Cathy Cochran, known as Cathleen Cochran Herasimchuk before she shortened her name, was appointed to the Court of Criminal Appeals in 2001.
A frequent lecturer for the State Bar, the Texas District & County Attorney's Association and the University of Houston, Cochran is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is also an active member of the Administration of the Rules of Evidence Committee of the State Bar and the State Bar College.
Cochran served in the Policy Office of Governor George W. Bush as Director of Criminal Justice, advising the Governor on criminal justice issues and appointments. She formed a Governor's Ad Hoc Advisory Committee to Revise Code of Criminal Procedure and oversaw a total rewrite of the Code.
Prior her appointment to the bench, Cochran was of counsel to Rusty Hardin & Associates of Houston, where she defended the criminally accused and practiced general civil litigation and appellate law. As an Assistant District Attorney in Harris and Fort Bend counties, she tried 45 felony and misdemeanor cases and authored over 200 felony appellate briefs, As an Adjunct Professor in Evidence, Criminal Law, and Criminal Procedure at the University of Houston Law Center, she was three times voted "Professor of the Year," once by the Student Bar Association and twice by the Order of the Barons.
A prolific author of law review articles and major papers for CLE symposia, Cochran was also general editor of the 2nd edition of the Texas Rules of Evidence Handbook (1993) and author and editor of 3rd edition (1998).
A Texan by choice since 1976, she earned a B. A. in English with distinction in 1966 from Stanford University. In 1984, she earned a J.D. summa cum laude at the University of Houston Law Center where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Houston Law Review. Cochran was also elected to the Order of the Coif and the Order of the Barons and was awarded the Distinguished Service Award.
She and her husband of 35 years live in Austin.
Her current term runs through 2008.