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Home -- Attorney Profiles -- John J Specia, Jr.

Plunkett, Griesenbeck & Mimari, Inc.
- John J. Specia, Jr. -

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John J. Specia Jr.

Effective July 1, 2016, the Honorable John J. Specia, Jr. resumed his Mediation, Arbitration and Private Judging Practice at Plunkett, Griesenbeck & Mimari, Inc.  Judge Specia practiced at Plunkett, Griesenbeck & Mimari, Inc. from 2007 to 2012, where he conducted over 500 mediations and arbitrations.  In 2012 Governor Rick Perry appointed Judge Specia as Commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.  He served in the capacity until May 31, 2016.  Judge Specia spearheaded an overhaul of Child Protective Services, developed system enhancements, and significantly expanded the child abuse and neglect prevention and early intervention program.  Under his leadership, Texas became a national leader in child welfare transformation efforts and research into child abuse and neglect fatalities.

Judge Specia's career has been dedicated to public service for more than three decades and is defined by his commitment to children and preventing child abuse.  He provided leadership in establishing the Texas Supreme Court Children's Commission and forming Child Protection Courts throughout the state.  Judge Special further brought his experience and vision to the Texas judiciary as the first Jurist in Residence with the Children's Commission in 2009.

Judge Specia established both the Bexar County Children's Court, which provides specialized services for children, and also the Family Drug Treatment Court, which handled Child Protective Services cases and became a model for the state.  He was vice-chair of the Supreme Court's Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth, and Families and chair of the Supreme Court Task Force on Foster Care.

Judge Specia served as District Judge of the 225th District Court in San Antonio for eighteen years (1988-2006) and was the administrative judge for Bexar County district courts for four of those years.  He also served as Master of the 289th Family and Juvenile District Court (1985-1988).  Commissioner Specia was one of the state's first child welfare attorneys, serving as a regional attorney for the former Texas Department of Human Services (1980-1985), and he was a family law attorney in private practice before becoming a district judge.

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Telephone: 210.734.7092   ext. 1117

E-Mail: jspecia@pg-law.com

Practice Areas: Mediation, Arbitration, Dispute Resolution & Private Judging

Qualified Impartial Third Party pursuant to Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §154.052 (2006).




1975 St. Mary's University of Law, Juris Doctor, San Antonio, Texas

1972 University of Texas at Austin, Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, Austin, Texas.


The following is a representative listing of complex cases that he has directly presided over while serving as Judge for the 225th District Court:

Cause No. 88-CI-21620; William A. Harley vs. James B. Benedict, M.D.

Cause No. 88-CI-17229; Valero Interstate Transmission vs. John L. Clanton (Take or pay, breach of contract)

Cause No. 89-CI-08568; Stewart Windeler vs. Julio Palmaz, M.D. (Six-week breach of contract jury trial involving a patented medical device [the Palmaz stent])

Cause No. 92-CI-06899; Paul Hatton vs. National Union Fire Insurance Company

Cause No. 93-CI-04237; Purvis Insurance Agency vs. General Electric Capital

Cause No. 95-CI-12541; Chromalloy Gas Turbine vs. United Technologies Corporation (Three-month anti-trust jury trial)

Cause No. 97-CI-11503; Hall vs. Diamond Shamrock (Six-week refinery explosion jury trial)

Cause No. 97-CI-06922; Charles Messervey vs. Northbrook (Insurance fraud)

Cause No. 98-CI-02840; Wayne Urbanowski vs. Bruce McGovern (Medical malpractice jury trial)

Cause No. 99-CI-12469; TPLP vs. City of San Antonio

Cause No. 99-CI-13471; Robert Salter vs. AH Belo Company (Employment contract dispute)

Cause No. 2003-CI-16587; HM Jr. Auto Sales vs. South Point Pontiac-Cadillac

Cause No. 2003-CI-04424; Tetco, Inc. vs. ExxonMobil Oil Corporation (Four-week breach of contract jury trial)


1992 "Crisis in Foster Care," 55 Tex. B.J. 490

1985-1992 Various Articles in Alamo City Children's Advocacy Center and CASA

1981 (Contributor) "Law and the Practice of Psychiatry," The American College of Psychiatrists

1980 "Courtroom Testimony by Mental Health Professionals," Texas Psychologists, Vol. 32

Past/Present Affiliations

Chair - Texas Supreme Court Task Force on Foster Care
Chair - Texas Supreme Court Task Force on Child-Protection Case Management and Reporting
Board Member - Central Catholic Marianist High School
Board Member - National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (2000-2006)
Numerous other Civic and Professional Board Positions


2005 - Distinguished Law Graduate (Judicial), St. Mary's School of Law
2004 - Distinguished Law Graduate, St. Mary's School of Law
2001 - Dale Wood Award (Award for outstanding protection of children by the Judiciary)
2001 - St. Mary's University - School of Law, Rosewood Gavel Award (Award for outstanding Judicial Service)
1999 - Special Commendation, Texas Association for Marriage & Family Therapy
1998 - CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Judge of the Year


Married to Bettsie Specia.


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