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Judge Mark Davidson Back to Judge Page


Judge Mark Davidson served as Judge of the 11th District Court for twenty years before his retirement in 2009. He is now serving as the Multi-District Litigation Judge for all asbestos cases in the State of Texas, being named to that position by Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson and the Multi-District Litigation Panel of the Texas Supreme Court. In that role, he has judicial duties over the 85,000 asbestos cases pending throughout the state.

While serving as a district judge, he tried over 450 jury trials and cut the backlog in the 11th District Court by 70 percent. In 1993, he was named "Trial Judge of the Year" by the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists. From 2002 through 2007, he served as Administrative Judge of Harris County.

Judge Davidson is married to Sarah Duckers, and has two sons, William, age sixteen, and Thomas, who is thirteen years old. In his spare time, Judge Davidson was the founder and the first Cubmaster of a Cub Scout Pack dedicated to the needs of autistic boys, and is now the Scoutmaster of a Boy Scout Troop with the same mission. In 2003, he was awarded the Arbor Day award by Trees for Houston for his role in saving a 93 year old tree on the Harris County Courthouse lawn. He also is a regular blood donor, and was recently awarded a 48 Gallon Mug, recognizing his donations of 384 pints of blood.



July 24, 1953


Judge, Asbestos Multi-District Litigation Court
Harris County Civil Courts Building
201 Caroline, 8th Floor
Houston, Texas 77002


January 2009 to present
Judge, Multi-District Litigation Asbestos Docket.
By appointment of the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court and the Multidistrict Litigation Panel, I am assigned to hear all pretrial matters in all asbestos cases pending in the State of Texas.

January 1989 to December, 2008
Judge, 11th District Court. Presiding
Judge of a court of civil jurisdiction and presided over more than 400 jury trials. In addition, assigned to and heard cases in other counties when local judges disqualify themselves or are recused. Among those counties are Brazoria, Bexar, Brooks, Cameron, Galveston, Hidalgo, Chambers, Jefferson, Matagorda, Liberty, Limestone, and Willacy.

March 1987 to December 1988
Tax Master for 11th, 55th, 80th, 127th, 129th,
133rd, 152nd, 189th, 215th, 295th, 333rd Civil
District Courts.

November 1983
Master (Associate Judge), 246th District Court.
As Master, heard evidence and made rulings on show cause hearings, temporary custody, and
uncontested divorces.


Trial Judge of the Year, Texas Association of
Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists, 1993.
This is an award given yearly by the board-certified Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists in an election of its membership.

President's Award, Houston Bar Association (1996)
This is an award given annually by the President of the Houston Bar Association for outstanding service to the membership and the community.

Outstanding Journal Award, Texas Bar Foundation (1996) (Honorable Mention)
This is an award given by the Texas Bar Foundation to the author of the best article in a Texas bar journal.

Award of Merit; American Society for Legal History, 25th Annual Meeting; (1995)
The award was given for work in studying and preserving Texas Legal History.

Honorary Membership, Sons of the Republic of Texas (1994)
The S. R. T. awarded the honorary membership for research and educational efforts in Texas History. There were only thirty-eight previous recipients of such a membership in the organization's history.

Arbor Day Award, Trees for Houston (2003)
The award was given for my part in saving a ninety-three year old oak tree on the Courthouse lawn that was placed in risk by construction.

“Best Civil Judge”, Houston Press Magazine (2003)
“Best of Houston” – 2003 Edition

Scales of Justice Award, Houston Association of Legal Secretaries (2003-2004)
The award is given to the person that best advances the legal profession and serves the community.

Roberson L. King Excellence in Education Award, Houston Lawyers Association (2008).
The award was presented to me for my part in setting up a Black History Month Commemoration at the Harris County Courthouse.

Silver Beaver Award, Sam Houston Area Council. Boy Scouts of America (2011).
This is given to adult scouters to honor distinguished service to youth.

Ignatian Award, Strake Jesuit College Preparatory (2011).
This is presented to the Alumnus of Strake Jesuit who exemplifies the academic, religious and social values of the Jesuit tradition; outstanding generosity to the community, professional achievement contributing to the advancement of his profession, and who exemplifies a Man for Others.

Outstanding Legal Article in The Houston Lawyer, Houston Bar Foundation (2012)
This award is selected by the Deans of the three Houston Law Schools. The article honored dealt with desegregation of the Harris County Courthouse Cafeteria.

President’s Award, Houston Young Lawyer’s Association (2012)
This award was given recognition of my work to preserve historical court records around the State of Texas


Administrative Judge of Harris County (2002-2007)
Elected by the fifty-eight district judges of Harris County in December, 2001, I oversaw overall administration of the District Courts, and as liaison with other branches of State and County Government.

Multi-District Litigation Judge – Asbestos (2004- )
I was named by the Texas Multi-District Litigation Committee to handle all pre-trial matters in all asbestos cases filed in the State of Texas after September 1, 2003.

Administrative Judge, Civil District Judges of Harris County (2000- 2001)
Elected by twenty-five colleagues as the judge charged with administering multi-court matters and presiding over the meetings of the Board of Civil Judges.

Chair, Jury Committee, Harris County Board of Judges (1998-2000)
Had primary administrative and oversight duties over operations in the Harris County Jury Assembly Room.

Chair, Texas Supreme Court Task Force on
Judicial Appointments (1991-1993).
Named a member of a select committee by the Supreme Court of Texas, and was elected chair by its members. Conducted hearings around the state, and drafted recommendations to Texas law to address ethical problems that had developed regarding lawyers who served as court appointees. Several of these recommendations have been adopted by the Legislature and the Supreme Court of Texas.

Member, Texas Supreme Court Task Force on Records Retention. (1998)
The Supreme Court of Texas named me as the representative of the judiciary on a committee charged with looking into the length of time that clerks must keep records filed as a part of litigation.

Member, State Bar of Texas Pattern Jury Charge Committee (1996- 1998) (2005-6)
The President of the State Bar of Texas appointed me to sit on the committee that authors the publication Texas Pattern Jury Charges, which is used by judges and lawyers throughout Texas to formulate their summaries of law and questions of fact to the juries.

Member, Texas Supreme Court Task Force on Jury Assembly and Administration. (2006)
The Texas Supreme Court named me to a task force to study jury management issues.

Member, Texas Supreme Court Task Force on Home Equity Loan Foreclosure. (2007-8)

Member, Texas Supreme Court Task Force on Document Preservation. (2010-

Chair, Tax Committee, Harris County Civil
Judges (1991-1995).

Member, Harris County Juvenile Board (1996-1998)

Member, Board of Directors, Texas Supreme Court Historical Society (2003-2014)

Member, Board of Directors, State Bar of Texas Historic Documents Trust


December 1982 to December 1988;
Solo Practitioner, Mark D. Davidson
Attorney at Law. Had a general practice
involving civil, family, probate law and
some criminal practice. Specialties were
civil litigation and election law.

January 1983 to June 1983:
Staff Counsel, State Representative Ashley Smith.
In a part-time role, reviewed proposed legislation and advised the staff on legal and procedural

February 1978 to December 1982:
Associate, Sowell & Ogg. Handled a general
civil and family law docket representing
businesses and individuals in a broad-based
civil practice.

January - July 1981:
Counsel, Senate Redistricting Committee:
Advised the committee on the law of
reapportionment, and prepared redistricting plans
at the request the Chair of the committee.

July 1971 to May 1975 and January 1976 to
October 1977:
Administrative Assistant, State Senator Jack Ogg.
Coordinated all legislative and constituent
work. Drafted legislation and amendments
during legislative sessions.

May 1975 to August 1975:
Briefing Clerk, Fulbright and Jaworski. Prepared
memorandum on legislation passed during the
64th Legislative Session.


Bar Associations:
State Bar of Texas - Litigation Section, Judicial

Houston Bar Association -
HBA Historical Committee
(1989-1996), Chair (1995 -1997)
Judicial Survey Committee (1993 -1994).

Bar Admissions:
State Bar of Texas (February 3, 1978).
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit (Aug. 21, 1978).

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
(July 27, 1978).

University of Houston Law School, Houston, Texas,
Doctor of Jurisprudence, May 1978
(Completed studies, August, 1977).
University of Texas School of Law, Summer, 1976,
Spring, 1977


University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
Bachelor of Arts Degree, January, 1974
Major: Mathematics

Strake Jesuit College Preparatory
1971 Graduate

PROFESSIONAL Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
ACTIVITIES: Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program


Texas College of New Judges
"Discovery Sanctions" - December 1991

State Bar of Texas
"Settlement Strategies in Representing Children
in Civil Litigation" - April, 1990

Houston Bar Association
"Appealing Property Tax Appraisals and Practice
in Tax Court" - November, 1988

Houston Bar Association
"The Role of the Ad Litem in Civil Cases" - November 1989, April, 1993, April 1994 , April 1995, April 1996, April 1997, October, 1999, October, 2001 and December, 2003;
I have presented the same material to bar associations in Hidalgo,
Montgomery and Webb Counties.

Harris County Judges Seminar
"Presiding over attorney disbarment cases" - January, 1996
“The Future of Mass Torts” August 2005

Price Waterhouse Intellectual Property Seminars – Panel Participant 1995 and 1996.

State Bar of Texas Advanced Personal Injury Seminar
"Nonjury Advocacy" - July 1998.

Houston Bar Association Bench Bar Conference – “Rockin’ Rules of the 11th District Court” – May, 2003

South Texas College of Law Insurance Seminar – “Rockin’ Rules of the 11th District Court” – January 2002, 2003 and 2004

State Bar of Texas Advanced Personal Injury Seminar;
“Jury Charge Conference Demonstration” July, 2003

Texas Judicial Section Annual Conference – “Presiding Over Attorney Discipline Cases” – September, 2003


Let's Go to the Courthouse! - The History of the Harris County Civil Courts Building; The Houston Lawyer, July-August, 1995.

The District Court of Harris County - A Look Back at the Era
of Uniform Judicial Rulings in Harris County; The Houston Lawyer; September-October, 1995.

The Civil War and Reconstruction in Harris County's Only District Court; The Houston Lawyer, November-December, 1995.

Judicial Stability in Changing Times - The Harris County Judiciary - 1892-1939; The Houston Lawyer; January-February, 1996.

"Let's Go Across the Street for a Cold One" - The Harris County Courthouse Square Over the Years; The Houston Lawyer; March-April, 1996

The More Things Change, The More They Remain the Same - Summing Up 160 Years of Harris County's Judicial History; The Houston Lawyer, May-June, 1996.

Houston's Judges Go to Galveston!; The Houston Lawyer, November-December, 1997

The Making of a Judge - 1862; Electing a Judge During the Civil War, The Houston Lawyer, September-October, 1998.

The Making of a Judge – 1918: A Profile in Judicial Courage, The Houston Lawyer, November-December, 1998

The Making of a Judge – 1938: Negative Campaigning Comes to the Judiciary, The Houston Lawyer, January-February, 1999

The Making of a Judge – 1958: Two Party Politics in a One Party State, The Houston Lawyer, March-April, 1999

The Making of a Judge – 1968: Judicial Election by Party Organization, The Houston Lawyer, May-June, 1999

The Making of a Judge – 1972: The Future of Judicial Elections Arrives, The Houston Lawyer, July-August, 1999

The Making of a Justice – The 1958 Joe Greenhill-Sarah T. Hughes Race for the Supreme Court, (with Kent Rutter), Texas Bar Journal, November, 2000

The Texas Supreme Court Goes to War – Texas Women Respond to the Court’s Call to Duty (with Kent Rutter), Texas Bar Journal, January 2002

The Texas Supreme Court Goes to War – The Colonel Versus the Judge (with Kent Rutter), Texas Bar Journal, February, 2002

Emilene’s Story, The Houston Lawyer, January-February, 2005

Judge David Hittner, Last and Best of His Kind. South Texas Law Review, February, 2005

One Woman’s Fight for Freedom – Gess v. Lubbock, The Houston Lawyer, January-February, 2008. This article was reprinted in The Slave Laws of Texas by the University of Texas Press in a 2010 book.

Coffee 5 cents, Cheeseburgers 25 cents, Human Dignity…. Priceless; The Desegregation of the Harris County Courthouse Cafeteria; The Houston Lawyer, July-August, 2010

Houston Lawyers Who Made a Difference, Houston Bar Bulletin July, 2011-January, 2015 (Series)

I Really Want to See You; Anthony Cox v. Yoko Ono Lennon, The Houston Lawyer, September-October, 2011

Border Wars in the Suburbs, The Houston Lawyer, September-October, 2011

Alexander’s Waterloo; State of Texas v, Balli; Texas Supreme Court Historical Society Journal, Fall and Winter, 2012

Flimflam Fraud and Flight: The Election and Downfall of Justice Donald B. Yarbrough; Texas Supreme Court Historical Society Journal, Fall 2014


Saint Vincent De Paul Catholic Church, Member; Teacher of Special Needs Sacramental Preparation Course
Boy Scouts of America, Cubmaster; Merit Badge Counselor
Blood Donor; Gulf Coast Blood Center (holder of 45 Gallon Mug – signifying over 360 donations)

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