Job descriptionDistrict Courts are devoted to civil cases. Term is four years.
DutiesNote: civil law deals with behavior that injures an individual or other private party, such as a corporation. Examples include libel, breach of contract, property damage, and negligence resulting in injury or death.
Annual salary$140,000-$168,000

Who’s Running?

Valerie Baston
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/valeriebastonforjudge/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/valerie-baston-1a2b2621
Instagram: @valeriebastonforjudge
Email: bastonforjudge@yahoo.com
Democrat
Kimberly Fitzpatrick (incumbent)
County page: https://www.tarrantcounty.com/en/civil-courts/district-courts/342nd-district-court.html
Website: https://www.kfforjudge.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KimberlyFitzpatrickJudge/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberly-fitzpatrick-0782472
Email: kimberly@kfforjudge.com
Republican

Candidate Q&A

1. WHY ARE YOU THE BEST QUALIFIED CANDIDATE?
Valerie Baston
I want to become judge of the 342nd Judicial District Court, because I want to ensure that everyone will be treated fairly. I will ensure that the correct laws are applied in the matters brought before me. Our court system needs to reflect the diversity of this county and we need qualified judges that reflect this diversity. I have practiced law for almost 23 years and have a diverse legal background. I am a former Assistant City Attorney for the City of Fort Worth. I am also a former Assistant District Attorney for Tarrant County. I was in the criminal and civil divisions of the District Attorney's Office. I have been in private practice for the last two years. My practice consists of civil law, criminal law, bankruptcy and entertainment law.
Quiero convertirme en juez de la Corte del Distrito Judicial 342, porque quiero asegurarme de que todos sean tratados de manera justa. Me aseguraré de que se apliquen las leyes correctas en los asuntos que se me presenten. Nuestro sistema judicial debe reflejar la diversidad de este condado y necesitamos jueces calificados que reflejen esta diversidad. He ejercido la abogacía durante casi 23 años y tengo una formación jurídica diversa. Soy un ex fiscal asistente de la ciudad de Fort Worth. También soy un ex fiscal asistente del condado de Tarrant. Estuve en las divisiones penal y civil de la Fiscalía. He estado en la práctica privada durante los últimos dos años. Mi práctica consiste en derecho civil, derecho penal, derecho de quiebras y entretenimiento.
Kimberly Fitzpatrick
It has been my honor to serve as judge of the 342nd court since July of 2018. In my first year, I tripled the number of cases being tried versus previous years. With the help of my incredible team, we consistently dispose of the most cases each month and have the lowest number of pending cases among the civil courts. We utilize technology as much as possible to conduct hearings via Skype, Facebook Live and other applications in an effort to reduce costs and increase convenience and accessibility. Unlike my opponent who practices criminal law, I have extensive experience in civil matters both as a lawyer and a judge. As judge of the 342nd court, I have presided over hundreds of trials and thousands of hearings. As a lawyer, I won 3of 3 cases at the Texas Supreme Court. I also work hard to mentor students and stay active in my local bar and in the community.
2. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FEW PRIORITIES IF ELECTED?
Valerie Baston
I will ensure that the issues and concerns of the community are addressed through having open access to the court. I would like to establish a guide for Pro Se litigants that will give them access to forms, motions and other legal documents, so they can litigate their own cases. I will also encourage mediation between the parties. These things will help to lower the cost of litigation and make the court process more efficient.
Me aseguraré de que se aborden los problemas y preocupaciones de la comunidad a través del acceso abierto a la corte. Me gustaría establecer una guía para los litigantes Pro Se que les dé acceso a formularios, mociones y otros documentos legales, para que puedan litigar sus propios casos. También fomentaré la mediación entre las partes. Estas cosas ayudarán a reducir el costo del litigio y harán que el proceso judicial sea más eficiente.
Kimberly Fitzpatrick
My priorities are to continue (1) to create a welcoming and impartial court experience for those that appear before me; (2) to work hard to keep cases moving expeditiously thru my docket; (3) to always follow the law as written and never legislate from the bench; and (4) to use the court's technology in an effort to reduce costs and increase convenience and accessibility for litigants and witnesses.
3. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR JUDICIAL PHILOSOPHY?
Valerie Baston
I believe that the U.S. Constitution is a living document, case law is constantly evolving and changing. Our state and federal legislators are changing our laws or enacting new ones, so judges must stay vigilant with the changes in our laws. I believe that judges must look not only at the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law. Good laws must be applied fairly and across the board in cases with similar issues. I don’t think this is judicial activism, it is simply being a prudent judge and keeping up with the societal changes.
Creo que la Constitución de los Estados Unidos es un documento vivo, la jurisprudencia está en constante evolución y cambio. Nuestros legisladores estatales y federales están cambiando nuestras leyes o promulgando otras nuevas, por lo que los jueces deben estar atentos a los cambios en nuestras leyes. Creo que los jueces deben mirar no solo la letra de la ley, sino también el espíritu de la ley. Las buenas leyes deben aplicarse de manera justa y generalizada en casos con problemas similares. No creo que esto sea activismo judicial, es simplemente ser un juez prudente y mantenerse al día con los cambios sociales.
Kimberly Fitzpatrick
I have a conservative judicial philosophy. I believe that judges should follow the law as written and never legislate from the bench. I have worked hard to create a welcoming court that is both impartial and fair.
4. HOW MIGHT THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, WHICH IS LIKELY TO BE AROUND FOR SOME TIME, AFFECT YOUR THINKING OR WORK ON THE COURT?
Valerie Baston
I will follow the orders set by the Texas Supreme Court. In addition, I will continue to use virtual platforms for nonessential court proceedings. I would set up live streaming platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook Live and Instagram Live, so that the public can view open court proceedings.
Seguiré las órdenes establecidas por la Corte Suprema de Texas. Además, seguiré usando plataformas virtuales para procedimientos judiciales no esenciales. Establecería plataformas de transmisión en vivo, como YouTube, Facebook Live e Instagram Live, para que el público pueda ver los procedimientos judiciales abiertos.
Kimberly Fitzpatrick
I have always tried to use the court's technology in an effort to reduce costs and increase convenience and accessibility for litigants and witnesses. During the pandemic, I have conducted hearings and non-jury trials via Zoom to reduce the risk of spread of Covid. I will continue to balance moving cases along the docket while making sure everyone stays safe.
5. ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
Valerie Baston
Kimberly Fitzpatrick
It has been a great honor to serve as your Judge of the 342nd Court. I hope to earn your vote in November. Please feel free to email me at kimberly@kfforjudge.com with any questions you may have.

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