Across the street from the Criminal Justice Center is the Juvenile Justice Center, which houses the 313th, 314th, and 315th District Courts of Harris County, Texas.
I don't go over there much if I can help it.
Although I'm glad that there are folks more qualified than me to handle juvenile matters, I'd just as soon not go over there. If you can take all the drama and tragedy that you find in the CJC and then apply it to children, you get the juvenile system. I spent about four months there in 2000 as a rookie prosecutor, and that was about the extent of my experience there.
I say this as a caveat that I don't know that much about the candidates running for election or re-election other than (mostly) just reputation. That's why I'm lumping all the races into one blog post and inviting those of you who know more about the candidates to chime in.
So, here's what little I do know.
The 313th District Court
Current Judge Pat Shelton has decided not to run for re-election this year, leading to multiple candidates from both the Republican and Democratic side. On the Republican side we have long-time defense attorney Glenn Devlin running against former prosecutor Fred Wilson.
I don't know Fred Wilson, personally, although we have spoken via e-mail a couple of times, but I do know that he had an outstanding reputation with the District Attorney's Office. I have never heard a bad thing about him. From all accounts, he's a great guy and would make a good judge. He has been out of the D.A.'s Office since before I started there, but when he was there he was involved extensively with the juvenile system.
I do know Glenn Devlin personally, and I like Glenn a lot. I think Glenn is a great guy and he spends the vast amount of his practice doing juvenile criminal law. He knows the law and he works hard for his clients. He's also got an easy-going demeanor that I think would translate well into a good judicial temperament. I know that when newer attorneys begin working juvenile criminal defense that Glenn is one of the first to take them under his wing and help show them the ropes. He was kind to me when I was a baby prosecutor, and I appreciate that and I will always appreciate it.
But dammit, Glenn went and got Terry Lowry's endorsement, and I really wish he hadn't. You didn't need to get in on that Low Life's bandwagon, my friend. I made a vow that I wouldn't endorse anyone that sought that Ferret's endorsement, and I have to stand by that.
The winner of the Wilson/Devlin battle will face off against the winner of a three way race for the Democratic nomination featuring attorneys J. Anthony Referente, Natalie Oakes, and Marc Isenberg.
I can make my analysis of them very short and sweet: I don't know any of them.
I just don't do juvenile law, so I'm going to refer you to their websites and let the commenters have their say. I don't know enough to say a thing (either good or bad) about them.
The 314th District Court
Republican Incumbent Judge John Phillips faces off against one of two of the Democratic challengers for the 314th. Attorneys David Longoria and John Stephen Liles (NOTE: Liles doesn't have a website listed on the Democratic Candidate web page) are vying for the spot.
Again, I don't know these guys, either.
The 315th District Court
Republican Incumbent Judge Mike Schneider will face off against the winner of a two person race for the Democrats as Keith Branch and Bill Thursland face off against each other. Neither of these candidates have websites listed, either, and I'm not familiar with them.
I'm sorry not to have a lot of info on your Juvenile judges, but I hope my commenters will help out here. I think it was still necessary to do the post because they are dealing with criminal law though.
Y'all help me fill in the blanks here.