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  Overstreet, Morris L.
NameMorris L. Overstreet
, Texas , United States
Born Unknown
Last ModifedRBH
Mar 06, 2010 08:39pm
InfoMorris L. Overstreet of Amarillo, Texas was elected to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on November 6, 1990. He was the first African-American elected by popular vote to a statewide office in the history of Texas. On November 3, 1992, he was re-elected to a full six-year term. As a member of the Court, he authored over 500 opinions. His term on the Court ended December 31, 1998.

Judge Overstreet is a graduate of Amarillo High School in Amarillo, Texas. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology with minors in Biology and Chemistry from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. He earned a Juris Doctor Degree from Texas Southern University School of Law in Houston, Texas in 1975, and was licensed to practice law by the State Bar of Texas the same year. Judge Overstreet has taken graduate courses toward a Master of Arts Degree in Sociology from Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas.

Judge Overstreet’s career highlights include: five years as a prosecutor in the 47th Judicial District, District Attorney’s Office in Amarillo, where he advanced to First Assistant District Attorney; six years experience in the private practice of law, and four years as a trial judge presiding over the Potter County Court at Law No. 1 in Amarillo. As a prosecutor and judge involved in hundreds of jury trials and thousands of non-jury trials, Judge Overstreet has never had a criminal conviction reversed on appeal because of any error committed by him.

Judge Overstreet has served as general counsel to the Texas State Baptist Convention and chair of its statewide Bible Drill Competition. He has served as National Legal Counsel for Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and was the 1994-95 Chair of the State Bar Crime Victims Committee.

Judge Overstreet is a member of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Amarillo; is a life member of both Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People. He is also a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. He is a frequent lecturer and public speaker and has taught continuing legal educational classes statewide for Justices of the Peace, Constitutional County Judges, local Bar Associations, and the State Bar of Texas Advance Criminal Law Seminar.

In January of 1999, he qualified as a certified contract advisor with the National Football League Players Association and is authorized to negotiate contracts between players and NFL clubs. He is a life member of the National Bar Association and is also a member of the American Bar Association, and the Auxillary to the National Medical Association and served as the 1999-2000 Chair of the Judicial Council Division.

From August 1999 – May 2000, he served as the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at his alma mater, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas. In September 2002, Judge Overstreet returned to Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, where he teaches Evidence and Criminal Procedure.


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