OKLAHOMA CITY (Dec. 18, 2020) – Governor Kevin Stitt announced today the appointment of Judge Thomas E. Prince to the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals. This is the governor’s third appointment to the Court.
"Judge Tom Prince is a proven legal mind who has served the State of Oklahoma for over three decades," said Gov. Stitt. "Years of legal and judicial experience have prepared him for this new role, and I look forward to watching him serve the people of Oklahoma on the Court of Civil Appeals."
"I am truly honored Governor Stitt would appoint me to the Court of Civil Appeals," Prince said. "As I have done as a District Judge, I will strive to rule according to the law in each case, to apply the law as written and to not favor any person, group or entity over another. I look forward to serving the people of the State of Oklahoma in this position."
Prince has served as a District Judge for Oklahoma County since 2012, where he has presided over more than 95 civil and criminal jury trials. During his service as a District Judge, Prince was appointed by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to serve as the Presiding Judge for the State Multi-County Grand Jury from 2016 to 2018. He was also elected by his colleagues in Oklahoma and Canadian Counties to serve as the Vice-Presiding Judge for the Seventh Judicial Administrative District from 2016 to 2018. He was then elected to serve as the Presiding Administrative Judge for Oklahoma and Canadian Counties for the year 2019.
Prior to becoming a District Judge, Prince practiced law for 29 years.
Prince earned his Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Southern Arkansas University in 1979 and his Juris Doctor from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1982. Prince was appointed by three prior governors to the Oklahoma State Election Board, where he served as a member from 1999 to 2012. He was also a member of the Standards Board of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission from 2009 to 2012.
He previously served as an administrative law judge for the Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission, the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Construction Industries Board. Prince also served as the President of the Oklahoma Judges’ Association from 2013 to 2015 and is a former board member of the Oklahoma County Law Library Board of Trustees. He is a current member of the Oklahoma Judicial Conference Legislative Committee.
Prince’s appointment fills the vacancy for District 5, Office 1, created by the retirement of Judge Ken Buettner, which is effective Dec. 31, 2020. He was one of three applicants provided by the Judicial Nominating Commission for the governor’s selection.