1. Who are you, and what are you running for?
My name is Michael Massengale, and I currently serve as Justice of the First Court of Appeals, Place 8. I am seeking election to that same position.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
The First Court reviews appeals in criminal cases (excluding death penalty appeals) and a wide variety of civil cases. The types of civil appeals include: contracts, insurance, and other commercial matters; family law; oil and gas; probate; property law; and torts (including personal injury and property damage). Our appeals usually come from state trial courts in ten counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Harris, Waller, and Washington Counties.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
I greatly enjoy my current job, so I am running to keep it. It is a great honor and privilege to serve my community as a judge.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
- Judicial temperament. My work is guided by the principle that the role of a judge is to fairly and impartially apply the law to each case, and not to legislate from the bench.
- Relevant experience. I am currently serving as a judge on the court. Previously I was a partner in the trial department of Baker Botts, handling complex litigation for plaintiffs and defendants. I also worked at the federal appeals court for two years.
- Strong work ethic. I approach my job as a judge with the same work ethic that helped me to succeed in private law practice.
5. Why is this race important?
Courts serve an important function to protect freedom and enforce the rights and liberties of the people. It is important to select judges who are highly qualified, fair-minded, and independent. It is also important to choose appellate judges who have a philosophy of judicial restraint and who profess and demonstrate a commitment not to use the position to impose the judge’s own views about what the law ought to be.
6. Why should people vote for you in November?
Of the candidates in my race, I have the most relevant experience and the strongest qualifications. I also have a proven record of fairness, productivity, and judicial restraint.
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