Ninth Court of Appeals
Justice Horton grew up in a small farming community in Northwest Texas on land that was part of the XIT ranch. His family, at various times, owned farms, ranches, a hardware store, a farm implement company, a drilling company, a pump company, and a bank. Hollis worked in many of these businesses while growing up: his work experience has varied from driving a tractor to working as a machinist, a roustabout, a hand on a pump truck crew, and as a cattle hand.
After graduating from high school, Justice Horton attended and then graduated from Duke University, where he majored in Economics and History. After attending law school at The University of Texas Law School, he worked as a trial attorney in the Beaumont office of Orgain, Bell & Tucker. Hollis received certifications in personal injury trial law and in civil trial law in 1986, after six years of practice; he was re-certified in those specialties in 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011. Judge Horton's law practice involved trial and appellate matters for the firm's clients: his representative clients included product manufacturers, energy companies, insurance companies, utility companies, chemical companies, and banks. Between 1981 and 2004, Hollis participated in trials resulting in jury verdicts from the Sabine River to the Rio Grande.
In 2004, Governor Rick Perry appointed Horton to the 9th Court of Appeals. The Texas Senate unanimously confirmed Horton's appointment. The voters later elected him to his current office on the 9th Court of Appeals in 2006 and in 2012.