Note: This entry is part of a series of written Q&As with judicial candidates who will be on the ballot in Harris County. I am also doing recorded interviews with non-judicial candidates.
1. Who are you, and what are you running for?
I'm Bert Moser. I'm the Democratic candidate for the Fourteenth Court of Appeals, Position 4.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
With the exception of cases in which the death penalty is imposed, the court hears appeals in all cases, civil and criminal, from Harris and nine other counties. The vast majority of cases do not go higher than this court.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
I have the qualifications to be a credit to the judiciary. But equally important, I believe I can be a part of an effort to help restore the faith that too many have lost in the fairness of our courts.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
I am a lifelong Houstonian, an honors graduate both of Rice University and the University of Texas Law School. I had the privilege of servicing as law clerk to Chief Judge John R. Brown of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, then the country's largest constitutional court. In almost forty years as a lawyer, I have been trial counsel in almost every kind of case. I have wide ranging experience in the appellate courts as well. I have been board certified as a specialist in civil appellate law since 1991. For fifteen years, I was certified as a specialist in criminal law as well, a distinction shared by very few lawyers. I have taught in law school, presented papers at seminars, and published articles in legal journals.
When they were in private practice, most sitting judges in Harris County represented the government or large corporations. Most of my clients have been those whose rights have not been given the same dignity, such as small businessmen, investors, consumers, homeowners, and employees. I understand what the individual citizen faces when going through the legal process.
5. Why is this race important?
Of the 118 judges voted on in Harris County, 118 are Republicans. These judges represent a narrow ideological perspective. The widespread perception is that judges seem to be less interested in justice and more interested in listening to only one side of the case. The right to a jury verdict to redress grievances no longer commands the respect our laws provide. If the courts had people who came from a broader range of experience and practice, the more the public would have confidence that the outcome of cases was fair.
6. Why should people vote for you in November?
I have the experience, the background, and the temperament to do the job and do it well. The pursuit of justice is one of the noblest human endeavors. It is what will guide all of my work.
Dion Ramos, 55th Civil Judicial District Court.
Shawna Reagin, 176th District Criminal Court.
Al Bennett, 61st Civil Judicial District Court.
Judge Jim Jordan, Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court.
Mike Miller, 11th Civil Judicial District Court.
Andres Pereira, 190th Civil Judicial District Court.
Steven Kirkland, 215th Civil Judicial District Court.
Martin Siegel, Court of Appeals, 14th District, Place 7.
Randy Roll, 179th District Criminal Court.
Leslie Taylor, Court of Appeals, First District, Place 5.
Kyle Carter, 125th Civil Judicial District Court.
Hazel Jones, 338th District Criminal Court.