In seeking office on the Supreme Court of Texas, Judge Debra Lehrmann said she is the candidate with the family law experience that’s needed on the state’s highest bench.
“I have a broad background in all areas of the law, but family law has been my area of concentration,” she said. “I sincerely believe it would help our public at this time to have someone with that expertise on the court. There truly is a need for that.”
Lehrmann has served for 22 years as judge of the 360th District Court in Fort Worth – which she believes gives her greater insight and invaluable experience that set her apart from the other office-seekers.
“Being a trial court judge is a plus because you need judges sitting on the Supreme Court of Texas who have been in the trenches making those evidentiary and procedural decisions on a regular basis,” she said. “It’s a plus that I’ve been a trial court judge and have been so for many years.”
Lehrmann is a published author and has been recognized by the Texas Bar Foundation for her work. She’s also a frequent lecturer at Texas Wesleyan School of Law and throughout the nation.
Her ability to communicate through both words and speech will serve her well as a justice on the Supreme Court, she said.
“I’ve been published many, many times,” said Lehrmann, who notes that legal scholarship and writing ability “are such an important part of the job” as a justice, saying, “You have to have well-written opinions.”
Her legal scholarship includes annually updating two legal treatises she’s authored that are published by Lexis Nexis-Matthew Bender: “Texas Annotated Family Code” and “Court-Appointed Legal Representation of Children in Texas Family Law Cases — A Practical Guide for Attorneys.” The updating involves reading all of the cases coming out of Texas’ 14 courts of appeal and its Supreme Court, and preparing analyses and summaries of those so they can be taught to judges and attorneys across the state.
A conservative Republican, Lehrmann states on her Web site, “Texas has set itself apart from other states with its conservative values. These values must be upheld by our state’s highest court.”
“I never legislate from the bench because I have a deep and abiding respect for the original intent of our Constitution,” she said. “The exceptional appellate record I have accumulated over my 22 years on the bench reflects my dedication to this conservative philosophy.”
Lehrmann is seeking the Supreme Court of Texas Place 3 seat being vacated by retiring Justice Harriet O’Neill, with whom she has served on the Supreme Court Commission on Children, Youth and Families.
“The permanent commission on youth is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t solve the problems,” Lehrmann said. “We need a justice on the court who has the expertise in this area.”
Her numerous professional activities and recognition include serving as an appointee of Gov. Rick Perry since 2004 on the Uniform Laws Commission, where she has worked with revisions of the Uniform Commercial Code, Uniform Probate Code and Uniform Trust Code and adding to her broad base of knowledge and experience, she said.
As a commissioner, she also has served as chair of the drafting and study committees on the relocation of children and as a member of the drafting committee on the uniform representation of children in abuse, neglect and custody cases. Work produced by the Uniform Laws Commission serves as models for the states in developing their laws, she said.
Lehrmann also has served since 2004 as a master member of the Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court and was co-chair of the Texas Legislative Ad Hoc Ad Litem Committee that drafted legislative amendments to the Texas Family Code.
“I truly have committed my professional life to improving the law as it relates to children and families,” she said.
She has been an active member in several capacities for the American Bar Association, Family Law Section, where she is now serving as chair-elect. She also has served as Texas chapter president of the Association of Family and Conciliatory Courts.
Since 2004, she has been a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and has been a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation since 1996.
The long list of endorsements for her candidacy for the Supreme Court of Texas includes U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, state Sens. Chris Harris and Jane Nelson, state Reps. Kelly Hancock, Todd Smith, Mark Shelton and Vicky Truitt, and former state Reps. Kim Brimer, Bill Carter and Toby Goodman. Lehrmann also has received the endorsement of the Association of Women Attorneys, a several-thousand member organization of both men and women based in the Houston area.
She is running with the support and help of her family: husband, Greg, who practices real estate law, and her two sons, Gregory and Jonathan, who are seniors in high school.
A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Lehrmann graduated with high honors from the University of Texas in 1979 and the University of Texas School of Law in 1982. Prior to being appointed to the bench, she practiced family law with a Fort Worth-based law firm and was named Outstanding Young Lawyer of Tarrant County in 1990.
Her campaign Web site is www.JudgeDebraLehrmann.com.
Contact JoAnn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 469-517-1452.