Judge Thomas Bradley “Brad” Cates was elected to the McLennan County Court at Law No. Two in 2010, and has served on the bench from 2011 to the present. He was a member of the Baylor University Class of ‘77, where he earned a B.B.A.. Judge Cates received his law degree from Baylor Law School in 1980, and was licensed by the Texas Supreme Court in May, 1981.
He served McLennan County as an Assistant Criminal District Attorney until June of 1983, when he entered private practice with the firm of Bates, Cates & Cates. He began his own private firm of “T. Bradley Cates, Attorney at Law” in 1991. During his 29 years as a prosecutor and private practitioner, Judge Cates tried many civil, criminal and family cases, and served on numerous local charitable and professional boards, including Waco Baptist Academy, Waco Symphony Association, Heart of Texas Legal Services Corporation, City of Waco Historic Landmark Commission, Waco-McLennan Young Lawyers Association, and many others. He was honored as the Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers “Outstanding Young Lawyer” in 1989 and "Outstanding Mentor" in 2017. Judge Cates served over five years as a member of the Board of the Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas, has served on the faculty of the Texas Center for the Judiciary and frequently serves as a guest lecturer for Baylor University.
Judge Brad Cates is married to Linda Bates Cates, a Waco native and is the proud father of two and the proud grandfather of three. He performs with the Waco Community Band and his church orchestra, loves all forms of music, and, occasionally, performs professionally. He is also an avid outdoorsman, woodworker, reader, and handyman.