CRITZ, RICHARD (1877–1959). Richard Critz, lawyer and judge, was born in Starkville, Mississippi, on October 16, 1877, the son of George Edward and Ella (Richards) Critz. When he was fourteen the family moved to Williamson County, Texas, where Critz went to school. He attended Southwestern University for a short time, then studied law in a Georgetown law office while teaching in the local public schools. He was admitted to the bar in 1902 and practiced until 1910 at Granger, where he also served for some years as city attorney. He returned in 1910 to Georgetown to become county judge, a post he held until 1918, after which he continued to practice there until 1927. Around 1920 Critz assisted the young Georgetown district attorney, Daniel James Moody, Jr., in his prosecution of sundry local members of the Ku Klux Klan. When Moody became governor in 1927 he appointed Critz to the Commission of Appeals to the state Supreme Court, on which Critz remained until elevated in 1935 to associate justice of the Supreme Court by appointment of Governor James Allred. Critz's judicial opinions are noteworthy for unusual conciseness and clarity, as well as for their logic and numerical abundance. He helped establish a judicial pattern for regulating the oil industry and was influential in the development of the substantial-evidence rule. He was defeated for renomination in the Democratic primary of 1944 and left the bench at the end of the year to practice law as a member of an Austin firm. On January 18, 1906, Critz married Nora Lamb of Granger; they had two sons and two daughters. Justice Critz was a Democrat and a Methodist. He died on April 1, 1959, and was buried in Capital Memorial Gardens, Austin.
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