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Judge Tom Lawrence

Judge Tom Lawrence was sworn in as presiding judge of Harris County Justice of the Peace Court (Precinct 4, Place 2) on January 1, 1983. He has been re-elected to successive four-year terms in 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011.

Judge Lawrence was appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas to the Supreme Court Advisory Committee in 1999-2011, becoming only the second Justice of the Peace to serve on the committee.

Judge Lawrence was also appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct in 1991. He was elected Chairman in 1996-1997, becoming the only Justice of the Peace to serve as chair of the Commission.

Judge Lawrence served as chair of the Justice of the Peace Section of the State Bar of Texas in 1989). He established one of Harris County's first Teen Courts in 1991. Judge Lawrence is certified as a Civil Mediator from the National Judicial College (June, 1998).

Judge Lawrence is very active in the development of new legislation to enhance the effectiveness of the justice courts in Texas. He drafted HB 509 enacted into law by the 76th Texas Legislature which deals with the jurisdiction of justice courts over deed restriction cases, and SB 1718, also enacted into law by the 76th Texas Legislature which deals with alternate dispute resolution in justice courts.)

He drafted HB 3544, enacted into law by the 75th Texas Legislature, which establishes local rules for the Harris County Justice Courts.)

He drafted HB 2035, enacted into law by the 74th Texas Legislature, which deals with the suspension of the driver's license of a juvenile who fails to appear in court.)

Judge Lawrence drafted Senate Bill 590, dealing with the return of stolen property to crime victims, which was enacted into law by the 73rd Texas Legislature.)

He also drafted Senate Bill 1289, House Bill 488 and House Bill 1522, which were enacted into law by the 71st Legislature. The bills dealt with landlord tenant matters, small claims court and the suspension of driver's license of juveniles who fail to appear in court.



Born:
Dallas, Texas
Houston resident since 1972

Education:
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science -- Chapman University in Los Angeles (1971)

Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree -- South Texas College of Law (1980)

Military Service:
Commissioned Officer - U.S. Coast Guard (1971-1975)

Judicial:
Sworn in as Justice of the Peace - January 1, 1983

Re-elected to successive four-year terms in 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2011.

Presiding Judge for Harris County Justice of the Peace Court 1989-1990, 2005-2006

Chairman Justice of the Peace Section of the State Bar of Texas (1989).

Established one of Harris County's 1st Teen Courts (1991)

Appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas for a six year term to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct in 1991, elected Chairman in 1996-1997, becoming the first Justice of the Peace to serve as Chairman.

Certified as a Civil Mediator from the National Judicial College - June 1998

Served on the Supreme Court of Texas Advisory Committee from 1999-2011.

Appointed by the State Bar of Texas to the Court Administration Task Force in August 2007.

Re-appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct in 2007.

Appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas as Chairman of the Task Force on E-Filing in Justice Courts in June 2007, and as Chairman of the SB 1448 Task Force in September 2009.

Appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas to the Ancillary Proceedings Task Force in April 2008.

Legal:
Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee -- Houston Bar Association (1997-2003)

Faculty, Texas Justice Court Training Center -- Lectured on case management, landlord/tenant law, deed restrictions and mediation

Legal Advisor to The People's Court television show (1989)

Legislation:
Drafted HB 509 enacted into law by the 76th Texas Legislature which deals with the jurisdiction of justice courts over deed restriction cases, and SB 1718, also enacted into law by the 76th Texas Legislature which deals with alternate dispute resolution in justice courts.

Drafted HB 3544, enacted into law by the 75th Texas Legislature, which establishes local rules for the Harris County Justice Courts.

Drafted HB 2035, enacted into law by the 74th Texas Legislature, which deals with the suspension of the driver's license of a juvenile who fails to appear in court.

Drafted Senate Bill 590, dealing with the return of stolen property to crime victims, which was enacted into law by the 73rd Texas Legislature.

Drafted Senate Bill 1289, House Bills 488 and 1522 which were enacted into law by the 71st Legislature. The bills dealt with landlord tenant matters, small claims court and the suspension of driver's license of juveniles who fail to appear in court.

Community Service:
District Chairman, Flaming Arrow District -- Boy Scouts (1995)

Director, Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce (1989)

Former Member, North Harris Montgomery County College Business and Industry Council, Mercer Arboretum Foundation, North Harris Montgomery Community College Foundation

Former Advisory Board Member of the Roseate, Inc., Junior League of North Harris County, and the Spring Independent School District Occupational/Technical Education Committee

George Washington Fellow of the Sons of the American Revolution

National Society Sons of the American Revolution -- Vice Chairman Americanism Committee; Vice Chairman Web Education Committee; Member of the History, Patriotic Education, Speaker and Writers Bureau, George Washington Fund, ROTC and JROTC, By-Laws, and the Legal Advisory Committees.

President, Paul Carrington Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution (2004-2005). Chancellor General (2010-2012) for the national organization.

Past or current member of the Humble Rotary Club, 1960 Exchange Club, Champions Breakfast Club, and Sons of the American Revolution

Awards:
Who's Who in American Law 1998-2002

Boss of the Year for 1989 -- American Business Women's Association - Humble Chapter

Meritorious Service Award for 1989 -- Houston Apartment Association

Scholars Award for Excellence in Law from North Harris Montgomery Community College District (1993)

"Liberty Bell" award by the North Harris Montgomery County College District in 1992

Named a Paul Harris Fellow in 1995 by Humble Rotary Club

Proclamation from the City of Humble naming May 19, 1992 as Judge Tom Lawrence Day

Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce "Volunteer of the Month" (April 1997)

Sons of The American Revolution Awards: Meritorious Service Award, Bronze & Silver Good Citizenship Medal, Chapter Service Medal, and Distinguished Service Medal

Legal Affiliations:
Member: American, Texas, Houston, Northeast Harris County Bar Associations, South Texas College of Law Alumni Association, American Judicature Society, Garland Walker Chapter, American Inns of Court

Member/Past Director, Houston Northwest Bar Association; Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation

Publications:
"Landlord/Tenant Law" in the Nov./Dec., 1989 issue of The Houston Lawyer; "Effective Evictions" in February, 1989 issue of Abode Magazine; "Evictions: What You Should Know" in the August, 1992 issue of Abode Magazine; "An Owner's Duty To Repair" in the March and April, 1998 issues of Abode Magazine; "Howdy from Washington" in the March, 2001 issue of Abode Magazine; and "The Election of 1800" in the October, 2001 issue of Abode Magazine.