David M. Medina

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David Michael Medina
David M Medina.jpg
Texas Supreme Court Justice
In office
November 10, 2004 – December 31, 2012
Preceded by Wallace B. Jefferson
Succeeded by John P. Devine
Personal details
Born (1958-07-23) July 23, 1958 (age 59)
Galveston, Texas, USA
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Francisca J. Stult Medina
Residence Harris County, Texas
Occupation Attorney

David Michael Medina (born July 23, 1958)[1] is a former Justice of the nine-member Texas Supreme Court. He served in the Place 4 position. He was appointed by Governor Rick Perry in 2004 and subsequently elected to a full-term in 2006. Medina was defeated in the Republican runoff election in 2012 by John P. Devine. His tenure ended in December 2012. All members of the court are Republican.

Appointment to the court and professional experience[edit]

Medina succeeded Wallace B. Jefferson in Place 4 after Jefferson was appointed to be chief justice following the retirement of Tom Phillips. Governor Perry named Medina to the court on November 10, 2004. Medina had been Perry's general counsel for the preceding ten months.

Before that, Medina was associate general counsel for Cooper Industries in Houston from 2000 to 2004 and served on the 157th State District Court bench in Harris County from 1996 to 2000 after appointment in May 1996 by then-Governor George W. Bush. He was elected in November 1996 and again in November 1998. The Houston Bar Association voted him as one of the top jurists in Harris County.

Medina rejoined Cooper in 2000 as associate general counsel for litigation, responsible for supervising Cooper’s litigation and product-safety matters throughout the world. In January 2004, he left Cooper to become General Counsel to Governor Perry.

Election to the court[edit]

Medina was elected in 2006 without a Democratic opponent. Unopposed for the Republican nomination that year, he handily defeated his Libertarian Party challenger, Jerry Adkins, 2,558,036 (75.5 percent) to 830,780 (24.5 percent).[2]

Background and education[edit]

Medina was born on Galveston Island, attended public schools in Hitchcock and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas State University–San Marcos in 1980. In college, he competed on the university’s karate and baseball teams and was on the Dean’s List. In 1989, he earned his Juris Doctor degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston. He was on the Dean’s List and a member of the American Bar Association Regional Moot Court National Championship Team.

Medina is a former board member of Habitat for Humanity and Houston Metro. He currently serves on the board for the Spring Klein Baseball Association. He has also served as an adjunct professor for South Texas College of Law, where he taught advanced civil trial litigation.

Grand Jury[edit]

Medina faced an indictment by a Harris County grand jury in connection with a fire at his home, but charges were eventually dropped.[3]

The indictment was dismissed by State District Court Judge Brian Rains, at the request of then Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal. The dismissal prompted the grand jury foreman, Robert Ryan, to publicly threaten to re-issue the charge, which some subsequent reports characterized as unusual given the grand juror's requirement of secrecy.[4] Rosenthal, who thereafter resigned as district attorney, said that the evidence was insufficient to support the indictment.[5]

Dick DeGuerin, the Medinas' attorney explained that the Medinas did not start the fire and "didn't have anything to gain. That was their dream house."[6]

Texas Open Beaches Act[edit]

In 2012, Justice Medina "wrote a persuasive dissent in the court's recent wrong-headed ruling on the Texas Open Beaches Act."[7] Medina's dissent, which protects the public's ability to access beaches, was well received.[8] In contrast, the majority decision was criticized by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott as being based on "nothing." [9]

Some other notable opinions[edit]

  • Irving Marks v. St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, August 28, 2009[10]
  • In re Morgan Stanley, July 3, 2009 [11]
  • City of San Antonio v. Pollock, (dissenting opinion), May 1, 2009 [12]
  • North Texas Pentecostal Church/Pleasant Glade Assembly of God vs. Laura Schubert, June 27, 2008[13][14]

Election of 2012[edit]

In the May 29, 2012 Republican primary Medina faced two challengers, including former state district court Judge John Devine, who is best known for his refusal to remove a posting of the Ten Commandments from his courtroom.[15]

On July 31, 2012, Medina lost his bid for renomination, John Devine polled 498,937 votes (53.3 percent) to Justice Medina's 437,637 ballots (46.7 percent).[16][17] Running without Democratic opposition, Devine easily prevailed in the November 6 general election. He succeeded Medina on the court in January 2013.


External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Wallace B. Jefferson
Texas Supreme Court Justice,
Place 4

Succeeded by
John P. Devine