Judicial Q&A: Judge Robert Schaffer

(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.

Judge Robert Schaffer

1. Who are you and in which court do you preside?

I am Robert Schaffer and I preside over the 152nd District Court. I was first elected to this court in 2009 and have been re-elected in 2012, 2016 and 2020.

2. What kind of cases does this court hear?

There are 64 district courts in Harris County. They are divided into 4 divisions:

(1) Civil Trial Division with 24 courts
(2) Criminal Trial Division with 26 courts
(3) Family Trial Division with 11 courts
(4) Juvenile Trial Division with 3 courts.

The 152nd District Court is a court of general jurisdiction that is in the Civil Trial Division.

If a lawsuit can be filed for damages or a judicial declaration of your rights, the case would be filed in the civil district courts. This would include cases involving contracts, leases, product liability, medical or other professional negligence, motor vehicle collisions, slip and falls or other injuries that occur on someone’s property, job terminations because of some form of illegal discrimination, foreclosures on homes or other property or violating some statute that causes damages or other economic loss.

3. What have been your main accomplishments during your time on this bench?

During his time on the bench, I has served the citizens of Harris County in many capacities. In October of 2013, I was elected by the Harris County District Court judges to serve as Local Administrative Judge for the Harris County District Courts. I served in that position until 2021.

In 2010 I served as a Justice on the 14th Court of Appeals by special assignment.

The State Multidistrict Litigation Panel selected me to serve as the pretrial judge for the Toyota Unintended Acceleration Multidistrict Litigation in 2010, for the GM Ignition Switch Multidistrict Litigation for the state of Texas in 2015 and for the Texas Opioid Litigation in 2018.

I have also served as a member of the Harris County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee.

In 2013 and 2019 I was selected as the Trial Judge of the Year by the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists. This is a group of board certified civil trial and appellate specialists.

In 2014 I was honored to be selected as the Distinguished Alum for the South Texas College of Law Alumni Association.

4. What do you hope to accomplish in your courtroom going forward?

Continue overseeing the cases that are filed in the 152nd District Court to see that they are moved through the system efficiently and effectively so that the litigants are assured of having reasonable access to the courts. I also work to ensure that all litigants are treated with courtesy, dignity and respect.

5. Why is this race important?

It is important that the person elected to preside over this court is qualified based on background, experience and temperament.

6. Why should people vote for you in March?

People should vote for me because I am the most qualified person to serve on this bench. I have been a lawyer for 39 years and during that time I have tried cases as a lawyer and presided over cases as a judge. The lawyers who practice in this court have overwhelming stated in judicial evaluation surveys that I do an excellent job.

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4 Responses to Judicial Q&A: Judge Robert Schaffer

  1. Frederick says:

    I’ll vote for him, especially due to his response to Question #3.

    “During his time on the bench, I has served the citizens of Harris County in many capacities.”

  2. mollusk says:

    He’s one of the very best judges we have down there. Even though he came up on the plaintiff’s side of the docket, he’s well respected by the defense bar. I’ll spot him one typo – particularly since we can’t be sure just who fat fingered that one.

  3. Jeff N. says:

    He’s the epitome of a great judge–intelligent, fairminded, practical, courteous, and efficient.

  4. Hey, we all agree on something. Judge Robert Schaffer is truly outstanding. He is one of the most reasonable, intelligent judges I’ve ever encountered. He has my vote.

Comments are closed.