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Judge, County Civil Court at Law No. 2

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    Jim F. Kovach (Dem) Attorney

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    Stanley Santire (Dem) Trial Attorney & Mediator

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Biographical Information

What will you do to ensure that all parties involved in cases before the court will have an opportunity to have their interests adequately represented and considered?

What will you do to ensure that cases before your court are heard in a timely manner?

How will you ensure impartiality in your court given the current system of financing judicial campaigns, which allows donations from those who may later bring cases before your court?

Education/Degrees Kingwood High School Class of 1983. Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin - December 1986. Doctorate of Jurisprudence from University of Houston Law School - May 1991
Professional Experience I was licensed by the State Bar of Texas and the Southern Dist. of Texas Federal Court in 1991. I have practiced law in Houston, Texas for 26 years. I have been lead counsel on thousands of cases and I have successfully tried over 100 cases.
Community Involvement I am a member of the Rice Military Civic Club and former Board Member of the Crestwood Area Civic Club near Memorial Park. I am the former Board Chair of Legacy Community Health Services and The Montrose Clinic. Member of St. Anne's Catholic Church.
Campaign Email Jim@KovachforJudge.com
Campaign Website http://KovachforJudge.com
Campaign Phone (832) 654-9787
My goal is to make the Court available to people who cannot take off work and spend a whole morning driving downtown for minor procedural matters that could be handled more efficiently. I have practiced in the County Civil Courts at Law for 26 years, handled thousands of cases in this Court and seen the problems that prevent parties from having full access to the Courts. By working with the County Clerk and other Judges, we can improve access to the Court and make it efficient and user friendly.

First, I will require that the party requesting relief provide proof of notice to the other side before making any rulings.

Second, I will make rulings based on written motions when appropriate to eliminate the need for attorneys and parties to appear in the Courtroom on minor procedural matters.

Third, I will work with the County Clerk to implement a new hearing process for all lawyers and parties to appear remotely via Facetime, Skype or similar remote teleconference.
I will maintain an active docket status that requires updates on a monthly basis to make sure that all cases are moving toward entry of a final order. If the parties or lawyers want to keep the case open pending a settlement with a payment plan, but not enter a judgment which may harm the defendant’s credit score, I will move the case to a new “abatement status” just like I would do for cases put on hold because of a bankruptcy filing. These cases will be monitored quarterly and will be returned to the active docket or dismissed if the situation changes. I will work with the attorneys on both sides of the case to properly assign cases to the correct type of docket. Because I have handled thousands of cases in this court, I know that many lawyers like myself have been requesting this docket status.

Unfortunately, the current system does lend itself to the appearance of impropriety because lawyers are allowed to donate to judicial campaigns. I support reasonable restrictions on how lawyers and law firms donate to judicial candidates. I also support procedures to have cases re-assigned and/or judges recused as appropriate to avoid any favoritism by judges. By limiting the amount of money a lawyer or law firm can donate to a judicial candidate the Texas Ethics Commission has attempted to address this issue.
Education/Degrees University of Houston - BBA University of Texas School of Law - JD Columbia University - post graduate international law. Hague Academy of International Law - international law
Professional Experience Chief Legal Counsel - Lockheed Aircraft International (5 years) Trial lawyer (30 years) Mediator (20 years) Naval Officer (6 years)
Community Involvement Chair-Economic Development Committee-Gov. Ann Richards Administration. Volunteer mediator Harris County DRC. VP & Board Ft. Bend DRC President and Board member Houston National Employment Lawyers Assoc. Founder, Peer Inst., 501(c)(3) for Texas A&M
Campaign Email stanley@santire.com
Campaign Website http://santireforjudge.com
Campaign Phone (713) 787-0405
1. With all litigants and lawyers be compassionate, practical, and independent. 2. In every case be attentive, clear and fair in all proceedings.. 3. Analyze and administer each case without any political prejudices concerning facts and law. 4. Ensure that pro se litigants are given good direction as to procedures and receive respect for them and their case. 5. Demand that all lawyers appearing before the court show respect for court staff as well as all other persons in attendance. 6. Ensure that all litigants, both pro se and represented, fully understand the availability of mediation including no-cost mediation for cases.where claims are under $100,000.

1. Early status conference for all cases. 2. Develop a reasonable docket control plan for each case and Insist that lawyers and litigants adhere to it. 3. Clear discovery deadlines 4. Organize a conference of lawyers who frequently appear in this court to get feedback on possible steps to improve efficiency. 5. Require showing of conference between counsels before any disputed matter is heard such as discovery disputes with specification of what steps taken to resolve the matter. 6. Clear guidelines on scheduling and time limits on motion hearings.
1. Campaign funding is a necessary aspect of a realistic campaign. However, my integrity must be trusted to not allow donations to influence me in my findings, actions or behavior as a judge. 2. Will develop a list of competent mediators without regard to donations made to my campaign and not treat mediation appointments as award for donations. 3. Strive to make all appointments such as receiverships and mediators based on competence and integrity without regard to political affiliation.