Governor Abbott Appoints Clemmer Judge Of 450th Judicial District Court

Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Don Clemmer of Austin as judge of the 450th Judicial District Court in Travis County for a term set to expire at the next general election in November 2016. Governor Abbott made the appointment to fill a vacancy created by HB 3153, which passed during the 83rd Legislative Session. Don Clemmer is deputy general counsel in the Office of the Governor. Previously, he served as deputy attorney general for criminal justice in the Texas Attorney General’s Office and an assistant district attorney in Harris County. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas. Clemmer received a Bachelor of Science from The University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctor from the University of Houston School of Law....

Texas Deserves Qualified Judges

Join the TCJL Campaign to Elect Qualified Judges! The Texas Civil Justice League (TCJL) has launched a statewide voter education effort to increase awareness about the importance of electing—and re-electing!—qualified judges.  As Texans, we get to elect our judges and that is a big responsibility. TCJL is urging people to do their homework, exercise their democratic right and responsibility to vote, and to vote for good people who make great judges. Several short videos featuring prominent Texans are being created to educate citizens about the judicial system and the profound impact judges can have on their daily lives. Click on the picture below to view one of the videos, which features former Texas Supreme Court Justice Harriet O’Neill. Voter Campaign Announcement TCJL announced the statewide campaign by releasing the following press release earlier today. Texas Civil Justice League Announces Statewide Campaign to Improve Voter Turnout for Judicial Elections Voter Participation Drops Significantly for Judicial Races Compared to Other Higher-Profile Races The Texas Civil Justice League (TCJL) has announced a statewide advocacy campaign to increase voter participation in judicial races. The organization, which advocates for a fair and balanced judicial system in Texas, is launching a voter education effort aimed at increasing awareness throughout the state about the importance of electing qualified judges. “Many Texans don’t understand how important it is to educate themselves on the qualifications of those who run in judicial races so that they can vote for the most qualified candidates,” John Fainter, chair of the TCJL board of directors, said. “In reality, a judge can have a major, direct influence on a citizen—perhaps more than any other elected official—including making decisions that...

Judges should not be politicians.

Texas appellate judges have to be absolutely independent of political pressures.  Cases should be decided on the facts and the law, not on politics or the latest press. Study the candidates carefully to satisfy yourself that the people you help elect measure up to the very highest ethical and professional standards.  Take a good look at how the candidates measure up on key points: Legal credentials; Independence; Fairness and impartiality; Respect of their peers. Texas courts that merit our confidence and trust are our best assurance that we will be governed by a legal system rooted in traditions of fair play.  A court with integrity and quality beyond question assures a level playing field for all...

Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson Resigns Effective October 1, 2013

CHIEF JUSTICE JEFFERSON ANNOUNCES HIS RESIGNATION http://www.supreme.courts.state.tx.us/pdf/WBJ_090313.pdf Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson announced Tuesday that he will leave the Supreme Court of Texas effective October 1, 2013. Chief Justice Jefferson has not determined his plans upon retirement. Under his leadership, the Court drastically reduced the number of cases carried over from one term to another and significantly increased the use of technology to improve efficiency, increase transparency and decrease costs. “I was fortunate to have served under Chief Justice Thomas R. Phillips, who in his nearly 17 years transformed the Court into a leader not only in jurisprudence, but also in the hard work of administering justice fairly,” Jefferson said. “I am most proud to have worked with my colleagues to increase the public’s access to the legal system, which guarantees the rights conferred by our Constitutions.” Under his leadership cameras came to the Court in 2007, allowing the public to view oral arguments live to bolster the public’s understanding of the Court’s work. The Court implemented a new case-management system and required all lawyers to submit appellate briefs electronically for posting on the Court’s website so that the arguments framing the great issues of the day are accessible to Texas citizens. The Court mandated electronic filing of court documents last year, which will decrease the cost of litigation and increase courts’ productivity. The Court fought for increased funding for basic civil legal services and established the Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth, and Families. Jefferson led efforts to preserve historic court documents throughout the state and helped to reform antiquated juvenile-justice practices. Appointed by Governor Rick Perry, Jefferson...