As an undergraduate studying journalism and English at the University of Texas, Judge Pete Lowry received heavy encouragement from his peers and professors to pursue a degree in law. Judge Pete Lowry earned his Bachelor of Laws from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law in 1968. Having excelled in his classes and eager to practice law, Judge Pete Lowry became a law clerk for the Texas Supreme Court immediately following graduation. In this position, Judge Pete Lowry gained valuable exposure to the state’s most prominent judges and legal minds. His experiences as a law clerk helped steer Judge Pete Lowry toward a distinguished career as judge for the State of Texas. After spending a year working for the Texas Supreme Court, Judge Pete Lowry acquired a position as Partner with McGinnis, Lochridge, & Kilgore L.L.P., a prominent law firm based in Austin, Texas. Judge Pete Lowry served as Partner here for eight years, until he was appointed as judge of the newly formed 261st District Court of Travis County by the state’s former Governor, Dolph Briscoe. Judge Pete Lowry presided over litigation in the state’s highest trial court, rendering decisions and judgments for both jury trials and trials before the court. Judge Pete Lowry was chosen by 13 judges to serve a 7-year term as the Local Administrative Judge. Judge Pete Lowry performed as an exemplary judge for Travis County for nearly 25 years. In 2003, Judge Pete Lowry joined Judge James R. Meyers to form the law firm Meyers and Lowry. Judge Pete Lowry remained a partner at this firm for six years before entering retirement.

15th January 2013

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Hunting Facts by Judge Pete Lowry

Hunting is a popular pastime because it is challenging and rewarding. Many hunters know the basics, but how many know these interesting facts?

• The average hunter spends $1,638 annually on hunting.
• Women are increasingly taking part in the sport, and 72 percent more women hunt with firearms today than did five years ago. Additionally, teenage girls are the fastest-growing market in sport shooting.
• Deer can live nearly 11 years in the wild; deer can also increase their population twofold given optimal conditions.
• Hunting has been an American tradition since the Ice Age, during which time vegetation became sparse and man had to begin killing prey to survive.
• Though it may seem like everyone you know is a hunter, less than 7 percent of the United States population hunts. Annually, Americans buy 1.1 billion shot shells.
• Hunters help to pay for many fish and wildlife conservation programs through license sales and taxes.

About the author: A hunter, Judge Pete Lowry maintained a decades-long career as a Judge with the 261st District Court of Travis County in Austin, Texas.

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15th December 2012


Judge Pete Lowry on the Texas Law Review

Established as a nonprofit corporation in 1922, the Texas Law Review has gained a national and international reputation for legal scholarship. The independent journal, edited and published by University of Texas School of Law students, comes out seven times a year and features articles by attorneys, judges, and professors; commentaries; essays; and relevant book reviews. The Texas Law Review still embraces the goals of its founders, including offering a medium of expression for State Bar of Texas members, preserving legal research, recording the achievements of Texas attorneys, and providing opportunities for students to learn and write.

The 13th most cited periodical by legal journals and the ninth most cited in state and federal cases throughout the United States, the Texas Law Review connects the law school with the State Bar of Texas, serving as a channel of communication, which engenders mutual benefits. The publication also records advances in jurisprudence, acting as a barometer of the judicial climate. The Tarlton Law Library at The University of Texas School of Law holds a number of records related to the formation of the journal and its original purposes.

The Texas Law Review also produces two additional works, The Manual on Usage & Style; and The Greenbook, Texas Rules of Form. The Manual explains and dissects the specific language necessary for legal writing. The Greenbook acts as a supplement to nationally employed citation guide The Bluebook, listing decisive citation form for the Texas legal community.

Periodically, the Texas Law Review offers symposia on issues with significant professional ramifications. Partnering with Professor Henry T. C. Hu, holder of the Allen Shivers Chair in the Law of Banking and Finance at The University of Texas School of Law, the publication will present “Reshaping Capital Markets and Institutions: Twenty Years On” in Austin in 2012. A follow-up to a renowned 1991 symposium with Professor Hu on financial innovation, the event will include panel discussions on such topics as systemic risk and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act as well as the presentation of papers. For more information on the symposium, visit 

A graduate of The University of Texas School of Law and former Associate Editor of the Texas Law Review, Judge Pete Lowry served as an attorney and trial court judge in Texas for more than 30 years.

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23rd November 2011

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The Salvation Army Adopts New Fundraising Technologies

By Judge Pete Lowry

As a longtime supporter of community organizations such as The Salvation Army, I was interested to read that the institution is planning to go digital in its fundraising strategies—after all, one of the strongest images associated with The Salvation Army is bell ringers standing in front of department stores and major retail outlets. These volunteers also set up distinctive red kettles, into which festive shoppers are encouraged to drop cash donations.

In early November, The Salvation Army announced that it is testing out a new mobile payment device, developed by the start-up venture Square, Inc., and built into phones donated by Sprint. The handheld device allows credit cards to be quickly scanned, with a 2.75 percent service fee added to all donations. A Salvation Army spokesperson speaking to The New York Times attributed the need for this technology to the fact that many these days simply don’t carry cash when holiday shopping. The mobile device was implemented earlier this year by a Girl Scout troop in Silicon Valley. The troop was selling boxes of cookies at Facebook’s headquarters, and one of the troop members’ fathers, who works for the company, noticed that his colleagues simply did not carry cash. Equipped with a Square device, however, the troop sold some 400 boxes. 

During the 2011 holiday season, The Salvation Army is testing digital donation devices in ten locations in the cities of Dallas, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Interestingly, this is not the first time that the nonprofit has allowed credit card payments during its Red Kettle Campaign. In 2008, The Salvation Army introduced credit card processing terminals. However, the amount these stations collected was small, just $60 million in 2009, compared to nearly $150 million raised through traditional cash donations. The Square handheld devices are touted as being effortless and intuitive, and The Salvation Army hopes to expand its fundraising capacities significantly through the technology. 

Whether successful this year or not, it is likely only a matter of time before swipe-and-go donations become commonplace. During the upcoming holiday season, I encourage shoppers to support The Salvation Army, either through a clink of the coins or a swipe of the card.

About the Author:

Judge Pete Lowry has nearly four decades of experience in the Austin, Texas, community, as a judge and lawyer handling complex litigation and civil law issues. Judge Lowry contributes to several community organizations in addition the Salvation Army, including Hospice Austin and Partners in Health.

Posted via email from Judge Pete Lowry

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14th November 2011


Judge Pete Lowry on Hospice Austin

Founded in 1979 as a grassroots effort to aid patients with terminal illnesses and to support their families and caregivers, Hospice Austin in Texas became Medicare certified in 1986 and expanded its service area to nearby counties. Accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations since 1998 and by the Community Health Accreditation Program since 2001, the nonprofit Hospice Austin maintains 24-hour availability for anyone who needs its services, which encompass palliative care but extend even further.

The organization’s inpatient facility, Christopher House, offers a comfortable setting with 15 patient rooms furnished to resemble family homes, with refrigerators, microwaves, and cable television. Each room also includes a foldout sofa for family members or caregivers. Hospice Austin honors each patient’s values while providing compassionate assistance, with regular nurse visits to manage symptoms and alleviate pain. Trained social workers also assess family needs, providing contacts for community resources and offering emotional support.

Through Hospice Austin, patients facing end-of-life issues can receive services at home, in an assisted living or nursing facility, area hospital, or at Christopher House. The Hospice accepts patients regardless of their ability to pay, and clients receive group care, with each team comprised of a physician, nurse, social worker, home health aide, homemaker, chaplain, and several volunteers. Hospice Austin also provides bereavement assistance to ease the burden, anxiety, and stress family members feel when losing a loved one, and remains in contact with bereaved relatives for more than a year following a client death. Additionally, the Hospice holds quarterly memorial services in remembrance of those who died.

Les Amis de Hospice Austin, the organization’s fundraising group, promotes Hospice Austin in the community and  provides financial assistance through various activities, including membership parties. Periodically, Les Amis hosts fundraising gatherings, including the annual Hospice Austin St. Valentine Gala and Senior Presentation, which celebrates the graduating seniors of area high schools. Local corporations frequently sponsor concerts and other events as help raise money for the hospice.

About the Author: A Travis County District Court adjudicator for more than 20 years, Pete Lowry supports several local charities, including Hospice Austin.

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14th November 2011


New York Times article | Judge Pete Lowry →

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5th July 2010


Judge Pete Lowry - Experienced Lawyer and Judge

For almost 40 years, Judge Pete Lowry served Austin, Texas, as a lawyer and judge with experience in civil law and complex litigation resolution. Judge Pete Lowry matriculated at the University of Texas, where he studied journalism, English, and law. In 1968, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, as well as a Bachelor of Laws, or LLB. The pursuit of an LLB is one that typically requires enrollment in a number of courses pertaining to the classics. Being a bibliophile, these classes were a pleasure for him to undertake alongside his law-oriented studies. Judge Pete Lowry enjoyed the opportunity to expand his grasp of the English language while analyzing prose used to create cherished literature. Following graduation, Judge Pete Lowry began his tenure as a Briefing Attorney at the Supreme Court of Texas in Austin. In that role, he prepared legal memoranda and wrote drafts detailing legal opinions. He also handled a great deal of legal research. In 1969, he became a Partner at McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore, L.L.P., a firm in Austin that focuses on civil law. As a Partner, Judge Pete Lowry represented clients before entities such as trial and appellate courts, and administrative agencies. In September 1997, Judge Pete Lowry became a judge in the 261st Judicial Civil District Court of Travis County, Texas, the state’s highest court. Over the following two years, Judge Pete Lowry oversaw trials before courts and juries, and dispensed judgments. In this capacity, 13 of his peers selected him to serve as a local administrative judge for seven years. Prior to retirement, Judge Pete Lowry was one half of a partnership that formed Meyers and Lowry, a legal dispute resolution firm based in Austin. He maintained the practice until retiring in 2005. Judge Pete Lowry spends his newfound spare time digesting books from my expansive collection. He also partakes in outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, and raising livestock.

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5th July 2010


A few tips about pursuing a career in law

Over the nearly four decades that Judge Pete Lowry practiced law as a lawyer and a judge, he presided over hundreds of dispute cases in which two parties felt entitled to particular rights and outcomes. In that time, Judge Pete Lowry gained a plethora of experience as a mediator that can be applied to most situations. Whether you are considering a career in law or are simply looking to evolve your mediating talents, consider these pointers.

Remain objective: In most disputes, both sides feel deserving of a result in their favor. Because of this, it is vital that you demonstrate non-partisanship as you seek to reach a verdict that will benefit the proper party. Leaning toward one side or another before announcing your decision can result in accusations of favoritism, unruliness, and other ill effects.

Show interest: Even if you believe the conflict between two parties to be insignificant, it is important to convey interest and enthusiasm in the argument. Make reaching a fair decision your only priority: even if one party disagrees with the result, they will not be able to argue that you did not give the matter serious thought.

Facilitate conversation: As a mediator, it is your job to bridge the gap that has separated the parties. Act as a mouthpiece in the beginning, but as the discussion continues, strive to involve all members of the altercation in sharing their points of view and reaching the best possible resolution.

Ask questions: Anyone can give commands, but a thoughtful mediator uses questions instead of orders to spark rational thought and discussion. By using questions, you enable both parties to come up with answers born of analyzing their conflict from angles they might not have thought about.

Focus on the positive: Most people are more prone to follow suggestions or commands if statements are preceded by compliments. Rather than list off the wrongs committed by a party, begin by pointing out what they did right.

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4th May 2010


American author Cormac McCarthy

One of my favorite contemporary American authors is Cormac McCarthy, a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist who is probably most famous for his book, No Country for Old Men, which was turned into an Academy Award-winning film. McCarthy was born in Rhode Island, and moved to Knoxville, Tennessee at the age of four. Spending the rest of his childhood in Tennessee, McCarthy eventually attended the University of Tennessee and then joined the United States Air Force for four years. Upon returning to Tennessee, he re-entered the university and gained a lot of recognition for his short stories. Cormac McCarthy’s first novel, The Orchard Keeper, was published in 1965, but he did not receive nationwide recognition until All the Pretty Horses was published in 1992, which earned the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. All the Pretty Horses follows the teenage cowboy John Grady Cole after the death of his grandfather in 1949. His grandfather owned a ranch where he was raised, and plans unfold to sell it. Rather than move to town, Grady leaves on horseback with his friend Lacey Rawlins, and together they travel south toward Mexico. Just before reaching the border, Grady and Rawlins meet Jimmy Blevins, a younger runaway boy whom they befriend. After sharing an experience with this fellow, and then separate from him, Grady and Rawlins obtain employment at a large ranch. Grady begins an affair with the ranch owner’s daughter, and when Blevins shows up after being accused of murder, the ranch owner refuses to protect them because of the affair. Blevins is executed for the crime, and Grady and Rawlins are thrown into a Mexican jail, where a wealthy, influential prisoner decides to put the pair to the test. All the Pretty Horses is an essential piece of modern American literature.

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4th May 2010


Judge Pete Lowry on FastCompany →

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4th May 2010


Judge Pete Lowry on Multiply →

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