Cornyn, Cruz Praise Committee Approval of U.S. District Court Nominees for Texas

In: All News   Posted 02/07/2019

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) today released the following statements after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nominations of J. Campbell Barker and Michael Truncale to fill a vacancies on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas,  Matthew Kacsmaryk to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, and David Morales to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas:

“These four nominees all share distinguished records of service and legal work, and I am confident they will serve Texans well on the bench,”  said Sen. Cornyn.  “I’m grateful my colleagues on the Committee support these highly qualified nominees, and I look forward to confirming them to their posts so they can get to work on behalf of Texans soon.”

“I am glad that the Senate Judiciary Committee has favorably reported out four more nominees for the federal bench in Texas,” Sen. Cruz said. “Texans will be well served by these nominees’ commitment to the rule of law, and I urge their swift confirmation by the full Senate.”

The Senators recommended these nominees to President Trump following an extensive review and interview process of the candidate pool by the bipartisan Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee (FJEC).  Sen. Cornyn and Sen. Cruz established the FJEC, a bipartisan panel of leading attorneys in Texas, to help identify the most qualified candidates to fill judicial vacancies. The panel reviewed applications, interviewed candidates, and made recommendations to the Senators, who interviewed individuals before making their recommendations to the President.

Cam Barker serves as Deputy Solicitor General in the Texas Attorney General’s Office.  In that role, he argues appeals on behalf of the State of Texas in State and Federal courts, and he litigates and advises on other cases and matters of significance to Texas.  He previously was a partner at Texas litigation boutique Yetter Coleman LLP, where he practiced commercial and intellectual property law.  Before entering private practice, Mr. Barker served for four years in the criminal division of the United States Department of Justice, where he also served on detail to the Eastern District of Virginia as a Special Assistant United States Attorney.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Barker served as a law clerk to Judge William C. Bryson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and to Judge John M. Walker, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  Mr. Barker earned his B.S., summa cum laude, from Texas A&M University and his J.D., with highest honors, from the University of Texas School of Law.

Matthew Kacsmaryk is Deputy General Counsel to First Liberty Institute, where his practice focuses on religious liberty litigation in federal courts and amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court. From 2008 through 2013, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Texas, where he was lead counsel in over 75 criminal appeals and co-counsel in high-profile criminal and terrorism trials. In 2013, Mr. Kacsmaryk received the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security for his work in United States v. Aldawsari. From 2003 to 2008, he was an associate in the Dallas office of Baker Botts LLP, where he focused on commercial, constitutional, and intellectual property litigation. In 2005, he received the firm’s Opus Justitiae Award for Outstanding Commitment to Pro Bono Work. He earned his J.D. with honors from the University of Texas School of Law in 2003 and his B.A., summa cum laude, from Abilene Christian University in 1999.

David Morales currently is a partner at Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP, where his practice focuses on complex litigation, administrative law, as well as public and higher education law. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Morales served as Deputy General Counsel to the University of Texas System Board of Regents, and as General Counsel to the Governor of Texas. As General Counsel to the Governor, Mr. Morales advised the Governor on all civil and criminal issues pending before the Office of the Governor, under both state and federal law.  Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Morales joined the Office of the Attorney General of Texas, where he served for over seventeen years, ultimately rising to the rank of Deputy Attorney General for Civil Litigation and Deputy First Assistant Attorney General. As Deputy Attorney General for Civil Litigation, Mr. Morales supervised all trial and most appellate matters for the State of Texas, managing over 300 civil litigation attorneys and over 15,000 litigation matters.  From 2012-2014, Mr. Morales served as an Ex Officio Member of the Texas Access to Justice Commission. Mr. Morales earned his B.B.A. from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, and his J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas.  

Mike Truncale is a partner at Orgain Bell & Tucker, LLP, where he has handled a wide range of litigation matters, including products liability and commercial disputes, since joining the firm as an associate in 1985.  During his time in private practice, Mr. Truncale has devoted considerable time to public service.  Governor Perry appointed Mr. Truncale to serve a four-year term as a regent of the Texas State University System and Governor Abbott appointed him to serve a six-year term as a board member of the Prepaid Higher Education Tuition Board.  Mr. Truncale is Board Certified in civil trial by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and is Board Certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  He also has extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution, serving as a mediator in more than 2,000 cases in state and federal courts throughout Texas.  Mr. Truncale received his B.B.A., magna cum laude, from Lamar University, his M.B.A. from the University of North Texas, and his J.D. from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.