Graduate of the Week: Judge Jim Richard, Defending the Constitution in Court

August 22, 2011 | By Lauren Hart and Mariya Swella

August 22, 2011, Arlington, VA--As more and more courtrooms across the country “legislate from the bench” and infiltrate a largely liberal bias into the court systems, it’s a good thing we have justices like Honorable Jim Richard who uphold the Constitution and defend liberty. Leadership Institute Graduate of the Week is awarded to Judge Jim Richard, who serves the Justice Court, Pct 4, of Fort Bend County, Texas, and receives between 7,000 - 12,000 cases per year.

Jim’s “court resolves civil cases, eviction cases, small claims cases, misdemeanor class C cases, traffic citations and juvenile cases.  Additionally, I handle emergency mental commitments, request for arrest warrants, magistrations and inquests. I also receive a few other types of cases,” Jim said.  “I like to tell people that I do what the other courts don't want to handle.”

Jim has stood four elections and is currently serving the first year of his fourth term in office.   “LI training taught me to develop a plan and to work the plan.  I am on that journey,” Jim said regarding his next election coming up in the March 2014 Republican primary.  

Jim graduated from LI’s Campaign School (level 2) in 2009.  “The training taught me to focus on a process,” Jim said.  “Since the course, I have already produced the first draft of a campaign plan and a plan I call a preliminary voter contact plan.”

As a native born Texan, Jim received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his law degree from the University of Houston.  He served as a prosecutor for 10 years and served in the Army for 20 years, six of which were active duty.  He was a JAGC prosecutor and magistrate from 1988 until 2008.  He served two overseas tours of duty and spent 14 years in the reserves.

One of Jim’s proudest contributions was “In 1998, when I wrote a law that allows state funded women’s shelters to collect from batterers in domestic violence cases.  I submitted that law to a State Representative that carried the bill,” Jim said.  “I went to the legislative session in 1999 and testified in support of that bill.  Then, Governor George W. Bush signed the bill into law.”

Jim goes onto report, “Since the [LI ] course, I have joined the American Legion and become a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  I have accumulated 900-plus facebook friends and have performed 16 live auctions as auctioneer for non-profit charities.”

For the past six years, Jim has served on the board of directors for the Fort Bend County Women's Center and currently serves on the advisory board.  He serves on “all Fort Bend charities and non-profits as an auctioneer for their live auction fundraisers,” Jim said.

When asked how he would describe LI training to others, he responded with one simple word: “Essential!”  The training is so essential that Jim has decided to return to LI for more as he gears up for his next campaign. “I intend to take another LI course in two years to re-sharpen my focus and learn any updated information.”

For his dedication to upholding the Constitution, we welcome Judge Jim Richard as this week’s LI Grad of the Week.

If you would like to attend LI trainings like Jim Richard, visit our website for a list of upcoming trainings.
 
To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate you know for Graduate of the Week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.