Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Justice, 14th Court of Appeals, Place 4

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

    Marc Brown
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Charles Spain
    (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?

Campaign Phone (713) 305-8475
I was a prosecutor for 22 years, a trial judge for 3 years and have been on the Court of Appeals for 5 years. I have authored over 300 opinions while on the Court of Appeals. For 25 years I only practiced criminal law. Now I handle an even mix of criminal and civil cases. I am the only judge/candidate with extensive criminal law experience.
E-Filing and paperless files provide an opportunity to improve indigent defense. These innovations cut costs dramatically. Access to the E-File system is widely available at libraries and on mobile electronic devices. Once the availability of the system is more widely known, it can only help with indigent defense. I also believe that all appellate court arguments should be available for viewing online. This would make the process more transparent and serve to teach.
My highest priority is to achieve a just result, based on the law and the record before me, in each case. Justice does not play favorites. The cases we handle will be the only appeal for most of the parties who come before us. As Justices, these cases deserve our full attention. Each case is important to someone. The decisions I make will impact someone's life in some way. I try to never lose sight of that. There are no small cases, only small records.
I am board certified in civil appellate law (Texas Board of Legal Specialization) and have worked for the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Courts of Appeals as an attorney for a total of 23 years. I am a judge for the City of Houston, first appointed in 2010. I am a frequent author and presenter for educational courses for both judges and lawyers.
TexasLawHelp.org has a website dedicated to providing free and reliable legal information to low-income Texans. It is a project of the Texas Legal Services Center, and is supported by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, Texas Bar Foundation, Travis County Law Library, and Texas Legal Aid Organizations.
My highest priority is to correctly decide cases in a timely manner, writing opinions that explain the court's decisions.

I love the law, and I love legal research. I am happiest when I disappear into the library until I find the answer. But my time as a judge for the City of Houston has also made it clear that the law affects real people. Regardless of the outcome of the case, judges must always treat everyone with patience, dignity, and courtesy.