Justice, 4th Court of Appeals, Place 5
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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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?
Which responsibility of a Justice, Court of Appeals, is your highest priority and why?
I have been a licensed attorney for over 20 years. As a former Bexar County prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, and elected county court judge, I have the unique trial court experience and perspective that is needed on the 4th Court. I have handled both criminal and civil cases as an attorney and judge, including legal research and writing.
The internet continues to be the most important technological development in the streamlining of law practice and representation of indigent clients. The speed and ease of research is improved via the availability of various on-line programs, such as Westlaw, and law practice management software helps attorneys run a more efficient and effective practice. Additionally, the State-wide e-filing system allows for quick and efficient electronic filing and service to parties.
The highest priority as a Justice for me would be the same as when I was elected as a county court judge, accountability to the citizens of our community, and ensuring accessibility of our courts to everyone. As an appellate court justice, the most important part of my job will be to ensure all litigants received their fair day in court in a committed and responsible way.
An appellate court requires appellate experience. I am a former 4th Court Justice (2005-2012) and former Judge of the 408th District Court. Currently, I serve as a visiting judge for trial and appellate courts state-wide. Before becoming a judge, I practiced law for 20 years. I have been an adjunct professor at St. Mary's law school for 24 years.
I am proud to chair the committee advising the Texas Supreme Court on e-filing court documents. The e-filing system assists indigents and pro-se parties in accessing the courts. The templates and form building software built into the e-filing system allows parties to file and respond to cases from digital devices without missing work or traveling to the courthouse. An online mediation system is planned to allow parties to resolve their cases electronically before going to court.
My priority as a justice is to thoughtfully consider each case, resolve it in a timely manner, and provide a well-written and clear opinion. I am an accomplished legal writer. As a former justice and visiting justice I have written hundreds of opinions on criminal and civil cases. My law review articles are well known and have been referenced in Texas Supreme Court opinions. Through the State Bar of Texas, I often speak to lawyers across the state on technology, procedure and evidence issues.
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