Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Judge Rickhoff's Bio

Tom Rickhoff was born in Idaho on July 13, 1944, at the Farragutt Naval Air Station, while his father was serving in the Phillippines. His parents were married on Valentine’s Day, 1942.

After his naval service, Tom’s dad worked first as a trial lawyer for 28 years, as well as serving as a state district judge. John and Lela Rickhoff had six other children: John, Lynn, Jim, Gerry, Mike, and Mary Ann.

Gerry Rickhoff currently serves Bexar County as its County Clerk. Jim Rickhoff is a Captain at the Bexar County Sheriff's office; Mike was recently honored as Law Officer of the Year. John is retired from the U.S. Postal Service, and sister Lynn is a university fund raiser. Mary Ann works for Drury Inn and her husband, Charlie, is Deputy Director of the Texas Veterans' Commission.

On September 5, 1970, Tom married Carol Mumford. Tom and Carol have been married for 39 years. Carol has a masters’ degree in social work from Our Lake of the Lake University. Together, they have raised a family of five children: three boys: Hans, Franz, and Fritz, and two girls: Erika and Liesel.


Formal Education

St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas, Graduated 1966

St. Mary’s University-School of Law, Graduated 1969

University of Texas-Master’s Candidate, 1978-1979

Continuing Education

Department of Justice, Training Program for Prosecutors, 1970

Judge Advocate General’s School 1970, 1976

Military Judge Certification Course 1985

National Judicial College, Reno, Nevada 1985

Judicial College, Huntsville, Texas 1981

Universidad de Guanajauato Law School, 1999


Military Experience

Lt. Colonel, Retired, United States Army 2004

Captain, Active Duty, United States Army 1969-1974

Lieutenant Colonel, Reserves, United States Army 1974-1993

Captain, Active Duty United States Army 1969-1974

Legal Career

Associate Professor of Law, St. Mary’s University, 1987-2000,
State and Federal Practice.

Adjunct Professor,University of Alaska, Summer 1998,
Trial Advocacy.

Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute,Patrick AFB, 1986-1987
Certified both as equal opportunity officer and judge.

Military Judge Training, 1985

Bexar County District Clerk,January 1979-September 1980
First Republican ever elected to countywide office. Supervised a staff of 100 and a $1 million budget. Implemented much-needed courthouse reforms. Named “Politician of the Year” by the San Antonio Light, 1979.

Strother, Johnson and Rickhoff, 1977-1979
General practice of law with emphasis on civil and criminal litigation. Represented clients in both federal and state courts.

Assistant United States Attorney, Department of Justice 1974-1977
Chief of the Special Crimes Unit, Western District of Texas 1976-1977Responsible for developing and coordinating prosecutions, including white-collar crime, organized crime and other sophisticated and sensitive investigations.

Special Trial Attorney, Department of Justice
Organized Crime and Racketeering Strike Force, New Orleans Field Office, 1974-1976.First-chair prosecutor for Mafia and gambling operations. Accounted for 90 percent of convictions in 5 prosecutor offices. Duties included supervising investigations, presenting results to grand jury, wiretaps, obtaining convictions and defending those convictions before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Judge Advocate General School, 1970 and 1976

Command and General Staff College, 1982

Noteworthy Cases:

Trial attorney, United States v. William Cook and Charles Stafford Jackson (1986);United States v. Curtis Leo Hall (1975);

Trial Judge, State of Texas v. Donald Gene Franklin (1982); Capital Murder/death penalty case affirmed by U.S. Supreme Court; United States v. Jose T. Rivera, (1972), defense counsel;

Presiding Judge, In re Ignacio Garcia (1987).

Time On The Bench

Probate Court, Bexar County,2001 – Present
Appointed in 2001,won contested election in 2002.

Fourth Court of Appeals, 1998
Unopposed for Reelection

Fourth Court of Appeals, 1992Held a six-year term.

289th District Court, 1990
Unopposed for Reelection

289th District Court, 1986
Elected by 65.5%, largest percentage for any Republican countywide candidate in Bexar History. Held a four-year term.

289th District Court, 1982
Elected by 59%
Held a four-year term

289th District Court, 1981
Appointed by Governor William P. Clements

Bexar County District Clerk, 1978
Held a four-year term.
Was first successful Republican County-wide candidate in Bexar History.

Honors & Organizations

President’s Award, Community Guidance Center, 1992
Public Citizen of the Year, National Association of Social Workers, 1991
Outstanding Service to Children, Advisory Board High Risk Infant Program, 1990
Outstanding Contribution Award, Nosotros, 1986
Appreciation Award, Teenage Crime Commission, 1989
Politician of the Year, 1979


San Antonio Bar Association
Family Law, Criminal Law Juvenile and Military Sections, State Bar of Texas
National Council of Juvenile and Family Law Court Judges
Permanency Planning Task Force for Texas 1987
State Bar:Admitted on December 15, 1969

Organizations:*Unless indicated, all active work was discontinued after joining the court of appeals.

Television Commentator, Channel 5, KENS—“Eye on San Antonio” Weekly Segment
Radio Commentator, WOAI, “Judge Rickhoff On the Law”—Weekly Segment
Coordinating Chair, San Antonio/Bexar County Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission.

Director, Bexar/Bulverde Volunteer Fire District Board of Directors
Director, Judson Montessori School Board
Director, San Antonio Police Academy Board of Directors
Director, Family Services Association Board of Directors

Member, Holy Trinity Parish-Current

Associated, Downtown RotaryAssociated,
Associated, Texas Coalition for Juvenile Justice
Associated, San Antonio Coalition for Children, Youth and Families
Associated, Alamo Area Council of Governments
Associated, Oblate Associates
Member, St. Mary’s Alumni Board of Directors, 2001
Associated, San Antonio Children’s Center
Associated, Community Guidance Center
Associated, Healy Murphy Center
Associated, Patrician Movement
Associated, Youth Alternatives
Associated, Seton Home
Associated, Christian Pro-Life Foundation
Associated, Bexar County Mental Health Group Home
Associated, Children’s Shelter
Associated, Salvation Army for Girls
Member, Child Advocates of San Antonio Board of Directors, 2001
Associated, Nosotros
Associated, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Associated, Los Compadres de San Antonio
Rotary International, downtown San Antonio, Texas


Historical Articles:
Senator Red Berry History of Gambling in San Antonio, Texas, Scene San Antonio, 2005
History of 'Bigfoot' Wallace, San Antonio Express-News 2000

Legal Writings:
Moderator, Political Aspects of Appellate Law, 30 St. Mary’s L.J. 1137 (1999)
The United States Attorney: Fateful Powers Limited, 27 St. Mary’s L.J. 499 (1997)
St. Mary’s L.J. 259 (1989) (co-authored with Curtis L. Cukjati)
Protecting the Fetus from Maternal Drug and Alcohol Abuse: A Proposal for Texas, 21Case Examples:Hartman v. State, 2 S.W.3d 490 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1999, pet ref’d)
Mireles V. Texas Dept. of Public Safety, 993 S.W.2d 426 (Tex.App.-San Antonio 1999), aff’d, 9 S.W.3d 126 (Tex. 1999)
Amunson v. State, 928 S.W.2d 601 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1996, pet ref’d
Ryan v. Friesenhahn, 911 S.W.2d 113 (Tex.App.-San Antonio 1995), aff’d, 960 S.W.2d 656 (Tex. 1998)

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