Candidate Q&A: Montgomery County 457th Civil Court

Candidates Marc Meyer and Vince Santini discuss issues with the newly created 457th District Court in Montgomery County. (Community Impact staff)
Candidates Marc Meyer and Vince Santini discuss issues with the newly created 457th District Court in Montgomery County. (Community Impact staff)

Candidates Marc Meyer and Vince Santini discuss issues with the newly created 457th District Court in Montgomery County. (Community Impact staff)



HOUSTON



Montgomery County 457th Civil Court










Marc Meyer



D



Occupation: attorney, solo practitioner


Experience: 10 years solo practice; board-certified in administrative law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization






Why are you the most qualified for this position?



MM: I have been a solo practitioner in the civil and administrative courts in Texas since opening my own practice in November 2009, and I am board-certified in administrative lawaw by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Administrative law generally operates under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the same rules that govern a civil district court, except as modified by the Administrative Procedures Act.



What specific actions will you take to reduce the case backlog?



MM: The problem in the civil courts in Montgomery County is there are not enough civil court judges to handle the caseload, so the addition of the 457th District Court is a huge step in reducing the backlog. As for specific actions, I would continue the example that Kristin Bays has set in handling her docket in the 284th District Court and put together a team of quality individuals who will keep the docket moving.



What effect should partisan politics have on this election?



MM: None. I disagree with Chief Justice John Roberts when he said he was an umpire calling balls and strikes. As the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, he has to define the strike zone. On the other hand, a trial court judge in a Texas District Court truly is calling balls and strikes. The Legislature and the appeals courts define the strike zone, which should make the trial court nonpartisan.









Vince Santini



R



Occupation: judge of the 457th District Court


Experience: judge; civil litigator; district court chief; trial specialist






Why are you the most qualified for this position?



VS: I am the only candidate in this race that has the honor of serving as judge. One day after winning almost 80% of the Republican runoff votes, I got to work on building the 457th from scratch. Within two weeks, we had a fully functioning court. As judge, I preside over 1,200 cases involving all types of civil issues, including but not limited to business, property, insurance, torts, trade secrets and international law.



What specific actions will you take to reduce the case backlog?



VS: As judge, I have kept my promises to hire a professional staff, work 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and reduce the docket size by immediately issuing docket control orders once an answer is filed. I immediately rule on motions for substituted service, default judgments and settlement agreements without the need for submission. We also issue dismissals for want of prosecution, require mediation on all cases, stack our submission dockets and have four weeks of trial settings every month.



What effect should partisan politics have on this election?



VS: Theoretically, none, as the law should speak for itself. However, it matters who we elect as judge. Since Texas judges are elected, it is partisan. Party platforms matter. Coming from a family who fled fascist Mussolini and legally immigrated, I would have never been able to be judge in a socialist country. I am honored to run on the Republican ticket that stands for freedom, law and order, and the advancement and equal opportunity for all people.



By Andrew Christman
Andrew joined Community Impact Newspaper in early 2019 after moving from Indiana. He is a 2015 graduate from Indiana State University, where he received degrees in English and journalism. He has written for a number of small town publications throughout his career as a reporter.