Texas A&M University alumnus Drew Tipton ’90 was sworn in as a U.S. District Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on June 26. He is the fifth Aggie appointed to an Article III judgeship.
“Texas A&M School of Law congratulates Judge Tipton on his nomination and confirmation to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas,” says Dean Bobby Ahdieh of Texas A&M School of Law. "In our constitutional order, Judge Tipton and his peers on the bench stand on the front lines of advancing and preserving the Rule of Law.”
Judge Tipton received his undergraduate degree in history from Texas A&M in 1990 and his J.D. from the South Texas College of Law in 1994. From 1988-1984, he served as a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve achieving the rank of sergeant. From 1994-1995, he was a law clerk for the Honorable John D. Rainey, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Since then he has been in private practice, most recently, within the Labor and Employment Group at BakerHostetler LLP in Houston.
Judge Tipton joins the ranks of four other esteemed Aggies who have served or are serving as U.S. District Judges:
James DeAnda ‘48 – U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
Judge DeAnda received his bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University in 1948 and his law school degree from the University of Texas. He was in private practice in Houston from 1951 to 1955, and in Corpus Christi, Texas from 1955 to 1979. Judge DeAnda was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to a new seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas created by 92 Stat. 1629. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 10, 1979, and received his commission on May 11, 1979. He served as Chief Judge from 1988 until retiring from the bench on October 1, 1992. After retirement, he returned to private practice in Houston until 2005.
Simeon Lake III ‘66 – U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
Judge Lake received his undergraduate degree in history from Texas A&M in 1966 and his J.D. from the University of Texas in 1969. He was a private practice attorney in Texas from 1969 to 1970. Judge Lake then served in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1971. He resumed private practice in Texas from 1972 to 1988. On the recommendation of Texas U.S. Senator Phil Gramm, Judge Lake was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas by President Ronald Reagan (R) on March 30, 1988. Judge Lake was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 11, 1988, and he received commission on August 12, 1988. He retired from full-time service, assuming senior status, on July 5, 2019.
Campbell Barker ‘02 – U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
Judge Barker received his undergraduate degree in computer and electrical engineering from Texas A&M in 2002 and his J.D. from the University of Texas in 2005. After graduating, Judge Barker clerked for two years, first for Judge John Walker on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and then with Judge William Bryson on the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. After clerking, Judge Barker joined the U.S. Department of Justice working as a trial attorney. In 2011, Judge Barker joined Yetter Coleman LLP in Houston. From 2015 to 2019, he was the deputy solicitor general in the Texas attorney general’s office. On January 23, 2018, President Donald Trump (R) nominated him to serve as an Article III federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The U.S. Senate confirmed Barker on May 1, 2019, and he received commission on May 3, 2019.
Mark T. Pittman ‘96 – U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
Judge Pittman received his undergraduate degree in political science from Texas A&M in 1996 and his J.D. from the University of Texas in 1999. Immediately preceding his appointment to the federal bench, Judge Pittman was an associate justice on the Court of Appeals for the Second District of Texas. Prior to his appointment to the Court of Appeals, he served for two years on the trial bench of the 352nd Judicial District Court in Tarrant County. Judge Pittman is also an experienced litigator, having served as an Enforcement Attorney at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where he also spent a year on special assignment prosecuting economic crimes as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. Prior to that, he was a senior attorney for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas and a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. He has also worked in private practice as a civil litigation attorney with Kelly, Hart and Hallman, LLP and served as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Eldon B. Mahon in the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division. On January 17, 2019, President Donald Trump (R) nominated Judge Pittman to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Pittman on July 31, 2019, and he received commission on August 5, 2019.
Dean Ahdieh further commented, “We are proud of the many graduates of our university and our law school who have taken up the vital responsibility to serve on the bench – including Judge Tipton and his U.S. District Court colleagues, Judge Lake, Judge Barker, and Judge Pittman.”
Correction: An earlier version of this post neglected to include Judge DeAnda, who passed away in 2006.