Journal of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society Guest Article: An Interview with Justice John Devine

06/18/2013


Justice John Phillip Devine was elected to the Supreme Court of Texas last November, and assumed his new position in January 2013. A graduate of Ball State University and the South Texas College of Law, Justice Devine brings to the Court decades of experience acquired in the private sector with Shell Oil and Brown & Root, Inc., as a trial judge on the 190th State District Court, as an appointed special judge for the Harris County justice of the peace courts, and as a lawyer in private practice. While on the district court bench, Justice Devine tried nearly 350 jury trials and presided over approximately 500 bench trials, ultimately reducing the court’s backlog by more than 40 percent during his two terms in office.

As he settles into his new job on the Supreme Court, the Journal of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society contacted Justice Devine with a few interview questions.

According to Justice Devine, his professional experience in the private and public sectors provides him with a distinct perspective on much of the subject matter that regularly comes before the Supreme Court. After almost 17 years of experience confronting complicated issues of oil, gas, and construction, Justice Devine feels well positioned to address the intricacies of the complex regulatory and administrative matters that routinely fill the Court’s docket. For him, this dense material “comes alive.” Moreover, his vast experience as a trial judge gives him a practical perspective into the way that jury trials work and a deeper understanding of the various unspoken factors at play during a trial that may not necessarily appear in the appellate record. Since joining the Court, Justice Devine has also had the opportunity to develop a greater interest and understanding of other legal areas, such as family law, which composes a large percentage of the Court’s docket.

Excerpted from the Journal of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society, June 18, 2013. To view full article, click here.

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