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Judicial Q&A: Judge RK Sandill

(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 RK Sandill

Judge RK Sandill

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

Judge R.K. Sandill. I preside over the 127th Civil District Court.

2. What kind of cases does this court hear?

The civil courts preside over matters that include commercial, personal injury, consumer and tax litigation. The matters range in value from $500 and above. The civil courts also deal with issue related to health warrants, medical emergencies, and matters as odd as allowing for the reinternment of human remains.

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

Since taking office in January 2009, I have tried over 200 cases and disposed of more than 12,000 matters. I have worked hard to improve docket management, jury relations and to facilitate the litigation needs of counsel and their matters. As one of the first judges in Harris County to adopt e-filing, I have also worked to utilize technology as a tool to improve the litigation process. I believe strongly in respecting all who appear in my court, as well as their time and resources. As such, I was pleased to be rated “well qualified” or “qualified” by over 77% of respondents in the 2016 HBA Judicial Qualifications poll.

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

I strive continually to improve my courtroom work and make the 127 th work as efficiently and effectively as possible for those who appear there. By allowing FaceTime and Skype to be used to call witnesses, I will continue to leverage technology to alleviate costs and time constraints for litigants. I am also exploring the possibility of having hearings and status conferences in this same manner.

5. Why is this race important?

Our civil courts are a critically important aspect of our judicial system. They offer citizens the chance to have their day in court, with a trial before a jury of their peers. The public forum offered by the courts allows for transparency. In the last ten years, we have seen a shift away from transparency when it comes to resolving disputes. Because of this, we need to elect and re-elect high quality judges to these benches so that the public trust remains in our constitutionally protected judicial system.

6. Why should people vote for you in November?

I believe my experience and record of success as Judge of the 127 th District Court merit my re-election. I have consistently received high ratings from the attorneys who practice in Harris County courts. As the first and only judge of South Asian descent in Harris County, I bring valuable diversity of background and experience to our local judiciary. Further, because of my varied experience (grew up in a military family and a cancer survivor), I bring different perspective to the Harris County judiciary.

Further, because I work hard, understand the issues before me and attempt to make all those that appear in my courtroom feel welcomed and respected, I have the respect of the lawyers that appear before me. This election cycle I have been endorsed by the Houston Lawyers’ Association, the Mexican American Bar Association of Houston, and the Association of Women Attorneys, which comprise all the non-partisan legal organizations that endorse in Harris County. For all these reasons, plus because I love what I do, I ask the people of Harris County to vote for me in this election.

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