(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 Larry Weiman
1. Who are you and in which court do you preside?
I am Judge Larry Weiman and I am the Judge of the 80th District Court (Civil) of Harris County, Texas.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
General civil litigation cases. This includes: Personal Injury cases such as auto and truck accidents, slip and falls, dangerous products, work-related accidents, as well as consumer cases, Medical/Professional Malpractice, Business/contract disputes, Insurance Law, Employment Law, Toxic Torts, Property tax cases, Construction, Real Estate Litigation and more.
3. What have been your main accomplishments during your time on this bench?
Since I was elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, I lead ALL district courts with 406+ Trials including a leading 241 Jury Trials and 165 Bench Trials and have resolved over 12,000 cases! This has allowed for prompt resolution of cases and reduced the cost and stress of litigation for individuals, businesses, governmental agencies and the taxpayers of Harris County and the State of Texas.
I kept my campaign promises from 2008 to improve the efficiency and productivity of the 80th District Court, having QUADRUPLED the number of jury trials. I remain committed to following the law and to being patient, impartial and fair, giving everyone an equal opportunity to be heard and to ensure that everyone is treated with courtesy, respect, dignity, compassion and equality.
I also kept my promise to assist the overloaded Family Law Courts. In addition to volunteering to serve on the uncontested divorce Night Court program (which the county has unfortunately discontinued), I have tried contested divorce/child support cases. I regularly offer to try cases for the Family Law Courts when I have openings in my civil trial docket, as periodically occurs since I call so many cases to trial, which encourages many of them to settle.
4. What do you hope to accomplish in your courtroom going forward?
To continue to serve the Cause of Justice by getting cases resolved as promptly and efficiently as possible and to continue to assist other Civil Courts by helping to try cases they can’t reach when they are already in trial, including the Family Law Courts.
Establish new programs to increase voluntary Jury Service participation including all segments of the Harris County Community.
5. Why is this race important?
There is no substitute for experience, especially in a judge! This is a very important position to all those who seek justice in this court and are entitled to have an experienced judge who is fair, patient, courteous, hard working and who follows the law and moves the docket to allow for prompt resolution of legal disputes.
I am the only candidate in this race with extensive trial experience including complex litigation, plus my 25 years of litigation experience. With over 406 Trials, including 241 Jury Trials and over 12,000 cases resolved as the incumbent Judge of the 80th District Court, and over 25 years the people of Harris County and the State of Texas have a lot invested in my vast experience as judge for the past 8 years.
6. Why should people vote for you in November?
So that I may have the opportunity to continue to serve the Cause of Justice as the best qualified candidate in this race with a proven record of following the law fairly and impartially and a record of the highest productivity. Since elected, I lead all district courts in total trials and jury trials, and have resolved over 12,000 cases. I make sure that all who appear in the 80 th are treated with courtesy, respect, dignity and equality. I also won both Houston Bar Association on Judicial Qualifications and Voter Preference, respectively, by wide margins.
I have taken the lead in judicial campaign finance reform since my first race, by not soliciting or accepting contributions from attorneys/litigants with active cases pending in my court. The current campaign finance laws in Texas actually allow judges to accept donations from those who have cases currently pending in their courts! Judges should avoid even the appearance of impropriety, partiality or even the possible perception that "Justice is for Sale.”
I have been endorsed in this race by the Houston Chronicle, Association of Women Attorneys, The Mexican American Bar Association and many others.