Note: This entry is part of a series of written Q&As with judicial candidates in contested Democratic primaries. I am also doing recorded interviews with non-judicial candidates.
1. Who are you and what are you running for?
My name is Sam Houston and I am running for the Supreme Court of Texas, Place 7.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
The Supreme Court of Texas is the highest court in the State for civil law matters. The court hears and decides legal issues that arise in cases such as personal injury, business litigation, and family law disputes -- in short, all cases other than criminal cases.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
I am a Democrat and a trial lawyer. It has been my impression and many others (including noted professors at the major law schools here in the state) that our Supreme Court frequently disregards jury verdicts and too often sides with defendants and corporations. I believe that it is time to balance our court, which will best happen by electing a trial lawyer with experience who is also a Democrat.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
Since graduating from Baylor Law School (1987) after receiving my undergraduate degree from The University of Texas (1984), I have practiced civil trial law for twenty years in the Houston area. I have tried dozens of cases ranging from personal injury matters to complex commercial cases. I have handled appeals in the Courts of Appeals and in the Texas Supreme Court. I am board certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. I first achieved board certification in 1995, and re-certified in 2000 and 2005. I have likewise received board certification in civil trial advocacy from the National Board of Trial Advocacy. I am a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and am also rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest legal rating for the ethics and abilities. I have been named as one of Houston's Top Lawyers by H Houston Magazine and a "Super Lawyer" by Texas Monthly.
5. Why is this race important?
This race is important because the right to a trial by jury is the foundation of our civil justice system and, indeed, our democracy. Our forefathers developed this type of system to prevent the unfair distribution of power in the country. Our jury system evens up the odds for all citizens. It is vital that we elect judges who are committed to preserving this system of justice.
6. Why should people vote for you in the Democratic primary?
I have the qualifications to win the election this fall. I have more experience in handling trial matters than my opponent and the support of most of the well-established trial lawyers and Democrats in the state. My Steering Committee includes the top lawyers in the state from both sides and I am known and respected. I believe that if elected I could help bring balance to the court and bring about change.
My website is www.samhoustonforjustice.com
Jim Wrotenbery, candidate for 125th District Court (Civil).
Diane Trautman, candidate for Harris County Tax Assessor.
Judge Susan Criss, candidate for the Texas Supreme Court, Position 8.
Joe Jaworski, candidate for State Senate, District 11.
Baltasar D. Cruz, candidate for Texas Supreme Court, Position 7.
State Rep. Garnet Coleman, District 147.
Armando Walle, candidate for State Representative, District 140.
Carol Alvarado, candidate for State Representative, District 145.
Andres Pereira, candidate for the 190th District Court (Civil).
Ron Reynolds, candidate for State Representative, District 27.Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 24, 2008 to Election 2008