Former Houston 14th Court of Appeals Chief Justice Adele Hedges passes away, age 70

Published 10:10 pm Friday, February 2, 2018

From staff reports

 Retired Chief Justice, 14th Court of Appeals for the Fourteenth District of Texas Adele Hedges, originally of Orange, passed away January 24, 2018.

Services were held in Houston on Thursday, February 1, 2018.

Hedges graduated from Lutcher Stark High School in 1965 as Valedictorian.

According to the 1965 high school annual, she was also a member of the French Honor Society, Vice President, member of the Tiger Band, Drum Major, Honor Graduate as well as receiving several awards, as well as an all-state flautist who played with the Beaumont Symphony while still in high school.

Among the awards received were:

Foreign Language Spotlight

DAR Citizenship Award

Coronation Lady in Waiting

  1. P. Sousa Award

Stark Contest Finalist

She obtained her B.A. degree from University of Houston in 1968, her M.A. degree from Rice University in 1971, and her PhD. degree in 1972 at Rice University in 1973, all in French Literature.  She graduated summa cum laude from University of Houston Law Center in 1974, according to her bio at

She practiced as an attorney with several law firms and served as general counsel with a real estate company and a bank before election to the bench in 1992.

After serving 11 years as a justice on the 1st Court of Appeals in Houston, she was appointed Chief Justice of the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston in 2003.  She retired from the bench on September 4, 2013 after five successful elections.  She has returned to the practice of law, specializing in litigation, appeals, mediation, and arbitration.

She has twice been honored as Appellate Judge of the Year by the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists and was honored as the 2013 UH Law Center Alumnae of the Year.  She served as Chair of the Texas Governance Committee on EFiling and spearheaded the development and implementation of case management and document management for appellate courts statewide.

While in law school, she met her husband, Dan Hedges, at a Texas moot court competition in 1973. They were on opposing teams.

Hedges helped oversee the restoration of Harris County’s 1910-era courthouse, which houses the First and the Fourteenth Courts of Appeals. She retired from the bench and entered private practice in 2013, according to a Texas Lawyer article.

Hedges is survived by her husband and her son.

The family requested memorial contributions to be directed to Dartmouth Organic Farm, payable to Dartmouth College and sent to Dartmouth Development Office, HB 6066, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755, according to her obituary.