Posted by Pamela Bratton on Mar 07, 2018
Justice Marialyn Barnard, Fourth Court of Appeals shared a great overview of the Texas State Court System.  Justice Barnard is a fellow Rotarian with the San Antonio downtown club and is a past president and Paul Harris Fellow.  She has spent 9 years on the 4th court of appeals and is a former teacher who married her high school sweetheart.
Texas has some unique twists to our court system.  Did you know:
* Justices of the Peace and Municipal Court judges are not required to have any specific qualifications.  JP's serve 4 year terms and Municipal Judges serve 2 or 4 year terms.
* Texas has 2 Supreme Courts, each with 9 justices.  The Texas Supreme Court hears all civil and juvenile cases.  The Court of Criminal Appeals is a supreme court and hears all criminal cases.  The justices on these 2 courts must be between the ages of 35 and 74, and a practicing lawyer, or lawyer and judge of court of record together, for at least 10 years.
* Death penalty cases go straight from the District courts to the Court of Criminal Appeals.  Fewer death penalty cases are being presented because of the high cost of prosecuting/appeals.  It is cheaper to keep someone in prison for live than pursue the death penalty.