Hunton Andrews Kurth Attorney Scott Brister Among Appointees to Texas’ 15th Court of Appeals and Business Court

Time 3 Minute Read
June 17, 2024
Legal Update

In 2023, the Texas Legislature passed legislation creating a new statewide 15th Court of Appeals that will hear cases involving state government and appeals from the newly established Texas Business Court. Both the 15th Court of Appeals and the Texas Business Court will begin hearing cases on September 1, 2024. In advance of their opening, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has appointed three judges to the 15th Court of Appeals and ten judges to serve in the five initial divisions of the Texas Business Court.  

15th Court of Appeals

Scott Brister—Hunton Andrews Kurth’s own appellate Partner Scott Brister will serve as Chief Justice of the 15th Court of Appeals. Judge Brister formerly served on the Texas Supreme Court from 2003 to 2009. He also served on Houston’s 1st and 14th Courts of Appeals (Chief Justice), and presided over the 234th District Court of Harris County.

April Farris—Judge Farris currently serves on the 1st Court of Appeals, in Houston. She was previously an appellate partner at Yetter Coleman LLP in Houston, and was an Assistant Solicitor General in the Texas Solicitor General’s office.

Scott Field—Judge Field currently serves as a district court judge in the 480th District Court of Williamson County. He previously served on the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin, and was a partner at Butler Snow LLP in Austin.

Business Court

Austin Division

Melissa Andrews—Ms. Andrews is a litigation partner at Holland & Knight in Austin.

Patrick Sweeten—Mr. Sweeten is the Principal Deputy General Counsel for the Office of the Governor.


Andrea Bouressa—Judge Bouressa currently presides over the 471st District Court of Collin County and previously served a two-year term as Local Administrative Judge for Collin County.

William “Bill” Whitehill—Judge Whitehill is a former Justice of the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas. He is currently a member of Condon Tobin Sladek Thornton Nerenberg PLLC.

Fort Worth

Jerry Bullard—Mr. Bullard is from Colleyville and is a shareholder with Adams, Lynch, & Loftin, P.C. where he practices trial and appellate law.

Brian Stagner—Mr. Stagner is Of Counsel and a former partner at Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP in Fort Worth. 


Sofia Adrogué—Ms. Adrogué is a litigation partner at Diamond McCarthy LLP in Houston.

Grant Dorfman—Judge Dorfman is a Visiting Judge and former Deputy First Assistant Attorney General for the Office of the Texas Attorney General. He previously presided over the 334th Judicial District and 129th District Courts in Houston.

San Antonio

Marialyn Barnard—Judge Barnard currently presides over the 73rd Judicial District Court in Bexar County. She previously served as the Bexar County Commissioner for Precinct 3 and as a Justice on the 4th Court of Appeals.

Stacy Sharp—Ms. Sharp is the owner of Sharp Appellate PLLC in San Antonio.

If you are interested in learning more about the jurisdiction and rules governing the Texas Business Courts or 15th Court of Appeals, please contact Hunton Andrews Kurth partners Kaylan Dunn and Michael Morfey.

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