First Court of Appeals
Harvey Brown was appointed to the First Court of Appeals by Governor Perry in November 2010. The Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists named him Appellate Justice of the Year for 2011. The Houston Young Lawyers Association named him the mentor of the year for 2017 for the greater Houston area and the Texas Young Lawyers Association named him the mentor of the year for 2017 for the State of Texas. He has served as a member of the Multidistrict Litigation panel for Texas since 2014.
He previously presided over the 152nd District Court in Houston for six and one-half years, having been appointed by then-Governor George W. Bush, in 1995, and elected in 1996 and 2000. From 1998 through 2001, he served as the Chief Judge of the Harris County Panel over Diet Drug Cases. He presided over more than 150 jury trials and 200 non-jury trials.
Before his service as a civil trial judge, Justice Brown was a partner at Sewell & Riggs. After he left the district court, he joined the law firm of Orgain, Bell & Tucker, where he acted as the managing partner of the firm's Houston office before becoming a partner at Wright, Brown & Close. Justice Brown practiced with Wright Brown & Close for over seven years. At that firm, he handled both trials and appeals and was frequently retained to act as an arbitrator and mediator.
He is board certified in Personal Injury Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is a member of the American Law Institute, the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee, and the Texas State Bar College. Justice Brown is also a life member of the Texas Bar Foundation and the Houston Bar Foundation.
Justice Brown is a frequent author and speaker. In 1999, he authored two award-winning articles in the Houston Law Review on expert witnesses. In 2002 and 2014, he authored additional articles in the Houston Law Review addressing expert testimony. Justice Brown also has authored two articles in the Houston Lawyer magazine on the subject of summary jury trials and co-authored an evidence handbook entitled Texas Objections. He is a frequent CLE speaker and was awarded the Texas State Bar association CLE's Standing Ovation Award in 2010. He has taught law classes at both the University of Houston Law Center and Houston Baptist University. He taught trial advocacy for four years, evidence for two years, and most recently, a Law and Religion course focused on the religion clauses of the First Amendment for two semesters and trial advocacy. He served for three years on the State Bar of Texas's Committee on Pattern Jury Charges (General Negligence) and on the State Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee.
He was born in El Paso, attended high school in Houston, and received his bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Texas in 1978, graduating with high honors and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Justice Brown earned his law degree from the University of Texas in 1981, graduating with honors. He was a member of the Texas Law Review and the Order of Coif.
Justice Brown and his wife, Cindy, have been married over thirty-eight years. They have three children and four grandchildren. Justice Brown is also a former board member of Houston Habitat for Humanity; he served as its vice-president during the Jimmy Carter work week when one hundred affordable homes were built and later as its president. He currently serves as a chairperson of the board for KSBJ radio station in Houston and as the secretary of the board of Spring Branch Family Development Center.