Fifth Court of Appeals

Justice Ada Brown 
Photo of Justice Ada Brown

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Justice Ada Brown was appointed to the Fifth District Court of Appeals on Sept. 3, 2013. She brings both civil and criminal law experience to the appellate bench. As a criminal prosecutor with the Dallas County District Attorney's office, she tried more than one hundred jury trials to verdict. Justice Brown specialized in prosecuting internet crimes against children and brought more than 500 pedophiles to justice.

Justice Brown served as the judge of Dallas County Criminal Court No. 1, the oldest criminal court in Dallas County. Before her appointment to the appellate bench, Justice Brown was a civil litigator at the McKool Smith law firm where she focused on patent infringement and commercial litigation cases.

During the course of her career, Justice Brown earned the respect of her peers, who selected her to be a Texas Monthly Magazine's Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2005, 2012, and 2013.

Justice Brown is dedicated to public service. In 2014, Governor Perry awarded her the Yellow Rose of Texas Award, which recognizes outstanding Texas women for significant contributions to their communities. Justice Brown served as Commissioner for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education and then as Commissioner for the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Justice Brown frequently teaches trial advocacy and deposition skills at continuing legal education seminars. She is a  National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) faculty member and a member of the Scribes American Society of Legal Writers.  Justice Brown is a member of the Dallas Bar Association, the Dallas Bar Foundation, and the Dallas Women Lawyers Association.  She is also a member of the Collin County Bar Association, the Collin County Women Lawyers Association,  the JL Turner Legal Association, the National Bar Association and the American Bar Association.


Justice Brown is a Master of the Bench in the William “Mac” Taylor American Inn of Court. She is also a member of the Junior League of Dallas and of Mensa.


Justice Brown speaks French and Spanish and enjoys reading and writing about legal issues. Justice Brown is a graduate of Spelman College and Emory University School of Law. She is one of two African-American appellate jurists in the State of Texas.