Justice Jeff Boyd joined the Texas Supreme Court on December 3, 2012, after being appointed by Governor Rick Perry to fill the remainder of Justice Dale Wainwright’s unexpired term. Justice Boyd was elected to his first full term on the Court in 2014.
Justice Boyd is a judicial conservative who understands that a judge’s role in our constitutional system is to interpret and apply the law and not to create it or make policy decisions that belong to the Legislature. He is committed to faithfully upholding our state and federal Constitutions and the laws.
Jeff was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, and raised in a U.S. Air Force family that traveled extensively and lived in a wide variety of locations before finally settling in Round Rock, Texas. In 1979, Jeff graduated from Round Rock High School and headed to Abilene Christian University where he received a degree in Biblical Studies. After graduating from Abilene Christian, Justice Boyd served for five years as a minister with the Brentwood Oaks Church of Christ in Austin before heading to Pepperdine University School of Law as an academic scholarship recipient. While at Pepperdine, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Pepperdine Law Review, was the winner of the School’s Fall Individual Advocacy Tournament, and received numerous American Jurisprudence Awards, the American Board of Trial Advocates Award, and the United States Supreme Court Historical Society Writing Award. He graduated summa cum laude as Salutatorian of his class in 1991.
After obtaining his law degree, Jeff completed a one-year judicial clerkship for the Honorable Thomas M. Reavley, Judge of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He then joined the Austin office of Thompson & Knight as a first-year associate in 1992. Over the next eight years, his practice focused primarily on civil litigation, defending against product liability, professional liability, personal injury, and business tort claims. During this time, he tried several cases to jury verdicts, argued several appeals, and resolved numerous cases through summary judgments and settlements. Jeff was elected as a partner at Thompson & Knight upon his first year of eligibility in 1998.
Deputy Attorney General
In 2000, former Attorney General (now United States Senator) John Cornyn appointed Jeff as Texas’ Deputy Attorney General for Civil Litigation. In that position, Jeff oversaw all civil litigation involving the State of Texas, its agencies, officers, and employees, and managed the agency’s ten litigation divisions and Solicitor General’s office, with over 500 employees (including more than 300 attorneys) and a $34 million annual budget. As Deputy Attorney General, Jeff represented the State as lead trial and appellate counsel in several significant cases, including constitutional challenges to the State’s school finance (“Robin Hood”) system; the Enron bankruptcy; the State’s suit against Farmers Insurance over homeowners’ insurance practices; various challenges to Attorney General opinions and decisions, and constitutional challenges to the State’s denial of Medicaid funding for abortions and of “religious” tax exemptions to non-theistic organizations.
In December 2002, when General Cornyn became Senator Cornyn and Greg Abbott became Attorney General, Jeff agreed to remain with the AG’s office through the transition, which included the 2003 Legislative Session and the resolution of several significant cases. In August 2003, he completed his commitment to the State and returned to the Austin office of Thompson & Knight as a Senior Partner.
Office of the Governor
In January 2011, Jeff returned to public service when Governor Rick Perry named him General Counsel for the Governor’s office. During the 2011 legislative session, Jeff represented the Governor in negotiations with the legislature over several bills, including the tort reform (“loser pay”) bill and a bill to reform claims procedures against the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. In August 2011, Governor Perry named Jeff as Chief of Staff, making him responsible for all operations of the Governor’s office. Jeff held this position until he joined the Texas Supreme Court.
Public Service & Family
Jeff has long been involved in leadership roles with Austin-area charitable organizations, beginning with his service on the Board of Directors of Brentwood Christian School from 1994-2000. In 2001, he joined the Board of Directors of Goodwill Industries of Central Texas and went on to serve Goodwill for ten years, including three consecutive terms as Board Chair from 2007-2010, becoming the longest-serving Board Chair in Austin Goodwill’s 50-year history. Jeff has also served as President of the Board of Directors of Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, President of the Robert W. Calvert American Inn of Court, and on the Board of Directors of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. He was a co-founder of the Barbara Jordan American Inn of Court and continues to serve as its Counselor.
Jeff is a member of the State Bar of Texas and its Litigation and Administrative Law Sections. He has been admitted to practice before all Texas State courts, as well as the United States Courts of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; and the United States District Courts of the Western, Eastern, Southern, and Northern Districts of Texas.
Jeff met his wife Jackie at Abilene Christian, and they married in February 1986. Their twin daughters, Hanna and Abbie, both graduated from Brentwood Christian School and Abilene Christian University. Their son Carter, who also graduated from Brentwood Christian, obtained his degree from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. Jeff and Jackie still attend the Brentwood Oaks Church in Austin, where Jackie has served as Children’s Minister since 2005.