Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judges Paul Womack-- Place Four-- and Cathy Cochran-- Place Nine-- are retiring at the ends of their terms. So is Judge Tom Price-- Place Three, but we've already discussed the race for his old seat in a previous post. Let's look at the Place Four race here. There are three Republican candidates for Place Four-- no Democrats:
- My friend Jani Jo Wood, nee' Jani Maselli, a name to conjure with in Texas post-conviction law, board certified in criminal appellate law, has the highest rating in the Martindale-Hubble legal directory. In addition to working full-time for Harris County, she's been an adjunct legal writing professor for the University of Houston. She's been honored by the Harris County Criminal Defense Lawyers' Association and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers' Association, and she's a former Staff Attorney for the Court of Criminal Appeals. She has given a number of Continuing Legal Education papers and proceedings. She appears to have started her career in one of the greatest starting places for a budding criminal lawyer-- State Counsel for Offenders, Texas's prison public defender office. She was the lawyer who basically invalidated Harris County criminal courts' cost billing system, saving Harris County convicts big bunches of money. She is a very nice lady, and her husband, who appears to have been a Randall County Judge, appears to be a very nice guy also-- he appears to be carrying a great deal of water to support this campaign.
- Kevin Patrick Yeary, a Bexar County Appellate Prosecutor, who started his career as a briefing attorney for Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Bill M. White-- which means that he had been a very good law student, then worked in private practice in a San Antonio general litigation firm, which had some criminal defense work that he had done. After that he did turns as an appellate prosecutor at the Dallas County D.A.'s office and the Harris County D.A.'s office back in the days when they were two of the toughest counties in Texas. Since then, he's been in Bexar County's D.A.'s office. He's taught prospective paralegals at San Antonio College. He's active in his Roman Catholic parish, and for the Encino Park Blue Sharks Swim Team. His wife is a San Antonio pediatrician. He is a very pleasant, gentlemanly, learned person, who caught my originally mistaken post about Richard Dean Davis and told me about it over the phone, for which I am extremely grateful.
- Richard Dean Davis, unfortunately sharing the name of a serial rapist and killer, is a trial and appellate lawyer in the Austin exurb of Burnet of 31 years of experience. He had been a small firm lawyer in Brownsville and in Waco and in Odessa before moving to the Austin area where he eventually ended up with the Burnet practice he has today. He was a special prosecutor, then acting Sherman County Attorney in Stratford in the panhandle and worked in Odessa in the Ector County District Attorney's office and then later in the County Attorney's office, and had an appointment as a special prosecutor when he was at the County Attorney's office. He has been a contract public defender in Burnet. Along with a Travis County Assistant District Attorney, Davis did a jury selection training for his legal alma mater Baylor. He won a "Best Lawyer in Burnet" award in a contest in the local paper. He loves to hunt, but doesn't get as much chance to do it as he would like, and is married to a shy woman. Possessed of a truly beautiful, sonorous radio voice, he is easygoing and humorous in casual conversation.