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Justice profile: Chief Hecht is longest serving justice

By Staff Reports
Feb. 15, 2017 at 4 a.m.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht

With six elections under his sash, Chief Justice Nathan Hecht is the longest-serving jurist on the Texas Supreme Court in the state’s history.

The high court’s 27th chief justice joined the court with his election in 1988. He earned the chief justice role in 2014.

Hecht’s impact on the state judiciary for years to come was cemented by his oversight of revisions to the rules of administration, practice and procedure.

Among other changes, those revisions are transforming courts statewide into a paperless filing network. Lawyers already are filing cases and supporting motions through the state’s electronic court system, leaving the days of filing paper motions in the dust.

The Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, appointed Hecht to the federal Advisory Committee on Civil Rules.

Hecht also is active in the judiciary’s efforts to ensure all have legal representation regardless of income level. His work in that field has brought needed legal muscle to people living below the poverty level along with people with limited means to basic civil legal services.

Hecht was appointed a trial judge in 1981 after working in a Dallas law firm. He holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in philosophy from Yale University and earned his jurisprudence degree from SMU School of Law, where he was a Hatton W. Sumners Scholar.

Hecht clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia for Judge Roger Robb.

A lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps, he is a life member of the American Law Institute and a member of the Texas Philosophical Society.

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