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Justice profile: Vietnam vet Johnson appointed by Perry

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

Texas Supreme Court Justice Phil Johnson

An appointment that moved a justice from the Texas Supreme Court to the federal bench in Tyler opened a seat on the state’s highest civil court that then-Gov. Rick Perry filled with Justice Phil Johnson.

The governor must have known Johnson had the metal for the job. A Vietnam War veteran, Johnson flew for the U.S. Air Force from 1965 to 1972.

A 1975 honors graduate of the Texas Tech University School of Law, Johnson joined the Lubbock law firm of Crenshaw, Dupree & Milam, where he practiced law until 1998.

That year, he won election to the 7th Court of Appeals, ascending to chief justice four years later.

Johnson has served on several committees of the State Bar of Texas, is a member of the College of the State Bar, a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and is a past president of the Lubbock County Bar Association.

He is board certified in civil trial and personal injury trial law.

His appointment to the Texas Supreme Court filled a vacancy left when Justice Michael H. Schneider was appointed to the U.S. District Court in Tyler in 2005.

Johnson filled that unexpired term and won re-election to his first of two full terms on the high court in 2008.

He is married to Carla Jean Johnson and has five children.

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