Judge Tom Rickhoff

Bexar County Courthouse
Probate Court Number Two
100 Dolorosa, Rm. 117
San Antonio, TX 78205
Telephone: (210) 335-2546

Personal Information

Tom Rickhoff was born in Idaho on July 13, 1944 at the Farragutt Naval Air Station, while his father was serving in the Philippines. His parents were married on Valentine’s Day, 1942.

After his naval service, Tom’s dad worked first as a trial lawyer for 28 years, as well as serving as a state district judge.

John and Lela Rickhoff had six other children: John, Lynn, Jim, Gerry, Mike, and Mary Ann. Gerry Rickhoff currently serves Bexar County as its County Clerk.

Jim Rickhoff is a Captain at the Bexar County Sheriffs Office; Mike was honored as Law Officer of the Year in Washington, D.C. John is retired from the U.S. Postal Service, and sister Lynn is a University of Missouri Dean and fund raiser. Mary Ann and her husband Charlie are retired.

On September 5, 1970, Tom married Noreen Carol Mumford at Mission San Jose. Tom and Carol have been married for 36 years. Carol has a master’s degree in social work from Our Lake of the Lake University.

Together, they have raised a family of five children: three boys: Hans, Franz, and Fritz; and two girls: Erika and Liesel; and seven grandchildren.

Hans is a lawyer with Akin Gump in Washington, D.C. and San Antonio, specializing in government affairs. Franz has returned from military service in Iraq and is a motorcycle deputy constable. Fritz has resided in Prague, Czech Republic, for five years and is the assistant to the founder of a Czech industrialist. Erika is a physical therapist; her husband is a lawyer with Thompson Knight in Dallas. Liesel, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of U T in Austin, is in mid year at law school at UT in Austin.

Education

Formal Education

University of Texas, Master's Candidate 1978 - 1979

St. Mary's University, School of Law 1969

St. Mary's University (San Antonio, Texas) 1966

Continuing Education

Universidad de Guanajauato Law School 1999

National Judicial College (Reno, Nevada) 1985

Military Judge Certification Course 1985

Judicial College (Huntsville, Texas) 1981

Department of Justice, Training Program for Prosecutors 1970

Judge Advocate General's School 1970, 1976

Military Experience

Lieutenant Colonel, Retired, United States Army 2004

Lieutenant Colonel, Reserves, United States Army 1974 - 1993

Captain, Active Duty, United States Army 1969 - 1974

Legal Career

Adjunct Professor, University of Alaska, Trial Advocacy Summer 1998

Associate Professor of Law, St. Mary's University, State and Federal Practice 1987 - 2000

Military Training 1985

Command and General Staff College 1982

Bexar County District Clerk January 1979 - September 1980

First Republican ever elected to county-wide office. Supervised a staff of 100 and a $1 million budget. Implemented much-needed courthouse reforms. Named “Politician of the Year” by the San Antonio Light, 1979.

Strother, Johnson and Rickhoff 1977 - 1979

General practice of law with emphasis on civil and criminal litigation. Represented clients in both federal and state courts.

Chief of the Special Crimes Unit, Western District of Texas 1976 - 1977

Responsible for developing and coordinating prosecutions, including white-collar crime, organized crime and other sophisticated and sensitive investigations.

Assistant United States Attorney, Department of Justice 1974 - 1977

Special Trial Attorney, Department of Justice;
Organized Crime and Racketeering Strike Force, New Orleans Field Office 1974 - 1976

First-chair prosecutor for Mafia and gambling operations. Accounted for 90 percent of convictions in five prosecutor offices. Duties included supervising investigations, presenting results to grand jury, wiretaps, obtaining convictions and defending those convictions before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Judge Advocate General School 1970 and 1976


Certified as both equal opportunity office and judge since 1985.

Noteworthy Cases:

  • Defense counsel, Capital Murder/death penalty case affirmed by U.S. Supreme court:
    United States v. Jose T. Rivera, (1972)
  • United States v. Curtis Leo Hall (1975)
  • Trial Judge, State of Texas v. Donald Gene Franklin (1982)
  • Trial attorney, United States v. William Cook and Charles Stafford Jackson (1986)
  • Presiding Judge, In re Ignacio Garcia (1987)

Time on the Bench

Probate Court, Bexar County 2001 – Present

Appointed in 2001; won contested election in 2002 and thereafter.

Fourth Court of Appeals 1998

Unopposed for re-election.

Fourth Court of Appeals 1992

Held a six-year term.

289th District Court 1990

Unopposed for re-election.

289th District Court 1986

Elected by 65.5%, largest percentage for any Republican county-wide candidate in Bexar History; held a four-year term.

289th District Court 1982

Elected by 59%; held a four-year term.

289th District Court 1981

Appointed by Governor William P. Clements.

Bexar County District Clerk 1978

Held a four-year term; was first successful Republican County-wide candidate in Bexar History.

Honors and Organizations

President’s Award, Community Guidance Center 1992

Public Citizen of the Year, National Association of Social Workers 1991

Outstanding Service to Children, Advisory Board High Risk Infant Program 1990

Appreciation Award, Teenage Crime Commission 1989

Outstanding Contribution Award, Nosotros 1986

Politician of the Year 1979

Professional Memberships:

  • San Antonio Bar Association
  • Family Law, Criminal Law Juvenile and Military Sections, State Bar of Texas
  • National Council of Juvenile and Family Law Court Judges
  • Permanency Planning Task Force for Texas (1987)

State Bar:

  • Admitted on December 15, 1969

Organizations:

*Unless indicated, all active work was discontinued after joining the court of appeals.

  • Television Commentator, Channel 5, KENS- “Eye on San Antonio” - Weekly Segment
  • Radio Commentator, WOAI, “Judge Rickhoff On the Law” - Weekly Segment
  • Coordinating Chair, San Antonio/Bexar County Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission
  • Director, Bexar/Bulverde Volunteer Fire District Board of Directors
  • Director, Judson Montessori School Board
  • Director, San Antonio Police Academy Board of Directors
  • Director, Family Services Association Board of Directors
  • Member, Holy Trinity Parish - Current
  • Associated, Downtown Rotary
  • Associated, Texas Coalition for Juvenile Justice
  • Associated, San Antonio Coalition for Children, Youth and Families
  • Associated, Alamo Area Council of Governments
  • Associated, Oblate Associates
  • Member, St. Mary’s Alumni Board of Directors - 2001
  • Associated, San Antonio Children’s Center
  • Associated, Community Guidance Center
  • Associated, Healy Murphy Center
  • Associated, Patrician Movement
  • Associated, Youth Alternatives
  • Associated, Seton Home
  • Associated, Christian Pro-Life Foundation
  • Associated, Bexar County Mental Health Group Home
  • Associated, Children’s Shelter
  • Associated, Salvation Army for Girls
  • Member, Child Advocates of San Antonio Board of Directors - 2001
  • Associated, Nosotros
  • Associated, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
  • Associated, Los Compadres de San Antonio
  • Rotary International, downtown San Antonio, Texas

Writings

Historical Articles:

  • “Senator Red Berry History of Gambling in San Antonio, Texas,” Scene San Antonio (2005)
  • “History of 'Bigfoot' Wallace,” San Antonio Express-News (2000)

Legal Writings:

  • Moderator, Political Aspects of Appellate Law, 30 St. Mary’s L.J. 1137 (1999)
  • The United States Attorney: Fateful Powers Limited, 27 St. Mary’s L.J. 499 (1997)
  • St. Mary’s L.J. 259 (1989) (co-authored with Curtis L. Cukjati)
  • Protecting the Fetus from Maternal Drug and Alcohol Abuse: A Proposal for Texas, 21

Case Examples:

  • Hartman v. State, 2 S.W.3d 490 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1999, pet ref’d)
  • Mireles V. Texas Dept. of Public Safety, 993 S.W.2d 426 (Tex.App.-San Antonio 1999), aff’d, 9 S.W.3d 126 (Tex. 1999)
  • Amunson v. State, 928 S.W.2d 601 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1996, pet ref’d)
  • Ryan v. Friesenhahn, 911 S.W.2d 113 (Tex.App.-San Antonio 1995), aff’d, 960 S.W.2d 656 (Tex. 1998)