1. Who are you, and what are you running for?
Jeff Williams. I am running for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, Place 2. This is the Court on Clay Road near Hwy 6 where Judge Bill Yeoman is retiring after 32 years on the bench.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
It is five types of courts in one. It is a civil court handling both small claims and Justice Court claims up to $10,000 in damages. It is a criminal court handling class “C” misdemeanors punishable by fine only. It is like a municipal court in that it handles traffic tickets issued by the constable Pct 5 deputies; it is like a juvenile court in that it hears truancy, tobacco and alcohol possession by minors cases, and school disruption matters, and finally, the court has the exclusive jurisdiction of all eviction cases. It is a busy important court.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
Many reasons. Firstly, I have been an attorney for 28 years studying and working in the law; it’s been my life. Becoming a Judge is a natural progression of my experience and career. Further, as an attorney, I have spent decades listening to and solving everyday legal problems such as are heard daily in the JP court. People call me about contracts, landlord tenant issues, auto accidents, consumer problems and the like. I derive great satisfaction when my clients are so thankful that I’ve helped them with a major problem in their life. As a judge, I can take that to the next level in seeking an equitable resolution instead of advocating only the side of my client.
Further, as an attorney, I’ve been to JP courts where the person on the bench was relatively new to the job, and had no legal background or experience. They had a hard time and took too long trying to determine what the legal issues were and what laws controlled, and often made a ruling totally outside the law, causing the matter to have to be appealed to the county court for a new trial at tax payer and my clients expense. When I heard Judge Yeoman was retiring and that no other attorney was running, I decided I should run.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
My interest in the well being of our community; my common sense and fairness developed in working with everyday folks on everyday legal problems, and of course my legal training and experience.
Mine is a Scouting family. I am an assistant scoutmaster and past den leader and pack committee chairman. My wife (who is fluent in Spanish and I am conversant in the language) is a current den leader and day camp coordinator. My oldest son is a Life Scout working on his Eagle and my youngest son is a Webelo Cub Scout. I volunteer as a JAG officer for the Texas State Guard, which includes writing wills and powers of attorney for deploying Texas National Guard troops; I served in a Beaumont Shelter during Hurricane Katrina. I’ve volunteered at Wings Over Houston, Fort Bend County Fair, Dickens on the Strand, San Jacinto Day at the Monument and during Memorial Day ceremonies at the Houston National Cemetery. I rode in the 2009 BP MS 150 charity bike ride to Austin. I’ve been happily married for 24 years and am the proud father of two bright sons.
And of course, there’s my legal background. I am seeking to be the Judge of the busiest court in the state of Texas with approximately 10,000 new cases being filed every month!. It’s no place for amateurs or to learn on the job. I take this responsibility very seriously. I wouldn’t run if I wasn’t qualified. I am the only candidate who is an attorney. I’ve been practicing law as a general civil practitioner for 28 years here on Houstons’ west side. It just makes sense that if one is to rule according to the law, they should know the law and at least go to law school first.. And having done this for 28 years is a great teacher. Think of any job you’ve ever done for 10 years or more; think of your skills when you first started and compare them to your abilities after doing it for 10 years – are you better at it now than you were then? Of course! Have you learned some ‘tricks of the trade’ they never taught you in school? You bet! I bring that all to the table. My opponent has been an interior designer for the past 48 or so years. I am the best qualified and most experienced for this job.
5. Why is this race important?
Being the busiest court in Texas, this court touches hundreds of thousands of lives every year. It is usually the first time someone sees a court, it is the best opportunity to stop truancy and minor crimes before the defendants “advance” to more serious violations. It works to get the kids who are on the wrong path, back in school. It is the first impression of the judicial system for many.
When someone inexperienced gets on the bench, the cases crawl until they learn the ropes after a few years. Inappropriate decisions are made from the bench that result in injustice and necessitate appeals resulting in more cost to the litigant and the taxpayer. Truancy’s are held here; I’m the dad of two young boys and have worked with young boys in cub and boy scouting for 8 or so years now. I have a judicial temperment and can work with these troubled youths to get them back in school. This race will decide whether the next Judge of this busy and important court is someone with years of legal experience and knowledge of the law, or someone whose never tried a case, never given professional legal advise and never went to law school, but has been in a totally different line of work for almost 50 years.
6. Why should people vote for you in November?
For all the above stated reasons. I have the most legal training, and years of experience with my law practice and solving legal problems. My opponent does not. I am a parent with children at home who attend public schools, and I work with kids in scouting every week. I am conservative, a volunteer, a patriot and I hold a deep respect for justice and the law. I believe I am the best qualified for the job, and the folks going to court are entitled to the best qualified person on the bench. You can learn more by visiting my web site, www.VoteJeffWilliams.com.
Facebook: Jeff Williams