Note: This entry is part of a series of written Q&As with judicial candidates in contested Democratic primaries. I am also doing recorded interviews with non-judicial candidates.
1. Who are you, and what are you running for?
I am Bruce Mosier, candidate for Judge of the 190th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas (a civil, trial court), in the March 4, 2008, Democratic Primary Election. I am a native Houstonian, born, raised and educated in Houston, Texas. I graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School, the University of Houston College of Business Administration and the University of Houston College of Law. I am married to Diane Mosier and have 4 grown children and 7 very bright grandchildren.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
Article V, Section 8 of the Texas Constitution provides the following: "District Court jurisdiction consists of exclusive, appellate, and original jurisdiction of all actions, proceedings, and remedies, except in cases where exclusive, appellate, or original jurisdiction may be conferred by this Constitution or other law on some other court, tribunal, or administrative body. District Court judges shall have the power to issue writs necessary to enforce their jurisdiction. The District Court shall have appellate jurisdiction and general supervisory control over the County Commissioners Court, with such exceptions and under such regulations as may be prescribed by law."
In general, the 190th Judicial District Court is a trial court authorized to hear and determine civil matters only. Its geographical jurisdiction is all of Harris County. Its monetary jurisdiction is unlimited. In Harris County, the Civil District Courts have jurisdiction to hear and decide all civil cases except those, the jurisdiction of which has not been exclusively assigned by legislative action to other courts, i.e. family matters, probate matters. Included in that jurisdiction are cases in which individuals claim damages because of an injury caused by another individual or a company, whether the injury is physical, mental or emotional; collection of debts; commercial matters, including disputes between owners of a business and contract claims; real estate disputes, including boundary disputes, ownership claims, and injunctive suits to stop foreclosures; and much more.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
It has been often said that there exists a great imbalance in the judicial system of Harris County, Texas, because there are no Democrat Judges in our county, except for a few Justices of the Peace. But the imbalance does not stop there. In a partisan system in which Judges are elected and must declare themselves to be members of a particular political party, they must declare their allegiance to that party or suffer the negative consequences, i.e. defeat at the hands of their own party. I am a Democrat and believe in the Texas Democratic Party Platform affords the best approach to protecting the rights of all of our citizens. (see http://www.hcdp.org/Demo2006.pdf)
I have run for the office of Judge several times, during the years when a candidate for a countywide race had no hope of success in Harris County, Texas. I carried the message of the Democratic Party and campaigned for change of our judicial system. I was encouraged by many Democratic activists and Elected Officials to run for office (see my web site at www.mosierforjudge.com) and announced that I would seek the very next "open bench." When the Judge of the 190th was confirmed to the Fifth Circuit, I announced my candidacy.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
I have practiced law continuously, in Harris County, Texas, for 43 years, handling many, many types of civil cases, on both sides of most of the areas in which I practiced. In 1983, I earned Certificates of Special Competence from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (known as Board Certifications) in Residential Real Estate Law and in Commercial Real Estate Law. In 1994, I earned a certification as Mediator from the American Arbitration Association. My practice has always been a litigation and appellate practice, concentrating on real estate litigation, but handling a wide variety of other types of cases. I have also served as a Mediator in many cases, assisting other attorneys and their clients in the resolution of their disputes. I have broad "life experiences," having raised 4 children and 1 granddaughter, having represented hundreds and hundreds of individual clients, and having been active in many community activities, all of which enables me to understand the problems confronting people in their lives.
5. Why is this race important?
Beginning in the late 1980s and into the 1990s, the Republican party took control of the judicial system in the State of Texas, controlling every trial court (except a few Justices of the Peace) and every appellate court in Harris County, Texas. This imbalance has enabled the institution of rules and procedures that have changed the administration of justice without any consideration of an opposing view - in many ways to the detriment of all persons seeking justice. The demographics of Harris County (and the State of Texas) and the attitudes of its citizens is changing and the justice system must also change.
Further, changing the status quo at the courthouse will once again give the courtroom back to the people (who own it, after all) and the lawyers who represent them. Jury verdicts will once again be respected.
6. Why should people vote for you in the Democratic primary?
I began my work with as a Democrat in 1953, operating mail room equipment as a teenager for the Harris County Democrats, an organization working for the defeat of Republican candidates. My Dad was its County Precinct Organizer and I worked with such stalwarts as Mrs. R. D."Frankie" Randolph, Eddie Ball, J. Edwin Smith, Chris Dixie, Judge Woodrow Seals, Judge Miron Love, and a host of other activists. Billie Carr and I were volunteers in the efforts. She went on to become one of the leading activists in the Texas Democratic Party. I became an attorney, representing the rights of individuals.
I have practiced law more than three times as long as my opponent. I have a much broader and much more varied experience with life than he does. My demeanor, my knowledge of the law and procedures, my experience in the law and my attitudes toward and experience with people will enable me to understand the disputes brought before me and to decide the cases in accordance with principles of fairness, justice and compasion. I have represented individuals and companies one at a time, examining every detail of each case, from both sides of each of them. I will decide every case that comes before me in the manner required of every Judge, i.e. 'not be swayed by partisan interests, public clamor, or fear of criticism.'" see Lawrence v. Texas, 41 S.W.3d 349 (Tex. App. - 14th Dist. - 2001)
In closing, having carried the message of change in this County 5 times, during the dark years, I believe that I have the name recognition, the reputation and the experience that will enable me to become one of the first Democrats to be elected Judge of a District Court in Harris County, Texas, in many, many years.
Jim Wrotenbery, candidate for 125th District Court (Civil).
Diane Trautman, candidate for Harris County Tax Assessor.
Judge Susan Criss, candidate for the Texas Supreme Court, Position 8.
Joe Jaworski, candidate for State Senate, District 11.
Baltasar D. Cruz, candidate for Texas Supreme Court, Position 7.
State Rep. Garnet Coleman, District 147.
Armando Walle, candidate for State Representative, District 140.
Carol Alvarado, candidate for State Representative, District 145.
Andres Pereira, candidate for 190th District Court (Civil).
Ron Reynolds, candidate for State Representative, District 27.
Sam Houston, candidate for the Texas Supreme Court, Position 7.
State Rep. Jessica Farrar, District 148.
Fred Cook, candidate for 215th District Court (Civil).
Adrian Garcia, candidate for Harris County Sheriff.
Steve Kirkland, candidate for 215th District Court (Civil).
David Mincberg, candidate for Harris County Judge.
Kyle Carter, candidate for 125th District Court (Civil).
Dan Grant, candidate for US Congress, District 10.Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 07, 2008 to Election 2008