Centennial Celebration of the
8th Court of Appeals
Justice Ann McClure, Event Planner
The 8th Court of Appeals was born on June 14, 1911. The first chief Justice was W.M. Peticolas, whose descendants include generations of attorneys and El Paso residents. The Centennial Court -- Chief Justice David Wellington Chew, Justice Ann McClure and Justice Guadalupe Rivera -- hosted the Centennial Celebration in June 2011 with a gala soiree and a dedication ceremony of the centennial portrait and chronology. In 100 years, only 33 jurists and 14 chief justices have served the court, the 33rd justice and the 14th chief justice having been appointed four months after the centennial celebration. To this day, eleven justices, a third of the court, are still living.
Justice Albert Armendariz, Sr. was the first Hispanic appointed to the court. Justice Susan Larsen was the first woman appointed and subsequently elected to the court. Chief Justice Richard Barajas was the first Hispanic elected to the court and the first Hispanic chief justice. Chief Justice David Wellington Chew was the first Asian justice and chief justice. Justice Guadalupe Rivera was the first Hispanic woman elected to the court and Ann McClure is the first female chief justice.
The court hears appeals from all civil and criminal cases except those in which the death penalty is imposed. Its jurisdiction includes the seventeen counties of far west Texas, including Andrews, Brewster, Crane, Crockett, Culberson, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Loving, Pecos, Presidio, Reagan, Reeves, Terrell, Upton, Ward, and Winkler.