CHRIS MORALES was elected as Judge of County Court at Law No. 1 in 2014, and took the oath of office on January 1, 2015.
In 2017, after a little over two years on the bench he was selected by his peers to serve as Administrative Judge over all County Courts at Law. As Judge of County Court at Law No. 1, he manages a multitude of cases that impacts the daily life of every citizen in Fort Bend County. Judge Morales oversees such matters as probate & guardianship cases, juvenile cases, civil litigation cases, condemnation proceedings, civil mental health commitments, and criminal misdemeanor cases. Most importantly, Judge Morales also oversees Fort Bend County’s only Misdemeanor Mental Health Court, a program designed to reduce recidivism rates and county born costs among criminal defendants with mental illness.
Throughout his time on the bench Judge Morales has been a staunch advocate and firm believer in upholding the letter of the law and the Constitution. As a fiscal conservative, Judge Morales has also led the way on implementing and utilizing new technologies in the courtroom that not only reduce costs, but also ensures the courts evolve with societal and technological changes. Among many other accomplishments, Judge Morales has worked hard to reduce backlogs and wait times for hearings, introduced multiple continuing education events for lawyers, and worked closely with the Juvenile Probation Department for the youth of this County.
Judge Morales is a lifelong resident of Fort Bend County and graduate of B.F. Terry High School in Rosenberg.
His grandfather, Doc Klingle, graduated from Lamar Consolidated High School in 1954 and his mother, Regina Klingle Morales, was born at Polly Ryan Hospital (now Oak Bend Medical Center). His father, Vincent Morales Jr. is the current Fort Bend County Precinct 1 Commissioner, and his mother, Regina serves as President of the Central Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce.
Judge Morales graduated from Texas A&M University, where he earned a Bachelor of Environmental Design with an emphasis on Real Estate Development. He is married to his high school sweetheart and fellow Texas A&M graduate, Vanessa Morales. Vanessa is a CPA with Curtis Cloud & Co. P.C. Judge Morales and Vanessa are both members at River Pointe Church in Richmond and have two children, Madelyn and William.
After graduating from Texas A&M University, Judge Morales attended South Texas College of Law in Houston, Texas, the top trial advocacy law school in the nation according to U.S. News and World Reports. During law school, Judge Morales clerked for the Law Office of M.E. Duff & Associates and the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office. Upon graduation, he accepted an offer with the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney.
In June of 2008, Judge Morales was selected out of hundreds of applicants to attend the prestigious National Advocacy Center (NAC) in South Carolina.
The NAC is a joint venture of the National District Attorney’s Association and the United States Department of Justice, where the best trial attorneys from across the nation meet to perfect their courtroom skills. Prosecutors work side by side with the finest legal minds in the country and law enforcement agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Judge Morales later went on to work for Roberts Markel Weinberg, PC where he practiced civil litigation and real estate transactions. He eventually opened his own firm, The Morales Law Firm, PLLC in 2011. While in private practice, Judge Morales’ practice areas included civil litigation, mental health commitments, criminal defense, juvenile law, probate and guardianship. As a solo practitioner, Judge Morales aimed to give every person a voice in the courtroom, just as he strives today as Judge of County Court at Law No. 1.
Throughout the years, Judge Morales has always taken special pride in generously giving back to his community.
Growing up in Fort Bend County, his parents instilled in him the virtue of community service, and encouraged him to volunteer his time. In the past, Judge Morales has chaired the local young professional’s organization at the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce, and volunteered with the Lamar Education Awards Foundation, Constellation Foundation, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, CASA, and many other local non-profits. Most recently he found time to coach his son’s soccer team and volunteer with Early Childhood Sunday School at Church. Judge Morales also serves as a board member on the Fort Bend County Council of Judges, Fort Bend County Juvenile Board, Fort Bend County Law Library Board, Fort Bend County Mental Health Advisory Board and is the Administrative Judge of the Fort Bend County Courts at Law Board.