President Donald Trump on Tuesday nominated Austin lawyer Alan Albright to be a federal district judge in Waco.
Albright, 58, specializes in intellectual property litigation as a partner in the Bracewell law firm and served as a U.S. magistrate judge in Austin from 1992 to 1999. Albright also is a former adjunct professor who taught trial advocacy at the University of Texas Law School, where he was a member of the Texas Law Review and received his law degree in 1984.
Albright would replace former U.S. District Judge Walter Smith Jr., who retired as Waco’s only federal judge in 2016 after receiving a public reprimand and one-year suspension for making unwanted sexual advances toward a court employee in his chambers. A 32-year judge, Smith left the bench after a new investigation was opened into additional allegations of sexual misconduct.
Trump also nominated three other Texans to federal bench positions in the Eastern District of Texas:
• Cam Barker, a deputy solicitor general in the Texas attorney general’s office since 2015, was previously a partner who specialized in commercial and intellectual property law at the Yetter Coleman law firm in Austin. He also spent four years in the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
• Jeremy Kernodle, a Dallas lawyer who represents health-care providers and government contractors, is a former attorney-adviser in the Justice Department’s office of legal counsel.
• Mike Truncale, a Beaumont lawyer who handles product liability and commercial disputes, also served as a Texas State University regent under former Gov. Rick Perry.
All four nominees, who must be approved by the U.S. Senate, were recommended to Trump by both Republican senators from Texas.
“All four of them have a proven record of excellence, professionalism and public service,” U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said. “I commend the president for these nominations and urge my colleagues to quickly confirm them to the bench.”
Attorney General Ken Paxton praised the nomination of Barker, who also got his law degree, with highest honors, from UT.
“Barker has established a proven record of excellence and professionalism. His fidelity to the rule of law and the Constitution will make him a first-rate federal judge,” Paxton said.