Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Justice, 5th Court of Appeals, Place 13

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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    Elizabeth Lang Miers

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    Leslie Lester Osborne

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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?

15 years on Court of Appeals;1800 opinions;28 years private practice;Outstanding Judge in State/Texas Bar Foundation;Dallas Morning News Endorsement;Chair,Texas Multi-District Litigation Panel;Chair-Elect, Judicial Division/ABA;Chair, Judicial Section/Texas;Chair,Appellate Judges Conference/ABA;President, Dallas Bar Association;CQJ:”Qualified.”
The internet and technology have allowed everyone to have access to information about cases before the courts, including schedules and filings,and to do legal research on line. That access has improved the level of representation for indigent parties whether representing themselves, by appointed counsel or the public defender. DNA and other scientific testing has also improved the justice system.The improvements assist not just in determining guilt or innocence but also possible exoneration.
When I took the oaths to become an attorney and to become a judge, I swore that I would protect and defend the Constitutions of the United States and of this State. My highest priority is to do that and to impartially apply the law as written. I will continue to work hard to maintain the integrity of the justice system, will dispose of cases fairly and efficiently, and will perform my duties in such a manner as to justify the public’s confidence and faith in the justice system and in me.
I'm a civil attorney, a native North Texan, with more than 20 years of complex litigation experience in the areas of insurance defense, product and premises liability defense, and commercial litigation. My practice history includes significant legal research and briefing work, preparing me for a position as an appellate jurist.
Indigent litigants are entitled to the assistance of counsel in criminal and certain civil cases, but many appointed attorneys are criticized as inadequate. Recent funding of efforts to train Texas' defense lawyers better understand advances in DNA testing provide opportunity to improve our indigent defense system through more effective representation at trial. Technological developments allowing court records to be obtained faster and cheaper also provide opportunities to improve our system.
Justices must fairly and impartially interpret and apply Texas law to case facts when making decisions. They're responsible for performing their judicial duties without bias or prejudice; there's no place for either in the courtroom. Proper performance of this responsibility ensures all litigants are afforded equal protection and fair administration of justice without regard to the litigants' identity and/or political or economic interests.