First woman appointed to 9th court

Leanne Johnson (right) is sworn in by Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht

In November 2013, Leanne Johnson became the first woman to be appointed to Texas’ 9th Court of Appeals.

A few months later, on Jan. 17, 2014, in front of friends and family, Johnson was sworn in to the interim position, which will end with the March 4 primary.

In the Republican Primary, Johnson will then face Judge Earl B. Stover III of Hardin County. 

Johnson was sworn in at the Jefferson County Courthouse by Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht of the Texas Supreme Court, who traveled to Beaumont for the occasion.

Hecht, the Texas Supreme Court’s senior justice, was first elected to the court in 1988 and has since won re-election four times. 

Johnson’s legal carrer has groomed her for her current position.

After graduating from Southern Arkansas University magna cum laude in 1983, Johnson attended and graduated from law school at the University of Arkansas in 1986 and was soon working as a federal law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Nauman Scott.

Johnson spent much of the next 27 years as a defense attorney advising businesses and individuals in jury trials and appellate courts.

According to her website, Johnson is licensed to practice law in all state courts in Texas and Arkansas, the U.S. 5th Court of Appeals, the U.S. District courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of Texas, and is certified as a personal injury trial lawyer.

Johnson has also been active in the Southeast Texas community, serving as a board member of the local Boy Scouts of America Three Rivers Council, the YMCA and the Jefferson County Bar Association.