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Judicial Q&A: Judge Mike Engelhart

(Note: I ran a series of judicial Q&As for Democratic candidates in contested primaries earlier this year. I am now doing the same for the candidates who were unopposed in March, which includes most of the sitting incumbent judges. As always, this is to help you the voter know a little bit more about the candidates on your ballot. I will be publishing these in the order I receive them. You can see the Q&As and interviews I did for the primaries on my 2016 Election page.)

Judge Mike Engelhart

Judge Mike Engelhart

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

Judge Mike Engelhart, 151st Civil District Court.

2. What kind of cases does this court hear?

Civil disputes where one side is suing the other for money, usually arising from a business dispute, real estate issues, or a personal injury matter.

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

I was the first Judge in the history of Harris County to issue a standing order for all new lawsuits that required them to be filed electronically. This caused a ripple effect that, within a few years, led to statewide mandatory electronic e-filing as ordered by the Texas Supreme Court. This has saved countless jobs and millions of dollars for taxpayers, and millions of trees as well.

In 2016, I was awarded the Public Sector Achievement Award by the University of Houston Law Center Alumni Association, as well as the Trial Judge of the Year Award by the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists.

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

First, I would like to keep moving the courts forward technologically. We need to update courtroom AV equipment with Bluetooth and sound equipment and projecting whiteboards, etc.

Second, I want to experiment with new approaches to involving the jury more in the process of trial itself, including some manner of jury questions during the course of the trial.

5. Why is this race important?

This race is important because we need to continue to have a balanced courthouse, and judges who are not driven by ideology. I have demonstrated that I am fair and provide a level playing field. There is a real danger that that could change if my opponent were to win.

6. Why should people vote for you in November?

People should vote for me because I am efficient, and because I am the most qualified for this position.

I routinely have among the 3 lowest (if not the lowest) inventories of cases in the 151st of the 24 civil district courts because I work my cases and try my cases.

I am the most qualified because I am a Board Certified attorney and my opponent is not, and because I have outperformed him by a 6.5 to 1 margin on the Houston Bar Association poll of attorneys who practice before our courts.

The taxpayers of Harris County are getting an excellent bang for their tax buck.

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One Comment

  1. Danell Landes says:

    Served on a three-week jury case in Judge Engelhart’s court room this year and was impressed with his attention to hear all sides, his patience, and his sensitivity to jurors and witnesses. He’s intelligent and knows the law. His court room was orderly; although, a bit cold. But, that’s easy to resolve. Just wear more clothes!!! I am happy to vote for him in November and hope that someday he will run for higher court positions.