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Judicial Q&A: Josefina Rendon

(Note: As I have done in past elections, I am running a series of Q&As for judicial candidates in contested Democratic primaries. This is intended to help introduce the candidates and their experiences to those who plan to vote in March. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the candidates. You can see all of my interviews as well as finance reports and other information on candidates on my 2016 Election page.)

Josefina Rendon

1. Who are you and what are you running for?

I am Judge Josefina Rendon. I’m running for the 165th District Court. I’m a transplanted Texas, having come to Houston as a teenager many years ago. I’ve been a lawyer & judge for over 30 years and a mediator, peacemaker & student-teacher of conflict resolution for over 20 years.

2. What kind of cases does this court hear?

A Civil District Court hears all kinds of Civil cases involving personal injury, commercial disputes, contracts, injunctions and many other disputes.

3. Why are you running for this particular bench?

I like being a judge because I can help people in court see the best of our system of justice and fairness. District Courts are important because they affect people’s lives, rights and livelihoods. Courts are where people go to seek justice, redress and resolution of their disputes. Having already been the judge of that District Court, I cannot think of a better way to insure that these principles are met.

4. What are your qualifications for this job?

I have been a judge for many years. I was a State Civil District Judge for 4 years and a City of Houston Municipal Court Judge for 28 of the last 32 years. As an experienced trial judge I’ve had to make reasoned decisions that have affected people’s lives and livelihood. No less important, many years ago I discovered that, when encouraged and guided, the parties themselves often have the wisdom to resolve their own disputes without the judge imposing his or her decision. I also discovered that people tend to honor their agreements more often than they obey judicial orders. Because of that, for over 20 years I have also been a mediator, helping people resolve cases on their own rather than imposing, or having another judge impose, a decision. Having been both judge and mediator has given me a great insight on how to help the parties resolve their cases. Some cases are better resolved through mediation and others are better off by letting a judge or jury make the decision.

5. Why is this race important?

Because justice matters, or should matter, to all of us in life or death. All of our courts need judges who are not only aware of the law but who have a sense of balance, justice and compassion in dealing with parties from all walks of life. I believe I have all those qualities.

6. Why should people vote for you in the primary?

I have been not only a judge but a practicing lawyer and, even more important, a mediator and peacemaker. As a mediator – derived from the word “middle” – I have learned to truly be in the middle and not take sides while trying to get the parties to get their cases resolved and, at times, even achieve peace. As a judge I carefully and respectfully listen to all points of view and rule according to, not only the law, but according to what is just, fair and equitable. I also have worked hard all my life, with a sense of purpose, always trying to excel expectations and do the best job possible. I will do the same if elected.

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  1. Paul Kubosh says:

    Great Judge…hope she wins.

  2. Steve Houston says:

    I’m acquainted with her too, a fine woman with a big sense of fairness. As such, her chances are slim in this local environment but she deserves it all the same.