J.A. “TONY’ CANALES was born June 22, 1944 in Brownsville, Texas. Canales received an Associate of Arts from Del Mar College in 1964, a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1966, and his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 1969.

Canales began his career in private practice but shifted to federal law when in 1976 he was appointed U.S. District Attorney for the Southern District of Texas. He also served on the Texas State Bar Grievance Committee, District 11-A, from 1977 through 1978. As of 2018, Tony Canales practices law with Canales & Simonson, P.C. in Corpus Christi, Texas.

During his career, Canales prosecuted several high-profile cases, including successfully convicting three Houston police officers in a civil rights case against Joe Campos Torres and two others for conspiring to obstruct a federal investigation and committing perjury before a grand jury. He also prosecuted a former police chief for extortion, perjury and obstruction of justice, a former purchasing director for extortion, two mayors in separate kick-back schemes, and several affiliates of oil companies for overcharging oil sales.

During his career as a lawyer, Canales served as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, the State Bar of Texas Civility Committee, the American Bar Association White Collar Crime Committee, and St. Mary’s University School of Law’s International Legal Fraternity Phi Delta Phi-Tarlton Inn.

Canales also received recognition as a Distinguished Graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law, Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas by Texas Young Lawyers Association, and Texas Trial Titan by the State Bar of Texas.

By John Cadena, St. Mary’s University Law Fellows in Public History (2018)