Trial Experience- I literally grew up in the court house, watching my Father and many other good lawyers try cases. I tried my 1st jury trial in 1988 while still a law student. Since that time I have spent 100% of my practice as a court room litigator. I have tried over 50 cases to conclusion and have handled over 1,000. This is the kind of experience that is indispensable to being a good trial judge.
Judicial Philosophy- Trial Judges apply the law as written. Whether the judge likes the law or not is of no consequence. If it is the law it must be applied as written by the legislature and interpreted by the appellate courts. There is absolutely no legislating from the bench.
Judicial Temperament and Demeanor- This is probably the most important qualification of a trial judge. A judge can throw a case one way or the other by simply rolling their eyes, or acting as though a certain low damage case is not important enough to warrant the time and attention of the court. All cases are extremely important and should be treated as such by the judge and court staff. Professional treatment of the lawyers and parties is of critical importance. An abusive judge that abuses his or her power as a sworn judicial officer is not qualified to sit on the bench as a trial judge.
Impartiality - the trial court is no place for partisanship or to favor one lawyer or party over the other either directly or indirectly. If a trial judge cannot leave partisan politics in the parking garage, the judge is a bad judge and should not be allowed to work for the citizens of Dallas County and the State of Texas as their Judicial Officer.
Work Ethic - Nothing is more frustrating than dealing with a judge that is not willing to put the time in to properly prepare and execute the necessary duties of a trial judge. The motions and hearings must be prepared for in advance in order for the rulings to be made promptly, at the time of the hearing if possible. When in trial, the judge must use the evenings to read important depositions and research the law so that prompt rulings can be made, and the trial can proceed as quickly and uninterrupted as possible. It is much more than a 40 hour week if done properly.