All Fools' Day
The push card is old. The Republican Primary it spoke of was March 8, 1988. They did. I won the primary against my only two opponents, and without a runoff. One of my opponents was the incumbent, appointed seven weeks do the day before that fateful primary. It was his appointment that angered me enough to get out and win the race. He and the other gentlemen were the last opponents I've faced for the bench. He resigned in late March and I was appointed, taking office April 1, 1988.
The Texas Family Code, Section 51.02, which sets out definitions concerning young people charged with delinquent conduct in the state, says:
(2) "Child" means a person who is:
(A) ten years of age or older and under 17 years of age; or
(B) seventeen years of age or older and under 18 years of age who is alleged or found to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision as a result of acts committed before becoming 17 years of age.
When you consider the two together, it says that on this day, by definition, I've been on the bench as long as any of the juveniles have been alive, except that if they committed an offense shortly before turning 17, they could possibly have been born before I became a judge.
I started law school in 1976 because I was bored and law school sounded fun. At the time I could imagine being a judge, though I had difficulty picturing myself as a lawyer. While the picture of a lawyer could have been from the media and thus distorted, I had worked in a law office for a year and a half when I started. I believe I did understand the profession, better than some law school graduates.
In 1988 I would not have predicted I would be a County Court at Law judge 18 years later. Now, though, I know it's where I belong. I deal with juveniles and young adult offenders, people with the chance of being molded and redirected. Some folks I believe have actually been changed through my work. Many others, I have watched progress from juvenile through misdemeanor to felony courts. I teach young attorneys, too, and plenty more need guidance and discipline. Only this morning I found myself amazed at the lack of understanding of the law and of logic an attorney can have. Maybe I taught him something this morning about evidence, about business records, about standing, about many things. I doubt it. Some lawyers aren't trainable either.
Oh, well, it's the appropriate day. Happy All Fools' Day!