First Court of Appeals

Justice Evelyn Keyes 
Photo of Justice Evelyn Keyes

Place 4

Justice Evelyn V. Keyes was appointed to the First Court of Appeals by Governor Rick Perry in May 2002. She was elected in November 2002 to the remainder of her predecessor's term and re-elected to six-year terms in 2004 and 2010. Before joining the First Court, Justice Keyes was a partner in Clements, O'Neill, Pierce, Wilson, and Fulkerson, L.L.P., practicing complex civil litigation. She also served as a Special Assistant Attorney General to then Texas Attorney General John Cornyn.

Justice Keyes is a member of the United States Supreme Court Bar, the Texas State Bar, and the federal bars for the Southern and Western Districts of Texas and the Fifth Circuit. She is a member of the American Law Institute and an advisor to the ALI Government Ethics Project. She is also a member of the National Advisory Council of the American Judicature Society and a member of its Ethics Committee. Justice Keyes is a member of the American Bar Foundation; a life member of the Texas Bar Foundation and Houston Bar Foundation; and a member of the Texas State Bar College. She is a member of the American Bar Association and a former national chair of its Young Lawyers Division Ethics Committee. She is a member of the Texas Bar Association, where she is currently serving her second term on the Judicial Section Board of Directors and is chair of the section's By-laws Committee. She is also a member of the State Bar's Standing Committee on the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct and formerly served for six years on the State Bar Court Rules Committee and for six years on the State Bar Grievance Committee. She is also a member the Houston Bar Association, where she has served on various committees. Justice Keyes has published several articles in law and legal philosophy and has given a number of presentations on legal topics. She is also a former board member and past president of the Houston Philosophical Society.

Justice Keyes received her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree cum laude from the University of Houston Law Center. She was Chief Articles Editor of the Houston Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif, the Order of the Barons, and Phi Delta Phi. She was awarded the Wall Street Journal Award and a Distinguished Service Award. She served as an intern to the Honorable Carolyn R. King, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. She is a former member of the University of Houston Law Alumni Board of Directors and Law Review Board of Directors.

Prior to receiving her law degree, Justice Keyes earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from Rice University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Texas. She received her B.A. from Sophie Newcomb College, Tulane University, magna cum laude, with honors in English. Justice Keyes spent her junior year abroad in Paris. She is a former Woodrow Wilson fellow and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Justice Keyes and her husband, David, have four adult children and grandchildren. They are members of St. John the Divine Episcopal Church and frequent communicants of All Saints Episcopal Church in Austin.