Fourteenth Court of Appeals

Chief Justice Kem Thompson Frost 
Photo of Chief Justice Kem Thompson Frost

Place 1

Appointed to the Fourteenth Court of Appeals in early 1999 by then-Governor George W. Bush and elevated to Chief Justice in 2013 by then-Governor Rick Perry, Kem Frost is the longest serving justice on the Houston courts of appeals. Before taking the bench, she enjoyed a 15-year civil trial and appellate practice, with an emphasis on business litigation.

Prior Professional Experience

  • Winstead Sechrest & MINICK, P.C., Houston, Texas
    • Shareholder, 1987 –1999 (shareholder effective 1991)
  • Liddell, Sapp, Zivley, Hill & LaBoon (now Locke Lord, L.L.P.), Houston, Texas
    • Associate, 1983 –1987


  • Duke University School of Law
    • Master of Laws in Judicial Studies (2014)
  • Texas Tech University School of Law
    • Juris Doctor (1983)
  • The University of Texas at Austin
    • Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business (1980)
    • Bachelor of Arts in Government (1980)

Professional Achievements & Recognition

  • Outstanding Texas Leader Award and inducted into the Texas Leadership Hall of Fame by The John Ben Shepperd Leadership Institute, The University of Texas Permian Basin (2019)
  • Honoree, Legal Historians in Texas Federal and State Judiciaries, The University of Houston Law Center/American Society for Legal History-Houston (2018)
  • Mission Ally Honoree, Houston Lawyers Association (2016)
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Texas Tech University School of Law (2015)
  • Merrill Hartman Pro Bono Judge Award, State Bar of Texas (2014)
  • Modern Trailblazer Award and Premier Women in Law Honoree, Association of Women Attorneys (2014)
  • President’s Awards for Outstanding Service, Houston Bar Association (2010, 2011)
  • Appellate Judge of the Year, Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists (2010)
  • Judge of the Year, Peace Officers Looking Into Courthouse Excellence (P.O.L.I.C.E., Inc.) (2007)
  • Presidential Commendation for “Individual Leadership in Improving Justice in Texas,” State Bar of Texas (2007)
  • Recognized for “Outstanding Service Given to Our School and Community” by Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University (2003)
  • Featured in “Local Heroes,” The Houston Lawyer Magazine (May/June 2010)
  • Featured in “A Profile in Professionalism,” The Houston Lawyer Magazine (Sept./Oct. 2010)
  • Certified in Appellate Jurisprudence by the Texas College for Judicial Studies (2007; 2012)

Current Leadership Positions Within the Legal Profession

  • Board of Trustees, Texas Tech Law School Foundation
  • Board Member, Garland R. Walker Inn of the American Inns of Court
  • Board of Trustees, Scribes-The American Society of Legal Writers
  • Past Chair, Board of Trustees, Texas Center for Legal Ethics

Judicial Leadership

Current Service

  • Council of Chief Judges of State Courts of Appeals -- Member, Executive Committee; Chair, Education Committee
  • Council of Chief Justices of Texas Courts of Appeal

Past Service

  • Supreme Court of Texas Advisory Committee
  • Supreme Court of Texas Task Force on the Code of Judicial Conduct
  • Distinguished Faculty, Texas Center for the Judiciary
  • Chair, Educational Programs, 27th Annual Conference of the National Association of Women Judges

Membership in Professional Organizations

  • Elected Member, The American Law Institute
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, Houston Bar Foundation
  • Life Fellow, Houston Young Lawyers Foundation
  • Sustaining Member, Texas Bar College
  • Scribes, The American Society of Legal Writers
  • American Inns of Court- Garland R. Walker Inn
  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas (various sections)
  • Houston Bar Association (various sections and committees)
  • Association of Women Attorneys
  • Christian Legal Society
  • American Judges Association

Participation in Law-Related Activities

  • Texas Roundtable on the Well-Being of the Legal Profession
  • Presenter for Continuing Legal and Judicial Education Programs
  • Speaker for Schools and Community Groups
  • Guest Lecturer for Law School Classes
  • Judge for Law Student Advocacy Competitions
  • Author of Articles for Law Reviews and Other Legal Publications
  • Chair, “A Special Day at the Courthouse” (civic-education program for special-education students)

Admission to Bar and Courts

Admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1983; while in private practice received the highest possible peer-review rating for professional excellence, skill, and integrity and was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas. 


  • Native Houstonian and sixth-generation Texan
  • Married since 1988; mother of four sons