Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Judge, Williamson County Court-at-Law No. 1

General Election: November 6, 2018Early Voting: October 22 - November 2, 2018

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  • Candidate picture

    Brandy Hallford
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Don Morehart
    (Dem)

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Biographical Information

Explain why you would make a fair and impartial judge.

Explain how this office is important to your constituents and what your plans are for improvement.

How would you handle a situation where an attorney appearing before your court is inadequately representing her/his client?

Background I am honored to serve as judge of this court. I have 21 years of experience as a former prosecutor, Criminal Div. Chief and in private legal practice.
Education I obtained a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in 1992 from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Juris Doctor in 1996 from St. Mary's School of Law.
Prior to serving as judge, I was a litigating attorney throughout my 21 year legal career. I gained experience on both sides of a case which gives me a well-rounded perspective on the law and the needs of people. I have been a prosecutor and defense attorney, represented individuals in family law matters and represented the State, parents and children in Child Protective Services’ cases. I know the importance of people having their voices heard, the law being followed, treating people with respect and having a level playing field for all who find themselves in the judicial system.
Williamson County citizens have a vested interest in our children. As the judge of this court, I handle criminal, family and a substantial portion of the Child Protective Services’ cases. I have extensive experience in each of these areas. I dedicated my legal career to representing abused and neglected children and am well-versed by having represented the State and parents. Children are vulnerable, and they need a judge who understands how rulings impact their future. I am dedicated to developing an assistance program for children aging out of the Child Protective Services' system of care.
The role of a judge is to be an impartial decision-maker in the pursuit of justice. If an individual has a court-appointed attorney who is inadequately representing a client, I would substitute another attorney on the case. Alternatively, if the trial produced an unjust result based on the deficiencies of the trial attorney, upon request, I would appoint a skillful appellate attorney to review the case to determine if there was a basis for ineffective assistance of trial counsel. The attorney could then file the necessary pleadings to obtain a new trial and vacate the judgment/conviction.
Background Fighting for Justice for 30 years.
Education Juris Doctorate, 1987, Texas Tech University School of Law. B.BA. 1985, Texas Wesleyan University.
I have professional and personal experience in all aspects of the work of the County Court at Law. I have fought to protect children in Family Court cases. I have battled against prosecutorial and judicial misconduct and, for this, I have been maliciously persecuted by prosecutors and judges. I know the emotional and financial turmoil of frivolous and malicious litigation. As a crime victim, I have seen how the system neglects victims's rights. These professional and personal experiences give me a unique perspective, and insight into each side of every case in this Court.
Regular folks are more likely to find themselves with real problems in this court then any other. Presently, it takes too long for litigants to have their day in court, because the Court is not focused on its mission of resolving disputes. Too much time is wasted. Justice delayed is Justice denied. I will redirect the focus of the court to the most serious cases and repeat offenders. I will insist that cases be resolved in a timely manner. I will schedule cases so that litigants are not waiting for hours on end and then sent away without being heard.
The Judge must understand that, sometimes, the lawyers may know things about their case that they don't want the Court to know. The Judge must balance the Court's obligation to determine the true facts with the prohibition against providing legal advice to litigants. The Judge must conduct the Court's business in accordance with the Rules of Judicial Conduct. When a party is clearly being neglected by an attorney, the Court should direct remedial action in the case and report the offending attorney to the State Bar of Texas if professional misconduct is suspected.