Dr. Chriss is one of the few Texas lawyers and judges to have been elected to membership in the American Law Institute (ALI), publisher of the Restatements of the Law. He served for several years as chair of the Texas Pattern Jury Charge Committee-Business, Consumer, Insurance & Employment, as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Texas Insurance Law, and as Executive Director of the Texas Center for Legal Ethics, which promotes the highest levels of ethics and professionalism among Texas lawyers. In 2016, he received the Ethics Center’s statewide Chief Justice Jack Pope Professionalism Award honoring an appellate lawyer or judge who epitomizes the highest level of professionalism and integrity. He also received the Texas Bar Foundation’s 2005 statewide Dan R. Price Award for service to the legal profession and excellence in teaching and scholarly writing. Over the years, he has provided ethics and compliance training to government agencies and major corporations, including the State Bar of Texas, the Attorney General of Texas, the U.S. Army, and American Airlines, and to various professional and industry groups including accountants, architects, attorneys, judges, bank officers, insurance adjusters, real estate professionals, and others.
In addition to his fulltime job, Dr. Chriss is a historian, political scientist, religious scholar, and published author. He was nominated for the Rhodes Scholarship and attended Harvard Law School where he became one of the youngest members of his graduating class at the age of 23. He also holds post-graduate degrees in literary studies, theology, history and politics, including a Ph.D. in history from The University of Texas. While maintaining his busy law practice, Dr. Chriss taught Judicial Politics, Political Philosophy, History, and Constitutional Law within the Texas A&M University system. He has written several articles for scholarly journals and his first book, The Noble Lawyer, was published by Texas Bar Books in 2011, while his second book, Six Constitutions over Texas, is being published by Texas A&M University Press.