(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 Olan Boudreaux, and I am a candidate for Judge of the 190th Civil District Court in Harris County. I was born in New Orleans, and came to Houston in 1971 to attend court reporting school. I completed college and law school at night, while working full time as a court reporter to support my family. My wife, Mary Anne, and I have four daughters and six grandchildren (five girls and one boy).
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
The Civil District Courts hear all civil lawsuits, with the exception of family law cases and probate cases. Examples of the kinds of cases filed in these courts include personal injury cases arising out of car wrecks, medical malpractice, defective products, or premises injuries, as well as many others. In addition, the court hears business disputes, including disputes over contracts, partnerships, real estate matters, employment, construction, oil and gas, and many other forms of civil litigation, ranging from the relatively simple to the very complex.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
I am running for a civil district court because my entire career as a lawyer has focused on representing clients in courts such as this one, including those in Harris County and numerous other counties in Texas, as well as several other states. I have seen good judges and bad judges, and I have learned that a good judge is one who treats all of the parties with dignity and respect, who listens to the evidence and the arguments in the case, and who manages the court’s docket so that the parties can get their cases resolved on the merits, without having to spend their life savings just getting the case tried.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
I have been practicing law in civil trial courts for over 26 years. I am board certified in both civil trial law and personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. I was appointed by two different presidents of the State Bar of Texas to serve as chair of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
In addition, I have been elected to membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates, recognized in “Best Lawyers in America,” Texas Monthly’s “Super Lawyers,” and H Magazine’s “Top Lawyers in Houston” and “Top Lawyers for the People.” All of these honors are based on professional recognition by other lawyers.
I graduated first in my law school class, received the highest score on the Texas bar exam in February 1984, and had a 4.0 GPA throughout my undergraduate career. I have lectured and published materials for CLE programs throughout Texas on issues related to civil trial practice.
Please visit my campaign website, www.olanboudreaux.com, for more details about my qualifications and experience.
5. Why is this race important?
All of the judicial races are important. People come before the civil district courts to protect their rights, and they have a right to expect that the judges in these courts are qualified both in terms of legal experience as well as life experiences, and that they will make sound rulings based on the rule of law and not some political agenda. Often the decisions judges make will have a dramatic impact on the lives of the parties before the bench, and the citizens of Harris County need to elect judges who can appreciate the importance of every case, and who have the work ethic to insure that all parties leave the courthouse knowing that they were treated fairly, regardless of whether they won or lost.
6. Why should people vote for you in November?
All my life I have worked to develop and maintain a reputation for integrity and hard work. My experiences over the past 26 years of practicing before courts just like the 190th Civil District Court have prepared me to be the kind of judge the citizens of Harris County have a right to expect of their elected officials. I believe that a judge needs to appreciate the honor of being elected to public service, to understand that the courts are there to serve the people, not the other way around, and to know that everyone who comes before the court deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
My campaign has received support from a broad range of diverse groups, including Christians for Better Government, the Mexican-American Bar Association, the Pasadena Bar Association, the Afro-American Sheriff’s Deputies League, the Harris County AFL-CIO Council, the Latino Labor Leadership Council of Southeast Texas, the Coalition of Elected Democratic Officials (which is made up of 18 elected officials in Harris County on the federal, state and local level), and the Area V Democrats, among others.
My campaign has also been endorsed by numerous community and political leaders, including former Governor Mark White, Representative Sylvester Turner, former Chairman of the Harris County Democratic Party, John Odam, former Dean of South Texas College of Law, James Alfini, Director of NAACP, Howard Jefferson, former City Attorney for the City of Houston, Benjamin Hall, III, along with many others listed on my campaign website: www.olanboudreaux.com.
In summary, people should vote for me because I will bring to the bench the qualifications, experience, dedication and integrity that equip me to serve the citizens of Harris County in this important office. If elected, I am committed to working hard to insure that the people of Harris County are proud of their decision to choose me to be the Judge of the 190th Civil District Court.