The Hon. Latosha Lewis Payne is a judge of the 55th Civil District Court in Harris County, Texas. She was elected to the District Court in 2018.
She is a registered Democrat.
Payne graduated with her B.A. in environmental studies and political science from Tulane University, H. Sophie Newcomb Womens College in 1996. She went on to earn a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 2000.
While in law school, Payne served as a law clerk and intern with Duncan and Courington, LLC.
After graduating from law school, she began her legal career at the law firm of Gardere Wynn Sewell, LLP. During her ten-year tenure with the firm, Payne became an elected partner and practiced as a member of the firms Environmental Section. Her areas of practice included environmental litigation and toxic tort and mass tort litigation.
In 2009, Payne joined the Litigation Group of Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease LLP, where she practiced
as of counsel
until 2014. She briefly worked in solo practice in 2015 before becoming a founding partner of the woman-owned law firm of Trahan Dinn Payne, LLP. During her four years there, the law firm specialized in civil litigation and insurance coverage matters. Payne was practicing in that capacity at the time of her election to the bench.
Her memberships have included Texas Executive Women (past president), the Houston Lawyers Foundation (past chairperson), the Houston Lawyers Association (past president and member of the Board of Directors), the State Bar of Texas, the National Bar Association (treasurer), the Houston Bar Association, the Houston Young Lawyers Association (Board of Directors), the Association of Women Attorneys, the Harris County Democratic Lawyers Association, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Houston (Board of Directors).
Among her honors and awards, Payne became the first African American to receive the Woodrow B. Seals Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award in 2007 from the Houston Young Lawyers Association.
When not on the bench, Payne, who was a track athlete in college, has served as a volunteer youth track coach.
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