Judge Moran is a long-time East Texan. His family moved to Smith County in 1976, when he was two years old. He spent the first part of his childhood in the Antioch community between Whitehouse and Bullard. His father served as the dean of a Bible college and administrator for an international ministry, while his mother worked part-time in the cafeteria to help provide for their family. Along with his three brothers (Patrick, Chris, and Daniel), he rode the bus to school each day, learning quickly how to resolve problems and build relationships.
In 1993, Judge Moran graduated from Whitehouse High School, having served as the President of his Class. After high school, he attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, where the words “Duty, Honor, Country” were forever inscribed on his mind and heart. As a veteran of the Unites States Army, he strives never to forget his preparation at West Point for a lifetime of service to his community and the nation.
Judge Moran went on to graduate from Texas Tech University with a B.A. in Russian Language and Area Studies (1997, Summa Cum Laude), followed by a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (1998, Summa Cum Laude) and a Law Degree (2002). In 1999—one week before starting law school—he married his wife, Kyna. Together, they have four children—Caleb (2005); Victoria (2006); Juliette (2016); and Lincoln (2017).
Judge Moran is most proud of his roles as husband and father. He currently spends much of his time away from the office volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America, Pack 370 (Green Acres), where he is an Assistant Scoutmaster. He also enjoys coaching basketball for his daughter, Victoria, and making sure that his children learn the value of putting others first by volunteering. Judge Moran and his family are members of South Spring Baptist Church in Tyler.
Judge Moran’s commitment to family was most notable when, in 2009, he had the opportunity to move to Houston so that his son, Caleb, could attend a special school for the Deaf. Judge Moran voluntarily chose to resign as Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Tyler at that time and leave his law practice, so that his son could have the opportunity to learn to speak. Upon satisfactory completion of that program, Judge Moran and his family then moved back to the Tyler area.
After graduating from law school, Judge Moran began his legal career in 2002 with the law firm of Ramey & Flock in Tyler. Over the span of his legal career, Judge Moran has been both a litigator and a transactional attorney. He has represented businesses and individuals on a wide variety of matters ranging from labor and employment, intellectual property disputes, business litigation, creditors rights, real estate, business formation and organization work, and general civil litigation and transaction work. From 2009 until 2012, Judge Moran practiced in Houston, Texas, where his focus was on creditors’ rights and oil and gas representation.
Upon his return to the Tyler area in 2012, Judge Moran resumed practice with Ramey & Flock, P.C. as a partner focusing on representing business clients in a variety of litigation and transactional matters. He remained a partner until July 2016, when he was appointed to the position of Smith County Judge to fill the unexpired term of the former County Judge.
While finishing his MBA and throughout law school, Judge Moran worked at Cavazos Junior High School in Lubbock, Texas as the site director for after school programs for economically disadvantaged youth and as a teaching assistant in the reading department. Judge Moran believes in the value of hard work, and was dedicated to supporting his family while also attending law school.
Judge Moran currently is the sole principal of The Nathaniel Moran Law Firm, PLLC, through which he serves a select number of clients in addition to performing full-time duties as Smith County Judge. As a small business owner, he understands how to be efficient, cut costs, and operate on a thin margin. He also understands that customer service is of the utmost importance. In County government, the customer is the citizen. And, Judge Moran is adamant that the County operate with that in mind at all times.
Judge Moran has been a long-time advocate of volunteer service to the East Texas community. And, he leads by example in this area. His volunteer service has been in four primary areas: civic/governmental, educational, legal, and political.
Civic/Governmental. Prior to serving as Smith County Judge, Judge Moran was elected three times to the Tyler City Council between 2005 and 2009 to represent District 5-East, serving also as Mayor Pro Tem. During that time, he also served as an executive committee member to the Tyler Economic Development Council, chairman of the Lake Tyler Advisory Board, member of the Texas Municipal League Legislative Policy Committee on taxation from 2008-2009, and as the First Vice-President for the Region 15 Board of Directors for the Texas Municipal League in 2009.
Educational. Before taking office, Judge Moran was a founding board member of the Whitehouse ISD Education Foundation in 2014, and served as its first President from 2014-2015. He was also a tenured member of the Discovery Science Place Board of Directors from 2012 until the present, serving as its President in 2016. In 2002, Judge Moran began his community service here in East Texas as a member of the Tyler Library Advisory Board member in 2005. Judge Moran volunteers much of his time currently as an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 370 (Green Acres Baptist Church) in Tyler, Texas. As a scout leader, he recently earned his Wood Badge for completing the Boy Scouts of America leadership program.
Legal. Early in his legal career, Judge Moran served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Smith County Young Lawyers Association. Currently, he is completing his fourth year of service on the Smith County Bar Association as a member of the Board of Directors. During his service, he co-chaired twice the annual High School Mock Trial competition. And, he helped establish a 10-month program for new lawyers to introduce them to the various courts in Smith County.
Political. Judge Moran has also spent a considerable amount of time volunteering for the Smith County Republican Party in various capacities. He served as the Smith County, Precinct 55 Chairman from 2006-2009 and Election Judge in 2004. He has been a delegate to the state convention for the Republican Party on three separate occasions, served as the Smith County Republican Party Candidate Committee Chairman (2006-2008), and as the President of the Smith County Republican Club (2007-2008).
Judge Moran has earned several distinctions stemming from his volunteer community service and his legal career. He has been rated as an AV Preeminent attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, is a Life Fellow with the Texas Bar Foundation, and is a member of the National Order of Barristers. He was previously named on multiple occasions a Texas Super Lawyer Rising Star in the area of Business Litigation and also in the area of Creditors’ Rights. In 2009, he was named the Smith County Young Lawyer of the Year and was also awarded the W.C. Windsor Community Service Award by the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce for his voluntary service to the Tyler community. He is a graduate of Leadership Tyler, Class 18, and is currently a participant in the Catalyst 100 Community Leadership Program.
During law school, Judge Moran was an inaugural member of the Blackstone Fellowship training program through the Alliance Defending Freedom, during which time he also had the opportunity to clerk for First Liberty Institute in Plano, Texas (formerly Liberty Legal Institute).