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 State Level Judicial Candidates

Chart of Texas Judicial Department
https://www.txcourts.gov/media/1452920/court-structure-chart-september-2021.pdf

Brochure of the Court System

https://www.txcourts.gov/media/675444/The-Texas-Judicial-System_Print102714.pdf

I cannot stress enough how important the Judges are in the day and time in which we live. Especially Democratic Judges. Not only do they make empathetic compassionate rulings that follow the law they have developed on their own special programs to stop the school to prison pipeline and the revolving door on prisons. I will list the ones I know about under the Community Service button. They are in the trenches and know what would improve our judicial systems. Another program I have come across is separating the mentally ill to get treatment under doctor care into special hospitals for that purpose. There are many more...not to mention how the clean up from the last President is being done through the courts and they are able to right so many wrongs. Support them with donations and with getting elected, educate the public about them, and above all vote for them. The Judges will save us. Make sure there is a Democratic Judge in every possible position. As the voter you are the HR person for the state. Make sure to voter for a Judge who is well qualified. Who is experienced. Who has a fair and impartial record. And elect with a emphasis on diversity. Everyone should have a place at the table and be judged by their peers. An educated voter is always a good thing. 

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Texas Supreme Court: 

The Texas Supreme Court is composed of the chief justice and nine justices. It is the state highest appellate court along with the Court of Criminal Appeals. It is the final appellate jurisdiction in civil and juvenile cases in the state. It is in Austin, immediately northwest of the state Capitol. Supreme Court justices are elected to staggered six-year terms in statewide elections. When a vacancy arises the governor may appoint a Justice, subject to Senate confirmation, to serve the remainder of an unexpired term until the next general election. Justices must be at least 35 years old, a citizen of Texas, licensed to practice law in Texas and must have practiced law (or have been a lawyer and a judge of a court of record together) for at least ten years (see Texas Constitution, Art. 5, Sec. 2). By statute the Court has administrative control over the State Bar of Texas. Tex. Gov't Code § 81.011. The Court is also the sole authority for licensing attorneys in Texas and appoints the members of the Board of Law Examiners, which administers the Texas bar examination. Tex. Gov't Code §§ 82.00, 82.004. The Court promulgates the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure, the Texas Rules of Evidence and other rules and standards.

Current Membership:

https://www.txcourts.gov/supreme/about-the-court/

                                                                                                                         Source: https://www.txcourts.gov/supreme/

Texas Supreme Court Place 1  

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Texas Supreme Court Place 3

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Texas Supreme Court Place 4

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Texas Supreme Court Place 5

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Texas Supreme Court Place 6

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Texas Supreme Court Place 7

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Texas Supreme Court Place 8

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Texas Supreme Court Place 9

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Court of Criminal Appeals:

This is one court with nine justices. It is the final appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases. The court may choose whether or not to review a case. The only cases that the court must hear are those that involve sentencing decisions in capital punishment cases and other cases involving liberty issues, such capital punishment cases, cases where bail has been denied and habeas cases where a person being detained attempts to prove some constitutional right has been violated as a result of their detention. The court is based in the state capital, Austin. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals hears both mandatory and discretionary cases. "All cases that result in the death penalty are automatically directed to the Court of Criminal Appeals from the trial court level. A significant portion of the Court’s workload also involves the mandatory review of applications for post-conviction habeas corpus relief in felony cases without a death penalty, over which the Court has sole authority. In addition, decisions made by the intermediate courts of appeals in criminal cases may be appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeals by petition for discretionary review, which may be filed by the State, the defendant, or both. However, the Court may also review a decision on its own motion."Article V of the Texas Constitution vests the judicial power of the state in the court, describes the court's jurisdiction. It also details the rules for judicial eligibility, elections, and filling vacancies on the court between elections.

Salary: Chief: $187,800, Associates: $184,800

Term: 6 year

Qualifications

To serve on any of the appellate courts, a judge must be:

  • a U.S. citizen;

  • a resident of Texas;

  • licensed to practice law in the state;

  • between the ages of 35 and 75;and

  • a practicing lawyer and/or judge for at least 10 years.

*While no judge older than 74 may run for office, sitting judges who turn 75 are permitted to remain on the court until their terms expire.

Chief Judge

The judge of the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals is selected by voters at large. He or she serves in that capacity for a full six-year term.

Vacancies

In the event of a midterm vacancy, the governor appoints a replacement who must be confirmed by the Texas Senate. The appointee serves until the next general election, in which he or she may compete to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Source: https://ballotpedia.org/Texas_Court_of_Criminal_Appeals

 

Court of Criminal Appeals Candidates:

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Place 1 

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Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2

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Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Place 3 

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Texas Supreme Court Place 2 

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Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Place 4 

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Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Place 5 

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Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Place 6 (appointed by Greg Abbott)

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Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Place 7 

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Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Place 8 

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Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Place 9 as A&M School of Law (previously Texas Wesleyan).

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Courts of Appeals:

These Courts consists of 14 Courts with 80 Justices.  The Courts of Appeals are a set of 14 appellate courts in the Texas judicial system with intermediate jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases that are appealed from the lower district or county courts. The number of judges serving on each court is defined by statute and varies from three to 13. At a minimum, "each Court is presided over by a chief justice and has at least two other justices." There are currently 80 judges authorized by statute for the 14 Courts of Appeals. Most cases are only heard by three justices; cases only require the full slate of justices in extreme circumstances. The purpose of the original Courts of Appeals was to help hold down the amount of civil cases going to the Supreme Court. As of 1980 it also hears Criminal Cases. Judges serve six-year terms and are elected through partisan elections. Vacancies between elections are filled by the governor, with advice and confirmation by the Senate. Appellate courts hear appeals in cases which have been previously tried in the trial courts. No new evidence is presented and no witnesses are heard on the appeal of a case. The facts of the case have been determined at the trial, and all testimony and evidence are contained in the record which was made in the trial court and sent to the appellate court when the appeal was made. The appellate court makes its decision on the appeal based on a review of the record and the arguments of the attorneys for both sides. The decision is based solely upon the evidence contained in the record and the law which pertains to the facts of the case. Each court of appeals has jurisdiction over appeals from the trial courts located in its respective district. The appeals heard in these courts are based upon the “record” (a written transcription of the testimony given, exhibits introduced, and the documents filed in the trial court) and the written and oral arguments of the appellate lawyers. The courts of appeals do not receive testimony or hear witnesses in considering the cases on appeal, but they may hear oral argument on the issues under consideration.

The Legislature has divided the state into 14 court of appeals districts and has established a court of appeals in each. One court of appeals is currently located in each of the following cities:

  •  Amarillo • Austin • Beaumont • Corpus Christi/Edinburg • Dallas • Eastland • El Paso • Fort Worth • San Antonio • Texarkana • Tyler • Waco • Houston (2) Source: https://juliecountiss.com/faqs/

 

Qualifications: Citizen of the United States and of Texas, between the ages of 35 and 74, a practicing lawyer, or lawyer and judge of court of record together, for at least 10 years. Salaries of elected state judges in Texas are set by the state legislature.

 

Salary: for an appeals court justice is $154,000, up from $140,000. Chief justices make an additional $2,500. Appeals court justices have the potential to earn up to an additional $9,000 annually that can be paid by the counties in which they preside for extra judicial services performed. The annual state salary for justices on the Courts of Appeals is set at 110 percent of the salary of district judges. After completing 16 years of service, Texas judges are entitled to monthly longevity pay. The pay is 3.1 percent of their monthly state salary for each year of service credited in the retirement system after the first 16 years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Source: https://ballotpedia.org/Texas_Courts_of_Appeals

First Court of Appeals: 

The Court is composed of one Chief Justice and eight justices. It has intermediate appellate jurisdiction where it hears appeals as well as original proceedings. They preside over intermediate appeals from trial courts in their respective courts of appeals districts.

Judicial selection

There is one Chief Justice and 8 Justices on the First Court of Appeals. Judges serve six-year terms and are elected through partisan elections. Vacancies between elections are filled by the governor, with advice and confirmation by the Senate.

Qualifications

The qualifications to be an appellate judge are:

  • Citizen of the United States and of Texas

  • Between the ages of 35 and 74

  • A practicing lawyer, or lawyer and judge of court of record together, for at least 10 years

Salary

In 2022, the associate judges of the court received a salary of $178,400, according to the National Center for State Courts.

Jurisdiction

The First Court of Appeals sits in Houston and overs 10 counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Harris, Waller, and Washington.

                                                            Source: https://ballotpedia.org/Texas_First_District_Court_of_Appeals, https://www.txcourts.gov/1stcoa/https://www.txcourts.gov/1stcoa/; 

 Chief Justice, 1st Court of Appeals place 1

                                                                                                                     Source: https://www.txcourts.gov/1stcoa/about-the-court/justices/

Gordon Goodman Justice, 1st Court of Appeals place 2  Term ends 2024 Justice Gordon Goodman was elected to the First Court of Appeals in 2018. Justice Goodman is a member of the Texas State Bar, Pennsylvania Bar, and Energy Bar Associations. Before serving on the bench, he started his career with the Whittenburg Law Firm in Amarillo, TX, where he focused on civil trials, appellate work, oil & gas law, banking law, and general practice. He subsequently served in senior positions for the Howell Corporation; E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co.; Conoco, Inc.; Occidental Petroleum Corporation; and most recently with NRG Energy. He has worked on professional advisory committees for the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the American Petroleum Institute, and the Energy Oversight Committee. In connection with his advisory work, he has published many articles on finance, contracts, risk analysis, ethics, and governance.He earned his BA degree Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania and his JD degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School both in Philadelphia.  He received his high school degree from the Horace Mann School in the Bronx, NY. Within the community, Justice Goodman served on the Board of Directors for the Houston Area Urban League and on Advisory Boards for the Blaffer Gallery (as Chairman), the University of Houston’s College of Arts & Sciences (as Chairman), and the Jesse H. Jones School of Business at Texas Southern University.Justice Goodman is married to Gastonia Teresa Pumarejo Goodman. They have four grown children, and they celebrated their 40thwedding anniversary in 2018. They have resided in Houston since 1985 and before that lived in Tyler, TX, and Amarillo, TX.

                                                                                                               Source: https://www.txcourts.gov/1stcoa/about-the-court/justices/justice-gordon-goodman/

                                                                                                                     

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April L. Farris Justice, 1st Court of Appeals place 3, term ends 2026

20 years experience handling cases in Texas, across the US and abroad.. I have represented clients in state and federal courts, in county courts at law, district courts, appellate courts, and before domestic and international arbitral tribunals. I have represented individuals, small businesses, and multinational corporations in disputes involving oil and gas operations, real estate, healthcare, construction, personal injury, employment matters, trade secrets, non-compete and restrictive covenants, and a diverse range of complex contractual and business-related matters as well as working with Kids in Need of Defense (K.I.N.D.) providing pro bono representation to unaccompanied minors in immigration and asylum proceedings. I also serve as outside counsel for Holy Trinity Episcopal School of Greater Houston. I am a first generation immigrant to the United States.  Although I now call Houston home, I was born in Mexico and grew up in the El Paso-Juarez border area. I am a graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Spanish. After graduating from UTEP, I moved to Houston to attend the University of Houston Law Center.  I served as an Articles Editor for the Houston Law Review and graduated with honors. While attending law school, I also had the privilege of becoming a United States citizen. After law school, I worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Ewing Werlein, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Following my clerkship, I worked at the law firm of Baker Botts, LLP. During my time at Baker Botts, I also served as a volunteer prosecutor for the City of Houston, where I tried numerous administrative and criminal misdemeanor cases to the jury on a first-chair basis. For the last 10 years, I have worked at the law firm of Jones Walker, LLP advocating for my clients and representing them in litigation and appellate matters across various industries.  My experience is extensive, and it has prepared me well for the judicial position I now seek.                                                                       Source: https://veronicaforjustice.com/

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April L. Farris Justice, 1st Court of Appeals place 4, term ends 2028

April Farris was appointed to the First Court of Appeals by Governor Abbott for a term beginning in January 2021.  

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Amparo Guerra Justice, 1st Court of Appeals place 5, term ends 2026 

Justice Amparo Monique Guerra was elected to the Texas First Court of Appeals in 2020, bringing her record of academic and professional excellence, as well as her diverse background, to the bench.She previously served as an Associate Municipal Judge for the City of Houston while practicing law full time. She was the youngest sitting judge on that court when she was originally appointed in 2005 at age 28.Justice Guerra was named a Texas Super Lawyer and has nearly 20 years’ experience handling complex civil cases, from start to finish, in state and federal, trial and appellate courts throughout Texas and other states. She represented all types of clients, from individuals and families, to businesses of all sizes: from sole proprietorships and small and mid-size companies, to some of the largest corporations in the world. She worked in law firms of various sizes, including small, mid-size, and large, ultimately becoming the first Hispanic partner at her national law firm. She graduated with distinction from St. George's School in Newport, Rhode Island after attending all four years of high school there as a boarding student on a full academic scholarship. Justice Guerra graduated from Rice University, where she was on the President’s Honor Roll, with a double major in Latin American Studies and Sociology.S he obtained her Juris Doctorate from the University of Houston Law Center, which awarded her a Dean’s Merit Scholarship, and two Public Interest Fellowships: one to work with Texas Rural Legal Aid, and the other with Farmworker Legal Services in Michigan. Justice Guerra interned with and clerked for United States District Judge Filemón Vela in the Southern District of Texas. Justice Guerra is multilingual. She received a Superior Certification in Commercial and Legal Spanish from the Madrid Chamber of Commerce, and she speaks Portuguese and Italian. She is the daughter of Retired Senior Justice Linda Yanez: a farmworker, turned teacher, turned lawyer, who became the first Latina to serve on any Texas appellate court, and the first woman on the Thirteenth Court of Appeals. Justice Guerra is a devoted wife, and a proud mom of three children. She enjoys running, reading with her children, and playing tennis and soccer with her family.

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Sarah Beth Landau Justice, 1st Court of Appeals place 6, term ends 2024 

Sarah Beth Landau lives in Houston, Texas. She earned a B.S. in economics and a B.A. in political science from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in 1993 and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in 1998. Landau’s career experience includes working as an adjunct professor of law with Texas Southern University and an associate with Vinson & Elkins, LLP

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Screen Shot 2022-03-30 at 5.03.29 PM.png

Julie Counties Justice, 1st Court of Appeals place 7, term ends 2024 

Justice Countiss was born and raised in the Texas Panhandle. She graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and joined Teach for America in 1993. Her experience teaching elementary school in the South Bronx, New York City with TFA, ignited her passion for public service. After graduating from the Law Center at the University of Houston in 2002 and years of working in private practice, Justice Countiss returned to serve her community as Assistant County Attorney in the Office of the Harris County Attorney. One of her proudest pro-bono accomplishments was working as a volunteer attorney for Kids in Need of Defense where she represented unaccompanied minors from Honduras and El Salvador in immigration court and in their applications for permanent residency.  In 2019, Justice Countiss was appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas to serve on the Children’s Commission–a judicial commission for children, youth and families in Texas. She also serves on the Legislative Committee of the State Bar of Texas Judicial Section, she co-chaired the Houston Bar Association’s 2021 Civil Trial and Appellate Bench Bar Conference, and she is co-chair of the Membership Committee for the National Association of Women Judges. Justice Countiss is passionate about providing opportunities for law students from all backgrounds to intern in the courts and to find mentors they can look to for support.  The practice of law can often seem like a private club meant only for those with the right connections or pedigree. But the law is there to serve everyone equally and our lawyers and judges should reflect the diverse backgrounds of our community. So along with judicial colleagues from other courts in Harris County, in April 2021, Justice Countiss co-chaired the Color of Justice Program.  Color of Justice encourages girls and minorities of all age levels to consider legal and judicial careers by bringing them together with judges and lawyers, and providing them with resources to pursue their goals.

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Richard Hightower Justice, 1st Court of Appeals place 8, term ends 2024 

Richard Hightower lives in Houston, Texas. He graduated from Livingston High School in 1974. He earned a B.A. in English from Baylor University in 1978 and a J.D. from Baylor University in 1980. Hightower’s career experience includes working as trial partner with Brown McCarroll & Oaks Hartline and founding his own law practice, which focuses on the legal interests of educational institutions.

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Peter Kelly Justice, 1st Court of Appeals place 9, term ends 2024

Peter Kelly was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. He earned a B.A. in history from Harvard University in 1985 and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1990. Kelly’s career experience includes working as a partner with Kelly, Durham & Pittard, LLP and as an appellate justice. He has been affiliated with the following organizations:

  • Member, Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee

  • Committee chair, member, and board member; Texas Trial Lawyers Association

  • President, Houston Trial Lawyers Association

  • Trustee, Texas Supreme Court Historical Society

  • Life fellow, Texas Bar Foundation

  • Co-author, appellate advocate; State Bar of Texas Appellate Section

  • Member, Houston Bar Association

  • Member, Bar Association of the Fifth Circuit

  • American Bar Association

  • American Association for Justice

  • University of Texas School of Law Dean's Roundtable

  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation and Texas Bar Foundation

  • Director, Texas Appleseed  biography https://ballotpedia.org/Peter_Kelly_(Texas)

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Second Court of Appeals: 

The Court consists of one Chief Justice and six justices. Cases heard include all types of civil appeals and all types of criminal appeals, except where the death penalty has been imposed. Death penalty cases are appealed directly to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin. The Court also has jurisdiction over original proceedings in its 12 counties, such as writs of mandamus, injunction, prohibition and habeas corpus. 

Judicial selection

Judges:  7 Judges serve six-year terms and are elected through partisan elections. Vacancies between elections are filled by the governor, with advice and confirmation by the Senate.

Qualifications

The qualifications to be an appellate judge are:

  • Citizen of the United States and of Texas

  • Between the ages of 35 and 74

  • A practicing lawyer, or lawyer and judge of court of record together, for at least 10 years

Salary

In 2022, the associate judges of the court received a salary of $178,400, according to the National Center for State Courts.

Jurisdiction

The First Court of Appeals sits in Houston and overs 12 counties: Archer, Clay, Cooke, Denton, Hood, Jack, Montague,

Parker, Tarrant, Wichita, Wise, and Young.     Source:https://ballotpedia.org/Texas_Second_District_Court_of_Appeals; https://www.txcourts.gov/2ndcoa/   

Chief Justice of the Texas Second District Court of Appeals, Place 1  Term Ends 2024 Appointed  Governor Rick Perry, elevated to chief justice by Governor Greg Abbott in 2017

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Justice of the Texas Second District Court of Appeals, Place 2  Term Ends 2026 Appointed by Governor Greg Abbott

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Justice of the Texas Second District Court of Appeals, Place 3  Term Ends 2028 

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Justice of the Texas Second District Court of Appeals, Place 4 Term Ends 2024 Appointed by Governor Greg Abbott

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Justice of the Texas Second District Court of Appeals, Place 5 Term ends 2024

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Justice of the Texas Second District Court of Appeals, Place 6 Term ends 2024, Appointed by Governor Greg Abbott

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Justice of the Texas Second District Court of Appeals, Place 7 Term ends 2026

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Third Court of Appeals:

The Court is composed of a Chief Justice and five justices. The Third Court of Appeals has intermediate appellate jurisdiction of both civil and criminal cases appealed from lower courts in the 24 counties. In civil cases, it has jurisdiction where judgment rendered exceeds $100, exclusive of costs, and other civil proceedings as provided by law. It has jurisdiction in criminal cases except in post-conviction writs of habeas corpus and in cases where the death penalty has been imposed.  

Judicial selection

Judges: 6 Judges serve six-year terms and are elected through partisan elections. Vacancies between elections are filled by the governor, with advice and confirmation by the Senate.

Qualifications

The qualifications to be an appellate judge are:

  • Citizen of the United States and of Texas

  • Between the ages of 35 and 74

  • A practicing lawyer, or lawyer and judge of court of record together, for at least 10 years

Salary

In 2022, the associate judges of the court received a salary of $178,400, according to the National Center for State Courts.

Jurisdiction

It is located in Austin. These are the counties it covers: Bastrop, Bell, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Coke, Comal, Concho, Fayette, Hays, Irion, Lampasas, Lee, Llano, McCulloch, Milam, Mills, Runnels, San Saba, Schleicher, Sterling, Tom Green, Travis, Williamson.

                                              Source:https://ballotpedia.org/Texas_Third_District_Court_of_Appeals

Darlene Byrne Chief Justice of the Texas Third District Court of Appeals Place 1 Term ends 2026

Prior to her election as the Chief Justice of the Third Court of Appeals of Texas in 2020, Justice Darlene Byrne served for 20 years as the presiding judge of the 126th Judicial District Court in Travis County.  She was a general jurisdiction trial judge presiding over civil matters, but her passion was serving as the presiding judge over all the foster children in Travis County for 17 of her 20 years of service to the trial bench.  In that role, she received not only local recognition for her work serving foster children and their families, but also statewide and national recognition for her court improvement work in this area. Justice Byrne is the founding judge of the Travis County Family Drug Treatment Court and the Travis County Model Court of Children, Youth and Families.  She also pioneered the development of a Dual Status Youth docket, serving youth that were in the child welfare court and the juvenile justice court simultaneously.  These programs have been serving and continues to serve children and families in the Travis County District Courts for over a decade resulting in better outcomes for these children and families. She was appointed by the Texas Supreme Court to serve as the first Vice Chair of the Texas Children’s Commission and continues to serve as a Commissioner.   She is a past President of the National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges and a past Judge of the Year of National CASA, Texas CASA and CASA of Travis County.   She is a past recipient of the many local, statewide and national awards due to her work in the area of child welfare, such as awards from the State of Texas’ Child Protection Roundtable, Foster Angels, Seedling Foundation, Texas Appleseed, University of Houston Law Center, Any Baby Can, Travis County Women’s Lawyers Association, Austin Child Guidance Center and the YMCA of Greater Austin. Justice Byrne currently serves as co-chair of the Judicial Council for National CASA, is an Advisory Council member for TexProtects,  Partnerships for Children, Carrying Hope and the Seedling Foundation.  She is the Chair of the Texas Statewide Collaborative for Trauma Informed Care, on the Editorial Review Board for NCJFCJ’s Juvenile and Family Court Journal and on the Advisory Committee for the national #WeToo project for Courts.  She speaks locally, statewide, and nationally on many legal issues, but primarily on the children and families whose lives are impacted by the court system. Prior to her election in 2000, she practiced for thirteen years in the areas of employment, commercial and governmental entity litigation. She is a graduate of University of Houston Law Center, where she graduated magna cum laude and was a member of the law review’s editorial board and an Order of the Coif member.                                                                                                                  Source: https://www.txcourts.gov/3rdcoa/about-the-court/justices/chief-justice-darlene-byrne/

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Edward Smith Justice of the Texas Third District Court of Appeals Place 2 Term ends 2024

Edward Smith earned a B.S. in political science from Texas A&M University in 2001 and a J.D. from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in 2005. Smith’s career experience includes working as an associate attorney with Brayton Purcell and with Hissey Kientz. Justice Edward Smith is a native Texan who was born in Dallas, raised in Fort Worth, and went to college at Texas A&M University in College Station. After finishing law school at Texas Wesleyan School of Law (now known as Texas A&M School of Law), Justice Smith headed west to practice law in California and settled in San Francisco. After a few years, Justice Smith left San Francisco for Santiago, Chile before eventually settling in Austin, Texas. Before his election to the Third Court of Appeals, Place 2, in November 2018, Justice Smith was in private practice mainly representing injured workers and their families in litigation and probate matters. Outside of work, Justice Smith enjoys spending time with his wife and their three children, in addition to playing banjo, piano, and baseball for the East Austin Jardineros Baseball Club. Justice Smith is also actively involved with University United Methodist Church.                                                                                                          Source: https://www.txcourts.gov/3rdcoa/about-the-court/justices/justice-edward-smith/

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Chair Kelly Justice of the Texas Third District Court of Appeals Place 3 Term ends 2024

Bachelor's University of Florida, Law University of Texas, Austin Chari Kelly lives in Austin, Texas. Kelly served in the United States Army from 2003 to 2007. She reached the rank of captain in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps at Fort Hood. She earned a B.A. in political science and criminology from the University of Florida in 1999 and a J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 2002. Kelly’s career experience includes working as an assistant district attorney for both Comal and Travis Counties, an adjunct professor with the University of Texas School of Law, and a research attorney and law clerk at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. In 2018, Kelly was named the prosecutor of the year in Travis County by Mothers Against Drunk Driving

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Rosa Theofanis for Justice of the Texas Third District Court of Appeals Place 4 Term ends 2029

Lifelong Democrat-Rosa is a local Democratic party club member, and long-time union member, Career Public Servant- Rosa has served the people of Travis County for close to fifteen years, as an Assistant District and County Attorney,  Experienced Litigator-Rosa has successfully prosecuted more than twenty jury trials and dozens of appeals, civil and criminal. Specialties: Criminal law, family law, and appellate law.

Work Experience-

Assistant District Attorney Travis County Feb 2010 - Present.  The District Attorney’s Office represents the state and victims of crime in the prosecution of felony and juvenile offenses committed in Travis County. The Office also represents the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services in civil suits affecting parental rights. 

Supervising Attorney DC Volunteer Lawyer's Project Mar 2008 - Jan 2010 Provided technical assistance and training to attorneys volunteering through the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project, a charitable organization whose mission is to provide free (pro bono) civil legal services to low-income women, children and families in the District of Columbia in domestic violence, custody, foster care, adoption and other family law cases.

Senior Staff AttorneySenior Staff Attorney Women Empowered Against Violence

Represented domestic violence survivors in litigation of civil protection orders, child custody, divorce and child support matters. Provided technical assistance to other attorneys, including pro bono attorneys, on issues that arise in representing domestic violence survivors. Supervised designated staff. Assisted with training of pro bono attorneys.

Assistant County AttorneyTravis County 

Negotiated plea agreements and presented state’s case against accused criminal misdemeanants in Travis County Courts at Law, Austin, Texas.
Successfully briefed and argued a criminal appeal involving double jeopardy issues. Ex parte Ramona King, 134 S.W.3d 500 (Tex.App.—Austin 2004, pet. ref'd.)
Promoted to Chief Prosecutor, County Court at Law #7 in June 2005.

Intern ICTYJan 2002 - Jun 2002 Researched and drafted legal memoranda in Appellate Section of Office of Prosecutor in International Criminal Tribunal.

Educational Background

The University of Texas School of Law JD, 1999 - 2002

Awarded Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Law, 1999-2002.
Texas International Law Journal, 2000-2001.
Research Assistant to Professor George Dix, 2000-2001. (Copy-edited and cite-checked a manuscript on Texas criminal practice and procedure.)
Represented indigent clients as participant in law school clinical criminal defense program, 2001.

Brown UniversityBrown University

BA, Comparative Literature Sep 1993 - May 1997

Activities and societies: Brown University Writing Fellow​

Source: LinkedIn

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Gisela Triana Justice of the Texas Third District Court of Appeals Place 6 Term ends 2024

Bachelor's University of Texas, San Antonio, Law University of Texas, Austin Triana earned a B.A. from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1985 and a J.D. from the University of Texas Law School in 1988. Triana’s career experience includes working as Trial Division director with the Travis County Attorney’s Office and as staff attorney with the Texas Secretary of State’s Election Division. Justice Gisela Triana has over 24 years of experience on the Judicial Bench. Before serving on the Appellate Court, Justice Triana served on every level of the Texas trial courts. Her exceptional experience makes her uniquely qualified to bring fairness and balance to the Texas Supreme Court. As a Justice on the Third Court of Appeals, Justice Triana helps resolve complex legal matters that reach the Third Court from multiple areas. Before being chosen for the Third Court of Appeals Justice Triana served as Judge of the 200th Judicial District Court of Texas, where she presided over hundreds of cases involving complex civil matters.“The judicial system helps people solve problems,” Justice Triana says. “It’s an honor to serve the people of Texas.”Justice Triana is known for being fair, deliberate, courteous, and for her willingness to listen to all sides of a case.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      https://ballotpedia.org/Gisela_Triana, https://www.judgetriana.com/about/

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