Supreme Court

Justice J. Brett Busby 
Photo of Justice J. Brett Busby

Place 8

Brett Busby was appointed to the Court by Governor Greg Abbott in February 2019 and confirmed by the Texas Senate in March 2019. He served as a Justice on the Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Houston from 2012 to 2018. Justice Busby specialized in appellate litigation before taking the bench, and his fellow Texas appellate lawyers recently elected him to serve as Chair of the State Bar of Texas Appellate Section. He is also a former adjunct professor at the University of Texas Law School, where he taught the U.S. Supreme Court Litigation Clinic.

Justice Busby served as a law clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court, and he later argued one case and briefed many others in that Court. He also handled dozens of appeals in the Supreme Court of Texas and the federal and Texas appellate courts while in private practice. He is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

In 2012, Super Lawyers Magazine named Justice Busby one of the top 100 lawyers in Texas, and Chambers and Partners recognized him as a leading Texas appellate lawyer. Justice Busby has also been recognized for his judicial service, receiving the Judge of the Year Award from the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston and the Outstanding Mentor Award from the Houston Young Lawyers Association. Attorneys consistently rate Justice Busby highly in judicial evaluation polls. 

Justice Busby is a seventh-generation Texan and third-generation Eagle Scout who grew up in Amarillo and Austin. He graduated with high honors from Duke University and Columbia Law School. Before entering practice in Houston, Justice Busby served as a law clerk to Justices Byron R. White (Ret.) and John Paul Stevens, U.S. Supreme Court, and to Judge Gerald Bard Tjoflat, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit.

Justice Busby is dedicated to improving the justice system and the legal profession. In addition to his work as Chair of the State Bar Appellate section, he has chaired the Texas Access to Justice Commission’s Rules and Legislation Committee and served on the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee, which recommends changes to state rules. He has also served as Chair of the State Bar Committee on Pattern Jury Charges (Business, Consumer, Insurance, and Employment Volume), Co-Chair of the Houston Bar Association’s Teach Texas Committee, and a Director of the Texas Young Lawyers Association. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a frequent author and speaker at continuing legal education conferences.

Justice Busby is also active in his community. A life-long violinist, he is a member of the Houston Symphony Board, where he chairs the Artistic Affairs Committee and previously chaired the Music Director Selection Committee. He also plays in the first violin section of the Houston Civic Symphony. Justice Busby is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum and has served on the boards of the Post Oak School and the Foundation for Jones Hall.

Justice Busby and his wife, Erin, met while clerking at the U.S. Supreme Court. They have two children.