District Court Judge, 428th District
District Courts are the trial courts of general jurisdiction of Texas. District Courts have original jurisdiction in all felony, criminal, civil, and family-law cases. The geographical area served by each court is established by the Legislature, but each county must be served by at least one district court.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
Bill Henry (Rep)
Benjamin Wetmore (Rep)
1) Do you believe that all citizens have adequate access to legal assistance in the legal system? If not, what can be done to provide wider and better access?
2) What do you perceive as the greatest obstacles to justice in the court system?
3) How would you ensure that cases are being heard in a timely manner?
Baylor University, BA
Baylor Law School, JD
29 years legal experience
12 years as a district judge hearing complex cases
Board Certified in Civil Trial and Family Law
Many people do not have access to the system. We need to follow through with the Texas Supreme Court's initiative and help young lawyers partner with low and middle-income clients to handle smaller cases. That way people can get their day in court and inexperienced attorneys can get the courtroom experience they need.
Cost and complexity. When I deal with individuals who are in court without an attorney, I focus additional time and resources to make sure they understand their rights and are treated equally.
I try to make an early determination of cases that are filed without an attorney and make sure that they get the appropriate setting at the appropriate time.
We need judges who better manage their court docket. Right now, due to the way the scheduling is handled, there are major delays for civil, children's cases, and wasted time for law enforcement. With stronger judges and better administration, we can better handle these cases. Delays in children's cases, which have wasted considerable volunteer lawyer's time, cause kids to stay in bad situations and not get the resolutions they deserve. I will be a strong judge and an effective administrator.
Delays that drive up costs. Judges need to be stronger about refusing to delay cases, and more willing to assert themselves to dispose of frivolous cases. "Justice delayed is justice denied" and many feel that they cannot get justice in our courts due to the costs and the delays. I will work hard to change both of those trends.
A stronger docket, with firm settings, moving things along will save everyone time and money. There are regular cases that come before the Court that need to be scheduled differently than other cases. I have had experience in other counties, seeing how other Courts manage their dockets, and I intend to bring the efficiencies I have seen elsewhere to better manage the docket in the 428th.
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