(Editor's note: This article has been updated throughout.)
The judge’s seat in the 59th state district court could soon be filled with someone new. After more than 20 years, Rayburn Nall Jr., has told county leaders he plans to retire in October.
Nall is one of the county’s three district court judges. He first took the bench in 1997 and his current term ends in 2020. A new judge for the court will be appointed by the governor and must be approved by the Texas Senate.
Attempts to reach Nall for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful.
In addition to hearing some of the county’s most notable criminal cases, Nall has changed the way drug and alcohol offenses are treated in the county.
In a previously published article, Nall said he was seeing the same faces over and over again in his courtroom and thought something needed to be done differently.
He was working toward his master's degree in judicial studies in 2004 when he learned of the innovative work specialty courts were doing nationally.
By 2005, Nall was confident a Drug Court was a feasible and effective way to deal with the criminal justice system’s revolving door for substance abusers and helped establish the first drug court in Grayson County. Nall’s leadership helped the Grayson County STAR Recovery Court to have a very successful first year. That was 12 years ago, and now the GC STAR Recovery Court is one of the most successful and respected courts in the state of Texas.
Nall has served as president of the Texas Association of Drug Court Professionals/Texas Association of Specialty Courts, and is a mentor throughout the state. He received the John C. Creuzot award on April 10 at the 2017 Texas Association of Specialty Courts Conference in Bastrop, Texas.
Nall graduated from South Texas College of Law in 1974.