Thomas R. Phillips

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Thomas Royal Phillips
Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court
In office
January 4, 1988 – September 3, 2004
Nominated by Bill Clements
Preceded by John Luke Hill, Jr.
Succeeded by Wallace B. Jefferson
Personal details
Born 1949
Dallas, Texas
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Marilyn Bracewell Phillips
Children Daniel Austin Phillips
Residence Bastrop, Texas
Alma mater Woodrow Wilson High School

Baylor University
Harvard Law School

Occupation Attorney
former Jurist

Thomas Royal Phillips (born 1949) is an attorney with the Baker Botts firm in Austin, Texas, who was from 1988 to 2004 the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas. With nearly seventeen years of service, Phillips is the third-longest tenured Chief Justice in Texas history. He was appointed by Governor Bill Clements and was at that time the youngest Chief Justice since Texas became a state. In November 1988, he became the first Republican to be elected Chief Justice in the state's history. Phillips retired from the court in 2004 to return to the private sector. Governor Rick Perry appointed Associate Justice Wallace B. Jefferson to succeed Phillips.

Phillips graduated as valedictorian in 1968 from Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, and thereafter from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In 1989, Phillips was inducted into Woodrow Wilson High School's Hall of Fame, which was created at that time to celebrate the school's 60th anniversary.

In 2010, Phillips and his former judicial colleague, Craig T. Enoch, announced their endorsements of 360th District Court Judge Debra Lehrmann of Fort Worth for the Place 3 seat on the Texas Supreme Court. Lehrmann won the Republican nomination over former State Representative Rick Green and then defeated the Democrat Jim Sharp in the November 2 general election.

In May 2011, Phillips and his wife privately settled a wrongful death lawsuit in which they had been accused of having permitted minors to consume alcohol at their home in Bastrop, Texas. After a party in 2009 at the Phillips residence allegedly hosted, according to the Associated Press, by their then 20-year-old son, Audrey King, a 17-year-old passenger who had been a Phillips guest, was killed in a traffic accident. Her parents sued; in their answer to the suit, the Phillipses said that they had no knowledge that the girl had been at their home or that minors were drinking there.[1]

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Preceded by
John L. Hill, Jr.
Texas Supreme Court Justice,
Chief Justice

1988-2004
Succeeded by
Wallace B. Jefferson