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Posts Tagged ‘judicial races’

Time is running out to undo Pratt’s mass dismissals

Remember when now-former Judge Denise Pratt dismissed hundreds of cases at the end of 2013 without notice? Since her abrupt resignation last month, other Family Court judges have been trying to clean up the mess she left behind. This includes reaching out to lawyers and clients that were affected by the New Year’s Eve purge. […]

Pratt Mess gets messier

How much worse can it get? Hundreds of divorce, child support and custody cases dating back to 2012 will have to be revisited – and possibly sent back to trial – as a court administrator sorts out what he called the “random chaos” left behind by former District Family Court Judge Denise Pratt. The freshman […]

How can we miss you if you won’t go away?

Denise Pratt is a gift that keeps on giving. Denise Pratt may not be gone just yet. Two days after announcing her immediate resignation as presiding judge of the 311th family District Court – and the suspension of her re-election campaign – Pratt sent a text message to supporters on Sunday asking them to “call […]

Cleaning up Pratt’s mess

It’s up to the other judges now. The administrative judge for Harris County’s nine family courts said Monday it could take months to sort out the mess left behind in the 311th family court following the abrupt resignation of its presiding judge, Denise Pratt. The freshman jurist’s immediate departure, announced late Friday, came as a […]

Pratt resigns

Good riddance. Under investigation by Harris County prosecutors for dismissing hundreds of cases without notice, embattled family court judge Denise Pratt resigned Friday, abruptly ending her re-election bid. The freshman Republican jurist campaigned as a conservative advocate for children and families, touting her unique policy of keeping boyfriends, girlfriends and lovers of recently divorced litigants […]

Still more from the Pratt files

What a mess. Embattled family court judge Denise Pratt, under investigation again this year by the Harris County District Attorney’s office, was removed from five more cases on Thursday by a visiting senior judge who criticized the freshman jurist’s recent decision to make a final ruling in a child custody case without hearing any testimony […]

Primary results: Harris County

The big news here is that there were no surprises on the Democratic side, in particular no unpleasant surprises. By far the best news was that Kim Ogg easily bested Lloyd Oliver in the primary for DA, with over 70% of the vote. I doubt we’ve seen the last of this particular plague on our […]

Kirkland v Fleming goes national

Lisa Falkenberg writes the followup column on George Fleming and his repeat attempt to underwrite a campaign challenge to Steven Kirkland that I figured she’d write. Fleming’s contributions to a political action committee called Moving Texas Forward – $75,000 from him and $10,000 from another of his PACs, according to records – have helped foot […]

Revisiting George Fleming

Lisa Falkenberg catches up with an old friend. Trial lawyer George Fleming was calm and gracious when he took questions back in 2012, insisting that his bankrolling of a respected judge’s no-name opponent had nothing to do with his own displeasure with that particular jurist. “No, no,” Fleming assured my colleague Patti Kilday Hart. “The […]

DA investigating Judge Pratt again

Here we go again. Two months after a grand jury cleared embattled state District Judge Denise Pratt of accusations she had tampered with court records, the Harris County District Attorney’s office again is looking into the family court jurist. Houston lawyer Anna Stool, a former federal prosecutor, said she was called in by the district […]

Endorsement watch: The remaining judicial races

The Chron finishes off the contested judicial primaries. 246th Family District Court: Julia Maldonado In a race between two qualified candidates, we encourage voters to go with Julia Maldonado. Her goals of a quicker docket and a more welcoming staff would help relieve the stress of family court. A graduate of the Thurgood Marshall School […]

Complaint #3 against Judge Pratt

Greg Enos does not give up, y’all. With just days before early voting begins in the GOP primary, Webster family lawyer Greg Enos has filed a third criminal complaint against embattled family court Judge Denise Pratt with the Harris County District Attorney’s office. The complaint, which details one of the 631 cases Pratt dismissed on […]

Endorsement watch: Chron for Alameel

The Houston Chronicle makes a nice endorsement of David Alameel for the Democratic nomination for Senate. David Alameel isn’t your usual political candidate. Most big money political donors don’t start like Alameel: a gas station attendant and farm laborer. But this Lebanese immigrant’s story of working his way up to the top by joining the […]

Indictments in petition forgery case

Whoa. Four political campaign workers have been indicted by a Harris County Grand Jury in the wake of allegations of election fraud in a Harris County Justice of the Peace race, first reported by Local 2 News in January. The suspects — two men and two women — were paid to gather signatures to place […]

Judicial Q&A: George Barnstone

(Note: As I have done in past elections, I am running a series of Q&As for judicial candidates in contested Democratic primaries. This is intended to help introduce the candidates and their experiences to those who plan to vote in March. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the […]

Judicial Q&A: Barbara Stalder

(Note: As I have done in past elections, I am running a series of Q&As for judicial candidates in contested Democratic primaries. This is intended to help introduce the candidates and their experiences to those who plan to vote in March. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the […]

January campaign finance reports for Harris County candidates

In our previous episode, we looked at the campaign finance reports for Democratic statewide candidates. Today, let’s have a look at the reports for candidates for countywide office in Harris County. I’m not going to get down to the Constable or JP level – I’m not aware of any interesting primaries, those districts tend not […]

Petition problems

Every election cycle there are fights over who really did or didn’t qualify for the ballot. This one is shaping up to be a doozy. Three lawsuits over alleged ballot irregularities involving Harris County judicial candidates will be heard by a Beaumont judge, officials said Thursday. State District Judge Bob Wortham was appointed to preside […]

Judicial Q&A: Julia Maldonado

(Note: As I have done in past elections, I am running a series of Q&As for judicial candidates in contested Democratic primaries. This is intended to help introduce the candidates and their experiences to those who plan to vote in March. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the […]

Judicial Q&A: Steven Kirkland

(Note: As I have done in past elections, I am running a series of Q&As for judicial candidates in contested Democratic primaries. This is intended to help introduce the candidates and their experiences to those who plan to vote in March. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the […]

Another complaint filed against Judge Pratt

Pretty much needed to be one. Embattled family court Judge Denise Pratt is the subject of another criminal complaint by Webster family lawyer Greg Enos, accusing her of breaking the law by signing orders saying she had given prior notice to lawyers before dismissing hundreds of cases last month. Judges are required under rules of […]

Judicial Q&A: Allecia Pottinger

(Note: As I have done in past elections, I am running a series of Q&As for judicial candidates in contested Democratic primaries. This is intended to help introduce the candidates and their experiences to those who plan to vote in March. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the […]

Judicial Q&A: Bruce Steffler

(Note: As I have done in past elections, I am running a series of Q&As for judicial candidates in contested Democratic primaries. This is intended to help introduce the candidates and their experiences to those who plan to vote in March. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the […]

More from the Pratt files

This is just bizarre. Since being cleared last month by a grand jury for backdating records, a family court judge has quietly dismissed hundreds of cases, effectively nullifying a bevy of child support obligations and custody arrangements she previously made to protect children and families. Lawyers say state District Court Judge Denise Pratt gave no […]

Judicial Q&A: Jim Evans

(Note: As I have done in past elections, I am running a series of Q&As for judicial candidates in contested Democratic primaries. This is intended to help introduce the candidates and their experiences to those who plan to vote in March. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the […]

Judicial Q&A: Sandra Peake

(Note: As I have done in past elections, I am running a series of Q&As for judicial candidates in contested Democratic primaries. This is intended to help introduce the candidates and their experiences to those who plan to vote in March. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the […]

What is the sound of one politician switching?

It depends. When Lawrence Meyers won a seat on the statewide Court of Criminal Appeals in 1992, he was the first Republican elected to the state’s highest criminal court. This month he made history again. After switching parties, Meyers, who had been a judge in Fort Worth, became the first Democrat to hold statewide office […]

Judge Pratt gets no-billed

From the inbox: Harris County Grand Jury “No Bills” Judge Denise Pratt “We are pleased that the grand jury agrees with us that there’s absolutely no evidence that Judge Pratt tampered with court documents or did anything illegal,” says her attorney, Terry W. Yates. “The office of the District Clerk was created by the Texas […]

Judge Pratt update

The most embattled Family Court judge in Harris County is still on the ballot, in case you were wondering. Embattled state District Court Judge Denise Pratt, accused of falsifying court records to cover up tardy rulings, intends to remain on the ballot to face the voters, her lawyer says. In late October, the Harris County […]

Final filings: We have a statewide Democrat

Boy, I didn’t see this coming. Longtime Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Lawrence “Larry” Meyers announced Monday that he is leaving the Republican Party to run as a Democrat for the Texas Supreme Court. Meyers, of Fort Worth, filed Monday on the last day of filing to seek Place 6 on the Supreme Court, […]

Filing deadline today

Before I get into the details of who has or hasn’t filed for what, I have a bone to pick with this AP story. Perhaps what the candidate filings reveal most is the relative strength and depth of the political parties in Texas. Four top Republicans are in a fierce battle for lieutenant governor, three […]

Piling on Judge Pratt

Boy, an awful lot of lawyers have it in for Judge Denise Pratt, and they wrote all about it in a letter sent to other lawyers asking them to call on her to resign. The letter, signed by 32 prominent Houston-area family lawyers was penned by Webster family lawyer Greg Enos, whose criminal complaint sent […]

2014 Democratic lineup updates

In honor of Peggy Fikac, an update on who is running for what as a Democrat in 2014. Starting at the top, folks who attended the HCDP Johnson-Rayburn-Richards event on Saturday had the opportunity to meet Maxey Scherr, a 33-year-old attorney from El Paso who will be filing to run for Senate against John Cornyn. […]

From the “Judges Behaving Badly” files

We’ll start with now-former Judge Elizabeth Coker: An East Texas state district judge who had been accused of sending text messages to coach a prosecutor during a trial, being biased against some attorneys and improperly meeting with jurors has resigned as part of an agreement with a state judicial commission. Elizabeth E. Coker did not […]