Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Justice, 4th Court of Appeals, Place 7

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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  • Candidate picture

    Rebeca Martinez
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Shane Stolarczyk
    (Rep)

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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?

I've served on the 4th Court of Appeals since January 2013. I'm the only sitting justice who offers over 20 years of significant trial experience in both criminal and civil courtrooms across the 32-county judicial district. I'm the proud daughter of a Vietnam Veteran, a graduate of Boston University School of Law, and I humbly ask for your vote.
Criminal justice reform, particularly within the state's indigent defense system, requires improvement in communications between indigent parties and their advocates. One example of a technological development, allowing attorneys and clients to more effectively communicate in less time and cost, is video conferencing between the courthouse and jail which allows advocates to more easily and frequently communicate, thus improving confidence in the integrity of the justice system.
As it should be for every jurist, my highest priority is maintaining the integrity and independence of the judiciary. The Preamble of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct states, ". . . judges, individually and collectively, must respect and honor the judicial office as a public trust and strive to enhance and maintain confidence in our legal system." I strive to meet a high degree of ethical performance in order to preserve the integrity of my office and the public's confidence in the judiciary.
I am the only candidate who has spent ten years learning the inner workings of the Court by working for the Chief Justice. I am also the only candidate that practices exclusively civil and criminal appellate law. I am a small business owner, husband and father to two young children, and a U.S. Air Force JAG reservist.
With the advent of required e-filing, pro se litigants have an opportunity to download for free legal briefings drafted by attorneys in all types of cases. These indigent individuals can then use these documents to help them determine their legal rights, decide whether they need an attorney, and to help them draft legal filings should they chose to go pro se.
Providing fair and equal treatment to all Texas businesses and families appearing before the Court. Justice should not be decided based upon financial contributions to the judges deciding the case. The Court must return to deciding cases based on our laws and Constitution and reach the result that the law demands regardless of the litigants.