Dinah Gaines mentored me. Dinah is the Staff Attorney for the
Civil District Courts of Bexar County. Dinah taught me to handle
the less-public matters faced by District Judges along with the
most routine legal matters. I manage my own successful law firm.
The State Bar of Texas provided me one year of leadership training
through the LeadershipSBOT program. My family prays together
Recurring problems with synchronization lead me to believe
the Courts in Midland County lack necessary tools for peak
performance. I would like to see a greater integration among the
various components of our local computer systems. The Midland
County District and County Clerk’s Office, regional first
responders, and the Midland County Detention Center must be able
to electronically communicate. Differing operating systems, and
various levels of access to those systems, can create difficulty in
completing even simple tasks. A seamless integration of the
computer systems in place could make great progress in keeping
dockets open to new litigation instead of looking back to clear out
Midland County IT Department is second to none. A staff
member took me on a tour of their facilities. He pointed out the
state-of-the-art equipment and enlightened me to the fail-safe
procedures in place for emergencies, like sudden power failure. As
judge, I would support the IT department.
IRJ LAW, a PLLC is a paperless law office. My chambers
will be paperless. I am a speed-reader and type 70+ wpm.
Electronic data storage and management is now, not in the future.
My staff will not print documents only for them to be scanned and
shredded by a downstream administrator.
An accurate working knowledge of criminal law will ensure
cases bear the proper felony level designation. Simple mistakes
necessitate reassignment to another attorney. The mistake often
goes unnoticed until an attorney has completed substantial work,
which must be compensated. As a result, taxpayer dollars get
My goal will be to thoroughly scrutinize each document
passing through the 441st District Court of Texas on its way to the
Midland County District Clerk. The Presiding Judge of a District
Court bears the ultimate responsibility for the work product. I will
never lend the esteem of the 441st District Court to haphazard
30 years of trying cases as a trial lawyer qualifies me for the 441st judgeship, trying jury trials and bench trials in all areas of the law–most importantly criminal law and civil law–which is what this court handles.
A busy docket is the most pressing issue for this court and all Midland County courts. It will become even busier in the years to come based upon the direction of the oil and gas economy. Unfortunately, prosperous economic times means crime–especially theft and drug/alcohol related crimes–and civil lawsuits. Continued hard work by me as the next judge of this court and an efficient docket control plan are the keys to facing these issues.
As stated in no. 2, continued hard work by me as the next judge of this court and an efficient docket control plan are the keys to facing these issues. But each case is unique and deserves the appropriate time, most notably trial time if necessary, by the court to ensure fairness and justice to all parties.
I am an even-tempered, patient, ethical and hard-working attorney with 17 years of civil trial experience, highly concentrated in complex commercial oil and gas cases. I gained family law experience by volunteering as a pro bono attorney. I worked as a researcher and technical writer of complex criminal issues for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. As a managing shareholder at the Stubbeman law firm, I decide on budget, salary, and workplace management issues.
In 2004, Judge Satterwhite brought extensive knowledge of complex commercial and oi and gas litigation to our judiciary. His experience added a well-roundedness to our courts that we still need after his retirement. Because oil and gas is our largest industry, affecting nearly every citizen in some form or fashion, oil and gas law is vitally important in our county. We need a judge with a strong background in this area of the law to help serve our community.
I am the only candidate with this background. I have successfully tried cases and assisted oil and gas clients in resolving difficult issues for 17 years. I have also helped manage my law firm and its employees, and this experience is vital and necessary to the effectiveness and efficiency of our courts.
Efficiency, fairness and justice are all well served by preparedness, integrity, work ethic, open-mindedness and courage. I intend to be well-prepared for each matter that comes before the court, and to remain current in criminal and civil case law and particularly oil and gas legal principles either through self-study or attendance of continuing education programs. My background in complex oil and gas litigation is critical to our county's chief industry, and my experience will be crucial to ensuring well-informed, fair decisions from the 441st. Moreover, I have no agenda but listen to both sides, read all briefs, motions and responses, and apply the law and judicial analysis to the circumstances. I will not hesitate to make a ruling. I have the courage to not only call the balls and strikes as I see them, but also to do what the law requires.
With over 15 years in the District Attorney’s Office, at times managing the largest single prosecutor case load (successfully prosecuting over 300 felony cases in 12 months). I have 17 years in private practice and maintained an area-wide practice. I have tried over 200 jury trials (civil and criminal) and written over 200 appellate briefs, appearing in oral argument (8th Court, 11th Court, Tex. Supreme Court and Court of Criminal appeals – civil and criminal).
As with any court, the most pressing issues are always case load, case management, and case resolution. The ever growing docket (mainly felony level criminal cases) requires a judge knowledgeable and experienced in trial work. Being able to efficiently and effectively manage the case load with patience, dignity, and justice is necessary. The number of probation revocations add to the sizeable felony jury docket, so an efficient way of handling those non-jury matters will require resource management, which, I believe comes from extensive trial experience. By being aware of time constraints and attorney resources, the court can effectively schedule and efficiently move the cases. Finally, having worked for years as a felony prosecutor, and then in private practice as a sole practitioner, I believe I will be able to work more effectively with the District Attorney’s Office and the probation department than someone with lesser experience.
I believe Judge Satterwhite has done a wonderful job managing his court and continuing much of what he instituted will continue serving well. I intend on having a multiple, rotating docket, with incarcerated defendants moving to the top of any trial list. I also intend on having regular non-jury weeks to address the growing number of probation revocations pending. Matters that can be addressed without court intervention will be encouraged; agreed matters can be processed faster; and informal attorney conferences (which the late Judge John Hyde began) will be resumed. There are some who insist the criminal justice “system” is broken; however, just because something is difficult, does not mean impossible. Those who know me are aware of my work ethic, and I intend on bringing that same work ethic to the bench.