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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Candidates for Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Place Nine

The only Texas Court of Criminal Appeals race we haven't talked about yet is the one for Place Nine, which is presently held by Cathy Cochran. No Democrats here-- there are two Republicans in the primary, and the winner there gets the job.

  1. Harris County Appellate Prosecutor David C. Newell out of Missouri City in Fort Bend County is board certified in criminal law and criminal appellate law. He had taught legal writing as a teaching assistant at the University of Texas, an appellate prosecutor at the Fort Bend County District Attorney's Office, and an Assistant County Attorney in Fort Bend County. He is the Chair of the editorial board of the most excellent publication of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, The Texas Prosecutor. He wrote a column for that publication: "As the Judge Sees It," and he has generally been the person updating the audience on case law of the Court of Criminal Appeals for the premier criminal law continuing education course in Texas, the State Bar of Texas Advanced Criminal Law Course and on case law of the CCA and the Supreme Court (not clear if this is the Supreme Court of the United States or the Supreme Court of Texas-- TDCAA's web site is down at the time of this posting.). His campaign website has a list of notable cases, and he is an honors English graduate from the University of Houston, charming touches both. He is married to Shayne Hurst Newell, an assistant general counsel for leading old-time Houston white-shoe law firm Baker Botts LLP, who has also been active on the Fort Bend Junior Service League and is on the board of the Literacy Council of Fort Bend County. They have two children.
  2. W.C. "Bud" Kirkendall presides over the 2nd 25th Judicial District Court in Colorado, Gonzales, Guadalupe, and Lavaca Counties. He's been kicking around the Texas legal community for 40 years. Judge Kirkendall started out as a briefing attorney at the CCA. Generally, that's evidence of having done well in law school. He was a private practice lawyer, including doing criminal defense, in Seguin, Texas, a town outside of San Antonio on the Guadalupe River, home of Texas Lutheran University-- where one can study ancient Greek, Hebrew, or philosophy, among many other subjects, birthplace of the folk/country singer Nanci Griffith and of a lawyer friend of mine. Judge Kirkendall was an award-winning (State Bar of Texas and the Jon Ben Sheppard Public Leadership Forum) elected District Attorney for the 25th Judicial District, and then rose to his current bench ten years ago. He got an exemplary judicial faculty award from the Texas Center for the Judiciary. He's been active in Seguin community affairs. He's been married to Alice Scull Kirkendall so long that I will not name the number for her sake. 

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