In early June, Fifth Court of Appeals Justice Jim Moseley (pictured) announced that he would be leaving the Court this month. He has since decided to join Gray, Reed & McGraw, where he will chair the firm’s appellate section.
I have appeared before Justice Moseley several times and have always found him to be a thoughtful and considerate jurist, even when I disagreed with the outcome. I’m sure he will do very well in private practice.
The timing of Justice Moseley’s departure has created an interesting and unusual situation. Generally when a sitting justice leaves an appellate court, the Governor appoints a replacement, who takes office subject to Senate confirmation and must run in the next general election to retain the seat. However, because Justice Moseley is departing between the March 2014 primary and the November 2014 general election, his replacement will be elected rather than appointed. The party chairs for the six counties in the Fifth Court’s district will choose candidates to appear on the November ballot.
Texas Lawyer reports on this development here.
Update: The Republican party chairs selected former Rockwall County First Assistant District Attorney Craig Stoddart as their candidate, and Governor Perry has since appointed him to fill Justice Moseley’s seat until the election. He will face 95th District Court Judge Ken Molberg, whom the Democratic party chairs chose to fill that side of the ballot.