I am honored to serve as Chief Justice on your Texas’ Third Court of Appeals. With 2020 around the corner, I need your help to keep strong, steady leadership on the Court.
An effective chief justice needs people skills to lead the court, organizational skills to move the docket, and legal skills to soundly apply the law. I’m proud to stand on my record here on the Third Court of Appeals, recently recognized as one of Texas’ most productive, least overturned courts of appeals.
The numbers during my first four years as Chief Justice speak for themselves:
- I have authored over 650 opinions since joining the Court;
- Our Court’s judges consistently ranked in the top ten in statewide productivity rankings;
- Our Court reduced the average time it takes to dispose of a case from 9.9 months to 7.0 months;
- We have reduced an inventory of two year old cases from fifty-nine down to zero. Today, we have no cases pending on file two years or even submitted more than one year;
- We have achieved an over 100% rating every year in the State’s case-clearance performance measure;
- We took on, and resolved, nearly forty cases to help a struggling fellow court;
- These accomplishments are despite the Court having the second-highest number of cases filed per judge (20% above the state average) and the highest percentage of more complex civil cases in the state;
- Most importantly, our Court was recently recognized for having the lowest rate of reversals by the Texas Supreme Court over the past five years of any court in the state – a huge accomplishment given the complexity of our docket
As Chief Justice, I work to be sure the Court continues its good work for you, the people of Texas. There is no place for politics on our Court, and I have been working hard to transition four new judges on our six judge court so that they may best serve you. I have also served as Chair of the Council of Chief Justices of Texas’ Appellate Courts and as a board member of the Texas Center for the Judiciary, the group charged with ensuring Texas judges are highly qualified through judicial education.
But unfortunately, our partisan system of electing judges assures I will have a challenger in the 2020 general election, despite our success. Many see our courts as an opportunity for partisan gain. If we don’t work hard, and if I don’t have your help, we risk another partisan blow taking away the leadership of Texas’ most productive, most important appellate court.
Thanks to all who have expressed encouragement and enthusiasm for our work at the Court!