Gregg Costa

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Gregg Costa
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Current Court Information:
Southern District of Texas
Title:   Judge
Appointed by:   Barack Obama
Active:   4/26/2012 - Present
Preceded by:   John Rainey
Personal History
Born:   1972
Hometown:   Baltimore, MD
Undergraduate:   Dartmouth College, B.A., 1994
Law School:   U. of Texas Law, J.D., 1999
Candidate 2013:
Candidate for:  United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Gregg Costa is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. He joined the court in 2012 after a nomination from President Barack Obama. At the time of nomination, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Texas and had held that position since 2005.[1][2]

On December 19, 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Costa to fill a vacancy on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.[3]

Federal judicial nomination

Fifth Circuit

Nomination Tracker
 Candidate:Gregg Costa
 Court:Fifth Circuit
 Progress: 122 days since nomination.
ApprovedANominated:December 19, 2013
ApprovedAABA Rating:Unanimously Well Qualified
ApprovedAHearing:February 25, 2014
ApprovedAReported:March 27, 2014 
Gregg Costa was nominated by President Barack Obama on December 19, 2013, to fill a vacancy on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The vacancy was created when Fortunato Benavides took senior status in February of 2012.[3] On the nominations:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

Judges Carnes and Costa have displayed exceptional dedication to public service throughout their careers... I am honored to nominate them today to serve the American people on the United States Courts of Appeals. I am confident that they will be judicious and esteemed additions to the Eleventh and the Fifth Circuits.

—President Barack Obama[3]

The American Bar Association rated Costa Unanimously Well Qualified for the position on the Fifth Circuit court.[4]

Costa's nomination was returned by the Senate on January 3, 2014 and he was renominated on January 6th by President Obama.[5] He had a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 25, 2014. On March 27, 2014, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported Costa's nomination to the full U.S. Senate on a voice vote.[6]

Early life and education

Costa received a B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1994 and a juris doctorate degree from University of Texas School of Law in 1999. From 1994 to 1996 Costa taught elementary school through the Teach for America program in Sunflower, Mississippi.[1][2]

Professional career

  • 2005-2012: Assistant U.S. Attorney, Southern District of Texas
  • 2002-2005: Associate, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP,
  • 2001-2002: Law Clerk, Honorable William H. Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States
  • 1999-2000: Law Clerk, Honorable A. Raymond Randolph
  • 1999: Bristow Fellow at the Office of the Solicitor General U.S. Department of Justice[1][2]

Judicial career

Southern District of Texas

On September 8, 2011, Costa was nominated to the federal bench by President Barack Obama to the seat vacated by John Rainey.[7][8] Obama commented on the nomination, stating, "Gregg Jeffrey Costa is a distinguished individual who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to justice throughout his career. I am grateful for his decision to serve the American people from the District Court bench."[1]

He was rated Unanimously Well Qualified by the American Bar Association. He had a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on November 2, 2011 and you can find his Committee Questionnaire available here and his Questions for the Record available here.[9]

With a vote of 92-2, Gregg Costa was also confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 26, 2012 to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.[10][2]

Notable cases

Partial summary judgment in Bumbo products liability case (2013)

  United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
     *Blythe, et al v. Bumbo International Trust f/k/a Jonibach Management Trust, et al 6:12-cv-00036
On November 26, 2013, Judge Costa granted partial summary judgment to Bumbo International in a products liability case where parents of an infant alleged that the baby fractured her skull after falling from an elevated surface while seated in a Bumbo Baby Seat. The Baby Seat had a warning that clearly stated it should "never [be used] on any elevated surface." The parents admitted they did not read any of the warnings present, but if they had, they would have obeyed them. Despite these facts, the Blythes still believed Bumbo International failed to provide adequate warnings about the Baby Seat's potential dangers, suing under a marketing defect claim. Judge Costa rejected that theory of the case, ruling that "there [was] no basis for a reasonable jury to decide that this unambiguous and conspicuous warning was insufficient." A jury later returned a verdict in favor of the company on the remaining causes of action.[11]

Awards and associations


  • 2013: John Marshall Award for Performance in Prosecuting White Collar Crime
  • 2012: Assistant Attorney General's Award for Exceptional Service for work on Allen Stanford prosecution
  • 2012: Recognition from United States Postal Inspection Service for work on various fraud cases
  • 2010: Award from Immigration and Customs Enforcement for work on cases involving importation of counterfeit technology products from China
  • 2010: Huston Bar Association Bob Susman Scholarship
  • 2009: Certificate of Appreciation from Director of the Secret Service for work on mortgage fraud prosecution
  • 2008: Certificate of Appreciation from Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security for work on FEMA fraud cases
  • 1998:Vice Chancellor, Ranked second in law school after 2 years
  • 1996: Ellen Waters Olson Scholarship
  • Editor in Chief, Texas Law Review


  • 2012-Present: Federal Judges Association
  • 2012-Present: Team Manager, Huston Express Soccer Club
  • 2010-2011: Assistant Baseball Coach, Bellaire Little League
  • 2009-2012: National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys
  • 2008-2009: Huston Urban Debate League
  • 2008-2009: Youth Soccer Coach, Bellaire Recreation Center
  • 2006-2007: Coordinator, United States Public Service Academy Task Force on Service Learning
  • 2006-2007: Youth Soccer Coach, YMCA
  • 2004, 2014: Reunion Committee, University of Texas School of Law
  • 2003-Present: Supreme Court Historical Society
  • 2002-Present: Congregation Beth Yeshurun
  • 2004-2006: Board Member, 100 Jewish Men
  • 1999-Present: Board Member, Sunflower County Freedom Project
  • 1994-Present: Teach for America[12]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
John Rainey
Southern District of Texas
Succeeded by:

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