Gov. Abbott appoints Perkes to fill appellate court vacancy

Governor Greg Abbott appointed a former 13th Court of Appeals justice to serve on the court again.

Abbott named Greg Perkes, of McAllen, to fill the Place 6 seat vacated by Dori Contreras, who vacated the position upon being elected chief justice of the 13th Court of Appeals in November.

“My desire is basically public service, and this fits right in my game plan, my life plan,” Perkes said, adding he is “excited” to return to the 13th Court of Appeals.

Perkes, a Republican, held the appellate court’s Place 3 seat from 2011 until 2016, when Justice Leticia Hinojosa, a Democrat, defeated him. He then returned to his private law practice based in Corpus.

Perkes, a graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law, will be the sole Republican and male to actively serve on the 13th Court of Appeals. Justice Rudy Delgado, elected November 2018, remains suspended from the appellate court due to a federal indictment.

“I’m there as a team player,” Perkes said. “I’m there to get the job done.”

Perkes worked as a briefing attorney for former 13th Court of Appeals Justice Norman Utter from 1987 until 1989.

Although he has spent a majority of his life working as an attorney, his first job was delivering The Monitor to homes in McAllen. After graduating high school, Perkes attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a Zoology degree in 1983 before attending law school.

As a justice, Perkes will hear oral arguments, write briefs and hand down legal opinions for the 20-county appeals court region encompassing Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy counties.

Perkes will serve until Dec. 31, 2020, once the Texas Senate confirms his appointment.