David Yates Sep. 18, 2012, 10:44am

Fairness and a specialization in civil litigation are the trademark qualities that Judge Milton Shuffield says have defined his 16-year career on the bench – qualities that he will continue to employ if reelected.

In November, Judge Shuffield, a Democrat who currently presides over the 136th District Court, will square off against Republican challenger Rick Williams, a Nederland attorney.

Williams has openly criticized Judge Shuffield’s handling of the court docket, saying that if he took the bench, he would expand the docket to include family law cases.

Texas district courts can hear civil, criminal and family law cases.

During a Sept. 12 interview, Judge Shuffield told the Southeast Texas Record that by specializing in civil litigation, he has made the court more efficient and improved the quality of service for all litigants.

“I feel the best approach is specialization,” said Judge Shuffield, adding that when the occasion calls for it, he does handle Jefferson County cases and domestic relation matters.

Judge Shuffield believes his civil specialization has ensured all litigants receive the best possible service – a belief supported by polling data.

“I’m proudest of the fact that every Texas Bar poll I’ve been exposed to I’ve been the highest rated district judge,” Judge Shuffield said. “It’s a blind poll. I think that’s very telling.”

He added that his court was also ahead of the curve; working to reduce the cases cluttering his docket even before the legal landscape in Texas began to change.

“If reelected, I will continue to try to be the fairest I can be,” said Judge Shuffield. “I would like to think both sides feel they are treated fair.”

Judge Shuffield has been married to his wife Sarah since 1978. They have three children.

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