Justice Dale Wainwright was elected to the Supreme Court of Texas on November 5, 2002, after serving as presiding judge of the 334th Civil District Court in Harris County.
Justice Wainwright was appointed to the civil district court in 1999 by then-Gov. George W. Bush. The Houston bar gave Judge Wainwright a 90 percent approval rating in the judicial evaluation poll, with almost two-thirds of that rating being "outstanding." He resolved over 3,000 cases and reduced his docket by approximately 20 percent. He was responsible for supervising the ancillary docket and scheduling trials of mass tort cases for the 25 civil district courts in Harris County. In 2001, Gov. Rick Perry appointed Wainwright to a temporary commission as justice on the Supreme Court. Wainwright is a member of the American Law Institute.
Before his appointment to the bench, Justice Wainwright practiced in the trial sections of the firms of Haynes and Boone and Andrews & Kurth in Houston. He earned his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, studied at the London School of Economics and earned his undergraduate degree from Howard University, summa cum laude, and serves on the Visiting Committees of the University of Chicago Law School and South Texas College of Law. He was valedictorian of his high school graduating class.
Justice Wainwright has a long history of public service, having co-founded the Aspiring Youth Program, a national program to assist inner-city youth; served on the board of directors of the Houston Bar Association, the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program and the Texas Young Lawyers Association; and served as president of the Houston Young Lawyers Association. He received the Legal Excellence Award in 2000 from the NAACP and was recognized for outstanding legal service by the Houston Lawyers Association. In 1995, Chief Justice Tom Phillips appointed him to a task force of the Texas Commission on Judicial Efficiency. He has also volunteered at the YMCA and coached Little League baseball.
He and his wife, Debbie, have three sons - Jeremy, Phillip and Joshua - and are members of the Second Baptist Church.
His term ends at the end of 2008.