Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Justice, 5th 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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  • Candidate picture

    Erin Nowell
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Craig Stoddart
    (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?

Campaign Phone (214) 287-3154
I will bring a 15-year track record and extensive courtroom and legal experience to this bench. I am committed to a fair, transparent justice system, and I have broad, balanced legal experience and the demeanor and temperament required to serve as a judge.
I don't know that technological developments are the key to improving the state's indigent defense system. For instance, in civil cases, individuals in Northwest Texas are assisted by Legal Aid and other volunteer attorney programs. The key is to convince the legal community to donate the necessary knowledge and time, as well as the funds, to help everyone in need - from minor to complex litigation cases.
An appellate court justice serves as a legal reviewer of lower court decisions -- giving deference to the jury and the lower court. This will be my highest priority as a Justice, making sure the law is applied in a fair and balanced manner while making sure to respect the time, effort, and attention put forth by the juror and those involved in any case in the lower court.
Campaign Phone (214) 738-3304
I have served as a Justice on the 5th Court of Appeals for the past 4 years. I have handled over 1300 appellate cases and authored over 400 judicial opinions. Prior to that I served for nearly 22 years as an appellate prosecutor and have argued cases in front of courts of appeal across the State, including the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
Digitization of appellate records and documents can improve efficiency and reduce costs to both pro se litigants as well as attorneys representing indigent clients. The 5th District Court of Appeals has recently implemented an online portal, accessible through our website, where attorneys can access and file documents and briefs electronically. We have also recently begun posting our oral arguments on our website for the benefit of those who cannot be present in the courtroom.
As a justice on the 5th District Court of Appeals, my fundamental responsibility to the citizens of the our district is to remain an ardent protector of the written rule of law. A justice must never distort the plain meaning of a rule or statute in order to achieve a desired result. Decisions must be rendered solely upon the law and facts applicable to the case, unhindered by the influence of bias or preference.