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Judicial Q&A: Chip Wells

(Note: I am running a series of Q&As for judicial candidates in contested Democratic primaries. There are a lot of judicial races on the ballot in Harris County this election, and so this is intended to help introduce the candidates and their experiences to those who plan to vote in March. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the candidates. I will also be conducting some in-person interviews of candidates who will be involved in contested primaries for non-judicial offices. Please see my 2010 Election page for a full list of Q&As and interviews.)

1. Who are you and what are you running for?

I am Clinton “Chip” Wells and I am running for the position of Judge of the 247th Family District Court in Harris County Texas. I attended school here in Houston graduating from Lamar H.S. in 1970. I attended the University of Texas at Austin and obtained my J.D. from South Texas College of Law. I am married to Lily Barnstone Wells. We have 3 children. I have been practicing law in Harris County for the past 32 years representing Texas families and indivduals in family law matters, personal injury claims and in the past, criminal matters.

2. What kind of cases does this court hear?

The 247th hears matters involving marriage dissolution, adoption, and enforcement of previous family court orders.

3. Why are you running for this particular bench?

After practicing for 32 years I believe that I can make a difference in this courtroom for the individuals that will come before it. I also believe that my experience will be valuable to making changes in the process that will help both lawyers and their clients.

4. What are your qualifications for this job?

I have 32 years of trial experience gained in courts around Texas from Cameron County to Tarrant County. During that time I practiced family law exclusively for 15 years. Family Law continues to be a part of my trial practice. I pride myself on my common sense approach to problem resolution. My practice has exposed me to hundreds of judges around the state from which I have learned lessons of what works and does not work from the bench. I want to return courtesy and compassion to the bench. Personally I was raised in a single parent household for the most part and then later had a stepfather in the home. I have been married divorced and remarried. I have raised two children from my wife’s previous marriage and we have one together. I have experience either personally or professionally with every imaginable scenario that might arise in a Family Law case.

5. Why is this race important?

Any one who wants to adopt a child, or has an issue that must be resolved in a family court understands why it is critical to have judges who respect the law and the litigants; and brings understanding and fairness to the courtroom.

6. Why should people vote for you in the primary?

I am the best candidate for Judge in the 247th Family District Court because of my 32 years of practice as a trial lawyer and my life experience that has taught me humility, compassion and appreciation for challenges that we all face. I believe that sitting in judgment on one of these family benches requires more than a rote knowledge of the law but calls for the experience necessary to fairly apply the law in each circumstance as it is presented.

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  1. Joan Dickson says:

    Your profile here, Chip, is so very well presented. Common sense for a situation. This is so true of you.
    The statement I liked best is your objective “to return courtesy and compassion to the bench”.
    The fact that you have lived and practiced in the “real world” and have a such a special talent to view problems with a viable, peaceful solution, these are the values I know you to have.
    Since I met you years ago, I knew then, and have waited for you to want to pursue to become a judge. That robe and bench has been waiting for you a long time.
    It will be refreshing for Harris County residents to have that “hands on” knowledge and observations of yours.
    Thank you and I look forward to helping you in anyway I can to get you there!
    Joan Dickson

  2. Brian Scherff says:

    You the man! If I lived in Houston you would have my vote, and I’m a Republican. As it is I do have several friends and family in Houston whom I have urged to vote for you.
    Best of luck. Iknow you’ll make a GREAT Judge.

  3. Pam Jones says:

    Chip, I must say that we have had more than a few political discussions and did not agree on most; however, I, as a fairly hard-core Republican would not have a problem voting for you as a family court judge. The above Q&A is impressive and more important is my experience with you over the years. I have witnessed how hard you have tried to do the right thing for your stepchildren. You may not have always been perfect (as no parent is) but you were more involved in their lives than any step parent or parent could ever have been. There could never be a doubt that you care. Good luck to you in this new role. I feel you will always look for the fairness in the situation.