(Note: As I have done in past elections, I am running a series of Q&As for Democratic judicial candidates. This is intended to help introduce the candidates and their experiences to my readers. This year it’s mostly incumbents running for re-election, so it’s an opportunity to hear that talk about what they have accomplished. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the candidates. For more information about these and other Democratic candidates, including links to interviews and Q&As from the primary and runoff, see the Erik Manning spreadsheet.)
1. Who are you and in which court do you preside?
I am Donna Roth, Judge of the 295th Civil District Court.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
This Court will hear all civil cases at any dollar level. For example, contract, personal injury from serious plant explosions to minor car wrecks, homeowner property taxes, attorney disbarment, employment, discrimination, and business dissolution cases, etc. This Court also has injunctive and declaratory powers, which means it can stop a party from doing something they should not be doing and declare the rights of parties. This Court does not handle criminal, family, probate and immigration cases.
3. What have been your main accomplishments during your time on this bench?
During the almost four years I have served I have doubled the number of jury cases tried by my predecessor and tried more jury cases than any of my civil judge colleagues. I have one of the lowest dockets in the division, if not the lowest. I have reduced the waiting time for a hearing down to two-three weeks (it used to be eight weeks) and have promptly ruled on all pending motions. I have made sure that all persons who appear before the bench are treated fairly and with dignity, regardless of who they are, and to the best of my ability, I have made sure justice is served in each case before me.
4. What do you hope to accomplish in your courtroom going forward?
Continue more of the same. Improve the understanding in the community of what this Court and other Harris County Courts do and attempt to get more people to take an interest in the Courts. I would like to improve the technology in the courtroom which requires working with Commissioner’s Court to obtain the funding for same.
5. Why is this race important?
As shown in answer to Question 2 this Court handles a wide range of cases. At any time, any citizen of this county, can find themselves before this Court or one just like it. Who you appear before makes a difference in how you are treated, how soon you will receive your day in court, and how your case may be decided.
6. Why should people vote for you in November?
I am the experienced, qualified and compassionate choice. Prior to taking the bench in January, 2019, I spent 32 years as a civil trial litigator. I am board certified in Personal Injury Trial Law and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. I tried no less than 40 jury trials during my years of practice, an equal number of non-jury cases, and handled thousands of other cases from start to finish. I took the bench ready and prepared to do the job. As my answer to Question 3 reflects while on the bench I have moved forward with having cases tried and/or settled. It is only through a “real” trial setting that cases will settle. I have ensured that no one feels rushed or pushed and that whether a party has won or lost, they feel they have been heard and have had their day in Court. My opponent has not had a case filed in the Harris County District Courts, according to the District Court Clerk records, is not board certified, and does not possess the experience and qualifications necessary for this important position.