Editor's note: This article has been updated throughout.
State Rep. Larry Phillips recently announced he was ending his career in the state House of Representatives but Thursday signaled he is not done with public service. Phillips announced his intention to seek the bench which will be left open when Rim Nall retires from the 59th state District Court.
“I want to thank Judge Nall for his many years of dedicated service on the bench," Phillips said in a written statement. "His courtroom has been a place of fair and impartial justice, where decisions are made based on the facts and the law. If elected, I especially look forward to continuing Judge Nall’s nationally recognized drug court program, helping individuals and families confront drug addiction while at the same time maintaining public safety and the rule of law in our community.”
Phillips served eight terms in the Texas Legislature as the state representative for District 62. During this time, Phillips handled an extensive range of legislative matters, serving as chairman of the House Committee on Transportation, House Committee on Insurance, and the house Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety. Phillips has served on a number of select committees including the Select Interim Committee on Construction Industry-Related Workers’ Compensation Issues, the Joint Select Committee on the Operation and Management of the Texas Youth Commission and the Select Committee on Criminal Justice Legislative Oversight.
“The proper venue for creating laws is the Texas Legislature, not the bench,” Phillips said. “I understand this important distinction, firsthand, and will follow the law as written as well as ensure that justice is not thwarted by lawyer’s courtroom antics. Court’s should be operated to administer justice, decisions being based on the facts of each case, nothing more and nothing less."
He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baylor University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Houston School of Law. Phillips is a partner of the law firm of Siebman, Burg, Phillips & Smith LLP and has practiced law for 26 years. Phillips has previously served as a special prosecutor for juvenile cases for Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown. He also is a qualified Texas Mediator, a former president of the Eastern District of Texas Bar Association and holds the distinction of having the highest peer rating as AV-Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
Phillips has also served on the Grayson County Salvation Advisory Board, the True Options (Pro-Life) Pregnancy Center (formerly the Grayson County Crisis Pregnancy Center) and in leadership roles with the Texoma Valley District of the Boy Scouts of America.
Phillips has agreed to comply with the Texas Judicial Campaign Fairness Act. In addition, Phillips has committed to decline financial contributions from lawyers who practice in the 59th state District Court.