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Judicial Q&A: Fredericka Phillips

(Note: As I have done in past elections, I am running a series of Q&As for judicial candidates in contested Democratic primaries. I’m now doing this for some candidates in the May runoff who had not done a Q&A in March. You can see all of my interviews as well as finance reports and other information on candidates on my 2016 Election page.)

Fredericka Phillips

Fredericka Phillips

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

My name is Fredericka Phillips and I am running for the 61st Judicial District Court in Harris County. I am currently Vice Chair of the Texas Democratic Party and a longtime party activist in Fort Bend County and most recently Harris County. I am a 16 year lawyer with a wealth of experience in all civil matters. I am a mother of two daughters, and an advocate and volunteer for children’s organizations.

2. What kind of cases does this court hear?

The District Courts are the highest level state court before the appellate level. The 61st Judicial District Court is a court of general jurisdiction for resolving civil disputes in which the amount in controversy is $200 or more involving property, contract disputes, and other civil matters in which jurisdiction is not placed in another trial court. Examples of cases this court hears are breach of contract matters, personal injury matters, wrongful death matters, medical malpractice, employment matters, tax appraisal appeals, collections, seizures/forfeitures, and property disputes.

3. Why are you running for this particular bench?

Justice and law have been my lifelong passions since my early childhood marching with the NAACP and following the life of Thurgood Marshall. My goal in attending law school was to one day become a judge because I know the effect judges have on our lives by their interpretations of the law and how important it is to have judges who indeed act with fairness and integrity. This particular court, the 61st District, was previously Judge Al Bennett’s court before he was appointed to the federal bench. I am running for this bench not only because of my interest in being a fair and just administrator of justice for all litigants, but also because it’s important to have and maintain diversity in our judicial system.

4. What are your qualifications for this job?

I have over sixteen years of experience representing businesses and individuals in every level state and federal court. My diverse civil litigation practice has covered every type of case that could come before the 61st District Court. As I mentioned earlier, this court hears a wide range of civil disputes including highly complex litigation matters. I am on the only Democratic candidate in the primary runoff that has experience representing parties in any and every type of civil matter that could come before the court. I am also the only Democratic candidate with first chair trial experience in diverse civil matters including contract cases, malpractice, complex tax litigation, and complex commercial litigation matters. I also have experience in the federal appeals courts including the US Fifth Circuit, and before the state appellate courts including the Texas Supreme Court. I am the only Democratic candidate that has the experience necessary to fill this role from day one.

5. Why is this race important?

It is important the voters have a voice in who their state judges are. The governor appointed a Republican judge to replace Democratic Judge Al Bennett. The voters need to ensure the court is once again represented by a Democrat. One party should not have control of our courthouses. Likewise, it is important that we have diverse representation in our courts.

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

As I stated earlier, I am the only Democratic candidate with first chair trial experience and the only candidate with proven experience handling every possible type of legal matter that could come before the court. I am on the only candidate with lead attorney experience representing parties in contract, commercial, construction, personal injury, malpractice, tax, employment, collections, property cases and more. Democratic voters should vote for Fredericka Phillips for the 61st Court because I am the only Democratic candidate with the wealth of experience necessary to start the job from day one.

I am also the only Democratic candidate with a history of working with the Democratic Party and fighting for Democratic principles for over a decade. I have been member, officer, and founder of several Democratic clubs and organizations across Fort Bend and Harris counties. I have participated in grassroots efforts to elect Democratic candidates across the state, and have served as Vice Chair of the Democratic Party for the past two years. Democratic voters should vote for Fredericka Phillips because I am the only Democratic candidate with a solid history of voting in Democratic primaries and of advocating for Democratic values across the county and state for decades. Learn more about me at

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