Rico Valdez is the Appellate Division Chief for Bexar County Criminal District Attorney’s Office. As the Appellate Division Chief, he is responsible for overseeing all post-conviction litigation. This includes direct appeals of criminal cases, juvenile cases, and parental right termination cases. The Appellate Division files all petitions for discretionary review with the Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals as well as writs of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. In addition, the Division handles all post-conviction writs of habeas corpus in state courts.
Rico graduated from Highlands High School, received his B.A. from the University of Texas, and his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. Rico has been with the Appellate Division of the Bexar District Attorney’s Office for over seventeen years, serving as the Chief for the last five. During that time he has handled hundreds of appeals, including the appeals and post-conviction writs of the defendants convicted of the capital murders of San Antonio Police Officers Hector Garza and Rocky Riojas. Before joining the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, Rico was an associate attorney with Vial, Hamilton, Koch, and Knox where he practiced insurance defense litigation.
In addition to his duties and responsibilities as an Assistant Criminal District Attorney, Rico has also worked as an Adjunct Professor at St. Mary’s School of Law, teaching first year law students legal research and writing. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at San Antonio College in the Paralegal Studies Department teaching Criminal Law and Legal Research and Writing. Rico has written numerous seminar papers and law review articles on various criminal law topics such as evidence and prosecutorial ethics. He is a frequent speaker and presenter at continuing legal education seminars, including the Texas State Bar’s Annual Advanced Criminal Law Seminar. Rico is also a member of the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association and was on the National District and County Attorney’s Association Supreme Court Amicus Review Committee.
Rico is licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court of Texas and is admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court.