(Note: As I have done in past elections, I am running a series of Q&As for Democratic judicial candidates. This is intended to help introduce the candidates and their experiences to my readers. This year it’s mostly incumbents running for re-election, so it’s an opportunity to hear that talk about what they have accomplished. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the candidates. For more information about these and other Democratic candidates, including links to interviews and Q&As from the primary and runoff, see the Erik Manning spreadsheet.)
1. Who are you and what are you running for?
My Name is Pamela Medina and I am the only qualified candidate running for Probate Judge Court No. 2 in Harris County. I am a native Houstonian, a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, and Thurgood Marshall School of Law (cum laude). I will make history as the first minority to serve as a probate judge in Harris County.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
The court presides over will probate, heirship and estate administration matters, guardianships, trusts creation and appointments of trustees, and litigation involving the abovementioned legal matters.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
I wish to combine my passion and expertise in this area of the law with my passion to serve the citizens of Harris County. I promise to preside over Probate Court No. 2 with a strict adherence to the rule of law, an unbiased approach to the law and the litigants, a fair treatment of the parties, by being prepared on the legal matters before me, by reading the pleadings submitted and the legal precedent related to these legal matters.
The probate court is a special court whereby all citizens will be touched by this court system. The judge serving the people of Harris County on the probate bench must be qualified and be a compassionate person. I hold those qualities and have a proven record of such. As well, the court staff should be afforded a safe and fair work environment, and I embody the characteristics of transparency, open dialogue, warmth, and compassion.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
I was licensed by the Texas Supreme Court in 2007. I am the current owner of Medina Law Texas, PLLC, a woman and minority owned law firm. The legal services I provide to my clients include estate planning, estate administration, trust drafting for both family and court created trusts, guardianships, probate litigation and general civil litigation. Prior to establishing my law firm, I was a Vice President at Cadence Bank, N.A., in its trusts and estates division. I provided personal trust administration and financial planning to middle to high-net worth individuals and families. I also provided trust administration for trusts created by probate and state district courts after the trust beneficiary was deemed incapacitated; I also served as estate administrator, either by testamentary bequest or by court appointment. I began my legal career as a law clerk with the 269th Civil District Court in Harris County. I drafted legal memoranda, legal research, analysis of statutory law and legal precedent, conferred with the judge to prepare for hearings and worked with the judge during court proceedings. I am State Bar Guardianship Ad Litem Certified. I currently serve on the Houston Bar Association Board and as a Regent at Texas Southern University and past president of the Mexican American Bar Association, as well as many other servant leadership roles in our community.
5. Why is this race important?
Ensuring we elect a judge whose legal practice areas coincide with what comes before this court, is paramount to an effective, efficient and fair judicial process. I am the only candidate on the ballot with legal experience in the areas before this court.
6. Why should people vote for you in November?
My legal expertise, intellect, demeanor and compassion are much needed in the probate court where the parties are often experiencing a difficult life event. The Pamela Medina campaign garnered an unprecedented 65% of the vote county-wide in the Primary Election, and has garnered seventeen (17) endorsements, thus far, two of which are legal organizations. My endorsements include past presidents of a National Bar, the State Bar and the Houston Bar, former judges, and current and former elected officials. I am providing a few of my endorsers’ quotes regarding my qualifications:
Judge Richard Vara “Pamela has the legal experience to be an excellent judge. We need her integrity, fair mindedness, and intelligence.”
Hon. Gracie Saenz (attorney) “Pamela has my vote. She is a professional with experience and great temperament; above all she cares about community. Pamela will make a great judge.”
Ben Hall (attorney) “Pamela is smart, compassionate, and always in the community. She will be a judge that makes us proud we elected her.”
Sarah Patel Pacheco (probate attorney) “Pamela understands the complexities of probate, trusts, and estates, but it is her intellect and compassion that sets her apart.”
Tammy Manning (probate attorney) “Pamela’s legal skills and judicial temperament will ensure parties are given fair treatment.