Meet Chris


Chris Ponder, a native of Arlington, is the second of two siblings. His parents, Buddy and Cheryl, moved to Tarrant County in 1966 from Graham, Texas, and have been here ever since.  Chris has served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office.  Always in the Civil Division of the District Attorney’s Office, Chris spent much of his time as the Chief of the DA’s Mental Health Division.

Chris received a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Texas at Arlington prior to earning his law degree from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in 2003. Throughout his career, Chris has emphasized the importance of accountability, transparency, and integrity. His commitment to excellence in both character and service helped him quickly emerge as a leader in the Tarrant County legal community. He has argued cases on behalf of Tarrant County at every level of the state judiciary system: county and district courts, courts of appeal, and the Texas Supreme Court. His extensive courtroom and legal experience on behalf of Tarrant County and its elected officials has given him the skills and experiences needed to fully appreciate the importance of strictly following the law as written, and ensuring it is equally applied to all parties.

Chris is a lifelong conservative and has been an active supporter and voter in the Republican Party since he was able to cast a vote. He’s a member of the Northeast Tarrant Republican Club, the Tarrant County Mental Health Connection, the Federalist Society, Tarrant County Bar Foundation, the Colleyville Lions Club, and the NRA. Throughout his career, Chris has been a frequent speaker on mental health law to the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association.  Chris has also been honored with induction into the exclusive Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court.

Chris and his wife Dotty live in Colleyville with their three kids, Ethan, Averie, and Audrey. He’s a proud coach with Colleyville Baseball Association, and actively involved in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. The Ponders attend Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Colleyville.

Community Involvement:

  • Member, Northeast Tarrant Republican Club
  • Member, Tarrant County Mental Health Connection
  •  Member, Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court
  • Member, Tarrant County Bar Foundation
  • Member, Federalist Society
  • Member, NRA
  • Member, Colleyville Lions Club
  • Coach, Colleyville Baseball Association


About tarrant County Probate Court No. 1

Traditionally, one thinks of going to probate court to administer the estate of their deceased love one.  Texas probate courts, however, are more than just the administration of wills and estates.

Probate courts have the primary responsibility over mental health and guardianship matters. 

Mental health cases are the largest number of filings that the Tarrant County Probate Courts receive each year.  Because of this increased volume of cases, Tarrant County Probate Court No. 1 needs a judge who fully understands the depth of the mental health crisis in our community. In the last two years, Tarrant County has experienced a 42% increase in mental health filings. We need a judge who has the experience, professionalism, and accessibility necessary to address these cases.

 As the former Chief of the District Attorney’s Mental Health Division, I am intimately aware of the complex issues surrounding the plague of mental illness in our community. Serving as the DA’s point person to resolve the most difficult mental health issues that straddle the criminal and civil areas has given me a unique understanding of this important issue.

In addition to mental health matters, the administration of wills and estates and guardianship issues remain an important function of the Probate Court.  The Probate Court’s jurisdiction potentially expands to envelope virtually any kind of civil proceeding if it relates to the estate.  My extensive background in civil litigation will allow me to preside effectively over any type of case before the court.

I have the temperament and integrity necessary to honorably serve the citizens of Tarrant County on the bench of Probate Court No. 1.  My core responsibility as judge is to follow the law.  You will always know that I will adhere to the law's text and original meaning.