Ruby Kless Sondock

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Justice Ruby Kless Sondock (born April 26, 1926 in Houston, Texas) was the first woman to serve on the Texas Supreme Court.

Sondock initially attended the University of Houston Law Center in order to become a legal secretary, but she was admitted to the state bar a year before her graduation as valedictorian of her class (1962).[1] Sondock was appointed to the Harris County Domestic Relations Court No. 5 in 1973 and to the 234th District Court in 1977. Justice Sondock was the first woman to be appointed as a State District Judge in Harris County, Texas.

Sondock was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court following the death of Associate Justice James G. Denton on June 10, 1982. Sondock served from June 25 to December 31 of that year, completing Denton's term. Sondock declined to seek election to the Supreme Court and instead ran successfully for reelection to her District Court seat the following year. Sondock was the court's first female justice, with the exception of a special all-woman court convened in 1925 to hear a single case.[1] Justice Sondock formed part of the majority of the Texas Supreme Court in the landmark case of Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S. A. v. Hall.

A distinguished legal mind, Justice Sondock has received a number of accolades, including an annual lecture series on legal ethics. Former speakers at the Sondock Lecture on Legal Ethics at the University of Houston Law Center include U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch and Helen Thomas. On November 11, 2015, the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas inducted Justice Sondock as a "Texas Legal Legend."[2]

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  1. ^ a b "Ruby Kless Sondock (b. 1926)". Justices of Texas 1836-1986. Tarlton Law Library, The University of Texas at Austin. October 16, 2009. Archived from the original on June 12, 2008. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
  2. ^ Center, The State of Texas and The University of Houston Law. "Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Ruby Kless Sondock, UHLC '62, to be inducted as "Texas Legal Legend"". Retrieved 2017-03-07.

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