Fourteenth Court of Appeals

Chief Justice Kem Thompson Frost 
Photo of Chief Justice Kem Thompson Frost

Place 1

Appointed to the Fourteenth Court of Appeals in early 1999 by then-Governor George W. Bush and elevated to Chief Justice in 2013 by then-Governor Rick Perry, Kem Frost is the longest serving justice on the Houston courts of appeals. Before taking the bench, she enjoyed a 15-year civil trial and appellate practice, with an emphasis on business litigation.


Prior Professional Experience

Justice, Court of Appeals for the Fourteenth District of Texas, Houston, Texas
     March 1999 - September 2013
Shareholder, Winstead Sechrest & Minick P.C., Houston, Texas
     April 1987 - March 1999 (shareholder 1991)
Associate, Liddell, Sapp, Zivley, Hill & LaBoon (now Locke Lord, L.L.P.), Houston, Texas
     June 1983 - March 1987




Duke University School of Law
     Master of Laws in Judicial Studies (2014)
Texas Tech University School of Law
     Juris Doctor (1983)
The University of Texas at Austin
     Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business (1980)
     Bachelor of Arts in Government (1980)

Professional Achievements and Recognition

  • Mission Ally Honoree, Houston Lawyers Association (2016)
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award from Texas Tech University School of Law (2015)
  • Merrill Hartman Pro Bono Judge Award from the State Bar of Texas (2014) 
  • Named a “Modern Trailblazer” by Association of Women Attorneys;
  • Premier Women in Law Honoree (2014) 
  • Houston Bar Association President’s Awards for Outstanding Service (2010, 2011)
  • Named “Appellate Judge of the Year” by Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists (2010)
  • Named “Judge of the Year” by Peace Officers Looking Into Courthouse Excellence (P.O.L.I.C.E., Inc.) (2007) 
  • Awarded State Bar of Texas Presidential Commendation for “Individual Leadership in Improving Justice in Texas” (2007)
  • Recognized for “Outstanding Service Given to Our School and Community” by Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University (2003) 
  • Featured in “Local Heroes,” The Houston Lawyer Magazine (May/June 2010)
  • Featured in “A Profile in Professionalism,” The Houston Lawyer Magazine (September/October 2010) 
  • Certified in Appellate Jurisprudence by the Texas College for Judicial Studies (2007; recertified in 2012)

Current Leadership Positions Within the Legal Profession

  • Board of Trustees, Texas Center for Legal Ethics
  • Board of Trustees, Texas Tech Law School Foundation
  • Executive Committee, Garland R. Walker Inn of the American Inns of Court
  • Board of Trustees, Scribes-The American Society of Legal Writers

Judicial Leadership

Current Service:

  • Council of Chief Judges of State Courts of Appeal
    Administration of Justice Committee
  • Council of Chief Justices of Texas Courts of Appeal

Past Service:

  • Supreme Court of Texas Advisory Committee
  • Supreme Court of Texas Task Force on the Code of Judicial Conduct
  • Distinguished Faculty, Texas Center for the Judiciary
  • Chair, Educational Programs, 27th Annual Conference of the National Association of Women Judges

Membership in Professional Organizations

  • Elected Member, The American Law Institute
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Sustaining Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, Houston Bar Foundation
  • Judicial Member, American Inns of Court- Garland R. Walker Inn
  • Sustaining Member, College of the State Bar of Texas
  • Member, Scribes-The American Society of Legal Writers
  • American Bar Association (various sections)
  • State Bar of Texas (various sections)
  • Houston Bar Association (various sections and committees)
  • Association of Women Attorneys
  • American Judges Association

Participation in Law-Related Activities

  • Frequent Presenter and Planner for Continuing Legal and Judicial Education Programs
  • Speaker for Schools and Community Groups
  • Guest Lecturer for Law School Classes in all three of Houston’s Law Schools
  • Judge for Law Student Advocacy Competitions
  • Author of Articles for Law Reviews and Other Legal Publications
  • Chair, “A Special Day at the Courthouse” (Houston Bar Association civics education program for special education students)

Admission to Bar and Courts

Chief Justice Frost was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1983. While in private practice, she received the highest possible peer-review rating for professional excellence, skill, and integrity and was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas.


Native Houstonian and sixth-generation Texan
Married since 1988; mother of four sons