Barbara M. Lynn

Barbara M. G. Lynn (born September 19, 1952)[1][2] is the Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, with chambers in Dallas, Texas.[1]

Barbara M. G. Lynn
Judge Lynn, circa 1999
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
Assumed office
May 1, 2016
Preceded byJorge Antonio Solis
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
Assumed office
November 22, 1999
Appointed byBill Clinton
Preceded byHarry Barefoot Sanders, Jr.
Personal details
Born (1952-09-19) September 19, 1952 (age 67)
Binghamton, New York
EducationUniversity of Virginia (B.A.)
Dedman School of Law (J.D.)

Early life and education

Born in Binghamton, New York, Lynn received a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Virginia in 1973. She received a Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in 1976.[1]

Professional career

Lynn was in private practice from 1976 to 1999[1] at the law firm Carrington Coleman in Dallas.[2] Lynn was the firm's first female associate (1976 - 1982) and then became the firm's first female partner (1983 - 1999) prior to joining the bench.[2][3]

Federal judicial service

On March 25, 1999, Lynn was nominated by President Bill Clinton to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas vacated by Harry Barefoot Sanders, Jr. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on November 17, 1999 and received her commission on November 22, 1999.[1] On May 1, 2016, she became the Chief Judge of the Northern District of Texas, the first woman to hold the position.[4]

Notable cases

Dallas Mayor corruption

Lynn was the presiding judge in the case of former Dallas Mayor Pro-Tempore Don Hill. Hill, and his wife Sheila Farrington Hill were sentenced on February 26, 2010 after being convicted on bribery and money laundering charges. Don Hill was sentenced to eighteen years in prison while his wife was sentenced to nine years in prison. The judge called the actions "a betrayal to our city".[5]

Lyrick Studios vs. Big Idea Productions

In 2001, film studio Lyrick Studios filed a lawsuit against Big Idea Productions, creator of the Christian show VeggieTales, for "breach of contract." The judge assigned to the case was Lynn, who denied Big Idea's request for summary judgement, thereby allowing the case to go to trial in April of 2003. Lyrick argued that they had a binding though unsigned agreement with Big Idea to distribute VeggieTales for the company, and that Big Idea had breached the deal by moving to Warner Music at the end of 2001.

A jury ruled against Big Idea Productions and Lynn awarded Lyrick $11M as well as legal fees, causing Big Idea to file for bankruptcy. Big Idea appealed Lynn's ruling, and the court-of-appeals for Dallas, Texas, overturned the judgement in August of 2005, ruling that faxes and mentos set out by Lyrick, were not sufficient under the law; therefore, Lynn should have granted Big Idea's request for summary judgement.


  1. "Lynn, Barbara M. - Federal Judicial Center".
  2. "District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn". United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
  3. Rogers, Tim (May 1, 2005). "The Gentlemen's Lawyer". D Magazine. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
  4. "Lynn to replace Solis as next chief judge on May 1". Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  5. "Three in Dallas City Hall case sentenced in a 'betrayal of our city'". Dallas Morning News. February 27, 2010. Retrieved February 29, 2012.