Judge Robert A. Eckels


Judge Robert Eckels’ practice is built on a decades-long career in public service and leadership of the nation’s third largest county. Robert is a national leader on issues of health care policy, homeland security, transportation, public finance/public private partnerships and the environment. As County Judge of Harris County, he was credited with restoring the county's strong bond ratings, improving disaster and emergency response, transportation and healthcare and helping finance three state-of-the-art sports facilities in and near downtown Houston without using property or sales taxes. He led the county to build the now 500 mile county toll road system into one of the strongest performing toll road systems in the nation. Judge Eckels serves on the Board of Trustees of the Texas County & Districts Retirement System, a $16 billion public pension fund, and as its Chairman since 2004.

Judge Eckels was recognized nationally for opening the Harris County Reliant Park and Astrodome for Hurricane Katrina evacuees, the largest shelter operation in U.S. history, followed by the evacuation of over 2.5 million people in the face of Hurricane Rita, the largest evacuation in U.S. history. He has received numerous awards and national recognition during his career; most recently Esquire Magazine named him “Best and Brightest — Citizen of the Year” of 2005 for his extraordinary leadership. “When the City of New Orleans evacuated to Houston, Harris County Judge Robert Eckels took them in. He was an island of competence in the face of catastrophe,” Esquire wrote. American City and County Magazine named Judge Eckels “County Leader of the Year 2006,” the National Conflict Resolution Center awarded him its National Peacemaker Award (2006) and the American Leadership Forum its Joseph Jaworski Award (2006).

Judge Eckels, who was first elected as a state representative in his 20s, served six terms before going on to become county judge — a role in which he oversaw the executive, legislative and judicial functions of a county that is home to more than 3.7 million residents.

Judge Eckels serves on as a board member of the National Crime Prevention Council and chair of the Governor’s Commission on Disaster Recovery and Renewal in Texas.