. It was such a big case that many of us got involved in different pieces of it. Working for the Court was a magical experience for a young lawyer, and it allowed me the opportunity to have a somewhat sane life because I had my two boys during that time.

Excerpted from The Appellate Advocate, Summer 2015. To read the full article, click here.

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