First Court of Appeals
In 2018, Justice Hightower was honored to be elected to the Texas First Court of Appeals. He received his bachelor’s degree in English from Baylor University in 1978 and, following in the footsteps of his father and great-grandfather, he received his law degree from Baylor Law School in 1980. While in law school, he served as a Notes and Comments Editor on the Baylor Law Review.
Justice Hightower began his legal career in Longview, Texas as an associate and then as a partner in the law firm of Sharp, Ward, Price, and Hightower. There, he was co-counsel in one case argued before the United States Supreme Court. In 1986, he relocated to Houston as a trial partner in the state-wide firm eventually known as Brown McCarroll & Oaks Hartline. In 2000, Justice Hightower opened his own law firm, Richard F. Hightower P.C., focusing on the interests of public-school districts and other educational entities and serving as a certified mediator in hundreds of legal disputes.
Justice Hightower has argued in both state and federal appellate courts. He is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell and has been recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer. He is a Life Fellow of the Houston Bar Association, a Fellow in the Texas Bar Foundation, and, prior to taking the bench, was an active member of the Texas Council of School Attorneys.
When not at the courthouse, Justice Hightower can often be spotted at Houston and Baylor sporting events. He has one adult son, and one American Staffordshire Terrier rescued from Hurricane Harvey.