(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 Joellen Snow and I am running for Harris County Probate Court 2.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
Probate Courts handle decedent’s estates, guardianships, trusts, and related matters.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
I have been interested in public service since I was in high school. I received my undergraduate degree in political science and a master’s degree in public affairs in addition to my law degree. I am at a point in my career where I am able to be a full time public servant, and I am most qualified to be a probate judge. The probate courts primarily exercise jurisdiction over decedent’s estates, guardianships, and related matters that affect people at critical times in their lives. Parties who appear in probate court are often grieving over the loss of a loved one or struggling with the care of an incapacitated loved one. As a probate judge, I will be committed to treating all parties courteously, listening carefully and patiently, and providing evenhanded justice with compassion. My 30+ years as a licensed attorney, 27+ years as an associate municipal court judge for the City of Houston, and 20+ years of practice exclusively in the areas of probate, guardianship, and estate planning make me highly qualified to be that judge.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
I have practiced law in Houston for 30+ years. For the past 20+ years, my practice has been exclusively in the areas of probate, guardianship, and estate planning. For the past 27+ years, I have served as an associate municipal court judge for the City of Houston. I am the past chair of the probate, trusts and estates section and the elder law committee of the Houston Bar Association. My law firm is rated AV Preeminent, the highest peer rating, by Martindale-Hubbell.
5. Why is this race important?
The probate courts affect many of the citizens of Harris County. Whenever an individual needs to administer the estate of a deceased loved one or to seek a guardianship over an incapacitated loved one they must appear in probate court.
6. Why should people vote for you in the primary?
I am the most experienced and qualified candidate in the race, and I have the right temperament to be an excellent probate judge.