(Note: I am running a series of Q&As for Democratic judicial candidates on the November ballot. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the candidates. These Q&As are primarily intended for candidates who were not in contested primaries. You can see those earlier Q&As, as well as all the ones in this series and all my recorded interviews for this cycle, on my 2010 Elections page.)
1. Who are you, and what are you running for?
My name is William J. Rice, Jr., however I am know as “Bill Rice” by my friends and acquaintances. I am running for Judge of the 309th Family District Court in Harris County, Texas.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
This court hears all types of family law cases, e.g. divorces, custody cases, child support, spousal support, enforcements, terminations and adoptions, CPS cases, habeas corpuses, property disputes, and common law or informal marriage disputes.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
I am running for this bench because this is a family court and I have practiced family law ever since I was licensed in 1975. Over the last 20 years approximately 70% of my practice has been in the area of family law.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
I have practiced family law for approximately 35 years in the greater Houston, Texas area. I have handled every conceivable type of family law case. I have been a Certified Family Law Mediator since 1995 and I have mediated hundreds of cases. I have served as a visiting Associate Judge in the Family Court and also as an Associate Municipal for the City of Houston for 12 ½ years. The citizens of Harris County will have the benefit of my prior judicial experience when I take the bench.
5. Why is this race important?
This race is important because the judge that sits on this bench will make decisions that affect one-ninth (1/9) of the citizens (and their families) of Harris County that come into the family courts over the next four (4) years. It is important that the judge be experienced and competent and have compassion for the people that appear in the court.
6. Why should people vote for you in November?
People should vote for me because I am well qualified by both training and experience to serve as the judge of a family court. I will not only have 35 years of experience when I take the bench but I also have judicial temperament. Judicial temperament is important because when citizens come into family court they are often very emotional due to the stress of the situation that caused them to be there. Therefore, it is important to have a judge like me that is compassionate and will treat the people fairly and respectfully.