Hon. Jack Pope

Jack Pope was born in Abilene, Texas, and graduated from the University of Texas School of Law. There, he served as an editor of the Texas Law Review. After graduation, he joined his uncle in private practice in Corpus Christi. During World War II, he joined the Naval Reserve in 1944 and was discharged in 1946. Later that same year, he was appointed as the youngest district court judge at the time and was then appointed to the Fourth Court of Appeals in San Antonio. During his time there, he forever changed Texas water law and worked to thwart forum shopping. He then ran for and was elected to the position of associate justice on the Supreme Court of Texas. During his tenure, he worked to institute a program of continuing legal education for the judiciary and to develop judicial ethics rules. He was appointed as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, during which he worked toward forming what is known today as Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) to help fund legal assistance for the poor.

After retirement, Chief Justice Pope helped found the Texas Center for Legal Ethics, had a scholarship program founded in his name, and had a Texas law named in his honor that raised legal funds for indigents. Upon his passing, Chief Justice Nathan Hecht commented, “Chief Justice Jack Pope was a judicial icon. His hard work, scholarship, common sense, humor, and integrity are legendary. No Texas judge has ever been more committed to serving the rule of law and the cause of justice. He was my mentor, role model, counselor, and most especially, my friend. Texas has lost a great, great man.”


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