Meet the Judges
JUSTICE DEBRA LEHRMANN
Texas Supreme Court, Place 3
Justice Debra Lehrmann is the longest serving female Supreme Court Justice in Texas history and serves as the Senior Justice on the Court. With over 35 years of judicial experience, having served as a trial judge in Tarrant County for 23 years prior to her appellate service, she has a proven record of enforcing the rule of law across the board and never legislating from the bench.
She has been elected twice to the Court since her 2010 gubernatorial appointment; in 2022 she received more votes than any other candidate in the Texas primary. She consistently receives high approval ratings in Judicial Bar Polls, and in the 2022 Judicial Bar Poll she received more votes than any other judicial candidate. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Justice Lehrmann graduated from The University of Texas with high honors in 1979 and from The University of Texas School of Law in 1982. She received her LL.M. degree from Duke Law’s Master of Judicial Studies in 2016.
In addition to being the court of last resort in all civil and juvenile cases, the Supreme Court is the overseer of the 3rd branch of government. Justice Lehrmann is honored to spend an enormous amount of time and energy on these administrative duties. She serves as the Court’s liaison to:
· The State Bar of Texas
· The Permanent Commission on Children, Youth and Families
· The State Bar of Texas Family Law Section
JUSTICE REBECA HUDDLE
Texas Supreme Court, Place 5
Justice Rebeca Aizpuru Huddle was appointed to the Supreme Court of Texas by Governor Greg Abbott in October 2020. A native of El Paso, Justice Huddle is the youngest of five siblings and knows the promise of America and Texas.
Justice Huddle lost her father early in life and learned the value of hard work and dedication from her immigrant mother, who devoted herself to providing for Rebeca and her four siblings.
In her early years, Justice Huddle came to understand the value of education as an avenue to a better life. After graduating from Stephen F. Austin Hugh School, Justice Huddle earned her undergraduate degree from Stanford University. After spending a year teaching Spanish in California after graduation, Justice Huddle knew it was time to come back home to Texas.
Justice Huddle earned her law degree at the University of Texas School of Law, where she was the recipient of three endowed presidential scholarships and graduated with honors.
Justice Huddle has long been engaged in the community, in bar activities, and mentoring younger lawyers. In 2019, she was named a Woman on the Move by Texas Executive Women. She has served as a member of the board of directors of the Greater Houston Partnership and the Houston Area Women’s Center. She is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and the Houston Bar Foundation. She enjoys mentoring younger lawyers, encouraging them to strive for excellence and become active leaders within their communities.
Justice Huddle and her husband Greg have two daughters, Isabel and Emma.
JUSTICE EVAN YOUNG
Texas Supreme Court, Place 9
Evan Young’s background can be summed up simply: dedication to service, faith, family, and the law.
Justice Evan Young is a proven legal scholar and public servant. Evan’s extensive background in private practice and public service makes him extraordinarily well qualified to serve the people of Texas on their Supreme Court. Evan clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia at the U.S. Supreme Court and has dedicated his life to advancing the rule of law at home and abroad. He will faithfully defend the Constitution and laws for the people of Texas.
JUDGE JOHN CHUPP
141st District Court
Judge John Chupp grew up in Arlington and is a lifelong resident of Tarrant County. He graduated from Arlington Lamar High School in 1990. John then attended the University of North Texas where he received a degree in Political Science and a minor in Spanish. He was also a two-sport athlete, lettering in both Football and Track at UNT. After college, John attended St. Mary's University School of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate in 1998.
Following law school, John practiced in many areas of law including but not limited to Civil, Criminal and Family Law. As a practicing attorney, John tried over 100 jury trials and is Board Certified in Personal Injury by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Then in May of 2009, John was appointed to be the Judge of the 141st Civil District Court by Governor Rick Perry. His experience in actual trial work and his Board Certification have proven to be invaluable.
While serving as your Judge in the 141st District Court, he has maintained an active and efficient docket. His experience sitting at the counsel table has allowed him to see Court from the litigant’s perspective. He has maintained a consistently low caseload while still respecting litigants’ life issues during trying times.
In early March of 2020, he was one of only 31 judges, statewide, that were assigned to preside over any proceeding or matter instituted under Chapter 81 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. These special assignments were an early response by the Texas Supreme Court to prepare the Texas Judiciary for the pandemic. Judge Chupp also served as the Chair of the Tarrant County Juvenile Board in 2020. He was able to continue the Board's functioning during an ever-changing time by taking Juvenile Board Meetings virtual to allow all Board Members to participate safely while allowing the community to participate remotely in any Board activities.
Not only has Judge Chupp served the citizens of Tarrant County for over 13 years as the Judge of the 141st District Court he has continued to educate interns from local high schools, colleges and law schools. He is also currently serving on the Tarrant County Purchasing Board.
Judge Chupp will continue to be constitutional conservative and never legislate from the Bench. Judge Chupp is married and has 2 daughters.
JUDGE STEVE JUMES
485th District Court
Judge Steven Jumes grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, and graduated from Boswell High School in 1990. He went on to graduate with Highest Honors from the University of Texas at Austin. While attaining this degree, he served as the President of the YMCA Youth and Government Alumni Association.
Judge Jumes then attended the University of Texas School of Law in 1996. During law school, he represented the U.T. Law School in multiple moot court competitions and was a writer for The Review of Litigation, a law journal sponsored by U.T. Law School. He also served the public as an intern for the Texas Attorney General’s Office in the Child Support Division and was the lead prosecutor in 10 trials as an intern for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
After law school, Judge Jumes began a 25-year career as an attorney practicing criminal law. During his career he was a trial prosecutor in the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office where he was supervisor of the Grand Jury Division as well as a specialist in prosecuting child abuse felonies. He has successfully prosecuted the worst level of offenders in Tarrant County, including attaining trial convictions against capital murderers, murderers, child rapists, armed robbers, and many other serious offenses.
In 1997, he married the love of his life, Debrah, with whom he shares two beautiful daughters, ages 20 and 23. In August of this year he and Debrah celebrated their 25th anniversary.
In 2002, Judge Jumes attained the highest level of specialization in Texas criminal practice, otherwise known as attaining Board Certification in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
In 2010, Judge Jumes served as a prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office. During that service he attained trial convictions against international fraudsters and bank robbers. He also spearheaded an operation that resulted in the recovery of more than $10 million in stolen taxpayer funds.
Judge Jumes has appeared in multiple interviews regarding various criminal law issues in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, NBC5, WFAA Channel 8, and CBS11. He also presented training lectures for the Texas State Bar and United States Attorney’s Office as well as testified in federal court as an expert in prosecutorial ethics.
After being selected by the Tarrant County Republican Executive Committee to be the Republican nominee for the 485th District Court, he was honored Governor Greg Abbott’s appointment to serve as the Inaugural Judge of that court. He now serves as the judge of that court handling all levels of felony cases in Tarrant County.
Judge Jumes served as an election clerk 4 times and as a Sunday School teacher and deacon. He would be honored to continue to serve the people of Tarrant County as the Judge of the 485th District Court.
JUDGE BROOKE ALLEN
Tarrant County Probate Court No. 2
An experienced jurist, Judge Brooke Allen has presided over thousands of bench and jury trials in the areas of estates, guardianship, mental health, and litigation related to estates and guardianship. Judge Allen tried the first civil jury trial in Tarrant County after the pandemic, bringing law and order back to litigation. In addition to protecting our Constitutional rights and civil liberties, Judge Allen reduced our court’s budget by more than 5%, saving us more than a $100,000.00 each year during her tenure.
Since taking the bench, Judge Allen has educated our community regarding the probate courts and the cases they handle. Her most popular talk, “Guardianship: Rush to the Courthouse or Last Resort” has been requested by many groups including The Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Council of Tarrant County, Texas Parent to Parent, and many others. She is also frequently asked to speak to professionals about procedure, evidence, and due process, all extremely important to our justice system. Judge Allen is a Barrister in the Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court, an organization focused on improving the skills, professionalism, and ethics of the bench and bar. Prior to taking the bench, she was voted a "Top Attorney" by Fort Worth Magazine and a "Rising Star" by Texas Lawyer. She was also named "Attorney of the Year" by the Fort Worth Paralegal Association.
Judge Allen is honored to serve and continues to strictly interpret the law, never legislate from the bench, and apply the law fairly and equally to all citizens. In her spare time, Judge Allen enjoys coaching youth basketball and playing tennis.
JUDGE MARY TOM CRAVENS CURNUTT
Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2
Judge Mary Tom Cravens Curnutt was raised in Arlington her whole childhood, attended public school and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arlington High School. After graduation, Mary Tom attended TCU where she made the Dean’s List and earned a BBA in Business Management. She and her husband Kelly have been married for 31 years and are the proud parents of three sons. They currently serve with Mission Arlington leading a local apartment church Bible study.
Prior to becoming a Judge, Mary Tom most recently served as Manager of the Fleetwood Memorial Foundation, which provides funding and educational assistance to families of Texas Peace Officers killed in the line of duty. Before that she worked as Executive Director of Miracle League DFW, a non-profit baseball program for children with mental and/or physical limitations and as a Sales Director for a top-producing sales team with a Fortune 100 Company.
Since 2013, Judge Mary Tom has adroitly managed the high volume of court cases that have passed through the JP court in Arlington. She has proven herself to be a tough but fair judge by making smart decisions using her conservative values, common sense, a solid pursuit of justice and liberty, and guidance in the truth.
JUDGE CHRISTOPHER GREGORY
Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4
Judge Christopher Gregory is a lifetime resident of this wonderful community and of Precinct 4. For the past 18 years, he has been honored to serve this community and its citizens as a public servant in law enforcement and for the last 3 as your Justice of the Peace Judge. While working at the Lake Worth Police Department, he received several commendations and was promoted to the rank of Detective Sergeant where he served until, he was elected as the Justice of the Peace Precinct #4 Judge where he currently serves.
As your Justice Judge of Precinct #4, he worked to innovate the court by moving to a paperless and e-file system. All paper files were then scanned and digitized for ease of access for employees and litigants.
He is a judge that follows the law. His decisions are based solely on the Rules of Evidence and Procedures established by the great State of Texas. It is his belief that justice does fully exist if a person sitting in this seat is not motivated by their own agenda, and they follow the laws and procedures that have been established for many years in our state.
JUSTICE ELIZABETH KERR
2nd Court of Appeals, Place 3
First elected in 2016, Justice Elizabeth Kerr has put her decades of trial and appellate experience to work for the citizens of the 12 counties served by the seven-member Second Court of Appeals, which has its home base in Fort Worth. In the most recent judicial-evaluation poll, Justice Kerr received high marks from the Tarrant County legal community as a fair and impartial judge who writes clear opinions and applies the law thoroughly and properly.
She is an executive board member of the Texas Center for the Judiciary, an organization dedicated to judicial education throughout the state. This year she has again been asked to teach the judicial-opinion-writing segment for newly elected or appointed appellate judges at the TCJ’s College for New Judges. Her love for writing was honed as an English major at Rice University, continued at the University of Texas School of Law, and found fulfillment during many years as an adjunct legal-writing instructor at what is now the Texas A&M School of Law.
Justice Kerr is the incoming president of the Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court, a peer-nominated group of attorneys that exists to foster excellence and integrity in the practice of law, and serves on the advisory board of the Federalist Society’s Fort Worth Lawyers chapter.
Among her nonlegal pursuits, Justice Kerr is a long-standing board member of St. Peter’s Classical School in southwest Fort Worth.
Meet the Candidates
for 324th District Court
After Beth Poulos was discharged from the United States Army, she attended the University of Texas in Arlington and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Political Science in 1986. She earned her law degree from Southern Methodist University in 1990. She has been board certified in family law since 2004 and has practiced family law for the majority of her legal career. Beth has over 30 years of family law experience, both before and behind the bench. After operating a successful solo law practice for several years, she was appointed to serve as the Associate Judge in the 324th District Court in Tarrant County in 2006. The 324th is a family court handling divorce, child custody issues, protective orders, and CPS cases. The primary responsibility of the Associate Judge of that Court is to hear initial temporary orders, enforcement actions, protective orders, and all pretrial motions while the District Judge hears primarily final trials. The current District Judge of the 324th is retiring at the end of this year and Beth is seeking that position on the November, 2022 ballot. Her background as a trial lawyer, sitting judge, and board certification as a family law expert have prepared her for the office she is seeking. She hopes to use those skills as Tarrant County's Judge of the 324th District Court.
for County Criminal Court No. 5
As an attorney who has been on both sides of the courtroom and a successful business leader, Brad understands the importance of running an efficient and productive courtroom. He is committed to providing all litigants a fair and impartial forum in which allegations of intimate partner violence will be resolved efficiently and justly. Because of his experience and commitment to justice, Brad Clark is uniquely qualified to be the next judge of Tarrant County Criminal Court No. 5.
Brad was born and raised in Fort Worth. After earning his Juris Doctor (JD) from Baylor University School of Law, Brad was hired by the Honorable Tim Curry to serve as an Assistant Criminal District Attorney and ultimately selected to be an original member of Tarrant County’s first dedicated Family Violence Prosecution Team. After his public service as a prosecutor, Brad formed The Clark Law Firm. Although Brad has always limited his practice to criminal law, his leadership and effective management style have allowed the firm to add additional attorneys that continue to serve our community with expanded practice areas, including family law and child welfare.
With more than 30 years of experience practicing criminal law in Tarrant County, Brad knows the Tarrant County Courthouse and understands the importance of giving back to the community that is his home. He is committed to making a difference in the lives of others. He serves as the Chair of the Criminal Law Section of the Tarrant County Bar Association and as a Master in the Eldon Mahon Inn of Court. For nearly two decades, Brad has worked alongside current judges, prosecutors, and mental health experts to help create and refine a program that gives offenders who suffer from mental health challenges options for rehabilitation.
Over the years, Brad’s work has earned many awards and recognition, including being named a Texas Bar Foundation Fellow, an honor only bestowed upon the top one-third of 1% of all Texas attorneys and rated as a Top Attorney by Fort Worth Magazine. Recently, the Texas Association of Specialty Courts recognized Brad for his work in the community and by the Fort Worth Business Press for his positive and lasting influence on others in the Fort Worth community.
Brad serves on the Board of Trustees at All Saints' Episcopal School. He also serves alongside law enforcement and other community leaders on the Board of the Tarrant County Reentry Coalition, a nonprofit organization created to help rehabilitated offenders obtain housing, job skills, education, and employment, thereby reducing recidivism. As the next judge of County Criminal Court No. 5, Brad will continue this vital work and preside over this court with an unwavering commitment to justice.
for County Criminal Court No. 6
Randi Hartin knows what it means to serve in this community. A lifelong Texan who has lived in Tarrant County for more than 25 years, she has forged successful careers in education and law through hard work and a commitment to integrity.
A graduate of The University of North Texas, Randi began her career in the Arlington and Mansfield school districts, as a teacher and department head.
After attending Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, Randi joined the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office, earning a solid reputation as a prosecutor who stood up for the safety of our community, while fervently seeking truth, justice and fairness. As an Assistant Criminal District Attorney, she dedicated much of her time to fighting for the victims of domestic violence, both at the misdemeanor and felony levels.
As a criminal defense attorney, Randi has continued serving her community by assisting men and women in obtaining help through programs established to combat domestic violence and break the cycle once and for all.
Randi's handling of thousands of criminal cases as both a former prosecutor and defense attorney gives her the significant benefit of analyzing cases from multiple perspectives and has resulted in a reputation for objectivity and common sense among her colleagues. She is a member of both the Tarrant County Bar Association and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer Association and was named a 2020 & 2021 Top Criminal Law Attorney, according to Fort Worth Magazine.
As the next judge for Tarrant County Criminal Court No. Six, Randi will strive to manage a court where victims, defendants and attorneys alike will be heard and addressed with dignity and impartiality. Her commitment to efficiency will be invaluable in decreasing docket size, which has grown exceedingly due to county restrictions during the pandemic. Randi Hartin is committed to serving her community by upholding the constitutional and statutory integrity of the law.
for County Criminal Court No. 7
Eric Starnes has almost three decades of experience as a criminal justice practitioner. He joined the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office in January of 2017 after retiring from the Euless Police Department with over 23 years of service. Eric graduated from Texas Wesleyan School of Law in 2006. He graduated cum laude from Sam Houston State University with an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice. He also holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of North Texas. As a prosecutor, Eric has handled well over 3000 cases. As a former division commander at the police department, he led a staff of 18 and managed a $1.6 million budget. In addition to his criminal legal experience, he also taught Constitutional criminal law to college students and police officers, both in-service officers and cadets in the police academy. Eric now hopes to use his knowledge, education and experience to serve the citizens of Tarrant County as the next judge of Tarrant County Criminal Court No. 7.
for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 7
Matt Hayes served as Justice of the Peace for 8 years in Precinct 7. He presided over one of the busiest courts in the county, handling 11,000 cases a year. He also oversaw the highest volume Truancy Court in the state. His court continuously received accolades for courtesy to all and how well cases were expedited through the court system. One attorney exclaimed that his was the “most efficient court on the planet.” This efficiency coupled with respect and courtesy for everyone who enters the courtroom earned him high praise and even thanks from defendants whom he had just evicted!
The local ISDs filed their cases with him because knew that his focus was on helping students earn a high school diploma so they could begin to build a successful life. He and his staff amassed an array of resources to encourage and equip even those students who were years behind in academic credits. Ask Matt about some of the students who have returned to talk about how he impacted their lives. They are among his proudest accomplishments.
Matt was asked to join the faculty of the state agency that trains judges and clerks. As a volunteer lecturer, his classes across the state were among the most sought-after because of his knowledge and entertaining teaching style.
A Justice of the Peace in Texas does not need to be an attorney, and, like Matt, most are not. Many attorneys who appear before him are shocked when they later learn he did not attend law school. He spends time reading the laws to know exactly what is written, as well as studying and understanding the legal concepts that are needed to apply the law.
Matt earned an MBA in Management, with High Honors, from Oklahoma City University and a BBA in Finance, cum laude, from the University of Houston. He is a graduate of St Thomas High School in Houston, where he grew up.
After serving in the US Marines for a decade, Matt and Brenda, his wife of 44 years, settled in Tarrant County where they own and operate a business keeping our students safe and secure. He has a background in international manufacturing management and is a serial entrepreneur, having opened several successful businesses. He serves in many volunteer community capacities such as the Pastoral Care Team and marriage counseling at North Elevation Church, board member of both the Mansfield Veterans Foundation, the TeufelHunden Foundation and is active in several political clubs. He has served in numerous community, professional and church leadership positions.
JUDGE ANDY PORTER
for Criminal District Court No. 4
Judge Andy Porter received his bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from Austin College in Sherman, Texas. As a Kangaroo, Judge Porter served as Vice-President of the Pre-Law society, was yearbook editor, was a member of the campus community service board, and was part of Austin College’s National Championship Model United Nations team. He was a Byrd Honors Scholar from 1991-92. In 1993, Judge Porter was named a Hatton W. Sumners Foundation Scholar in Political Science.
Judge Porter received his law degree, with honors, from Drake University. While at Drake, Judge Porter was Chief Justice of the Honor Board and a member of the Christian Legal Society. He also served as Professor David McCord’s research assistant on criminal law issues. Judge Porter was twice named to “Who’s Who Among American Law Students,” and he earned the top grade in Trial Advocacy. Judge Porter clerked for the Honorable Richard G. Blane II in Des Moines, Iowa, and thereafter worked for the Jasper County, Iowa, District Attorney’s office before returning to Texas.
Judge Porter joined the Gregg County Criminal District Attorney’s office in 1999. He was a trial and appellate prosecutor for 3½ years, filing over 85 appellate briefs between January 2001 and July 2002.
In 2002, Judge Porter joined the Sixth Court of Appeals as a staff research attorney. He drafted opinions in civil and criminal cases, recommended dispositions at the court’s weekly motions docket, and helped prepare the court’s justices for oral argument. From 2006-09, he served on the board of the Texas Association of Appellate Court Attorneys, and in 2008 his peers from the state’s sixteen appellate courts elected him President of that organization.
He joined the appellate division of the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney in 2009. There he authored the state’s appellate brief in scores of cases, served for a time as the office’s chief expunction prosecutor, and advised the elected district attorneys on various legal issues. He also made numerous continuous legal education presentations to various local bar organizations on topics such as the United States Supreme Court, juvenile appeals, and Texas expunction law.
Since 2019, Judge Porter has served the citizens of Tarrant County as an associate judge in the 323rd Judicial District Court, Tarrant County’s assigned juvenile court.
Judge Porter is admitted to practice law in Texas and Iowa. He is also admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the federal courts for the Eastern District of Texas. He is one of fewer than 150 lawyers in Texas who is Board Certified in Criminal Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is also a 20-year fellow of the Texas Bar College.
Judge Porter has argued cases before the Second, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Courts of Appeals, as well as both the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The highlight of his appellate career occurred in 2017, when Justice Clarence Thomas (writing for a 5-4 United States Supreme Court) affirmed the death sentence in Davila v. Texas, a case in which Porter served as Tarrant County’s lead post-conviction prosecutor.
In 2012, Austin College awarded Judge Porter a Presidential Citation for service to his Alma Mater. He is a member of Austin College’s Covenant Society as well as Baylor University’s Endowed Scholarship Society.
Judge Porter holds memberships with numerous local Republican clubs. He previously served in leadership positions with the Teen Court Boards of Texarkana and Longview, and is currently a Vice-President for Austin College’s “L” Association Alumni Organization.