Justice David Bridges stopped in Quitman last week on his statewide campaign for presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. He has been a justice on the Fifth District Court of Appeals for 21 years. He is seeking the seat held by incumbent Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Sharon Keller.
Bridges was in Quitman to see friends and attend the monthly meeting of the Wood County Republican Women at the Red Dome restaurant.
Bridges grew up just outside of Alba and attended Rains High School. After graduating from Texas Tech Law School, he returned to East Texas and was a prosecutor in both Smith County and Upshur County.
Growing up, he worked summers in East Texas doing farm labor including hauling hay, clearing stumps, hauling watermelons and chopping weeds. He joined the United States Army in 1973 after graduation from Rains High School.
He worked deep nights at the General Electric Plant in Tyler, building industrial air conditioners. “I worked there for five years to pay for my college education,” Bridges said.
While at Texas Tech School of Law he worked representing indigent families for the Palo Duro Legal Aid through the Presbyterian Church. The cases consisted mostly of family law matters. “I was granted a third-year practice license which allowed me to go to court while still in law school,” Bridges noted.
As an assistant district attorney he tried all types of criminal cases including murder. As an attorney for the State Bar of Texas, Bridges worked to restore honor and integrity in his profession. He prosecuted attorneys across the state for misconduct. He became regional counsel for the Dallas region covering 44 counties. He returned to Austin and served as first assistant and chief of litigation overseeing all attorney misconduct litigation.
He left the State Bar in 1992 and opened a private law office where he practiced until he took the bench.
As Justice of the Fifth District court of Appeals he has written over 2,000 opinions. “It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Dallas, Rockwall, Collin, Grayson, Hunt and Kaufman counties for the past 20 plus years,” Bridges concluded.