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Texas Supreme Court Justice, Place 8

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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    Peter Kelly
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Gisela D. Triana
    (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: Harvard, A.B. cum laude, 1985 University of Texas, J.D., 1990
My over two decades’ experience an training as an appellate advocate uniquely qualify me for the Texas Supreme Court (see my online CV for list of private practice accomplishments). On a nine-person court of discretionary review, simply voting in dissent does not advance the cause of fairness for all; a justice must be able to persuade other justices to join in.
Until the state can devise an appointment system truly impervious to political pressure, I would leave the system as it is, but perhaps consider term limits.
More funding for current programs for public education, and continuation of current efforts for more transparency in the State Bar's self-policing function.
To render justice equitably and fairly, without regard to the perceived financial or political might of any of the litigants, and in so doing amplify and preserve our common law traditions of fairness.
Access to justice is a continuing problem for the judicial system, and will be until there is the political will for increased funding for legal services for those who cannot afford them. The Court must also work to accommodate Texas's increasing diversity--devising rules for translators, ensuring open and equal access to facilities, etc.
Education: University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1988; University of Texas at San Antonio, B.A. in Political Science, magna cum laude, 1985
Twitter: @JusticeTriana
For over 24 years, I have served as a judge in Texas. I worked my way up from Municipal Court to Justice of the Peace, to County Court, to District Court, and most recently, to the Appellate Court. If elected, I will be the only person on the TX Supreme Court who has served at every level of the judiciary. Most of my 31-year legal career has been devoted to public service
A legitimate discussion, if there was a nonpartisan way to select judges that Texans could trust. The problem is the timing: after the party that has been in power for decades (and the beneficiary of partisan elections of judges) begins to lose that power, it makes the concern seem self-interested. Texans have clearly shown a preference for electing judges, I support that.
I believe the legal profession should emulate the medical profession and prohibit lawyers from becoming romantically involved with their clients while their case is active. There is great risk for conflict of interests and the parties are not in equal positions.
Being just and fair. Opinions should be based on the Rule of Law, not on personal or political bias. Texans deserve a level playing field, to be treated equally and to have their constitutional rights protected regardless of race, religion, nationality, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability or economic status. I have striven to do this for 24 year and will continue.
Restoring balance to the Court. Currently, all members are Republican. 7 of the 9, were initially political appointments by a Republican Governor. Our founders were wise to create a jury system that brought people from different walks of life, with different experiences to judge a case. We need diversity of thought on the Court, as well. It makes for better jurisprudence.