Justice, 4th Court of Appeals, Place 5
6-year term. Must be age 35-74 years, a U.S. Citizen, a Texas resident, licensed to practice law in Texas, a registered voter, and have at least 10 years experience as a lawyer or judge. Hears appeals on civil and criminal cases from lower courts in its district.Período de 6 años. Debe tener una edad de 35-74 años, ser ciudadano estadounidense, residente de Texas, con licencia para practicar leyes en Texas, ser un votante registrado y tener por lo menos 10 años de experiencia como abogado o juez. Escucha apelaciones en casos civiles y penales de tribunales de primera instancia en su distrito.
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Rebecca Simmons (Rep)
Visiting Judge, Arbitrator and Mediator
What training, experience, and characteristics qualify you for this position?
Access to Justice:
What recent developments, such as improved DNA testing, provide opportunities to improve the state's indigent defense system in civil and criminal cases appealed from district and county courts?
Which responsibility of a Court of Appeals justice and is your highest priority and how do you intend to accomplish it?
Austin College B. A. 1978
Baylor University School of Law J.D. l980
Durham University, England
post-graduate study 1981
My judicial experience makes me uniquely qualified. I am a former Justice on the 4th Court (2005-2012) and former Judge of the 408th District Court (2003-2005). I currently sit as a visiting judge at both the appellate and trial levels. My broad legal experience provides insight into the types of cases that go before the 4th Court. Before becoming a judge I practiced law for 20 years specializing in complex litigation; served as associate general counsel for a large company; and have been an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s for the past 24 years. Experience matters on the 4th Court.
Many justice courts in Texas are overwhelmed by debt cases involving indigents. Most indigent defendants don’t show up at court and default judgments are taken. The implementation of court approved form building software built into the e-filing system allows parties to file and respond to cases from computers and digital devices without missing work. Under review is an online mediation system to assist parties in resolving their matters quickly without going to court which would benefit thousands.
My highest priority as a Justice is to thoughtfully consider each case, confer with the other judges on the case, and resolve it in a timely manner with a well - written and clear opinion. Because lawyers and other courts rely on the opinions issued, it is critical that they are clear and straightforward, focused only on the issues presented. I have a proven record of issuing clear opinions cited by other courts.
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