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Richard Critz (1877-1959)

Associate Justice, Texas Supreme Court, 1935-1944

Richard Critz was born October 16, 1877 in Starkville, Mississippi, and moved with his parents to Central Texas when he was fourteen years old. His family settled in Williamson County, where Critz attended local schools before enrolling at Southwestern University in Georgetown. He studied law privately while teaching school in Georgetown, received his law license in 1902, and began practicing law in Granger that year. In 1906 he was married; the couple had four children.

Critz served as Granger city attorney from 1906 to 1910 and as Williamson County judge from 1910 to 1918. He practiced law in Taylor from 1918 to 1927, when Gov. Dan Moody appointed him to the commission of appeals of the Texas Supreme Court. He served in that position until 1935 when Gov. James Allred appointed him an associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court. Critz served on the court until 1944. His opinions on the state's high court helped establish a judicial pattern for regulating the oil industry, and he was influential in the development of the substantial-evidence rule.

Following his supreme court service, Critz returned to the commission of appeals for a year before retiring in 1945. At that time he returned to practicing law in Austin. Richard Critz died April 1, 1959 in Austin at the age of eighty-one. He was buried in Capital Memorial Gardens.


In Memoriam, 158 Texas reports 646 (1959).

Garwood, W. St. John. Critz, Richard, Handbook of Texas Online (last updated June 6, 2001).

Extended bibliography

Speer, Ocie. Texas Jurists 120 (Austin, Texas: the author, 1936).

Wharton, Clarence Ray. 5 Texas Under Many Flags 45 (Chicago, Illinois & New York, New York: The American Historical Society, 1930).

Additional information available in Southwestern Historical Quarterly as follow:
Volume 60, page 18, 20

Additional information available in Texas Bar Journal as follow:
Volume 3, page 12
Volume 22, page 545, 557

Death Takes Judge Critz, Dallas Morning News, Apr. 2, 1959.

In Memoriam, 158 Texas reports 646 (1959).