Judicial Q&A: Katie Kennedy

(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?

I am Judge Katie Kennedy, and I am running for Judge of the 269th Civil District Court.

2. What kind of cases does this court hear?

Civil cases. In a civil case one person or entity sues another person or entity usually to collect money damages. Examples of the types of cases that this court hears are personal injury cases, real estate cases, business cases, contract cases, construction law cases, employment cases, collection cases, medical, legal, and professional malpractice cases, Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act cases, products liability cases, and cases involving insurance companies.

3. Why are you running for this particular bench?

I am running for this bench because of my superior qualifications. An inexperienced judge that Governor Rick Perry appointed after the last election currently sits on this bench. The voters of Harris County have never elected him. This inexperienced judge is imposing burdensome, unnecessary, and costly procedures upon the lawyers and litigants, thereby driving up the cost of the lawsuit to the parties

I have been practicing law for 24 years, and I have been a judge for over 17 years. The current judge has only been on the bench for slightly over a year, and he has been practicing law for just over ten years. I have much more experience, and I am better qualified than this recent appointee.

4. What are your qualifications for this job?

I have served as a judge for 17 years in the Texas courts. The Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists named me as Trial Judge of the Year. In the 2010 Houston Bar Association Judicial Qualifications Questionnaire, I received more than two and a half times more Well Qualified votes than my opponent. In fact, I received the top ranking of any other candidate for a district court, Democrat or Republican, incumbent or challenger. More than 93 percent of the lawyers voting in the poll rated me as Well Qualified or Qualified. The Association of Women Attorneys and the Pasadena Bar Association have endorsed me.

I have tried over 500 cases to jury verdict, and I have disposed of over 9000 cases. I have mediated and arbitrated hundreds of cases in all areas of civil law. I have been appointed as Special Master in numerous state and federal cases.

The Texas State Bar appointed me to the Texas Access to Justice Commission. The Texas Supreme Court appointed me to the Judicial Campaign Finance Study Committee. Texas Executive Women and the Houston Chronicle honored me as a Woman on the Move.

5. Why is this race important?

The civil district judges oversee cases that affect Harris County citizens’ lives, health, businesses, and pocketbooks. It is important that a qualified, experienced, and fair judge hear these cases.

6. Why should people vote for you in November?

I am the clear choice for Judge of the 269th District Court. I am experienced, qualified, and dedicated to public service. In Texas we elect all of our judges from the Texas Supreme Court down to the Justice of the Peace. Your vote is your voice in choosing who these judges are. If you vote for me in the race for the 269th District Court in November, you will help send a qualified, fair, and experienced judge back to the courthouse.

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