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Judicial Q&A: Lee Arellano

(Note: I am running a series of Q&As for judicial candidates in contested Democratic primaries. There are a lot of judicial races on the ballot in Harris County this election, and so 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. I will also be conducting some in-person interviews of candidates who will be involved in contested primaries for non-judicial offices. Please see my 2010 Election page for a full list of Q&As and interviews.)

1. Who are you and what are you running for?

My name is Lee Arellano. I am a candidate for the 270th CIVIL District Court of Harris County, Texas.

2. What kind of cases does this court hear?

This is a court of general CIVIL jurisdiction that hears many types of cases; including, but not limited to, breach of contract, employment disputes, real estate matters, personal injury and death, insurance disputes, etc.

3. Why are you running for this particular bench?

There are about 100 Democratic candidates running for 65 judicial benches that are up for re-election in 2010. The Democratic Party Chair has spread out the 100 announced candidates among the 65 judicial benches and I was assigned to the 270th CIVIL District Court.

4. What are your qualifications for this job?

By the time of 2010 general election I will be in my 30th year as a licensed and practicing CIVIL trial lawyer. Over the last 20 years, as a court appointed mediator, I assisted hundreds of other lawyers and their clients resolve contested CIVIL cases in both state and federal courts. I am the only candidate in my race who is BOARD CERTIFIED in CIVIL Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Since 1974 I have also held a Texas Real Estate Broker’s license.

5. Why is this race important?

The 270th is primarily a court where one comes to recover money resulting from personal injury, legal or medical negligence, an insurance claim, an employee/employer dispute or any other type of monetary dispute. I have litigated or mediated all of these types of disputes, and many others. I have tried jury and bench trials to judges in state, county, Justice of the Peace, and federal district and bankruptcy courts. I have been involved in cases before Texas administrative agencies, state and federal courts of appeal and the Texas Supreme Court. The Democratic primary voter must send the most qualified candidate to run against the Republican candidate in the November 2010 general election, and I am the candidate who wants that job and is seeking your vote in the March 2010 Primary Election.

6. Why should people vote for you in the primary?

The judiciary is a co-equal branch of government and being a part of that great institution would be a honor and a great way serve the citizens of Harris County. I am a native Texan, born in Galveston and raised in the small industrial town of Texas City by a single mom who instilled in me the values of hard work, a good education and the importance of compassion. As a mediator my ability to really listen and discern the root causes driving people’s disputes has proven to be a valuable asset in getting cases settled and moved off of the courts’ dockets. I possess more than sufficient experience to thoroughly qualify me to be seated in the 270th Civil District Court.

As one of the 2003 co-founders of the non-profit group, Harris County Democratic Lawyers’ Association (, I have worked hard to build a solid Democratic networking organization. I am proud to say HCDLA now has many Democratic minded members, including a number of elected officials, judges, lawyers, business people, academicians and many candidates who seek public office. The members elected me president of HCDLA 5 times in the past 5 years and many have come out in strong support of my candidacy for the 270th. This list can be seen at My commitment to volunteerism is well known to our community, the Houston Bar Association and to the Harris County Democratic Party. From this experience, I now understand the impact that diversity and ethnicity has on our society as a whole and I will bring these experiences and lessons to the bench when I am given the honor of being elected judge of the 270th.

As judge, I will follow the law, respect this nation’s Constitution, the Texas State Constitution and all local laws. My candidacy offers the dignity, trust and respect that the citizens of Harris County expect to see in their judiciary. After years of mediating and handling contested civil matters, my record shows that I know how to best get this job done. My name is Lee Arellano and I am asking for your vote in the March 2010 Democratic Primary Election.

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  1. Richard Garcia says:

    I have known Lee Arellano for almost 10 years and have found him to be a hard worker, very trustworthy “does what he said he would do”.

    In recent times, we had more Libertarians running against Republicans than Democrats. For those of us who ran when it was not in vogue to say that you are a Democrat its refreshing to see that we are now electing Democrats in Harris County (especially Silvia and Adrian (no relation to me) Garcia).

    Come March my vote will be for Lee Arellano.

  2. Just like LBJ said about my client, Ben Barnes, “I’m for’ …Lee Arellano… ‘ money, marbles and chalk.”
    He is the best candidate in the race for the 270th.