Court of Criminal Appeals

Passing of Judge Michael J. McCormick 

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The Honorable Michael J. McCormick

October 17, 1945 – July 23, 2023

Photo of the Honorable Michael J. McCormick

The Honorable Michael J. McCormick, former Presiding Judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, and a longtime resident of Lockhart, Texas, passed away on July 23, 2023, at his home in Canyon Lake, at the age of 77. Born in Fort Lewis, Washington, he was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many. He spent his professional life devoted to public service from the bar and the bench. A celebration of life, followed by a reception, is scheduled for Friday, August 11, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at Willow Ridge Event Center outside of New Braunfels.

Michael is the second child of four of Dr. T.C. and Geraldine McCormick, Jr. of Buda, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1967 and St. Mary’s University School of Law with a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1970, while also serving in the Texas Army National Guard from 1966 to 1972. He began his prominent legal career as a Briefing Attorney for the Honorable Leon Douglas at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest criminal court in Texas. After serving as Assistant District Attorney for Travis County, Texas, he began working for the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, rising to the position of Executive Director. His passion for criminal justice prompted him to seek election to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, where he was elected as Judge in 1980. His impressive leadership won him election as Presiding Judge in 1988, where he served in this role until his retirement in 2000. During his professional career, Michael’s numerous accolades include appointments to the Judicial Advisory Council, Community Justice Assistance Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and an Advisory Member to the Texas District and County Attorneys Foundation.

He also served as a Director of the State Bar of Texas, a frequent lecturer at legal and law enforcement seminars, a member of the drafting committee of the 1973 Texas Penal Code, drafter of the Texas Controlled Substances Act and an instructor at the National College of District Attorneys. Additionally, he authored Branch’s Annotated Penal Code, the Texas Justice Court Deskbook, the Texas Constables Civil Process Manual and co-authored Texas Practice Criminal Forms and Trial Manual, the pre-eminent form book for Texas criminal practioners. He is a recipient of the Rosewood Gavel Outstanding Jurist Award (1984), the Distinguished Law Graduate of St. Mary’s University (1992) and the State Bar of Texas Presidential Citations (1999 and 2000).

He is preceded in death by his father, Dr. T.C. McCormick, Jr., and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, David C. “Pete” and Nelle D. Kelley. He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Kathleen Kelley McCormick of Canyon Lake, son and daughter-in-law, Patrick Kelley and Elizabeth Ann McCormick of Harlingen, daughter and son-in-law Karen Michelle and Jayson Travis Dilworth of Canyon Lake, his granddaughters Grace Elizabeth McCormick and Catherine Nelle McCormick of Harlingen, and his mother, Geraldine McCormick of Buda.

A private interment will occur at the Texas State Cemetery.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Texas District & County Attorneys Foundation.

Arrangements with Weed-Corley-Fish, South Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas.