Governor Greg Abbott today announced his inaugural appointments to the new Fifteenth Court of Appeals, which was created last year to have exclusive intermediate appellate jurisdiction over appeals involving disputes brought by or against the State and its officers and challenges to the constitutionality of a state statute. It will also have exclusive jurisdiction to review judgments from Texas’ business courts.

The Governor has appointed Scott A. Brister as Chief Justice, Place 1, Scott K. Field, Place 2, and April L. Farris, Place 3, to the Fifteenth Court of Appeals, effective September 1, 2024, for terms set to expire on December 31, 2026, or until their successors shall be duly elected and qualified.

Scott A. Brister of Austin is a Senior Partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. Previously, he served as a Justice on the Supreme Court of Texas, Justice and Chief Justice of the First and Fourteenth Courts of Appeals, and Judge of the 234th Judicial District Court. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and its Pattern Jury Charge Committee and is board certified in Civil Appellate Law, Civil Trial Law, and Personal Injury Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is a former member of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee, Supreme Court Jury Task Force, and American Law Institute and former chair of the Texas Commission on Public School Finance. Brister received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Duke University and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.

Scott K. Field of Liberty Hill is Judge of the 480th Judicial District Court in Williamson County. Previously, he served as a Justice of the Third Court of Appeals, partner at Butler Snow, LLP, managing partner of the Field Law Firm, PLLC and York, Keller & Field, LLP, and an attorney at Baker Botts LLP. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Williamson County Bar Association, Austin Bar Association, Texas Supreme Court Historical Society, The Federalist Society, and the Williamson County Christian Legal Society and a board member of Williamson County Inn of Court. Additionally, he is a life fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and Austin Bar Foundation and former director of the Texas Aggie Bar Association. He is a mentor for The University of Texas (UT) School of Law Mentoring Program and a Deacon and Trustee of Austin Baptist Church. Field received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Texas A&M University and a Juris Doctor from UT Austin School of Law.

April L. Farris of Houston is a Justice on the First Court of Appeals, where she has served since January 2021. Previously, she was an Appellate Litigation Partner at Yetter Coleman, LLP and served as an Assistant Solicitor General for the Texas Solicitor General’s Office. She is an editorial board member for The Advocate, executive committee member for the Garland R. Walker Inn of Court, and an honorary board member for Houston’s Christian Legal Society. Additionally, she is a member of the American Law Institute, Texas State Bar Appellate Section, Texas Supreme Court Historical Society, and the Texas Pattern Jury Charge Oversight Committee, a life fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, and a volunteer as a National Association of Women Judges mentor judge. Farris received a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from Abilene Christian University and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.