Robert K. Schaffer
Judge, 152nd District Court
Harris County Civil District Court
201 Caroline, 11th Floor
Houston TX 77002
Judge Robert Schaffer, a native Houstonian, became Judge of the 152nd Civil District Court on January 1, 2009, after being elected to the position in November 2008. Prior to assuming the bench Judge Schaffer practiced law in the Houston metropolitan area for 24 years representing individuals in many areas of civil disputes. He also served as a mediator for 16 years and that service made him uniquely qualified to bring his mediation skills to the forefront in resolving civil disputes.
Judge Schaffer graduated from Bellaire High School in 1970 and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arizona in 1974. Following his graduation from college he worked in local and state government in Austin before attending law school at South Texas College of Law in Houston. He received his law degree in 1984 and began his legal career as an associate with a small Houston law firm before opening his own law office in 1990 as a sole practitioner and continued in that practice until he became a judge in 2009. Soon after he opened his law office, he received education and training in mediation and then expanded his practice to include mediation services in civil disputes.
Judge Schaffer has maintained several important leadership positions focusing on legal and societal issues. He has served on committees of the State Bar of Texas, including chairing a local grievance committee, and the Houston Bar Association. He was honored by his peers when he was elected to serve as President of the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Houston Trial Lawyers Foundation and the South Texas College of Law Alumni Association. He presently serves on the Southwest Regional Board of the Anti-Defamation League.
Judge Schaffer has also been honored to receive an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell which represents the highest possible rating in legal ability and general ethical standards. These ratings are developed for individual lawyers by soliciting confidential opinions from other lawyers and judges in the legal community.
Since taking the bench, Judge Schaffer has, along with the his traditional judicial responsibilities, been appointed by the State Multidistrict Litigation Panel to serve as the pretrial judge for the Toyota Unintended Acceleration Multidistrict Litigation for all such cases filed in Texas and assigned by Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson to serve on the 14th Court of Appeals. He has also been elected to serve as the Harris County Civil Administrative Judge for 2012 by the 24 Harris County Civil District Judges.
Judge Schaffer has been married to Jo Ann Weiss Schaffer (also a local attorney) for 24 years and they have three children: Michael who is 21 years and Shelly and Alex who are 14 years old. The Schaffers are members of Congregation Emanu El.