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2021 Award Recipient
Michael E. Keasler, a fifth generation Texan, was a judge for Place 6 of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. He assumed office on January 1, 1999. He left office on December 31, 2020. He received his undergraduate (1964) and law degree (1967) from the University of Texas at Austin. After two years in private practice, he joined the Dallas County District Attorney's Office, where he served for twelve years, tried over four hundred jury trials, and was a senior felony chief prosecutor in the Career Criminal Division. In 1981, he was appointed judge of the 292nd District Court in Dallas by Governor Clements, was reelected four times, and served there for over seventeen years.

Judge Keasler has served as Chair of the State Bar Judicial Section, the Texas Center for the Judiciary's Board of Directors, the ABA State Trial Judges' Ethics Committee, the Dallas County Criminal District Judges, the Dallas County Juvenile Board, and the Dallas Bar Association Criminal Law Section. He also served as Presiding Local Administrative Judge and as Dean of the Texas College of Advanced Judicial Studies.

Judge Keasler has taught at The National Judicial College since 1992, served on the Faculty Council there, and was the April 2002 Robert H. Jackson Lecturer at its General Jurisdiction Course. He is a member of The American Law Institute and the ABA Appellate Judges Conference. He is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He teaches judicial ethics, constitutional criminal law, standards of appellate review, and statutory construction to judges nationally.

Judge Keasler has been married to the former Nancy Lawson, a recently retired classroom teacher, for fifty years. They reside in Austin with their daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren.

Texas Judicial Section
State Bar of Texas
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