(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. Much more information about Democratic primary candidates, including links to the interviews and judicial Q&As, can be found on Erik Manning’s spreadsheet.
1. Who are you and what are you running for?
My name is Lema “May” Barazi and I am running for the 189th District Court in Harris County, Texas.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
This is a civil district court that hears civil matters in which the amount in controversy is $200 or more.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
Throughout my legal practice, I have always advocated for fairness and impartial justice in the courtroom. I am running for the 189th District Court because I believe my legal and personal experiences have equipped me to serve the residents of Harris County impartially, yet compassionately.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
In addition to my degrees and extensive legal experience representing individuals and businesses in various different areas of law, I also have a unique skill set that allows me to bring diverse perspectives to the bench.
BA, English/Political Science, The University of Houston Honors College, 2003
JD, The University of Houston Law Center, 2006
MBA, Texas Tech University, 2014
I have been a trial attorney for 15 years. I have served as a felony prosecutor, plaintiff’s attorney, and defense counsel in both state and federal courts throughout my career.
Specifically, I have practiced in the following areas over the course of the last 15 years:
1. Criminal prosecution;
2. Criminal defense;
3. Family law;
4. Immigration law;
5. Civil rights litigation;
6. Commercial litigation as a plaintiff’s attorney;
7. Commercial litigation as defense counsel;
8. Personal injury litigation as a plaintiff’s attorney;
9. Personal injury litigation as defense counsel;
10. Health law litigation as a plaintiff’s attorney;
11. Health law litigation as defense counsel;
12. Intellectual Property litigation as a plaintiff’s attorney;
13. Intellectual Property litigation as defense counsel;
14. Real Estate litigation as a plaintiff’s attorney;
15. Real Estate litigation as defense counsel;
16. Mass torts as a plaintiff’s attorney;
17. Pharmaceutical litigation as a plaintiff’s attorney;
18. Medical Device litigation as a plaintiff’s attorney;
19. Civil appellate law.
I have native, professional proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing Arabic. I am proficient in multiple dialects and can converse with Arabic speakers across numerous countries spanning the Asian and African continents.
I also have a working knowledge of Spanish.
An additional skill set I have is that I am an educator. I have served as an Adjunct Professor teaching Business Law and Constitutional Law to university students for the past four years.
5. Why is this race important?
This race is important because I firmly believe that the lower the race is on the ballot, the closer the race is to our doors. We have all been impacted by the judicial system or will be impacted at some point in our lives and it is important to elect a judge that is qualified, representative, and a staunch advocate for fairness and impartiality.
6. Why should people vote for you in March?
People should vote for me because I am a qualified attorney, a compassionate educator, and a wife and mother who is in tune with the concerns of Harris County voters. A vote for me is a vote for fairness, equality, and justice.