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ghat's JCinda JCrasg
Are we nuts to sell for
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quality garments ... some
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This, along with manu
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Sizes 3-15 Jr. 6-18 Misses
You' re Krazy to spend more I ^
13192 Memorial Drive • 7435 S.W Freeway at Fondren
2352 FM 1960 and Kuykendahl • I 59 and FM 1960 • 2112 Central P\aza.
Galveston • Stores also in Austin, San Antonio, Shreveport and Albuquerque
By Anita Davidson
"Whenever we're but of the office, the
Breakthrough phones are answered
courteously and your messages are
taken efficiently 24 hours a day by
a woman owned business
• CALL FORWARDING
• RADIO PAGING
• LIVE ANSWERING SERVICE
... ROBERTA K. TILUNGHAST, PRESIDENT
Houston • Galveston • San Antonio • Corpus Christi
Of our 49 district and county judges, 34
are unopposed on the May 6 ballot. In
light of the fact that complaints ranging
from rudeness to unconstitutional decisions have been made against a large
number of judges by attorneys and other
citizens, we wanted to know why so
many judges are unchallenged in this
A dozen women trial attorneys were
asked about the whole process of judicial
appointment and support and about their
experiences before the incumbent judges.
In order to"speak freely most of the attorneys requested that their names not be
used (for the obvious reason that alienating judges is not healthy to a law practice). Therefore, all quotes are anonymous. We are deeply grateful to each of
these attorneys who gave her time and
knowledge to help us demystify the
coming judicial elections. -A.D.
The Judicial Qualifications Committee, a
body elected within the state bar system,
receives numerous complaints about'
judges from attorneys each year. 'The
Committee is not very active, not real
strong," commented one attorney, "They
have received complaints against Jimmy
Duncan for years without taking any action. "
Duncan, a county criminal court
judge, was in the news two years ago,
when he threatened to send a woman to
jail for wearing a pantsuit into his courtroom. He is currently being investigated
by the committee for "confiscating" over
200 guns from defendants in his court.
but appeal courts are prohibitively costly.
Many people just cannot afford to appeal
and are deprived of their rights under the
law by the judges' arbitrary indifference
to the law."
The complaint that "judges lose sight
of the cost of litigation to the people"
applies particularly to the family courts.
Out of the more than 10,000 suits that
are filed annually in Harris County, 60%
are family law matters, and will fall into
one of nine courts. It is not unusual for
these overcrowded courts to set 25 ancillary matters in one morning. Attorneys
charge that many judges spend time on
unrelated or personal matters "while 100
people stand around waiting, maybe all
Attorneys must charge for this wait
time as it is called, "and it can push fees
In addition, litigants may be losing a
day's pay that they can ill afford. "Courts
are presumably run to expedite cases, but
they are really run for the convenience of
One of our probate court judges does
not find it convenient to try cases at all.
"He really does not want to have a trial in
his court," says an attorney who reports
that this longtime judge has successfully
avoided trials for years.
Another complaint against judges is
that they change their attitudes when
they take the bench. "Every judge should
have to get off the bench and practice law
before that very bench for one year every
five years," suggested one attorney. "Admittedly, this is impractical and impossibly inefficient, but it would help them
maintain the proper perspective."
"Many judges are condescending, even
rude, to younger women attorneys, and
to young men attorneys, too," states an
What makes a person want to be a judge?
Ego...it's an ego trip...a real super ego trip."
"It takes something that bizarre to get
them to move against a judge," the
Less bizarre, but no less consequential,
are complaints that many judges simply
do not believe in the consumer laws and
therefore ignore them. In a product liability or consumer case, they may simply
refuse to award damages or award only a
"Nothing really can be done," explains one attorney, "a mandamus (a writ
issued by a superior court commanding a
specific performance) may be issued, but
the next time a similar case comes before
them, they will do the same thing again.
They will tell you to go ahead and appeal,
attorney who has been practicing many
years, "They show partiality to their old
cronies, it's the 'old boy network'."
The demeanor of some of our judges
comes under scrutiny by many attorneys.
"We are mandated to show respect to the
court; but judges may just ream out a
lawyer; they lack the same decorum they
demand of us." And there is no remedy
for this. "There is nothing you can do,"
according to the attorneys interviewed.
"They are just up there playing God,
moralizing," charged an attorney experienced in both family and criminal law,
"they will refuse to grant a name change
using in the best interest of the child as
an excuse to control a person's right to
We Know Where He Stands On:
— Women's issues
— Support of the Arts
— Revitalizing the Heights
That's why Yesterday's Rose proudly
supports him for re-election as
State Representative, District 79.
452^ 19//1 S68-3052