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Franklin Scott Spears (1931-1996)

Associate Justice, Texas Supreme Court, 1979-1990

Born in San Antonio on August 20, 1931, Franklin Scott Spears was a member of a prominent family of attorneys, legislators, and judges. His father, J. Franklin Spears, served as both a Texas state representative and state senator. Spears attended Southern Methodist University, but received his undergraduate and law degrees from The University of Texas at Austin, where he was student government president in 1953. He was admitted to the Texas bar in 1954.

Following military service in the U.S. Army, Spears practiced law in San Antonio. He was a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1958 to 1961, and a Texas senator from 1961 to 1967. From 1968 to 1978 he was judge of the Fifty-Seventh Judicial District in Bexar County. Spears was married and had three sons; one is a judge in San Antonio, another is an Austin attorney.

Spears was elected to the Texas Supreme Court in 1978 and reelected in 1984. While on the court he was chair of the state bar appellate judges section, and served as liaison to the state bar and the board of examiners.

Following his retirement from the court in December 1990, Spears served as counsel to the San Antonio law firm of Branton & Hall. He died April 10, 1996 at the age of sixty-four.


F.S. Spears, 59(8) Texas Bar Journal 819 (1995).

Family Tradition. Carlton Spears for Judge, 150th District Court (accessed January 3, 2007).

Memorial Service: Honorable Franklin S. Spears, Supreme Court of Texas, January 22, 1997.
952 S.W.2d XXXVII-XLV (1997).

Extended bibliography

Additional information available in Texas Bar Journal as follow:
Volume 42, page 219

McCrory, James. Spears Step Nearer Supreme Court Race, San Antonio Express, Jan. 7, 1978.

McCrory, James. Spears Seeks Seat on State High Court, San Antonio Express, Jan. 13, 1978.

Spears: High Court, San Antonio Light, Mar. 12, 1978.

Judge Franklin Spears Clearly Best Choice for Supreme Court, San Antonio Express, Mar. 18, 1978.

McCrory, James. Franklin Spears Looks Forward to '79, San Antonio Express, Dec. 10, 1978.

Spears Dons Robes of Texas Supreme Court, San Antonio Express, Jan. 3, 1979.

Welch, Andy. Spears Takes Office, San Antonio Light, Jan. 3, 1979.

Slayman, E. J. New Challenges Ahead for Spears, San Antonio Light, Jan. 4, 1979.