Fifth Court of Appeals

Justice Ken Molberg 
Photo of Justice Ken Molberg

Place 12

Justice Ken Molberg was elected to the Fifth District Court of Appeals on November 6, 2018. For the previous 10 years, he was the Judge of the 95th Judicial District Court of the State of Texas. For four of those years he served as the Local Administrative District Judge of Dallas County with responsibilities for the county’s 39 district courts. He was previously the Presiding Judge of the Civil District Courts of the county for three terms. 

Before taking the district bench in January 2009, Justice Molberg, a graduate of SMU School of Law, was a trial lawyer for more than 33 years. He was named “Jurist of the Year” for 2017 by TEX-ABOTA, the statewide parent organization for the Texas chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates. In 2011, he received the “Trial Judge of the Year” award from the Dallas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates and he was named to the Dallas Bar Association Board of Directors for 2012, by appointment of the Association’s president. He is also the 2016 recipient of the Charles J. Murray Outstanding Jurist Award, presented annually by the Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association. 

Justice Molberg is a former member of the State Bar’s Pattern Jury Charge Committee, where he co-chaired the subcommittee on Labor and Employment Law; a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates; a former long-time member of the U.S. Fifth Circuit District Judges Association Advisory Committee on Pattern Jury Charges for Labor and Employment Law; a founder and past- president of the Texas Employment Lawyers Association; a former longstanding member of the Dallas Trial Lawyers Association; a past director and director emeritus of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association; a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation; a Life Senior Fellow of the Dallas Bar Foundation; and a former member of the Dallas County Juvenile Board and the Dallas County IT Executive Governance Committee. 

While in practice, Justice Molberg handled and tried hundreds of civil matters in state and federal court (e.g., personal injury, products liability, civil rights, contract claims, election law, voting rights), with a special concentration in the area of Labor and Employment Law. He also had substantial state and federal appellate experience. 

During his time on the bench, Justice Molberg has been a frequent speaker at numerous continuing legal education programs sponsored by the State Bar of Texas and other entities, including the University of Texas School of Law. His participation has related primarily to the area of trial practice. He is an active sponsor, participant and promoter of various mock trial programs at the high school, college, law school and young lawyer levels. 

Born in Houston, Texas, Justice Molberg was raised in the Texas Hill Country town of Fredericksburg. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree, with high honors, from the University of North Texas in 1973, where he served as an editor-in-chief of the North Texas Daily. Justice Molberg received his J.D. degree from Southern Methodist University in 1976. While attending SMU, he served a term as Managing Editor of what is now the SMU Law Review and was a member of The Barristers. 

Justice Molberg began the active practice of trial law in 1975–the year before his graduation from law school. He obtained his law license in May 1976 and spent the first five years of his legal career with the Law Offices of James C. Barber. In 1981, he became a founder of and shareholder in the law firm of Wilson, Williams & Molberg, P.C. The principals of the firm, other than Justice Molberg, included noted trial lawyers John B. Wilson and Roger G. Williams, both now deceased. The firm dissolved some 28 years later following Justice Molberg’s election to the district bench in 2008.