Our View: No room for more judge-bullies

The SE Texas Record Feb. 3, 2014, 10:52pm

We don’t know if it was a late Christmas gift, an early Valentine’s present, or a combination of the two, but last Monday Gov. Rick Perry gave Galveston attorney Tony Buzbee something he always wants: his own judge.

Some might argue that Tony already had his own judge (or judges), like the one he once took to lunch after a favorable ruling. 

When Perry appointed Friendswood attorney Bret Griffin as the next judge of the 212th District Court in Galveston County, Buzbee had to be thrilled.

“Griffin once worked for Buzbee, and Griffin’s wife is a business partner of Buzbee’s. Buzbee fully funded Griffin’s previous, failed election bid for a judgeship,” reports a press release  from the political action committee of Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR PAC), which opposed the appointment.

The TLR PAC release notes that “Buzbee is notorious for his public brag about judge shopping in South Texas, where he says he is allowed to handpick juries favorable to his plaintiff’s case,” it asserts, “The 212th District Court deserves a judge who will be fair and impartial to all parties and lawyers who come before the court.”

Griffin will not serve a full term, but an abbreviated one expiring after this year’s election. Nor will he be a shoo-in for the nomination in the Republican primary in March, as he faces opposition from TLR PAC favorite Patricia Grady. Nevertheless, thanks to Perry’s appointment, he will enjoy the advantages of incumbency when the polls open.

“We oppose Griffin because we do not think he is qualified for the judgeship and because he has close personal and financial ties to Tony Buzbee, a personal injury trial lawyer who is extremely active in the 212th District Court in Galveston,” the TLR PAC release explains.

We’re inclined to agree. We hate to be snarky, but Tony Buzbee does not deserve another  judge-buddy.

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