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DALLAS, Feb. 14, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A fair and impartial justice system is at the heart of America’s commitment to the rule of law. Individual judges are prohibited from commenting about pending cases, particularly those over which they preside. Judges may only speak through their rulings, many of which are made in controversial and high-profile cases that attract public attention. Members of the public who are not lawyers often may not understand the basis for a judge’s ruling in a particular case and — as is the right of any citizen — express their disagreement with the ruling. Unfortunately, these disagreements sometimes consist of nothing more than unfair attacks on a judge’s character. It is therefore important that lawyers provide their insight when the safety and independence of the judiciary is threatened.

The 15 Texas Chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates (TEX-ABOTA) comprise a statewide, non-partisan association of experienced trial lawyers and judges. Our mission is to preserve and promote the right to trial by jury in civil cases; to protect the fair and impartial administration of justice through support for an independent judiciary; to uphold the rule of law; and to champion civility, professionalism, and high ethical standards among attorneys. Consistent with its mission, TEX-ABOTA opposes the personal attacks made against Judge Jan Soifer of the 345th Judicial District Court in Austin in connection with her recent rulings in a whistleblower lawsuit brought by former employees of the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

TEX-ABOTA takes no position on the underlying case or Judge Soifer’s decision and supports the First Amendment right to criticize and protest on items of public interest, including the merits of decisions in controversial or publicized cases.  But the integrity of our judicial system and the independence of the judiciary is undermined when individuals or groups who disagree with a decision level personal attacks against a judge. We need judges to decide cases without fear that they will be subjected to such personal attacks.

Respect for the rule of law and civility in our discourse is necessary and appropriate for the preservation of an independent judiciary. The concept of a fair and impartial judiciary is an integral and essential component of our system of justice and the proper functioning of our democracy.

The Texas Chapters of the American
Board of Trial Advocates (TEX-ABOTA)

Charlie Henke, President
Mitzi Mayfield, President-Elect
Javier Espinoza, Vice President
Cade Browning, Secretary
Alison Kennamer, Treasurer
Tim Newsom, Immediate Past President

Founded in 1958, the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) is a membership organization of more than 7,300 civil trial attorneys who have been invited to join because of their trial skills, integrity and civility in the courtroom. ABOTA members are evenly divided between plaintiff and defense attorneys. ABOTA works to foster improvement in the ethical and technical standards of practice so that individual litigants may receive more effective representation and the public be benefited by more efficient administration of justice.  More than 1,350 Texas attorneys are members of the 15 Texas Chapters of ABOTA and comprise TEX-ABOTA.


Charlie Henke, President TEX-ABOTA
(713) 940-4500
[email protected] 


Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tex-abota-responds-to-personal-attacks-against-judge-jan-soifer-302062060.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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