TMSL Alumni > A Legacy of Excellence
Chief Justice Rogelio Valdez was elected Chief Justice of the
Thirteenth Court of Appeals on November 7, 2000, and re-elected to a
second term in 2006. He is the first person of Hispanic descent to serve
as the Thirteenth Court’s Chief Justice.
Chief Justice Valdez’s judicial service began in 1983 when he was
elected to County Court at Law Number One in Cameron County. In 1987, he
was elected to the 357th District Court of Cameron and Willacy Counties.
In 1991, while still serving as District Court Judge, Chief Justice
Valdez began to serve as Local Administrative Judge of the District
Courts for Cameron and Willacy Counties. He held both positions until
joining this Court.
Chief Justice Valdez earned his B.A. at Texas A&I University in 1976,
and received his Juris Doctor from Texas Southern University in 1979.
Prior to his judicial career, Chief Justice Valdez practiced law as a
solo practitioner. He also served as an assistant district attorney with
the District Attorney’s Office of Cameron County.
Chief Justice Valdez is a former Chairman of the State Council of
Chief Judges. He is a former Board Member of the Texas Center for the
Judiciary and serves on the Advisory Committee for the Lower Rio Grande
Valley Development Council. He is a member of the Cameron County Bar
Association, the State Bar of Texas, the Mexican-American Bar
Association, the American Bar Association, and the Texas Judges
Association. Chief Justice Valdez is also a former Board Member of the
Reynaldo Garza School of Law, past Chairman of the Cameron County Bail
Bond Board, and a former member of the Texas Lion’s Club, Texas Jaycees,
and Texas Knights of Columbus.
His many honors and awards include being elected as one of the
youngest judges of county courts-at-law in the State of Texas, Hispanic
of the Year (Image of Brownsville), Outstanding Citizen (Harlingen
Jaycees), President of the Student Body at Texas A&I University,
Exemplary Former Migrant Student (Texas Education Agency), and Pro Bono
Honoree (Cameron County Pro Bono Project).
Chief Justice Valdez was born in Raymondville, Texas on December 20,
1951. He and his wife, Adelita Martinez Valdez, are the proud parents of
five children—Elena, Vanessa, Annalisa, Rogelio, Jr., and Rafael.
Chief Justice Valdez’s term ends December 31, 2012.
ALUMNI Legacy of Excellence Archives