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Voters Guide Court of Appeals League of Women Voters English

Voters Guide Court of Appeals League of Women Voters English

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Published by Texas Watchdog
2010 Voters Guide for the court of appeals by the League of Women Voters of Texas. (In English)
2010 Voters Guide for the court of appeals by the League of Women Voters of Texas. (In English)

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Early voting - October 18 through October 29 Election day - Polls open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Cast an informed vote in the General Election on November 2
Voters Guide
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERSOF TEXAS
Nonpartisan
 
2010 GENERAL ELECTION SUPPLEMENT
Candidates for Justice – Courts of Appeals
 November 2, 2010
1st Court Candidates.........................................................1-23rd Court Candidates.........................................................24th Court Candidates.........................................................25th Court Candidates.........................................................39th Court Candidates.........................................................313th Court Candidates.......................................................414th Court Candidates.......................................................4-5
Background:
What training and experience qualify you for this position?(50 words)
Appeals:
What issues arise in processing last-minute appeals, and howwould you handle them? (75 words)
Recusal:
Under what conditions would you recuse yourself from cases?(75 words)
J
USTICE -COURT OF APPEALS
Six-year term. Must be at least 35 years old, a citizen of the United States, a resident of Texas and a district resident. Must have beena practicing lawyer or a lawyer and a judge of a court of record for a total of 10 years or more. Each Court of Appeals has intermedi-ate appellate jurisdiction in both civil and criminal cases appealed from district or county courts in its district. Current annual salary:$140,000 (Chief Justice), $137,500 (Justice)
This
Voters Guide
is organized by regional Courts of Appeals, with candidates
identied as they appear on the state ballot. Ballot order may vary from county
to county. The names of unopposed candidates are also listed.
Background:
I have been a judge for over eleven years,seven of which I have served as Chief Justice. I am a wife,mother and have been a small business owner, and a volun-teer and leader in various charitable organizations. Theselife experiences qualify me to serve as Chief Justice.
Appeals:
At any time day or night, our court has a pro-cedure to provide quick action whenever a case requiresimmediate review. Cases involving matters such as life or death, destruction of property, election procedures, or men-tal health commitment can be heard immediately by
telephoning the court. After the call is received, the ofce is opened, docu
-
ments are led, and a panel is immediately assembled to handle the case.
Recusal:
I believe in a broad interpretation of the ethical rules of recusal. A judge should recuse if she has participated in the earlier decision of a particu-
lar case while serving on a lower court; if she has a nancial interest in the
outcome of a case, or her service on a case creates an appearance of impropri-ety.
   S   H   E   R   R   Y   R   A   D   A   C   K   (   R   )
ABOUT THIS
VOTERS GUIDE 
This
Voters Guide
is funded and published by the League of Women Voters of TexasEducation Fund to help citizens cast an informed vote. The League of Women Voters, anonpartisan organization, encourages informed and active participation in government. Neither the League nor the Education Fund supports or opposes any political party or candidate.This online
Voters Guide
lists candidates for Justice of Courts of Appeals, as shownin the table of contents. It is a supplement to the 2010 General Election Edition of the
Voters Guide
, which is available in print and includes candidates for all statewide races
and the State Board of Education races in Texas. Both Voters Guides are available on
the League’s website atwww.lwvtexas.org.Questionnaires were sent to candidates in contested races. Candidate replies are print-
ed without editing or verication. Due to space restrictions, candidates were given
strict word limits. Replies exceeding the word limit are indicated by slashes (///). Can-didates were also asked to avoid references to their opponents. Candidates appearingwith no photo failed to submit one.
THE 1ST COURT OF APPEALS SERVES THE FOLLOWING TEXAS COUNTIES:Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Harris, Waller & WashingtonBackground:
My experience includes Assistant District At
-torney for 5 years, Private Practice for 8, Lobbyist for 1,Law School Professor for 5, Trial Judge for 8, and AppealsJudge for 8 on Texas’ Court of Criminal Appeals, Licensedin state and federal courts.
Appeals:
Last-minute lings because of electronic, techni
-cal or logistic issues often time cause problems that affectthe proper consideration of time sensitive appleals. While Icannot prejudge what I would do in any instance, I trend to-ward adoption of rules that would address those issues to ensure that litigantshave access to the courts,and that justice is alwaysserved in a timely manner.
Recusal:
In addition to applicable law and judicial canons, I would be guided by my conscience and discretion to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.If I were biased or prejudiced in a personal or extrajudicial manner I wouldrecuse myself. Whenever a reasonable person with knowledge of all the factscould conclude that my impartiality might be reasonably questioned, I wouldrecuse myself.
   M   O   R   R   I   S   O   V   E   R   S   T   R   E   E   T   (   D   )
1ST COURT CANDIDATE, CHIEF JUSTICE1ST COURT CANDIDATE, CHIEF JUSTICEBackground:
Justice, First Court of Appeals 8 years; morethan 600 opinions in family, criminal, civil, probate appeals;extensive law committee service; 14 years complex civil liti-gation as partner, associate, Special Assistant AttorneyGeneral; juris doctor with honors, Houston Law Center;
Distinguished Service Award; Ph.D. in philosophy (Rice),
English (Texas).
Appeals:
Emergencies, including matters of life and death,immediate destruction or sale of property, mental healthcommitments. For emergency appeal, the litigant obtains a letter of assign-ment from the district or county clerk and contacts the court. If late in theday, the court accepts faxes say-ing an emergency is on its way.After hours, calls go to the Harris County Call Center. The Court’s emergen-
cy contacts are notied and a panel of judges assembled.
Recusal:
If my husband’s rm was counsel; if my impartiality might reason
-ably be questioned, I have personal knowledge of disputed facts, I or a lawyer with whom I practiced was a material witness, I expressed an opinion on themerits while acting as a lawyer in government service, or I know that my
husband or I have a nancial interest in the subject matter, are a party, or have
another interest that could be substantially affected.
   E   V   E   L   Y   N   K   E   Y   E   S   (   R   )
1ST COURT CANDIDATE, PLACE 4
 
2
Background:
I am judge of the 129th District Court, a
lifelong Houstonian, and graduate of Rice University andthe UH Law Center. I care about our community and enjoyserving its people. I pledge to treat everyone with dignityand respect and to follow the law without agenda or bias.
Appeals:
Judges should aspire to see justice done in everycase. At the very least, this means that all parties shouldhave an opportunity to be heard and have their positionsconscientiously considered. In processing last-minute ap- peals, Courts should make reason-able accommodations to parties to
facilitate lings and argument so that every party has their day in Court.
Recusal:
Judges should recuse themselves when their impartiality in a par-ticular matter may reasonably be questioned or as required under the laws or rules of the state of Texas. Judges should also strive to avoid the appearance
of impropriety and work to maintain public condence in their ability to rule
fairly and without preference.
   M   I   C   H   A   E   L   G   O   M   E   Z   (   D   )
1ST COURT CANDIDATE, PLACE 4Background:
I’ve served in this position for over a year.
I’m a former Baker Botts partner and for two years I
worked at federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. I gradu-ated from UT Law School with honors, and I’ve frequently presented and organized continuing legal education. I aman Eagle Scout.
Appeals:
Life-or-death circumstances can result in “last-minute appeals” requiring immediate review. The mainissues are identifying emergency circumstances and getting the information
to judges for prompt action. Our court accepts after-hours emergency lings.When the ofce is closed, phones
are still answered. Court staff andthe after-hours operators know how to contact me at any time. I am alwaysready to perform my judicial duties.
Recusal:
Recusals in appropriate cases are essential to preserve the integrityof the judiciary and to avoid appearances of impropriety. I will recuse in allcircumstances required under the Texas Constitution and procedural rules(see TRCP Rule 18b), including but not limited to cases in which I may have
a nancial or other material interest, or if I have personal knowledge aboutdisputed facts. I currently recuse in all cases involving my former law rm.
   M   I   C   H   A   E   L   M   A   S   S   E   N   G   A   L   E   (   R   )
1ST COURT CANDIDATE, PLACE 8Background:
For 25 years, I have been working as a Texas trial lawyer inmany types of cases involving a wide variety of issues. I have also handledappellate cases and worked for a Court of Appeals.
Appeals:
Most important is that the appellate justices carefully guard therights of the parties, and ensure that both the letter and spirit of proceduraland constitutional law is observed and followed.
Recusal:
If I have a conict of 
interest that would cause me to be biased or prejudiced or either the appearance of impropriety or substantiveethical concerns are an issue, I would consider recusal appropriate.
   R   O   B   E   R   T   R   A   Y   (   D   )
1ST COURT CANDIDATE, PLACE 8Background:
I am the only candidate with judicial experi-
ence. I have served as a District Court Judge, and as a
Justice of the Peace. I have more than 8 years appellateexperience as an attorney for the Texas Court of CriminalAppeals. I currently practice administrative, juvenile, civiland criminal law.
Appeals:
One way to assist in the processing of last minute
appeals is to allow for electronic lings, however, beforethat may be accomplished; the procedures for electronic lings must be ap
- proved by the Texas Supreme Court. Another way to assist in the processingof last minute appeals is to assigna duty judge responsible for re-ceiving such matters and communicating duty judge assignments to litigants.Such procedures have been used successfully by courts for decades.
Recusal:
The obvious answer is that I would recuse myself from cases inwhich I participated as Judge, as a lawyer, or if I have a personal interest in acase. The larger issue arises from having an elected judiciary. Large contri-
 butions from law rms are eroding public condence in the court system, yet
according to the US Supreme Court, recusal is not required, unless the contri- bution creates a risk of actual bias or prejudgment.
   M   E   L   I   S   S   A   G   O   O   D   W   I   N   (   R   )
3RD COURT CANDIDATE, PLACE 4THE 3rd COURT OF APPEALS SERVES THE FOLLOWING TEXAS COUNTIES:Bastrop, Bell, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Coke, Comal, Concho, Fayette, Hays, Irion, Lampasas, Lee, Llano, McCulloch, Milam, Mills,Runnels, San Saba, Schleicher, Sterling, Tom Green, Travis & WilliamsonBackground:
I am a board-certied appellate attorney and
have handled the types of appeals that make this courtimportant. I also teach appellate advocacy at UT LawSchool. Previously, I was an Assistant Solicitor General,representing Texas in criminal and civil appeals. I have beennamed a “Texas Super Lawyer.”
Appeals:
When handling last-minute appeals, the partiesand the legal issues must receive the same care and attentionas in any other appeal. At the same time, the court must notcause unnecessary delay. I wouldmove these cases quickly byworking tirelessly, deciding the cases on appropriately narrow grounds, andwriting succinct opinions. My experience advocating many cases in this verycourt makes me well-equipped to handle the court’s tight deadlines.
Recusal:
It is crucial that we keep the impartiality and integrity of our judi-ciary beyond reproach. The law requires a judge to step aside from decidinga case when his or her impartiality, whether or not actually affected, couldreasonably be called into question. I will follow that standard.
   K   U   R   T   K   U   H   N   (   D   )
3RD COURT CANDIDATE, PLACE 4THE 4th COURT OF APPEALS SERVES THE FOLLOWING TEXAS COUNTIES:Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Brooks, Dimmit, Duval, Edwards, Frio, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney,La Salle, Mason, Maverick, McMullen, Medina, Menard, Real, Starr, Sutton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Webb, Wilson, Zapata & ZavalaBackground:
As current Justice on the Fourth Court of Appeals I have authored hundreds of opinions in criminaland civil cases. With eighteen years legal experience, Ihave worked as an Assistant United States Attorney,
corporate counsel, and rm attorney, handling litigation,
appeals, and multi-district litigation representing all sides.
Appeals:
Last minute appeals must be ripe, meaning thatall issues must have an order or judgment allowing for theappeal. The appeal must be jurisdictionally ripe and timely
led. Pre-mature lings are not permitted. Limited extensions of time are
granted in order to allow the partyto perfect the appeal. Generally,time extensions are granted for limited periods in the interest of justice provided there is not a history of abuse of requests.
Recusal:
I would recuse myself from cases in which a party to the case was aformer client of mine from within the last two years before I became a judge.I would also recuse myself from any case in which I or any immediate family
member had any conict of interest. I would recuse myself on a case to avoid
any appearance of impropriety.
   M   A   R   I   A   L   Y   N   B   A   R   N   A   R   D   (   R   )
4TH COURT CANDIDATE, PLACE 2Background:
Educated at SMU and Boston University School of Law,
former law clerk, and 17 years of actual courtroom experience, representing plaintiffs and defendants from individuals to large corporations, I offer themost fair and impartial resolution to the diversity of cases that come beforethe 4th Court of Appeals.
Appeals:
I hope to handle them by applying the law in the most fair and justway, keeping in mind that every voice should be heard and that the courtsshould be open to hear them as the law allows. My experience in the appel-
late courts as a brieng attorney, together with my litigation experience, lends
itself to more fair, reasoned andmeasured decision-making inresolving issues on appeal from the trial courts.
Recusal:
Recusal is necessary when my impartiality might reasonably bequestioned, especially if there’s any evidence of personal bias or prejudicetowards a party or counsel. For example, if a personal (or extrajudicial) biasexists, like when a family member is a party or has an interest affected by theoutcome. Recusal is necessary to avoid ruling on some basis other than whatis learned from the facts of the case.
   R   E   B   E   C   A   C .   M   A   R   T   I   N   E   Z   (   D   )
4TH COURT CANDIDATE, PLACE 2
 
3
Background:
Currently sit as Justice, 5th District Court of Appeals. Baylor Law graduate. Licensed to practice law 28years. Served 12 years Assistant District Attorney, DallasCounty. Served almost 15 years as elected District Judge,Dallas County. Proven record as a judge who does not
legislate from the bench.
Appeals:
This court does receive emergency motions, butdoes not have jurisdiction over death penalty cases. Emer-gency motions are received and processed the same day
they are led. When the clerk isnotied an emergency motion ison its way, the justices responsible for handling them are notied. The jus
-tices give prompt attention to these matters.
Recusal:
As I have always done during my almost 16 years as a judge, Iwould recuse myself when required by Texas’ laws relating to recusal of  judges or to avoid the appearance of impropriety. I will continue to apply thelaw fairly and with integrity. A fair and impartial judiciary is indispensable to justice in our society.
   L   A   N   A   M   Y   E   R   S   (   R   )
5TH COURT CANDIDATE, PLACE 4THE 5th COURT OF APPEALS SERVES THE FOLLOWING TEXAS COUNTIES:Dallas, Collin, Grayson, Hunt, Rockwall & KaufmanBackground:
I am a practicing attorney with twenty yearsof experience, both civil and criminal. I started my practice
as a civil trial lawyer in a major law rm and transitioned
into municipal law as a solo practitioner, acting as a munici- pal court prosecutor and sitting as a municipal court judge.
Appeals:
Last minute appeals run the risk of not fully andcompletely following statutory requirements and local rules,
resulting in the ultimate penalty of striking the ling for fail
-ure to comply, or other potential sanction. To the extent of my authority, I would make myself available to parties after hours, endeavor to ensure that all existing proce-dures were available to protect therights of the parties and maintain the integrity of the process.
Recusal:
I would recuse myself from any matter required by the Texas Con-stitution, Texas Rules of Civil and Appellate Procedure and the Code of Judi-
cial Conduct. Specically, I would recuse myself in any case wherein I had aninterest, I was related to a party within the degree of afnity or consanguinity
 prescribed by law, where I had been legal counsel in the case, or whenever myimpartiality may be questioned.
   B   O   N   N   I   E   L   E   E   G   O   L   D   S   T   E   I   N   (   D   )
5TH COURT CANDIDATE, PLACE 4Background:
As an incumbent Justice of the Fifth Court of Appeals, I have authored opinions in over 100 cases and participated in the decision of over 300 cases. I have over 30 years experience in the practice of law. I am a VisitingProfessor of Law at Southern Methodist University.
Appeals:
The Court of Appeals has no jurisdiction over death penalty cases, which are the cases typically viewed as“last minute” appeals. The Court does receive requests for emergency relief in other types of cases. We have proce-dures ensuring these requests arereviewed and processed immedi-
ately upon ling. It is good practice to give advance notice of these requests
so that Justices and staff are prepared to work after normal working hours.
Recusal:
The Rules of Appellate Procedure govern the recusal of appellate judges. In addition, I have chosen not to participate in cases in which my for-
mer law rm represents a party, cases involving the principal clients I repre
-sented in private practice, and cases involving Southern Methodist University,where I serve as a Visiting Professor of Law.
   R   O   B   E   R   T   M .   (   B   O   B   )   F   I   L   L   M   O   R   E   (   R   )
5TH COURT CANDIDATE, PLACE 12Background:
Appellate Justices determine if civil or criminal trials were conducted fairly. I have 25 years trialexperience representing individuals and small businesses in
civil and criminal cases; former prosecutor; Board CertiedFamily Law Specialist; 5 years service on State Bar Griev
-
ance Committee; Small Business Owner; understand how
trials impact individuals.
Appeals:
Better access to the court, last minute or emer 
-gency appeals are addressed by a panel of 3 of the 13 Jus-tices. Membership rotates quarterly. When assigned to the emergency panel,all members should carry a pager or other device to be in contact with thoseneeding immediate assistance. Iwould also post, online and at the
clerk’s ofce, simple instructions on how to process a last minute appeal and
contact emergency panel members.
Recusal:
Specic rules govern recusal of Justices. A Justice should recuse
him or herself if, for any reason, the Justice believes he or she could not beimpartial; or if it appears impartiality might be reasonably questioned. Com-
mon grounds include nancial interest; personal knowledge of the facts or 
 parties involved; or family relations. I would not accept campaign contribu-tions from lawyers or parties who frequently have matters before the court.
   L   A   W   R   E   N   C   E   J .   P   R   A   E   G   E   R   (   D   )
5TH COURT CANDIDATE, PLACE 12THE 9th COURT OF APPEALS SERVES THE FOLLOWING TEXAS COUNTIES:Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, Newton, Orange, Polk, San Jacinto & TylerBackground:
19 years of experience as a trial attorney,handling jury trials and appeals, and 5 years I have served asJustice on this Court. I have presided over more than 650appeals and issued written opinions. See Court website for more information and to view opinions.
Appeals:
9th Court of Appeals does not have jurisdic-tion over death penalty cases. Last-minute appeals involveemergency motions to stay certain actions of the trial courtsor applications for writs of habeas corpus involving bail or  bond. 9th Court of Appeals is user friendly and our clerk is available
24/7 by phone, even accepting lings at her home. In turn, the justices are
available by cell phone.
Recusal:
If a justice has a conict of interest, he/she should recuse or to
avoid the appearance of any impropriety because of the appearance of a con-
ict of interest. It’s extremely rare that this would occur after serving 5 years
on the court.
   C   H   A   R   L   E   S   A .   K   R   E   G   E   R   (   R   )
9TH COURT CANDIDATE, PLACE 2Background:
I have practiced law for 23 years with extensive trial experi-
ence, served as Assistant District Attorney for Harris County, Assistant City
Attorney for Houston, Presiding Judge of Houston’s Court 5, and retired as
Director of Houston’s Court System, the largest in the nation.
Appeals:
Appellate Court Justices must remain mindful that their duties andresponsibilities continue past the 5PM time clock. Justices must accommodate
and strive to be seless, available, and attentive to any last-minute appealsled within the parameters provided by law. Service always and, humilityrst should be the new standard for appellate courts, and not unapproachable
superiority.
Recusal:
Recusal should be man-dated and voluntary imposed by the Justice themselves whenever personal
conict or relationship exists between the Justice and any attorney, party, or 
issue involved in an appeal; or whenever the Justice has predetermined anopinion or position that negatively impacts the fair, impartial, or equitablereview of a case; or whenever there is any just cause or substantive appear-ance of impropriety.
   R   O   N   M .   M   A   N   G   U   S   (   D   )
9TH COURT CANDIDATE, PLACE 2
You may bring this
Voters Guide
into the voting booth.*
*In 1995, the Texas law prohibiting use of printed materials, such as this
Voters Guide
, in the polling place was ruled unconstitutional (
Texas Election Code, Section 61.011)
©
 
2010 League of Women Voters of Texas Education Fund
The
Voters Guide
is protected by copyright. For permission to duplicate the Guide,
please call LWV-Texas ofce at 512-472-1100.

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