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District Judge, 148th Judicial District

Texas District Courts are the trial courts of general jurisdiction in Texas. "The geographical area served by each court is established by the Legislature, but each county must be served by at least one district court. In sparsely populated areas of the State, several counties may be served by a single district court, while an urban county may be served by many district courts."[1] The district courts often have concurrent jurisdiction with the Texas county courts.As of September 2013, there are 448 district courts in Texas. District courts have one judge per court.District courts have original jurisdiction in all felony criminal cases, divorce cases, cases involving title to land, election contest cases, civil matters in which the amount in controversy (the amount of money or damages involved) is $200 or more, and any matters in which jurisdiction is not placed in another trial court. While most district courts try both criminal and civil cases, in the more densely populated counties the courts may specialize in civil, criminal, juvenile, or family law matters."[1]
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    Bill Kelly (Rep) Attorney

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    Deborah Rios (Dem) Attorney

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    Mark Stolley (Rep) Attorney and Counselor at Law

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    Carlos Valdez (Dem)

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Biographical Information

Describe your credentials and life experiences that qualify you to hold this office.

What areas of the Law have you practiced during the last 10 years, and how will they impact your ability to serve?

In your opinion, what are the two major issues facing the 148th District Court in the coming term?

What attributes make you the best choice for this position?

Campaign Phone Number (361) 815-7314
Attorney for 32 years with experience ranging from insurance defense to family and education law. Married for 32 years to Evon Kelly, raised two children and actively involved in public service as a city councilman and school board member. Served on community boards including CASA and Metro Ministries. Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus and serve as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Thomas The Apostle Catholic Church.
Board certified family lawyer who has represented people in the worst crisis in their lives. As a family law attorney, clients sometimes fight over their children and their property and everything they have accumulated over a lifetime. Because people can own anything, I've been introduced to various other legal disciplines such as property law, business law and oil and gas law. Sometimes family law clients even commit crimes which has exposed me to criminal law.I have tried numerous jury cases, bench trials and prosecuted appeals,
1.) Judicial demeanor. As a mediator I have a similar perspective as should be expected of a judge. I listen. I hear the positions and arguments of both sides. This requires me to be patient and respectful of those involved, not only of the litigants but also of the attorneys. 2.) Don't legislate from the bench. The job is to apply the facts to the law written by the legislature, not to create your own laws through your decisions.

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-- 32 years of legal experience, being recognized as Board Certified Attorney, being trusted by judges and other attorneys as a mediator; and as a featured speaker at legal seminars on mediation and family law. -- Knowledge of the community based on years of civic and public service. -- Empathy for crime victims. My wife and I were robbed at gunpoint and I understand the impact crime has on its victims.

Campaign Phone Number (361) 510-5806
I was born and raised in Corpus Christi and I've worked here my entire life. I've been in private practice for the majority of the last 15 years. I grew up as an excruciatingly shy child. I was the kid in the corner that sat and listened to the adults in the room. The traits I developed as an introvert are the very same traits that I believe make me the best candidate. I'm patient with a deep sense of empathy and compassion for others. I'm a great listener with an ability to gauge a person's genuineness. Most importantly, I'm committed to ensuring the justice system works for everyone.
I've worked almost all the types of cases that come before a district court judge. I've worked in civil law, insurance defense, personal injury, criminal law and family law. For the past six years I've narrowed my practice areas to criminal law and family law. Currently my caseload is 70% criminal law and 30% family law. My two years working as an assistant attorney general in the child support division gave me invaluable experience handling large case dockets as well as strengthening my leadership skills by leading my legal support team for a year without a supervising attorney.
First and foremost will be the backlog of cases. The 148th District Court has struggled for some time with a large backlog of cases. While Judge Williams was making progress, his suspension has now resulted in a situation that will revert the court back to dealing with a large case backlog. Second will be restoring dignity to the 148th. This court, in recent history, has been defined by justice being determined on the mood of the judge rather than the facts of the case. If I'm elected, justice will be determined by the facts of each case and not on the relationship with the Judge.
My passion to ensuring that the justice system works for everyone equally. The issues at the courthouse change with time. I've been actively practicing in the Nueces County Courts for the last 15 years. I know what the current issues are. I understand the dynamics of the wheels of justice in Nueces County. I've got the resolve to stand up for issues that need to be changed or addressed as well as the leadership skills to encourage new ideas. Finally, I've got the work ethic needed to tackle the backlog of cases along with the integrity to ensure that it does not come at the expense of justice.
Campaign Phone Number (361) 884-3311
Lifelong resident of Nueces County, married 19 years with three children. attended local schools. Graduate of Corpus Christi State University with highest honors. Juris Doctorate-Unv. of Houston, Licensed Attorney of Texas since 1995. Solo Practitioner since 2001, Former Prosecutor for Nueces County Attorney's Office, and District Attorney's Office (1996-2001) with numerous jury trials from misdemeanors to first degree felonies. Extensive trial court experience regarding, mental health commitments, attorney for children in abuse cases and family cases, Juvenile, and special prosecutor.

The 148th District Court is a trial court, and I am a trial attorney, who,in the last 10 years,has practiced in the Coastal Bend region, handling weekly multiple county dockets in criminal defense, attorney for children and parents in abuse/family law cases, juvenile, attorney and judge for mental commitments, guardian ad litem in civil, probate,and as a special prosecutor for the State of Texas. I have tried dozens of cases to a jury from misdemeanor to capital murder and as an attorney for children and parents in abuse or neglect cases. My experience will allow for effective court management
1: Case management tools need to be effectively used, namely Odyssey, the County's newly purchased computer program that allows for effective case management. By utilizing Odyssey, the Court and parties can see the chronology of events in a case, papers filed and orders of the Court, which results in more timely case disposition. 2. Generating a unified team approach to solve problems with a willingness to adapt and compromise by effective use of all programs adopted by the board of judges of Nueces County thereby minimizing risk to the public and upholding rights of the people.
The 148th is a trial court. With over 22 years experience as a prosecutor, attorney for children, parents, juvenile offenders, guardianship, proposed wards and patients and as a judge in mental commitments, and as a criminal defense attorney, I have seen cases from all angles and vantage points. My experience of family and raising children, combined with my professional experience as a jury trial attorney and business owner will allow for the effective management of this Court by combining stability and fairness resulting in promptly giving people their day in Court and reducing public cost.
I was County Attorney for 8 years, District Attorney for 17 years, City Attorney for almost 4 years. I have personally handled some of the most difficult and high profile cases in the history of this county. I have advised judges, City Councils, Commissioners Courts as well as the public during my 38 years of practicing law. I have lectured throughout the country regarding the trial of cases. I am actively involved in training Mexican lawyers on trial techniques.
During the past 10 years I have been involved in the trial of major and highly publicized cases involving criminal, civil and administrative matters. I have personally tried criminal cases ranging from misdemeanor cases to capital murder. I have litigated matters of a civil nature involving complex areas of government and administrative law. And I have handled private practice cases involving all areas of the laws. This experience will be important in handling matters in a district court that has general jurisdiction.
Two major issues presently facing the court are: The absence of a regular judge on the bench for several months will create a serious backlog that must be addressed by someone with the experience required to reduce the backlog while assuring that access to justice is not curtailed. The confidence of the legal community in dealing with the court must be regained. This can only be done through hard work and diligence.
My overall professional experience as well as my many years in the practice of law and in public service make me the best choice for this court. The voting public knows what to expect when they vote for me.