For court location and contact info
                                   go to -->
Official Webpage of the 281st District Court (Hon. Matthews)
                                   This is a paperless court. See 281st District Court Procedures

Sep. 18, 2009: Attorney Donna Roth announces as candidate for the 281st District bench on the Democratic ticket
(campaign website) (State Bar of Texas Member Profile of Donna Roth)
Nov. 5, 2008: Governor picks replacement for Judge Bernal, who resigned: Sylvia A. Matthews
(newly appointed judge)(see
photo of Judge Sylvia A. Matthews)
September 10, 2008: AP reports resignation of Judge David Bernal in late August - Successor to be appointed by
Governor Rick Perry; resignation too late for vacancy to be filling in November 2008 election. Prior to Judge Bernal's
appointment, this bench was held by the
Hon. Jane N. Bland, who is now a member of the First Court of Appeals; see
Justice Jane Nenninger Bland  


License Information:  Texas Licensed: November 7, 1986
Practice [prior law firm employment] Information
Firm: Andrews Kurth, LLP         
Firm Size: Over 200
Occupation: Private Law Practice
Primary Practice Areas: No information reported by attorney
Courts of Admittance:
Federal Courts of Admittance:        
US Supreme Court
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
Texas Eastern District Court
Texas Northern District Court
Texas Southern District/Bankruptcy Court
Other Courts of Admittance: No information reported by attorney        
Other States Where authorized to practice: No Other States reported by attorney                
Education and Certification History
Legal Education:
Law School: Univ. of South Carolina; Graduated 05/1986 with  Doctor of Jurisprudence/Juris Doctor (J.D.)
Texas Board of Legal Specialization Certifications: No profile data on file for Texas Board of Legal
Specialization Certification

Text of Public Announcement Issued by Governor's Office

Gov. Perry Appoints Matthews to 281st Judicial District Court

November 05, 2008

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry has named Sylvia A. Matthews of Houston judge of the 281st Judicial District
Court of Harris County for a term to expire at the next general election.

Matthews is a partner with Andrews Kurth LLP, focusing on the women’s initiative team and diversity
committee.  She is a member of Defense Research Institute and the Texas Association of Defense
Counsel. She is also a volunteer with the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program United Way. Matthews
received a bachelor’s degree from The College of Charleston and a law degree from the University of
South Carolina.  She replaces David Bernal of Houston.

Recent Appeals from cases in Judge Sylvia Matthew's 281st District Court


In re McInnis (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] Jun. 9, 2009)(per curiam denial of mandamus)
Before Justices
Seymore, Brown and Sullivan
14-09-00491-CV  In Re Janine Charboneau McInnis, D.V.M   
Appeal from 281st District Court of Harris County

On May 28, 2009, relator, Janine Charboneau McInnis, filed a petition for writ of mandamus in this court.  
See Tex. Gov't Code Ann. § 22.221 (Vernon 2004); see also Tex. R. App. P. 52.  In the petition, relator
complains of discovery and sanctions rulings by the Honorable Sylvia Matthews, presiding judge of the
281st District Court of Harris County.  Relator also filed a motion to stay the proceedings in the trial court.
Relator has not established her entitlement to the extraordinary relief of a writ of mandamus.  
Accordingly, we deny relator's petition for writ of mandamus and related motion to stay the proceedings
in the trial court.
Panel consists of Justices Seymore, Brown, and Sullivan.

Recent Appeals from cases in Judge Bernal's 281st District Court
Hon. Sylvia A. Matthews
Appointed 281st District Court Judge
in Harris County, Texas
Houston Opinions
Houston Courts & Cases
Harris County Civil Courts and
Judges (Non-family)
Harris County Civil Courthouse - Houston TX 77002
Hon Sylvia A. Matthews 281st District Court Judge Texas Harris County Houston Official Photo

Harris County District Court Judges

11th  Judge Mike Miller (2009)
11th  Judge Mark Davidson (former)  
Judge Dion Ramos (elected 2008)
55th  Judge Jeff Shadwick (former)
55th  Judge Jeff Brown (former)
61st  Judge Al Bennet (2009)
61st  Judge John Donovan (former)
80th  Judge Larry Weiman (2009)
80th  Judge Lynn Bradshaw-Hull (former)
113th  Judge Patricia Hancock
125th  Judge Kyle Carter (2009)
125th  Judge John Coselli (former)
127th  Judge R. K. Sandill (2009)
127th  Judge Sharolyn Wood (former)
129th  Judge Michael Gomez (2009)
129th  Judge Grant Dorfman (former)
133th  Judge Jaclanel McFarland (2009)
133th  Judge Lamar McCorkle (former)
151st   Judge Mike Engelhart (2009)
151st   Judge Caroline E. Baker (former)
152nd  Judge Robert Schaffer (2009)
152nd  Judge Kenneth Wise (former)
157th   Judge Randall Wilson
164th   Judge Alexandra Smoots-Hogan (2009)
164th   Judge Martha Hill Jamison (former)
165th   Judge Josefina Muniz Rendon (2009)
165th   Judge Elizabeth Ray (former)
189th   Judge Bill Burke
190th   Judge Patricia Kerrigan (reelected '08)
190th   Hon. Jennifer W. Elrod (now on 5th Cir)
Judge Steven E. Kirkland (2009)
215th   Judge Levi Benton (former)
234th   Judge Reece Rondon
269th   Judge Dan Hinde (appointed 2008)
269th   John T. Wooldridge (resigned 2008)
270th   Judge Brent Gamble
280th   Judge Tony Lindsay
281st   Judge Sylvia Matthews (appt'd 2008)
281st   Judge David J. Bernal (resigned 2008)
295th   Judge Tracy E. Christopher
333rd  Judge Joseph James "Tad" Halbach Jr.
334th  Judge Sharon McCally (reelected 2008)