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Texas Supreme Court Justice, Place 6, Unexpired Term

6-year term. Must be age 35-74 years, a U.S. Citizen, a Texas resident, licensed to practice law in Texas, a r egistered voter, and have at least 10 years experience as a lawyer or judge. Hears final appeals of decisions on civil cases and attorney discipline, issuing writs of mandamus/habeas corpus, and conducting proceedings for removal of judges.

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    Kathy Cheng
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Larry Praeger
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

Background: What training, experience, and background qualify you for this position?

Judicial Selection: Texas is one of a few states that elects judges. What changes in the judicial selection process would you recommend, if any?

Standards: What changes, if any, are needed to provide better protection to the public regarding rules and standards for the legal profession?

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

What other issues do you believe will be most pressing for the Supreme Court?

Education: Juris Doctor from South Texas College of Law Houston (2000); Bachelor of Science-Biology from Louisiana State University-Shreveport (1995)
Twitter: @chengforjustice
For over nineteen years, I represented clients in complex commercial litigation matters, contested divorce and probate cases, tax matters and real estate cases, which are some of the potential types of cases that the Texas Supreme Court hears. I also served as adjudication officer for the City of Houston for the past six years.
The beauty of democracy is that citizens can vote for individuals who they believe reflect their values, which in the State of Texas includes the election of judges. If that choice turns out to be a bad choice, being able to vote elected officials out of office is a mechanism to hold said officials accountable. As such, I see no need for change at the present time.
As time evolves, the means of disseminating the rules and standards for the legal profession shall also evolve. With the ease of digital accessibility, there should be more educational information available to the general public by digital means of the rules and standards governing said profession so that the general population are better informed as to their rights.
Being an efficient, fair justice who upholds the law and educate our citizens of the significance of the judicial system are my top priorities. By understanding and practicing the true meaning of the phrase, "justice for all" so justice is truly afforded to all regardless of ethnicity, race, gender, faith, age, sexual orientation, etc., I am achieving chose priorities.
With the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to refrain from hearing challenges of partisan gerrymandering, partisan gerrymandering cases will now go before the Texas Supreme Court, which is an example of how this Court impacts its citizens even though the citizens themselves may never go before this Court.
Education: Simon's Rock College, BA South Texas College of Law Houston, J.D., May 1981
I have been practicing law for more than 30 years. I have extensive trial experience and have argued before every civil court in the state. I am A-V rated by Martindale-Hubbell and Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. I represented individuals and small business. I have served five years on the grievance committee of the State Bar.
In the small counties, the current system works well with the voluntary restrictions on campaigns. In the larger counties, where much more money is needed, the current system does not work well. I would recommend that the state publish a listing of all the statewide judicial candidates, their background, and experience, and send it to each registered voter.
My experience tells me that there should be additional investigative and legal staff to serve the committee. This would shorten the time between when a citizen files a complaint against an attorney and the time that it is adjudicated. I would recommend that the state commission on judicial conduct remove the category of “private reprimand.”
All of the duties of the Supreme Court Justice are important. The overriding duty of the Supreme Court Justice, however, is to see that an individual trial has been conducted fairly in accordance with the rules and constitutional protections. A Supreme Court Justice is the ultimate guardian of the trial process, and the protector of an individual’s liberties.
The Supreme Court also has the duty to establish and amend rules governing trial procedure in the trial in appellate courts and the rules of evidence. I would use my experience and familiarity with the trial courts to emphasize pre-trial practice and request that trial judges rule on admissibility of exhibits prior to a jury being empaneled.