David Yates Aug. 19, 2015, 2:57pm


Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed four new district judges, with three of the appointments coming on Aug. 18 and one previous appointment on Aug. 14.

On Aug. 18 Abbott appointed Sara Kate Billingsley of Odessa as judge of the 446th Judicial District Court in Ector County.

Billingsley is managing partner for the Billingsley Law Firm and was previously an associate attorney at Todd, Barron, Thomason & Hudman in Odessa.

Abbott also appointed Piper McCraw of McKinney as judge of the 469th Judicial District Court in Collin County; and Emily Miskel of Dallas as judge of the 470th Judicial District Court, also in Collin County.

According to a press release, McCraw is owner of Piper McCraw, P.C. and previously served as an assistant district attorney for Collin County. She is a member of the Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Association Board of Directors and the State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee.

Miskel is an associate attorney at KoonsFuller and is board certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She currently serves as an adjunct professor of family law at the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law, barrister of the Henderson American Inn of Court and fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.

The appointments will be effective Sept. 1 and are for a term set to expire at the next general election in November 2016.

On Aug. 14 Abbott appointed John “Mike” Swanson as judge of the 143rd Judicial District Court, covering Loving, Reeves, and Ward Counties, for a term set to expire at the next general election in November 2016.

Swanson has been a solo law practitioner for 19 years. He is a member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and he serves as chief juvenile probation officer for Ward County.

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