Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Justice, 14th Court of Appeals, Place 6

6-year term. Hears appeals on civil and criminal cases from lower courts in its district. Current Salary: $154,500Plazo de 6 años. Escucha apelaciones sobre casos civiles y penales de los tribunales inferiores en su distrito. Salario actual: $ 154,500.

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    Bill Boyce
    (Rep)

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    Meagan Hassan
    (Dem)

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Biographical Information

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

Access to Justice: What recent technological developments provide opportunities to improve the state's indigent defense system in civil and criminal cases?

Responsibilities: Which responsibility of a Justice, Court of Appeals, is your highest priority and why?

Campaign Phone (832) 630-1954
I bring 30 years of extensive appellate experience to the bench as former a law clerk to a federal appellate judge; an associate and partner practicing appellate law at Fulbright & Jaworski LLP; and a Justice on the 14th Court of Appeals since 2007. I am certified in civil appellate law; as a lawyer I argued more than 60 cases in appellate courts.
The issue of legal services for indigent parties overlaps significantly with the need to address the circumstances of persons with mental illness and IDD, who often find themselves involved with the justice system. As vice-chair of the Texas Judicial Commission on Mental Health, I am actively working with stakeholders across Texas to look for ways to improve the administration of justice for persons with mental illness and IDD, including greater access to and use of telepsychiatry.
My highest priority is to decide cases by applying the governing legal standards in light of the facts and circumstances presented, and to explain the result in a well-reasoned opinion written in clear language. I strive to perform that work fairly while also participating in larger efforts, including those undertaken by the Texas Judicial Commission on Mental Health, to work towards improvement of the justice system in Texas.
I am a partner in a Constitutional/civil rights firm where we litigate cases involving the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 8th, and 14th Amendments in state, federal, and appellate courts; through our work, we have established new procedures and clearly established rights in federal appellate cases. I also represent indigent defendants in criminal matters.
(1) Locally: a) bail reform in Harris County that will permit appellate review of potentially excessive bail for indigent criminal defendants, and b) a more efficient and equitable appointment system for indigent criminal defendants to ensure fair representation and equitable, competent defense; and (2) statewide: a forms database in the areas of family and probate law for those who are not able to afford attorneys and have no choice but to represent themselves in court.
My highest priorities are to protect the rule of law and the People’s constitutional rights by bringing a new viewpoint (based on my particular experience) to appellate deliberations, paying attention to details, and honoring the People’s reasonable expectations based on existing law. Many of the current Justices have similar legal backgrounds to each other; therefore, the Court can only benefit from a balance of viewpoints and practical experience on each case.