Drew Tipton – Nominee to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Baker Hostettler partner Drew Tipton, who has focused his career on employment and labor litigation, is poised to fill the last judicial vacancy on the Texas federal bench.

Background

Tipton was born in Angleton TX in 1967.  Tipton graduated from Texas A&m University in 1990 and received a J.D. from South Texas College of Law in 1994.[1]  After graduating, Tipton clerked for Judge John Rainey on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.  He then joined the Houston office of Littler Mendelson P.C. as an Associate.

In 1997, Tipton moved to Victoria, Texas, to the firm of Houston, Marek, & Griffin LLP.[2] In 1999, Tipton moved to the Houston office of Baker Hostettler, where he became a Partner in 2001, and where he still practices.

History of the Seat

Tipton has been nominated to fill a vacancy opened by Judge Sim Lake’s move to senior status on July 5, 2019.  In late 2019, Tipton applied and interviewed with the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee (FJEC) created by Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz to fill federal judicial vacancies.[3]  Tipton interviewed with the White House in November 2019 and was subsequently selected as a nominee.

Legal Experience

Tipton’s career in private practice is primarily at the firm of Baker Hostettler, where he primarily practices in labor and employment law.[4]  While he started his career in representing plaintiffs in employment matters, he currently primarily represents defendants.[5]  Tipton has tried six cases as lead counsel and an additional six as associate counsel.[6]

In one of his most significant cases, Tipton represented a company sued by its employee, who alleged an attempt to murder him.[7]  The Plaintiff in the case, Andy Olmeda, was a machinist who was shot at with a shotgun by two employees, both of whom were intoxicated at the time.[8]  Olmeda brought a number of charges against his employer, including assault and battery.  However, all claims were dismissed after discovery by Judge Martin Feldman.[9]

Political Activity

Tipton has been fairly active with the Republican Party, serving as a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association and of the Federalist Society.  He’s also been a frequent donor to Republicans, giving over $8000 to Cornyn and approximately $3000 to Cruz.[10]

Overall Assessment

While many of Trump’s nominees in Texas have drawn sharp criticism, Tipton’s relatively noncontroversial background and lack of controversial statements should grease his path to confirmation.


[1] Sen. Comm. on the Judiciary, 116th Cong., Drew Tipton, Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees 1.

[2] See id.

[3] Id. at 25.

[4] See id. at 13-14.

[5] Id. at 14.

[6] See id.

[7] Olmeda v. Cameron Int’l Corp., 139 F. Supp. 3d 816 (E.D. La. 2015).

[8] Id. at 821.

[9] Id. at 837.

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