Justice John Donovan was elected to the Texas 14th Court of Appeals Place 8 in November 2012. He presides as Justice of the Texas 14th Court of Appeals Place 8 from January 1, 2013 to present. He was elected to the 113th Texas State District Court in November 2010 and presided as Judge of the 113th Texas State District Court from January 1, 2011 to January 1, 2013. He was elected to the 61st Texas State District Court in November 1996 and presided as judge of the 61st Texas State District Court from January 1, 1997 to 2008. From 2009 to 2010, Judge John Donovan served as Director of Judicial and Legal Issues for Harris County Judge Ed Emmett; resolving judicial and legal issues concerning the citizens of Harris County.
Donovan was Chairman of Special Dockets (mass torts) Committee, from 2002-2008, and Chairman of the Rules Committee for the Board of Civil Judges. Donovan was the presiding Judge of all silicone implant cases, totaling 4870 cases, in June 1999. He concluded the last silicone implant case July 16, 2004.
Donovan received his license from the State Bar of Texas in 1985 and practiced a wide range of litigation in Courts throughout Texas. He concentrated in civil litigation with the law firms of Urquhart and Hassell, Williams & Associates and Archer and Associates. He has represented both individuals and large corporations in Texas Courts.
Donovan graduated from South Texas College of Law cum laude in 1984 earning his J.D. degree. While at South Texas College of Law, he was Articles Editor for the South Texas Law Review and a member of the scholastic legal honor society, The Order of the Lytae. John is a graduate of Leadership Houston Class XXII.
Donovan has been a member of the College of State Bar of Texas since 1993. He is board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has been since 1992. John is also certified in civil Jurisprudence by the Texas College for Judicial Studies.
He was a member litigator with the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, Houston Subcommittee of the State Bar of Texas from 1989 to 1990. He was a member of the Criminal Justice Advisory panel, Houston-Galveston Area Council, 2009 to 2010. As well as a member of the American Leadership Forum Criminal Justice Class 1.
Donovan is a life fellow of the Houston Bar Foundation, Houston Young Lawyer’s Foundation and the Texas Bar Foundation. He has served on the Houston Bar Association Golf Tournament Committee from 1999 to 2008. He received the Judicial Award from the Houston Bar Association Golf Tournament Committee in 2000 and was chair of this committee in 2002. He was a member of the Houston Bar Association’s Continuing Legal Education Committee 1998 – 1999. He currently sits on the Historical Committee.
In 1998 and 2008, Donovan was awarded Judge of the Year by P.O.L.I.C.E., Inc. In 2000, he was awarded Judge of the Year by the Houston Police Officers Union, Local 2.
In addition to the numerous professional activities and awards Donovan is active in the community. He is a life member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and has served on the Barbeque Contest Committee since 1998. Donovan is a life member of the 100 Club and the Sentinel Club.
Donovan has served as lector at St. Vincent de Paul Church since 1992. He has coached or has been an assistant coach for over 20 teams involving youth soccer, baseball and basketball. He was an agent for the West University Little League Board of Directors in 1998 and 1999; and served as equipment coordinator for the league the same years. He is a Trustee for West University Elementary School Foundation and has actively volunteered in Houston Public schools since 1997