Attorney Tom Nowak has been selected to serve as judge of the 366th Judicial District Court in Collin County. Nowak is board certified in criminal law and has extensive experience as both a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appointed Nowak last week to succeed retiring Judge Ray Wheless, effective October 3. Wheless announced his retirement earlier this month.

“I am honored that the governor has asked me to take over the 366th upon Judge Ray Wheless’ retirement,” Nowak told Texas Scorecard. “I have a heavy task of living up to the standard set before me. I am certain that with the support I have received thus far, coupled with years of trial experience and leadership skills learned in the Air Force, the 366th will remain one of the best courts in Texas.”

The 366th is one of 11 district courts in Collin County charged with hearing a variety of criminal, civil, and family law cases. In addition, the Texas Legislature created two new district courts this year to help the county handle its growing caseload.

Nowak is the criminal supervising attorney at Henley & Henley, P.C. He previously served as a prosecutor in the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. Nowak is also an Air Force Reserve JAG officer.

He is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Collin County Bar Association, Dallas Bar Association, and multiple criminal defense lawyers associations. He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science and history from Texas A&M University and a Juris Doctor degree from Baylor University Law School.

Nowak was born in Poland and immigrated to the United States as a refugee from communism. He and his family now reside in McKinney.

Nowak’s appointment runs through December 31, 2020. The seat will be up for election in November 2020 to fill the remainder of the term, which expires in 2022.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.



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