I am casting my vote for Lynn Marie Johnson for the office of Judge, County Court at Law #2. I can think of no Parker County citizen who is more highly qualified to hold that office than Lynn Marie.
– Lenny Leatherman
Q & A published by the Wford Democrat on 2/14/16:
Name: Lynn Marie Johnson Occupation: Former Justice of the Peace, Pct. #4 (2010-2015); Attorney for 31 years with Law, Snakard and Gambill, P.C., a 110 year-old law firm; rancher. Family: Happily married for 24 years to Ed Huddleston. We have 4 girls: Kendall, 21 (petroleum engineering major at UT); Kallyn, 19 (education major at Weatherford College); Cameron, 16 (Junior at Aledo HS); and Cheney, 14 (8th grader at Aledo MS). How long a resident of Parker County: 24 years, although my children are 5th generation Parker County residents Community service or involvement: Co-founded Parker County Teen Court 10 years ago and volunteer with program; Children’s AdvoCats (dedicated to serving children in Parker County) Board member/volunteer since 2002; Shattered Dreams (program aimed at reducing drinking and driving by teenagers) – 10 years; Project Celebration (promotes a safe post prom experience)-Board member/volunteer- 8 years; Athletic Boosters -10 years; PTO: Bush Legacy Republican Women of Weatherford- 5 years; East Parker County Chamber- 5years; Weatherford Rotary, among other things.
Why should voters choose you rather than the other candidates?
I ran for JP in 2010 because teen court was floundering, young people were not being held accountable for their offences and there was a high number of dismissals and uncollected fines/fees. I disposed of 20,000 civil and criminal cases, cleared the court’s backlog, increased efficiency by 30%, revitalized teen court, and brought the Court into state compliance, while operating under budget. Voters are entitled to the best and most competent people in elected office and every judge should be accountable to them. In this election, the voters will decide on the CCL2 Judge rather than a few. I have the most experience as an attorney (31 years), the most experience as a judge (5 years) and I am the only candidate elected by the citizens of Parker County to any office. I am committed to service just like the members of our family who served honorably in every conflict since the civil war. Being a judge requires selflessness, respect for others, and blind dedication to justice. I have served my community with projects like Teen Court which teaches young people how the judicial process works and requires them to be accountable. My opponents have no history of community service. As judge, I will uphold the highest standard of integrity, honesty, and accountability.
What areas of law are you most experienced in and how are they relevant to the position you are seeking?
CCL 2 handles civil, family, probate and criminal cases (misdemeanors only). These criminal cases take a minimal amount of Court and attorney time. In contrast, CCL2 has unlimited jurisdiction with regard to civil cases (contract, insurance, personal injury, fraud), family (divorce, custody, enforcement) and probate (wills, trusts, guardianships). This Court can make decisions involving civil, family or probate disputes amounting to millions of dollars. Over the course of my 31 year law career, I have handled hundreds of cases for businesses and individuals in commercial disputes and have been involved in multimillion dollar lawsuits all over the State. I handled criminal cases; I’ve represented families in child custody, enforcement, and divorces: and I’ve handled countless will contests, trust disputes, and guardianship matters. As Judge for 5 years, I conducted 1700 civil & criminal trials. The civil cases involved breach of contract, fraud, personal injury, ownership of property, construction defects, etc. Although all candidates have handled criminal cases, my opponents have no civil trial, business litigation, probate or family law experience. It is important to have a CCL2 Judge that has extensive experience in all legal matters.
Have the court’s caseload and finances been managed as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible? Please explain specifically what, if any, changes should be made.
No. 1. CCL2 went over budget by $85,174 in fiscal year 2014-15. Strict construction of the court appointment statute would reduce these costs. 2. CCL2 requires parties to submit motions and pretrial reports to the Court which are not required in our other courts. This increases the costs of litigation by thousands of dollars. These rules or policies prevent parties from presenting their case and the wheels of justice are slowed down. Rules created by this Court should be tailored to the particular case. It’s tremendously inefficient to require 10 hours of work by an attorney for a 30 minute hearing. 3. Criminal cases should be docketed to allow more room on the calendar for civil, family and probate matters so that these could be disposed of within the guidelines set out by the Texas Supreme Court. 4. In CPS and family law cases, the focus should always be on what’s in the best interests of the child which is the law.