Back to Business today.
The race for the 337th District Court Judicial Race has Republican incumbent Judge Don Stricklin running against Democratic Candidate and defense attorney Herb Ritchie. I checked the Net and could not find a website for either candidate's campaign.
Back when I first started at the District Attorney's Office, Don Stricklin was the First Assistant under Johnny Holmes. He was the man who called and offered me the job there, so I will always have a pretty high level of fondness for the man. Apparently, I must have run him off or something, because not too long after my arrival, he was appointed to the 337th District Court. With me being a brand new Misdemeanor Three and him being First Assistant, I never dealt with him on a professional level.
I never served in the 337th District Court and I've never tried a case in their, either, so my knowledge of how the Judge runs his court is based solely on reputation and word-of-mouth.
Judge Stricklin is known for running a fast-paced and efficient court. He holds the State to a high standard and doesn't have patience with delays or mistakes made the prosecutors in his court. Cases are set for trial and actually go to trial in an efficient and timely manner. The State not being ready on trial day is unacceptable to the Judge, and that can often lead to some job stress for the prosecutors assigned to his court.
However, you don't hear the prosecutors complaining much about being in the court. One of my best friends at the Office spent a significant amount of time in there as a Felony Three, and thoroughly enjoyed the court and practicing in front of the Judge. According to him, the Judge was professional, businesslike, intelligent, and fair.
It is also worth noting that you don't hear the Defense Bar complaining about Judge Stricklin either. I'm sure those of you outside of the legal fields will be shocked to know that all attorneys tend to gripe and whine on occasion (especially over a beer or two). But I never hear the Defense Bar griping about Stricklin.
It sounds to me like Judge Stricklin is doing a good job and running a good court.
As little personal knowledge as I have about Judge Stricklin, I have even less knowledge about his opponent, Herb Ritchie. I've been around awhile and I've heard his name and I've seen him, but I honestly can't say that I've ever dealt with him. I know for certain that I've never had a trial with him, but I don't recall ever having a case with him at all.
I'm not claiming to know all of the defense attorneys in the courthouse, but I'd like to think that I know the vast majority of them. Maybe it's just a fluke, but I am honestly at a loss for words on what to write about Mr. Ritchie. I just don't know him.
So I'll have to turn it over to the commenters for their take on him.
However, he'd have to bring some pretty strong recommendations for me to think he'd be a better judge than Judge Stricklin.