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Justice, 5th Court of Appeals, Place 11

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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Biographical Information

Background: 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?

Responsibilities: Which responsibility of a Court of Appeals justice and is your highest priority and how do you intend to accomplish it?

Campaign Phone (214) 454-6563
Education B.A. (History and Comparative Literature), Rutgers University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with general and departmental honors; J.D., University of Texas School of Law
I have over 28 years of trial and appellate experience - the most by far of any candidate in this race. Appellate judges write, and I am one of the most prolific and accomplished legal writers in Texas (author of 4 books and many articles).
I am in favor of utilizing technology to help provide indigent defendants with equal access to justice. That's why I helped organize and speak at a free CLE seminar for Legal Aid attorneys from all over the state recently, entitled "With Technology and Justice for All." It gave these attorneys guidance on using technology to assist indigent Texans in civil/criminal cases.
A Court of Appeals justice must not only be experienced in appellate law and an accomplished legal writer, he or she must be impartial and ethical. I have not only received Texas' highest awards for my writing, but also for my legal ethics. In 2016, I received the Bar's lifetime achievement award for contributions to legal ethics. I also teach judges about legal ethics.
Twitter @votingfortom
Education Texas A&M - History and Political Science Baylor Law School USAF - JAG School
Hundreds of trials, thousands of cases handled, and being in court daily means my experienced is unmatched. I am trusted by counties to handle indigent defense. I can provide veteran leadership (USAF JAG). I am a strict Constitution originalist.
Tech advances have improved access to appeals. By making advances with official transcripts and records, it should be cheaper and faster for indigents to appeal their cases. New scientific tests may make the outcome more certain, but could result in higher costs to appeal. We must make sure that we are efficient with how we spend our resources to accomplish the task.
Because the 5th CoA is the biggest and busiest, the Court must focus on moving the cases it hears more efficiently. The time it takes for a case to make it through the system can be made faster. I hope to leverage my skills, especially in criminal law (the bulk of the cases), to speed up the length of time it takes for cases to be decided. Practical skills, like mine help.
Campaign Phone (214) 521-9100
Education UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON LAW CENTER, Juris Doctor, May 1990 First Place, school-wide mock trial competition. Best Oralist, school-wide mock trial competition UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN BBA in Finance with concentration in Tax Accounting
Former Judge, 8 years Presided over 500 jury trials and 500 bench trials. 99% Court of Appeals affirmation rate. Former Asst. Dist. Atty, 6 years Private Practice, Civil Litigation, Family, Probate Law Bd. Certified Crim. Trial Law Specialist
Each County is responsible for providing Access to Justice. This is accomplished by each County funding private attorneys or public defenders to represent indigent defendants.The funds should be allocated from each County's budget for Public Justice.If a prosecuting agency loses a case, the funds provided for the defendant should be deducted from that agency's budget.
Guarantying Due Process (Notice of proceedings and the Opportunity to be heard) to all parties and their legal counsel in each appeal filed before the 5th District Court of Appeals at Dallas. Many trial court judges, under the guise of "discretion", refuse to issue rulings and orders for fear of upsetting campaign contributors or drawing an opponent in the next election.