Texas Border Business
By Roberto Hugo González
In an emotional and uplifting address, Senior Justice Nora Longoria of the 13th Court of Appeals announced her plans for reelection in 2024 and took the opportunity to praise her colleague and mentor, Chief Justice Dori Contreras. Longoria used the moment to reflect on Contreras’s 22-year-long service to the court, emphasizing her impact on the legal community and those privileged to work under her leadership.
According to Longoria, Chief Justice Contreras will complete her 22nd year on the court in 2024. “She was only ten years old when she started,” Longoria joked, drawing attention to Contreras’s long tenure. She details how Contreras’s extensive experience has positively influenced the court and the broader legal community. “When I first joined the court 11 years ago, Chief Justice Contreras quickly became an invaluable mentor to me,” Longoria said, recounting her own journey on the bench.
Longoria praised Contreras’s hands-on approach to mentorship and leadership. “She has always been there to offer advice, lend an empathetic ear, and share her wealth of experience. She shows us all how to be better justices,” said Longoria.
Another critical point Longoria mentioned was the exceptional efficacy with which Contreras leads the court. “Under her leadership, we have met 100% of all our measures with the state and reached all our goals. The court is functioning at optimum efficiency,” she proudly announced.
One of the highlights of the address was when Longoria recalled the day Contreras was sworn in as the first female chief of the 13th Court of Appeals. “You shattered that glass ceiling, and we all watched in awe,” she said. For Longoria and many others, Contreras is the essence of a role model, particularly as a female chief justice.
Longoria then lightened the atmosphere with a short, heartfelt poem dedicated to Chief Contreras. The poem praised Contreras’s dedication and wished her the best for the future. The lines captured the essence of their shared experiences and Contreras’s impactful career. “Working with you is always a pleasure. Your friendship is valued more than a treasure,” Longoria read.
Towards the end of her speech, Longoria shifted the focus to her own future, announcing her plans to run for reelection in 2024. “I want to let everyone here know—friends, family, and supporters—that I will be running for reelection for my seat in 2024,” she said, expressing gratitude for her support.
With 15 more months to learn from “the great one,” as Longoria referred to Contreras, it’s clear that the 13th Court of Appeals is in good hands for the foreseeable future. With their extensive experience and shared commitment to excellence, both justices continue to inspire their peers and successors alike.