(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’m Tammy Manning, and I’m running for Judge of Harris County Probate Court No. 4.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
This is a probate court, which means it hears cases involving estates (probate of wills or heirship determinations, for example), trusts, and guardianships. Probate courts also have very broad jurisdiction. Practically speaking, this means that almost any kind of case can be heard in a probate court as long as that case has some connection to an estate, trust, or guardianship. This could include holding jury trials of wrongful death lawsuits, medical malpractice cases and contract disputes to name a few examples.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
I have a desire to make a difference and serve our community. I’ve been privileged to live and work in Harris County practically all of my life, with the past 20 years spent working as an attorney. I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had as a citizen and resident of Harris County, and want to use the experience and knowledge I’ve gained as a probate practitioner to serve the public as judge of Harris County Probate Court No. 4. A probate bench fits my qualifications and experience to a “T”.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
Experience. Common Sense. Efficiency. I’ve been a probate litigation attorney for the better part of my 20 years as an attorney in Harris County. I’ve been an advocate and a mediator in probate cases ranging from will contests and trust disputes, to guardianships and appeals. In my career, I’ve been fortunate to be able to experience just about every facet of probate law, and have come to understand that each case is unique and of equal importance. My two decades of practice in the courtroom have sharpened my skills for a smooth transition to the other side of the bench. I also have managed a probate law firm for the last 13 years and have worked with approximately the same budget and staff size as that of Probate Court #4.
5. Why is this race important?
Probate courts impact your life and the lives of people you love. Families find themselves in probate courts for a variety of reasons. They may be there looking for help for their elderly or disabled relatives, or they may be there seeking resolution of a dispute. To have a judge that fully understands this area of the law – and not just the legal issues, but the interpersonal nature of these cases – is critical to having the kind of probate court that this community deserves.
6. Why should people vote for you in November?
My years of experience as a practicing probate attorney and business owner, my extensive knowledge of probate law and courtroom procedures, and my desire to serve the people of Harris County make me the best candidate for Harris County Probate Court No. 4.
Please visit www.ManningforProbateJudge.com for more information.