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You be the judge

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On March 29, a letter supporting Bonnie Robison for Probate Judge appeared in the Denton Record Chronicle.  The author admits that Robison’s husband is a Denton County district judge and then states that the Probate Court and District Court are different courts with different jurisdictions.  What was not addressed is that the 393rd District Court (Mr. Robison’s Court) and the Probate Court have concurrent jurisdiction is two major areas of law: 1) Trust Law, and 2) Real Estate Law. Further the letter did not explain that a Probate Court, pursuant to Sections 5, 608 and 610 of the Probate Code, can “transfer” or “remove” cases out of the 393rd District Court and must do so without discussing these cases with the Judge of the other Court.  Discussing these cases prior to removing them is a violation of the Judicial Code of Conduct.  Examples of such transfers or removals between courts would include Wrongful Death Cases, Medical Malpractice Cases, Divorce Cases, Child Support Cases and Child Custody Cases. These removals occur regularly. Considering these facts, does this create a conflict / appearance of conflict or not? You be the judge.

James Norman
Lewisville, TX

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