Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Justice, 13th 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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    Gina Benavides

  • Clarissa Silva

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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 have been a Justice for 12 years writing over 900 opinions. I am an author and teacher on Appellate Law and Ethics recently published in the St. Mary's Law Journal on Ethics. My work has been recognized by my peers receiving accolades such as Latina Judge of the Year by NHBA and Judge of the Year by the Hispanic Section of the SBOT.
As a former board member of the Texas Access of Justice Commission and as a current board member of the Texas Legal Services Corporation, I have been a strong proponent of legal access. I work with the legislative to continue and increase funding to our programs as well as working with local, regional and statewide organization implement new and innovative ways with the legal access from providing forms, seminars, and kiosk online to the 5 million people in Texas who live below the poverty.
Our highest priority level should always be providing opinions which follow the law and precedent of our State and doing that work in an efficient and effective way. I take that responsibility seriously and can be seen in the writings in the court and outside of the Court. As public servants, I believe we also have a responsibility to our community and our State. I take every opportunity to address our community from kids in elementary to adults volunteering their time for CASA.
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