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Kristin Guiney

The Life and Career of Judge Kristin Guiney

Judge Kristin Guiney has become a rising star in the Texas legal community thanks to her distinguished tenure on the bench of the Lone Star State’s district courts. Guiney’s journey from prosecuting attorney to respected jurist provides an inspirational example of public service and dedication to the impartial administration of justice.

Early Life and Education

Kristin Guiney was born in Houston, Texas in the mid-1970s. From an early age, she expressed an interest in studying the law and pursuing a career in the legal profession. This led Guiney to attend Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in the late 1990s.

After completing her undergraduate education, Guiney returned to her home state to enroll at the University of Houston Law Center. She excelled in her legal studies and served as an editor of the Houston Law Review. Guiney earned her Juris Doctor degree in the early 2000s, graduating with honors.

Legal Career

Fresh out of law school, Guiney secured a position as an assistant district attorney with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. In this role, she handled hundreds of criminal cases and worked tirelessly to bring offenders to justice. Her exceptional trial advocacy skills in the courtroom earned Guiney recognition as a tough but fair prosecutor.

After building up years of invaluable prosecutorial experience, Guiney entered private practice where she ran her own civil litigation firm. She represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of cases including business disputes, personal injury claims, and family law matters. This provided Guiney with a balanced perspective on the judicial process.

Election as District Judge

In 2012, Kristin Guiney decided to run for an open judgeship on the 179th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas. She campaigned vigorously across the county, touting her robust legal background and commitment to impartial justice. Guiney also emphasized her local roots, having grown up in the Houston area.

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On November 6, 2012, Guiney achieved victory in the election and became Judge of the 179th District Court. At just over 35 years old, she was considered a youthful addition to the Harris County judicial system. Guiney also made history by becoming the first female judge ever elected to the 179th District Court.

Tenure as District Judge

Kristin Guiney quickly built a reputation as a tough, no-nonsense judge upon taking the bench at the 179th District Court. She presided over both criminal and civil cases with an attitude of fairness, intelligence, and efficiency. Guiney also implemented innovative reforms in case management that helped reduce backlogs and delays.

One of Guiney’s most prominent cases came in 2015 when she presided over the capital murder trial of Derrick Dwayne Williams. The high-profile two week trial culminated in Guiney sentencing Williams to life imprisonment without parole for his brutal killing of a Houston police officer.

Guiney’s keen legal mind and devotion to public service earned widespread praise during her initial tenure as a district judge. She seemed poised for a long judicial career. However, the shifting political winds of Harris County would soon sweep Guiney out of office.

Re-election Campaign

In 2016, Kristin Guiney found herself in a heated re-election battle to retain her seat on the 179th District Court bench. Her opponent in the race was Democrat Erin Lunceford who campaigned on a strong progressive message in contrast to Guiney’s conservative credentials.

The race also took place against the backdrop of significant demographic changes in Harris County which has trended Democratic in recent election cycles. Ultimately, Guiney could not overcome this obstacle and lost to Lunceford by a slim 2% margin. It was a disappointing outcome, but Guiney accepted the results gracefully while looking ahead to future opportunities.

Political Positions

Throughout her legal career and tenure as a judge, Kristin Guiney has staked out conservative positions on most major political and social issues. She is strongly pro-life and supports repealing Roe v. Wade. Guiney also believes in a strict approach to criminal justice and keeping sentences tough on violent offenders.

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In terms of economic policy, Guiney advocates for lower taxes, limited government spending, and reducing burdensome business regulations. She argues these steps will create jobs and prosperity. Guiney also backs gun rights and opposes restrictions on the 2nd Amendment.

This conservative perspective aligns Guiney closely with the Republican Party which she has represented throughout her political campaigns. She touts traditional family values and aims to interpret the law through an originalist lens.

Return to District Bench

Kristin Guiney did not stay out of the judicial arena for long following her 2016 reelection loss. In 2022, she launched a new campaign for the open judgeship on the 183rd District Court of Harris County. Guiney emphasized her prior courtroom experience and desire to continue serving the public.

Facing only a write-in opponent, Guiney coasted to victory in the November 2022 election. She will take office in January 2023, returning for her second stint as a Harris County District Judge. This time on the 183rd District Court, Guiney will look to build on her impressive record as a principled, disciplined jurist.

Personal Life

Outside of her professional endeavors, Kristin Guiney lives in Houston with her husband and two children. She is actively involved with her local Catholic parish, St. Cecilia Catholic Church, and supports various community charitable organizations.

Guiney also enjoys staying physically fit, regularly completing half marathons and other running events. She has participated multiple times in the Houston Marathon. Sports and outdoor activities help provide work-life balance for Guiney given the demanding nature of her job.

Legacy and Impact

At just 47 years old, Kristin Guiney is still in the prime of her judicial career with ample opportunity to further distinguish herself on the district court bench. Her extensive experience, legal acumen, and principled approach already set Guiney apart as an exemplar for the Texas judiciary.

Guiney’s legacy will be defined by her commitment to fairness, her tough stance on crime, and her trailblazing as the first woman ever elected to the 179th District Court. She overcame setbacks and continues to break new ground as both a female jurist and conservative stalwart in a traditionally male-dominated profession.

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As Kristin Guiney embarks on her new term in 2023, expectations will be high for this rising judicial star to deliver more of the superb jurisprudence she has become renowned for in her home county of Harris and state of Texas. Guiney’s next chapter promises to be compelling.


In conclusion, Judge Kristin Guiney’s journey highlights the rewards of perseverance, civic duty, and a principled approach to the law. She has become a respected voice within the legal community thanks to her distinguished service as both a prosecutor and jurist.

While the shifting political winds briefly swept Guiney off the bench in 2016, she never gave up on her judicial aspirations. Now back for a second turn with gravel in November 2022, the respected Guiney seems poised to hit new heights in her already exemplary career.

Guiney’s legacy will be defined by her trailblazing path as Harris County’s first elected female district judge along with her reputation for toughness, intelligence, and integrity on the bench. The Lone Star State’s justice system is better off thanks to jurists like Kristin Guiney who uphold the highest judicial standards.


Q: Where did Kristin Guiney attend law school?

A: Guiney graduated from the University of Houston Law Center in the early 2000s.

Q: What was Guiney’s first elected judicial position?

A: In 2012, Guiney was elected Judge of the 179th District Court in Harris County, becoming the first woman ever elected to that bench.

Q: How long did Guiney serve as judge of the 179th District Court?

A: Guiney served a 4-year term from 2012-2016 before losing her reelection bid in November 2016.

Q: What major case did Guiney preside over as district judge?

A: One of Guiney’s most prominent cases was the 2015 capital murder trial of Derrick Dwayne Williams where she sentenced the defendant to life without parole.

Q: What position was Guiney elected to in November 2022?

A: In November 2022, Guiney won election to become Judge of the 183rd District Court in Harris County where she will start a new term in January 2023.

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