Court of Criminal Appeals
Judge Michael E. Keasler earned his B.A. and L.L.B. degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. In 1969, he was appointed assistant district attorney for Dallas County, where he served for twelve years. He was a senior felony chief prosecutor in the Career Criminal Division and a veteran of over four hundred jury trials when in 1981 he was appointed judge of the 292nd District Court in Dallas. He served as judge of that trial court for over seventeen years. He was chosen by his colleagues to serve as Chair of the State Bar Judicial Section, Chair of the Texas Center for the Judiciary's Board of Directors, Chair of the Dallas County Juvenile Board, Chair of the Dallas County Criminal District Judges, and Presiding Local Administrative Judge. He also served as Chair of the ABA State Trial Judges' Ethics Committee. From 1990 to 1997, Judge Keasler served as dean of continuing judicial education in Texas and instituted the Texas College of Advanced Judicial Studies in 1993. He has been a faculty member at The National Judicial College since 1992, served on its faculty council, and was the April, 2002 Robert H. Jackson Lecturer at its General Jurisdiction Course. He is a member of The American Law Institute, the ABA Appellate Judges Conference. He is also a Fellow of the Texas and American Bar Foundations. He teaches judicial ethics, constitutional criminal law, statutory construction, and appellate standards of review nationally.
Judge Keasler has been married to the former Nancy Lawson of Austin since 1969. She is a classroom teacher at St. Andrew's Episcopal School. Their daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren also reside in Austin. Current term expires December 31, 2020.