Chief Justice
Richard Barajas (Ret.)

Presidential Award
 for Victim Services


An Interview With
Chief Justice
Richard Barajas

Chief Justice Richard Barajas (Ret.), received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Baylor University in Waco, Texas in 1974. In 1977, he received his Juris Doctor from the Baylor School of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas that same year. He served in the United States Naval Judge Advocate General's Corps as a legislative attorney on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. In 1988 he was elected District Attorney for the 83rd Judicial District of Texas and in 1991 he was appointed by the governor of Texas to the Eighth District Court of Appeals in El Paso. On January 1, 1994 he was appointed Chief Justice. He retired from elected judicial service and took the non-elected status of senior justice in August 2006. He is currently assigned to the Eighth District Court of Appeals.

Chief Justice Barajas is a former faculty member of the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, where he was an instructor on the use of information technology. He served as a designer of the State of Texas Judicial Commission on Information Technology and as the original Chair of the Appellate Court Technology Committee. In addition, he has served on the board of the National Organization for Victims Assistance, an organization which provides national advocacy for victims of crime, direct services for those crime victims when not otherwise available, and assistance to professional colleagues. He serves as the national Chair of the NOVA Task Force on Identity Theft, a task force to examine the effects of victimization of identity theft and services which may be afforded those crime victims. A nationally recognized lecturer on the proper balancing of the constitutional rights between the criminal defendant and the intended victim, Chief Justice Barajas was honored by the President of the United States at a White House ceremony as a national recipient of the Presidential Award for Victim Services. He has advised both the Department of Justice, Office of Victims of Crime and the Office of Violence Against Women on issues relating to human trafficking. In addition, he is a frequent lecturer on topics relating to judicial ethics, educational leadership and mentoring, the applicability of federal constitutional protections to the parochial school setting, the separation of church and state (as it relates to the issue of school vouchers), and various aspects of educational management and technology. He was named the “2004 Jurist of the Year” by the Mexican American Bar Association. In 2012 he was honored by Loretto Academy of El Paso, Texas with the Loretto Legacy Award in Government and Politics. In 2014 was honored by the McDonald’s Corporation as a recipient of the Hispanos Triunfadores Award For Excellence in Education.

Since his retirement from elected judicial service, Chief Justice Barajas moved into academia where he created and taught a course in “Principles of Victimology” at his alma mater, Cathedral High School, an all-boys parochial high school in El Paso, Texas. He is an instructor of Political Science, teaching both GOVT 2305 American Government and Politics, and GOVT 2306 State and Local Government. Since his departure from the classroom Chief Justice Barajas serves as a consultant on issues relating to Criminal Justice, including those issues that impact victims of crime.


Cell: (915) 269-3181


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