Texas Border Business
Judge Ernie Aliseda of McAllen secured the Republican nomination for Chief Justice of the 13th Court of Appeals and will face off against Democrat Dori Contreras in the November general election.
Aliseda currently serves as a University of Texas System Regent, along with bringing solid legal resume to the positions he seeks. He is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, where he serves as a military judge and brings over 19 years of combined judicial experience. In addition to his military service, Aliseda is a member of the national law firm of Dykema Cox Smith and serves the City of McAllen as a municipal judge.
“Texas has been good to me and my family,” said Aliseda who has dedicated the greater part of his life to public service and who is also a son of first-generation immigrants. “I have the honor of serving our country in the U.S. Army Reserves, our State as a member of the University of Texas System Board of Regents, and our community as a judge. I want to continue serving our area as your Chief Justice and help restore faith in our system of justice.”
Judge Aliseda has a legacy of public service in his family, as he is the younger brother of former State Rep. Jose Aliseda of Beeville, who shocked political pundits in 2010 by defeating incumbent Democrat Yvonne Gonzales Toureilles for a seat in a minority-majority district. Jose Aliseda, a Navy veteran, currently serves as the elected District Attorney for Bee, Live Oak, and McMullen counties and is also a former Bee County Attorney and Bee County Judge.
Aliseda lives in McAllen, where his wife Debbie Crane Aliseda serves on the McAllen School board. He has twice served as a State District Court judge in Hidalgo County appointed by Governors George W. Bush and Rick Perry. He and his wife have five children.
In addition to serving as a regent on the governing board for the University of Texas system, Aliseda has served as a Commissioner on the Texas Military Preparedness Commission, where he represented NAS Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi Army Depot, NAS Kingsville and all the Reserve units on the Commission at both the State and national level. In 2005, he was elected to a three-year term by the attorneys in South Texas as State Bar Director for the State Bar of Texas, representing the attorneys in 17 South Texas counties.
Judge Aliseda is also a past President of the Hidalgo County Bar Association; a past President of the Hidalgo County Young Lawyers Association; past Board Member, Texas Young Lawyers Association, State Bar of Texas; past Board Member, Texas Rural Legal Aid; and also, a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. He volunteers his time as a volunteer Judge for the McAllen Teen Court program and also as a Vice President of the McAllen Citizen’s League. A frequent speaker, Judge Aliseda has lectured on various legal topics throughout the United States, Mexico, and abroad in Portugal and Spain. In 2009, he was awarded the “Ethics Award” by the Hidalgo County Bar Association and the Texas Center for Legal Ethics.
Aliseda earned his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University and his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center. He is a licensed attorney in Texas and Illinois and also licensed to practice before the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, along with the United States Supreme Court.
The 13th Court of Appeals covers 20 counties including Aransas, Bee, Calhoun, Cameron, De Witt, Goliad, Gonzales, Hidalgo, Jackson, Kenedy, Kleberg, Lavaca, Live Oak, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, and Wharton. The court hears appeals in both civil and criminal cases from those counties and maintains offices in Corpus Christi and Edinburg. It’s comprised of a chief justice and five justices with intermediate appellate jurisdiction in both civil and criminal cases appealed from lower courts except writs of habeas corpus and where the death penalty has been imposed. Four of the places on the court, including the chief justice spot, are up for grabs in the 2018 election.