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Judge Specia’s practice focuses primarily on mediation, arbitration, dispute resolution & private judging. He has over 46 years of legal experience including his private practice as a family law attorney and then serving as District Judge of the 225th District Court in Bexar County for eighteen years from 1988 – 2006. Additionally, he 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 from 1985 – 1988 and was one of the state’s first child welfare attorneys, serving as a regional attorney for the former Texas Department of Human Services. Judge Specia is also a Qualified Impartial Third Party pursuant to Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §154.052 (2019).

Over the course of his judicial career, Judge Specia presided over numerous jury and non-jury trials. He oversaw a wide range of complex legal issues, including, but not limited to, family law matters, commercial litigation, employment matters, personal injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury

As a mediator, Judge Specia offers the experience of having conducted hundreds of complex mediations of cases involving many challenging legal issues. Judge Specia’s wide-ranging legal experience has resulted in many successful results for the parties involved.

Distinguished Law Graduate (Judicial), St. Mary’s School of Law, 2005
Distinguished Law Graduate, St. Mary's School of Law, 2004
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), 2001
Special Commendation, Texas Association for Marriage & Family Therapy, 1999
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Judge of the Year, 1998

Arbitration & Mediation


J.D., St. Mary's University of Law, 1975
B.A., University of Texas at Austin, Political Science, 1972


State Bar of Texas


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

The Honorable John J. Specia


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