Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Justice, 14th Court of Appeals, Place 8

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

    John Donovan
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Margaret "Meg" Poissant
    (Dem)

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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 6 years experience as a Justice on the 14th Court of Appeals and 14 years as a Texas District Court trial judge presiding over thousands of varied and complex lawsuits. I am certified in trial law. I serve on the State Bar of Texas Court Rules Committee. I received my law degree with honors, JD cum laude from South Texas College of Law 1984.
Now that briefs, records and files are electronically filed with the 14th Court of Appeals, all parties have access to briefs, records and files on file with the 14th Court of Appeals through the 14th Court of Appeals website or through contacting the 14th Court of Appeals personnel and requesting digital copies of records on file with the court.
All parties should have equal access to courts in a fair and timely manner.
I have practiced law in Texas for 33 years, litigated and tried cases in most of the 10 counties in this race,in all areas of the law, civil and criminal. I am rated Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent, handled appeals, was appointed by the State Bar to Chair a committee, member TX Trial Lawyers, HTLA, HBA, many community associations & Boards
Access to computers at the Harris County Law Library, which allow individuals to access legal cases and precedent, is a step toward assisting Texans to research the law. The e-filing systems, the District Clerk and County Court webpages, allow individuals to search case information without charge. I am a member of Houston Volunteer Lawyers, which provides pro bono services to indigent client needing representation. The Texas Indigent Defense Commission (Innocence Project) also provides services.
The highest responsibility of a Justice of the Court of Appeals is to fairly interpret and apply the law. Courts should rule based on the law. Because the Court of Appeals hears cases from 10 counties in the State of Texas, it is especially important for the justices to practice fairness and integrity. A justice must write careful and deliberate opinions, work with legal precedents, and do justice under the law.