“He is universally respected by both the bench and bar,” wrote Judge James Rodney Gilstrap of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, when he nominated Davis. “His judicial service in the area of intellectual property has established him as one of the nation’s premier jurists in this important field.”
Davis comes from a rich and variegated background. Graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1970, he got his undergrad in mathematics, and worked for a while as a computer programmer and systems analyst; he likewise got his masters of Management Science from Texas Christian University in 1974. He studied at Baylor Law School, graduated cum laude and first in his class, after having won first place in the State Moot Court competition of 1976.
After his scholastic triumphs, he worked as a practicing civil trial attorney in East Texas for 23 years, and was ultimately appointed to the Twelfth Court of Appeals after being nominated by President George W. Bush.
He joins a troop of Baylor alums who have been named their Lawyer of the Year.
“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Chief Judge Davis for more than 35 years, both professionally and as a friend,” said Baylor Law School Dean Brad Toben. “He is a paradigm of what we all want to see on the bench in our courtrooms — a judge who is bright, discerning, hard-working, prepared, fair, courteous to all and decisive. And, of course, Judge Davis is a person of pristine character and integrity. He was nominated by an entire array of high profile and respected lawyers and judges . . . and the selection committee indeed chose well and wisely.”