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Texas Supreme Court Justice, Place 7

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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  • Candidate picture

    Jeff Boyd
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Staci Williams
    (Dem)

  • William Bryan Strange III
    (L)

Biographical Information

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

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

Standards: What changes, if any, do you think are necessary to improve public confidence in the legal profession?

Biases: What training and practices do you recommend for trial judges to guard against implicit biases?

Other Issues: What other issues do you believe will be the most pressing for the Texas Supreme Court?

My extensive and varied legal career—including 16 years in private practice, 3 years as the deputy attorney general in charge of civil litigation involving the state, and 2 years serving as general counsel and chief of staff for the governor’s office
Electing judges creates issues that undermine the public’s confidence in the system, but it also requires judges and judicial candidates to interact with the public. This gives the public the opportunity learn who will best serve to counteract those problems. If we were building the process from scratch, leave it to the public to decide to alter the system.
We must continue to make the system more accessible by reducing the costs and delays required to resolve common civil disputes. We must do more to promote the legal profession as a means for public service instead of private profit. And we must continue to promote transparency into the operations and activities of our courts and judges.
Programs like the "Beyond the Bench" conference the Court sponsored in 2016 can be effective for that purpose. Requiring judges’ participation in such well-designed, high-quality programs as part of their annual continuing-education requirements would be a meaningful step in the right direction.
(1) Ongoing implementation of evolving technology to increase efficiency within the judicial system. (2) Maintaining timely decision-making processes through changes in the Court’s make-up over time. (3) Ensuring continued operations throughout the judicial system in times of natural disasters.
I am in my second term as Judge of the 101st District Court . The 101st District Court handles primarily commercial, personal injury, medical malpractice, oil and gas, and consumer issues. I have over 27 years of legal experience.
Texans have elected judges in partisan elections for more than 100 years. While I believe that this Texas tradition should not be disturbed, a Commission has been established to study options to selecting judges in urban areas by methods other than partisan elections. Recommendations will be made at the end of the year. I look forward to reviewing these alternatives.
The legal profession needs to get more involved in the community. My judicial outreach program, the Citizens' Civil Academy ("CCA"), was launched to educate citizens about the civil court system. The CCA explores the types of cases heard in the civil courts and what happens to a case from the time the case is filed until it is disposed. There have been over 350 graduates.
I believe they should attend training sessions and evaluate on a monthly basis what practices or procedures can be modified to reduce implicit bias. Every day, the judge should ask him/herself, "would I have treated this litigant differently if he had been a member of my own race?"
The Texas Supreme Court will be faced with what to do about the bar examination. Many states have an apprentice licensing program. We must consider how the Court will ensure safe testing locations and procedures or if the Supreme Court will allow the 2020 graduates to practice without an examination.
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