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Judicial Q&A revisited: David Singer

As you know, in addition to selecting a Democratic nominee for County Commissioners Court in Precinct 1, precinct chairs everywhere in Harris County will get to select two judicial nominees, for newly-created courts. There are three people who have expressed an interest in the new County Criminal Court at Law #16. All three have submitted judicial Q&As to me for prior candidacies. I will be revisiting these for the test of this week.

David Singer was a candidate for the 177th Criminal District Court in 2016. Here are the responses he sent to me for the March primary.

David Singer

David Singer

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

David L. Singer. I am running for the 177th Criminal District Court.

2. What kind of cases does this court hear?

All Felony Criminal Cases (from small drug cases to Capital Murder).

3. Why are you running for this particular bench?

I have been training for this job my entire adult life. (see #4) I didn’t want to run against a Democratic incumbent or a former Democratic Judicial candidate in a primary, so my choices this year were very limited. The current Judge, Ryan Patrick, only practiced law for 5 years before he was appointed and then elected for this bench. I felt my experience would be in sharp contrast to his, in a general election contest.

4. What are your qualifications for this job?

Graduated from South Texas College of Law (1983) Assistant Editor of the Law Review and author of the Phillip Burleson Award for the best article in the field of criminal law (April, 1983).

Worked at the 1st Court of Appeals 2 ½ years, as an intern, and then a Briefing Attorney for Justice Murry Cohen.

Six years as an Assistant District Attorney at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office (1984 – 1990).

25 years in private practice as a Criminal Defense attorney. My practice has been more than 95 % criminal defense in State and Federal court in 15 Texas counties and several other States. Primarily State Criminal cases in Harris and surrounding counties.

I have handled well over four thousand criminal cases in Harris County alone and have tried approximately 150 – 200 jury trials including Capital Murder cases.

5. Why is this race important?

All Criminal Court races are important. The quality of justice in our county depends in large part on the quality of our judges. This particular race is important because there is a drastic difference in experience between myself and the current judge.

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

My opponent in the primary (Robert Johnson) is also relatively inexperienced. He has only been licensed for 12 years, handles less than 50% criminal cases*, has never tried a Capital Case, and has never been in law enforcement.

*According to the Harris County District Clerks office, Mr. Johnson has handled 468 criminal cases in his career and over 600 civil (mostly family law) cases. In contrast, the same source has me handling over 3400 criminal cases, not counting my 6 years as a prosecutor, and only 75 civil cases over 25 years. The only non-criminal cases I handle currently are expunctions and forfeitures, both related to criminal cases.

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