Former appeals court judge takes over as Bexar County commissioner

The vacancy at Bexar County Commissioners Court Precinct 3 has been filled with County Judge Nelson Wolff's appointment of Marialyn Barnard, a former appeals court judge. (Courtesy Google Streets)
The vacancy at Bexar County Commissioners Court Precinct 3 has been filled with County Judge Nelson Wolff's appointment of Marialyn Barnard, a former appeals court judge. (Courtesy Google Streets)

The vacancy at Bexar County Commissioners Court Precinct 3 has been filled with County Judge Nelson Wolff's appointment of Marialyn Barnard, a former appeals court judge. (Courtesy Google Streets)

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Marialyn Barnard spent nearly 10 years as a Texas 4th Court of Appeals justice. (Courtesy Marialyn Barnard)

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff on Jan. 4 appointed Marialyn Barnard as Bexar County Precinct 3 commissioner, replacing Trish DeBerry, who resigned to run for Bexar County judge.

Barnard spent nine years as a justice in the Texas 4th Court of Appeals before becoming chief legal counsel and vice president for product development at TXDocs, a Universal City-based company that serves legal professionals. Barnard said she departed TXDocs in 2021.

A Republican, Barnard will serve in her first Commissioners Court meeting Jan. 11 and represent Precinct 3 on an interim basis until Dec. 31.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to represent the people of Precinct 3 and the people of Bexar County,” Barnard said at her swearing-in ceremony at the Bexar County Courthouse. "I promise to hit the ground running, do my homework and work hard. I look forward to learning more and taking action on the immediate needs and priorities of Bexar County.”

Barnard was among 27 people who applied for the vacancy created by DeBerry filing for the March 1 Republican county judge primary, in which DeBerry will face Nathan Buchanan.



The primary winner will face the victor of the March 1 Democratic primary in the Nov. 8 general election. Wolff announced plans to retire as county judge at the end of his fifth term this year.

Wolff said Barnard’s credentials and professional experiences are outstanding compared with those of fellow applicants.

Barnard graduated from St. Mary’s University School of Law and spent time as a teacher prior to practicing law, a career that led her to stints as an attorney with law firms and CPS Energy. On Jan. 4, she took the oath of office from federal Judge Orlando Garcia, for whom she worked as a clerk following law school.

Barnard is also a member of numerous professional groups and boards of nonprofits, such as Child Advocates of San Antonio.

Wolff said five of the applicants previously served in public office, and he was heartened by the overall quality of the candidates.

Wolff also said the ideal candidate possessed experience as an elected official, in the private sector and with civic groups. Additionally, Wolff said the ideal appointee knows how county government works and understands the local judicial system.

“I wanted somebody with independence and leadership qualities,” Wolff said. “One person stood out."

This summer, the Bexar County Republican and Democratic parties will choose their respective representatives to run Nov. 8 for the chance to fill the remainder of DeBerry’s term as Precinct 3 commissioner, which ends in 2024.

DeBerry congratulated Barnard at the ceremony and afterward.

“I wish Commissioner Barnard much success and our team will do all we can to ensure a smooth and professional transition,” she added.

By Edmond Ortiz
Edmond joined Community Impact as a reporter in August 2021, helping to launch new editions in the San Antonio market. Edmond covers various beats in the North San Antonio coverage area. He previously was the main reporter for Local Community News, covering several areas in and around San Antonio, first as a freelancer and then staff member. Prior to that, Edmond was a community news reporter for Prime Time Newspapers and the San Antonio Express-News, including editing two community weeklies. He's a San Antonio native, and studied mass communications at San Antonio College and Texas State University.