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Chief Justice, 13th Court of Appeals

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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    Dori Contreras (Dem) Justice

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    Ray Thomas (Dem) Lawyer

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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 (956) 655-9206
Age 59
Twitter @justicedori
Education Pharr San Juan Alamo High School, 1976; BBA in Accounting, University of Texas at Austin, 1980; Doctor of Jurisprudence, The University of Houston Law Center, 1990
I have been a Justice on the 13th Court of Appeals for fifteen years. I have worked closely with the current Chief Justice and have first-hand knowledge of the duties of the position and the manner in which to lead the Court. I am known and trusted by the staff and judges on the Court. My experience as an Accountant will enable me to easily assume the financial duties.
It is now mandated that parental termination appeals be given priority and be handled on an expedited basis. Additionally, in the 2018-2019 budget, the legislature funded the overhaul of Children’s Protective Services in order to help children in foster care receive the protection they deserve. Both of these developments will improve the system for indigent litigants.
The Chief Justice is primarily responsible for management of the Court and administration of its budget. While the Court is currently run very efficiently, I intend to familiarize myself with the methods and procedures utilized by other courts of appeals around the State to determine whether there is room for improvement. One example is a Pro Bono appellate project.

Campaign Phone (956) 632-5033
Age 54
Education University of Texas School of Law, JD 1988 St. Mary’s University, BA with honors, 1985
I’m a 30 yr lawyer, board certified in civil trial law since 1994, I’ve tried more complex cases to verdict and handled more appeals than any of the justices sitting on the court. Last year, I won a case at the Supreme Court of the United States. I have 3 successful businesses and leadership positions with various non-profits, including State Bar, with budgets up to $42MM.
Access to EQUAL justice is essential. I served as one of the first Commissioners on the Texas Access to Justice Commission, whose members are appointed by the Texas Supreme Court and State Bar of Texas. Recently, the Legislature required law schools to partner with the Innocence Project. To date, over 15 wrongfully convicted Texas have been exonerated through this program.
Of course, the highest priority is to uphold the oath of office, which is to faithfully uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States and Texas. As Chief Justice, I would lead by consensus with my fellow collegeaues on the court, building on the legacy of our current Chief Roy Valdez. The reputation of the court must be unimpeachable, responsive, efficient and fair