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Endorsement watch: Probate courts

We finally come to the end of judicial endorsements as the Chron makes recommendations for the probate courts.

In the Democratic primary for Probate Court No. 2, the Chronicle endorses veteran probate and estate planning attorney Joellen Snow, a University of Texas Law School graduate certified in probate law who has also served as an associate Houston municipal judge. “I think we need to stop the cronyism,” says Snow, who says it creates at least the appearance of impropriety and bias. She believes appointments should be spread among more lawyers “instead of a select few in each court who have given the maximum contributions to that judge.” She would advocate a uniform system similar to that used in the criminal district courts that would randomly draw from a list of qualified attorneys for appointments.

In the Democratic primary for Probate Court No. 3, the Chronicle recommends Mary Galligan, a 22-year certified probate law practitioner and adjunct professor at South Texas College of Law who has represented the broad range of cases heard in probate court. She says she decided to run for the judgeship because many of her clients had been expressing a fear of going to probate court because of the negative stories about favoritism and exorbitant costs. Galligan pledges not to accept campaign contributions from attorneys who practice in probate court and has returned several thousand dollars to donors for that reason.

The 2010 Elections page has been updated to reflect these recommendations. With that, and with the accompanying endorsements in the Republican primary for Supreme Court and 14th Court of Appeals, they’re done with judicial races. And now, with one whole day of early voting left, they can tackle all of the following:

– County Judge (Dem), County Clerk (Dem and GOP), Tax Assessor (GOP), and District Clerk (GOP)

– CD22 (Dem) and CD29 (GOP)

– HD146 (Dem), HD127 (GOP), HD134 (GOP), and HD148 (GOP)

Good luck with that. Maybe next time start a little sooner?

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One Comment

  1. Mike says:

    It’s certainly very clubby in the Harris County probate courts. If there’s an issue where the courts can apply judicial discretion it’s a foregone conclusion how they will rule depending on who the attorneys are. Their only fear is reversal on appeal.